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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #47

Trinity #47

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 22, 2009

Cover date: April 22, 2009

Main Story: "Power to Spare"

Main Writers: Kurt Busiek
Main Pencillers: Mark Bagley
Main Inker: Art Thibert

Back-Up Story: "A Role to Play"

Back-Up Story Writer: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Story Penciller: Tom Derenick
Back-Up Story Inker: Wayne Faucher

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges with Barry Freiman and Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

The Trinity battle Morgaine, Despero and Krona. Despero's armada arrives, and the Justice League, Teen Titans and Justice Society arrive to "smack 'em up". The Dreambound arrive to help the Trinity. Then the Crime Syndikate arrives to help the Trinity. Then... something happens to the Worldsoul girl, who may not survive.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "A Role to Play"

The heroes fight. Alfred watches. Lex contacts Alfred. Lex says the god-Trinity have the same creation power from the big bang as Krona and the Worldsoul do and tries to harness the energy. He sends the information to Alfred who sends it to Nightwing who redirects it to Lois Lane who has it taken from her by Donna Troy who gives it to Wonder Woman.

To be continued...

Jeffrey's Review:

1Main Story - 1: Krona, of all people, has a line here that perfectly sums things up:

"You are too tied to old ways, old thinking. You'll be destroyed before you learn..."

The irony of this line is it was written by Kurt Busiek, who here is himself so clearly tied to old ways and old thinking that he's writing a book that is laughable and feels three decades out of time. Busiek has written some great things in the past, which makes this even more troubling, but as far as I'm concerned he's shown for 47 straight issues that he's not still learning as he goes and, in my mind, this book has destroyed any image of him as a competent writer in my mind.

And that's sad, because the man wrote good stuff, but it's just not here. There's nothing here. There's no emotion, no heart, no stakes for the reader to care about. There's no character, there's almost not even any story.

A story is a journey and something to say. This book has gone nowhere and said nothing. It's just a string of (very loosely) tied together events with a lot of DC characters paraded around as this massive beautiful thing.

Massive it is, I'll give them that. Especially when it's this bad and this boring and this poorly written. It feels ten times longer than it is.

Just five more weeks, that's how I get through them now.

Just five more weeks.

3Main Art - 3: That's a crazy splash to open the book with. Yep. Crazy.

1Back-Up Story - 1: In a visual medium, you can see things happening.

They delight in actually SHOWING us Lex's activities... and then ruin it by having him NARRATE WHAT HE'S DOING IN THE PAST-TENSE. We can SEE what he's doing?! And what the hell is possibly added to this by the narration? And what the hell is possibly added to that by having the narration be past-tense? It's show, don't tell, not show AND tell and not show AND tell it like you did it yesterday!

These are basic grade-school lessons here. And we've had to deal with them from an adult writer in a published book for 47 straight weeks from one of the two largest comic publishing houses in existence.

This book makes me embarrassed to say I'm a DC fan. A lifetime fandom I used to be proud of, shattered to pieces in less than a year.

Mission accomplished?

4Back-Up Art - 4: I wouldn't really give this a 4, but I kind of dug it a little more than usual and I can't give it a 3.5.

2Cover Art - 2: Uhh... what?

I get that the covers are showing a transition from god-Trinity back to normal-Trinity, but this isn't something that actually happens nor has the story yet even intimated it was about to happen by next issue so...

Random, wasted art.

Barry's Review:

1Main Story - 1: OK DC, I get it. It's an interesting way to analyze a superhero's impact on society by removing him or her from society. It's been done to great success in Justice League: The Nail and the Death of Superman. Grant Morrison took the Big Three out of play pretty fast in Final Crisis. It's being done right now with Superman in New Krypton and with Batman in Battle for the Cowl. And then there's Trinity.

This issue, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are beginning to incorporate their old morality into their actions. For the first time in months, the characters are Supes, Bats, and Wondy in more than just name only. The heroes disappeared at the beginning of issue 17 and I would argue this is the first issue in which it could be said they are (somewhat) returned. That means a comic book about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will, at most, only feature the three of them for, at most, 23 issues out of 52. When will DC tell a story about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman that emphasizes their import to Earth by including them in the story? If anything, these repetitive remove-the-Big Three-from-the-action stories are accomplishing the opposite of their intention - showing that the DCU stands rather strong even without the Big Three - with Trinity as the capper.

Stop the insanity!

2Main Art - 2: Missed opportunities. That's what this series seems to be about. The first page of the lead story is a prime example. The superhero poses are so similar to the cover poses. Except Superman and Batman switch places between the cover and the first page. Given the cover represents where the heroes end up at issue's end, and the first page is where they begin, this could have been a beautiful symmetry between the two images. Instead it's just another Trinity failure.

4Back-Up Story - 4: Lex Luthor saves the world. Once again, Busiek demonstrates his strength in one-on-one character moments. The dialogue between Lex and Alfred is priceless, both funny and tense at the same time. It's such a shame more of this series didn't read like this.

3Back-Up Art - 3: It's very cool that Lex is wearing the Warsuit but it seems a bit unnecessary just for phoning the Batcave.

2Cover Art - 2: What I already said.

Neal's Review:

1Main Story - 1: APPEARANCE! People talk in dialogue about what they're doing and why to people who are their enemies.

APPEARANCE! People talk in dialogue about what they're doing and why to people who are their enemies.

APPEARANCE! People talk in dialogue about what they're doing and why to people who are their enemies.

The lesson to be learned here, kids, is that a bunch of cool people (to select groups of specialized fans) appearing on the page may appear to be a culmination. And hey, maybe it even is, just not a good one. It's like when, as a kid, I took all of my He-Man figures and lined them up. God, there must have been fifty. One group on one side, another group on the other side. And then, not understanding the nuance of character or anything beyond, "Hey, that might be cool!" I smashed them together with a BOOSH! BOOSH! BOOSH! (Invariably chipping the paint off what would be worth a mint now).

I made sure He-Man screamed "I'll get you, Skeletor!"

Skeletor screamed, "No you won't, He-Man, because I have my SUPER RAM STAFF OF POWER!"

And He-Man was all like, "But I am a God! I have the powers of the Masters of the Universe!"

Skeletor takes a slight step back. "Oh no! Battle Cat and Panthor!"


It was really quite fun back then, so I understand the urge to recreate this feeling. I mean, those where the days when, I concede, I learned to tell a story.

It's just not adult comics. Therein lies the flaw.

4Main Art - 4: The Crime Syndicate page is a bit hairy in places, but other than that there's loads of detail here, great renderings of odd things, and generally I can't complaint.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Luthor ex machina, where Luthor has blue eyes, talks like a villain from the fifties, and somehow has an in with the batcave and can translate "creation energies" and comprehend "magic" but somehow can't override a voice modulator and/or see into the Batcave.

Yeah. Sure. That's gonna fly with a Superman fan. Take Luthor back about eighty steps.

3Back-Up Art - 3: It's so hit and miss with this artist. Sometimes it's brilliant, other times it's very much early nineties. It's odd to see subtlety and character nuance, which I enjoy, in a giant green finned Luthor suit. And I'm the biggest fan of the green and purple suit ever, but not the one from 1985, understand. The newer one, that reflects the fact that 25 years have passed. Still and all, it goes A to B, and at times beautifully, at times chaotically.

2Cover Art - 2: I can tell it's work by my favorite guys on this book, but it just kind of falls flat here. No background, really, out of context, same thing that's been on the cover for almost 8 weeks, right? Odd logo thing... just a miss for me.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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