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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #51

Trinity #51

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 20, 2009

Cover date: May 20, 2009

Main Story: "Solid Ground"

Main Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Main Pencillers: Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher
Main Inker: Art Thibert
Main Colorist: Allen Passalaqua

Back-Up Story: "Can You Hold Out"

Back-Up Story Writer: Kurt Busiek
Back-Up Story Penciller: Mark Bagley
Back-Up Story Inker: Art Thibert
Back-Up Colors: Pete Pantazis

Cover Art: Shane Davis and John Dell

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman with Jeffrey Bridges and Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

The world is reborn. The catastrophes in progress when the world ended continue.

The Dreambound find their teammate Sun-Chained-In-Ink. Elsewhere those who died live again. Hal Jordan teams up with Tempest to prevent the Marianas Trench from causing tidal waves somehow. Firestorm finds John Stewart who recalls being ejected from the Void Hound as it realized it could have a purpose in hunting to feed and protect its pack.

The villains make one more try for the Worldsoul. Le Fey tells Despero they no longer need three to control the Worldsoul and Despero kills Enigma. Le Fey tells Despero they don't need two either and attacks him. The spirit in S.P.H.E.R.E. wonders who will help her if her father is gone.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "Can You Hold Out"

Lois, Tarot, Gangbuster, and Charity all look up and say "Oh". It's the Trinity. Superman and Wonder Woman K.O. Despero and le Fey. Meanwhile, Batman goes to help S.P.H.E.R.E. and the Worldsoul lets Batman combine with her and save Enigma.

Lois and the others come upon the Trinity as their energies are spent and they return to their original forms as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Krona can't believe they gave up their power. Suddenly, the Crime Syndicate appear ready to attack.

To be continued...

Barry's Review:

1Main Story - 1: As if this series hasn't created enough confusion, this issue puts the cover credits on the back-up story splash for some reason. Apparently, DC thought they could squeeze just a little more confusion out of this mess of a series.

Logic threads are being pulled with lightning fast ferocity. They don't need three anymore to control the Worldsoul? Again, it's one of those unexplained facts that the reader is asked to take at face value.

Is Hawkman alive? Is he alive here but dead in Final Crisis? Is he dead here while dead in Final Crisis and thus alive again now? Same questions with Aquaman but in reverse. He was alive in Final Crisis but he still hasn't come across any Atlanteans? Or did he die again in the Trinity world? And if so was he reborn yet again? Or was he reborn in Final Crisis as a result of what happens here in Trinity. Ultimately who cares?

1Main Art - 1: They lost me at Alfred. Look at the depiction of Mr. Pennyworth on page four of the lead story. It looks nothing like him and I only assume it's him because who else with a mustache would be working the Batcave computers?

1Back-Up Story - 1: The underwhelming return of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman turned out even less exciting than I expected. And my expectations were hit-me-over-the-head-for-a-year low.

2Back-Up Art - 2: Nothing special here.

3Cover Art - 3: Wonder Woman in an action pose we've seen a zillion times before. Yawn.

1Overall Comments - 1: Jeff's well-deserved overall remarks about the series last week in his final review with his name as the primary byline inspired me to use this week's final lead byline for myself to do the same. This leaves Neal with the last word for next week.

It's difficult to explain adequately exactly how much I hated this series. I've spent 51 weeks (with one more to go) coming up with new and better ways to say "You suck" to this series. Now I find myself without much new to add even in summation. But here goes.

I really need to start with a big thank you to DC Comics for forcing me to spend more than $150 on this trash. I made an obligation to Steve to review the series and wouldn't back off that - though believe me I tried. Speaking of Steve, I do need to thank him for sticking with our idea of the Superman Homepage Trinity reviewing the series. If nothing else, I learned a valuable writing lesson. I learned how to write essentially the same thing differently as much as I could every week for a year.

I also have to thank Kurt Busiek. I thought his run on the Superman titles a few years back was horrible but I've always known many Superman fans really enjoyed it. We all have different tastes and I wouldn't invalidate anyone else's opinion with my own. But I do appreciate Busiek validating for me my long-standing pre-Trinity belief Kurt has no understanding of the Superman characters.

Busiek also proved to me that, unless bad writers go away, bad writers' ideas won't go away. Case in point: the cosmic egg. Hinging a DC-wide event on a creation of a DC/Marvel crossover (the cosmic egg in the JLA/Avengers crossover) never sat right with me right from the very beginning. To this life-long make-mine-DC guy, I should've taken the egg as the omen it was.

Oh and Kurt thanks for taking one of my least favorite villainesses, Morgaine le Fey, and making me like her even less, which I didn't think was possible.

Thank you to the art team for creating 99.9% of what made Trinity a step above needles stuck in both my eyes. I feel sorry that the art team ended up stuck for an entire year on Busiek's Folly. I still feel worse I ended up stuck for a year on Busiek's Folly, but I have to recognize the small positives that came out of this series. And most of that was art-related.

Still, even Busiek deserves a bit of the credit in giving us my favorite new talking gorilla, Primat. Though having her fall squarely on the side of good is a bit of a let down - I thought she'd make a great villainess who isn't really a villainess in the vein of Catwoman.

Trinity also deserves my thanks for being the first Superman story in which I believe I found absolutely nothing new or interesting about Superman. And this is coming from someone who found merit in parts of "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"!

The big thanks goes to Dan Didio, DC's executive editor. It is clear that, of all the heroes in the DCU, the three he understands the least are Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Why else would he send them away from every major story of the past few years including stories in their own books? And a book called Trinity should have been about the Trinity, with the supporting cast as the supporting cast, not vice versa. Especially for Superman whose supporting cast is taking center stage in his own books right now.

Ultimately the book did what I expected it to do - implode in on itself. I just didn't expect the story to literally do that to the DCU. In the end, the scope of the story; the alteration, destruction, and recreation of the DCU once again as over-the-top plot device; and the incongruent unintelligible writing will render Trinity an utterly forgettable series. Unless you had to review it for 52 weeks in which case it will be an ingrained pain for some time.

To everyone who stuck with our reviews week in and week out, thank you. I'd like to thank all of you but I'm too tired to type out 30 names. There would have been no reason to continue these reviews if you guys didn't stick with us - even some of you who didn't stick with the book stuck with us. See you one more time next week.

Jeffrey's Review:

1Main Story - 1: Everything is back to normal, except Busiek can change any part of continuity he didn't like and explain it away as part of the "worldsoul gluing the world back together".

Wow, what a waste of a year for everyone but Busiek.

2Main Art - 2: Look at Morgaine battling Despero. Just LOOK.

That's kind of horrid.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Enigma is dead. Make him a machine. And then we'll do... something! To Krona! And now we're all back to normal!

Oh and look, now the Crime Syndikate is going to kill us all in the last issue?

THIS is what you build to for a YEAR?

Rao on toast.

3Back-Up Art - 3: The shadow was nicely done.

3Cover Art - 3: Nice enough art, I suppose. And the pose? Uh... what?

Neal's Review:

1Main Story - 1: The backup came first, so I'm reviewing it first.

Basically, we have more reaction shots to crazy things happening, and the heroes trying to stop them from happening, in tertiary ways that have no relation to the mainline plot. Green Lantern stops the Marianas Trench from, well, doing something. The Metal Men save people.

These scenes were all character interchangeable. It could be Lois helping a puppy out of a tree, or Ambush Bug pulling a sock out of a hamper, or The Question holding the door for an old lady. It meant nothing, it did nothing toward character. It was essentially a waste of time.

There were moments that attempted character. I believe the reuniting was that little girl who almost became a lizard creature, but I couldn't tell, because of the art.

Sun-Chained-in-Hamburgers lives. Big whoop. The Void Hound escaped somehow. Resolution off camera for a plot that never really held or concerned me.

Infighting between the Evil Trinity doesn't really play to me, given that there's never been any palpable reason for them to cooperate or not cooperate. I can't feel sympathy for Enigma. Hey, let's kill millions of people in order to achieve my view of reality. Oh no! It came back on me, and I'm dying!

(catharsis golfclap)

1Main Art - 1: Wow. I have dug Tom's work on most of this run save the Silver Age-ey stuff, but here things just fall utterly apart. Green Lantern with the broken spine on page five. The Morgan Le Fay on page 8 is probably one of the single worst Liefield style woman disfigurements I've ever seen in my life, only to be replicated twice on page ten where her torso grows three times in length and her thighs grow shorter than her toothpick neck right in front of Despero's comically massive 90s arm. Embarrassingly bad, and obviously rushed.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Boo hoo for Enigma, see reasons above.

Despero and Morgan taken out in one punch. Awe inspiring.

The Trinity have given up their power to reform the Earth. And yet, as the backup shows, the Earth is still in peril.

This plot is, very literally, the definition of deus ex machine. God appears and fixes everything.

Emo Krona appears, is dispatched somehow in a way that isn't explained beyond a flash of light, and then the CSA appears. Yawn again, given their threat level for the rest of the series.

Only one more to go, but I'm seriously dreading even that.

4Back-Up Art - 4: Bagley's got his characters reigned in, there's no feel of a rush here, and there are a lot of nuanced details that pop, even if the concepts behind their execution don't sit well with me. The splash in particular, even if not story justified, was awesome visually.

3Cover Art - 3: Decent image of Wonder Woman, but she's got no relation to the giant face, she's not stopping any bullets, and she's... hey, wait! She's under the Wonder Woman symbol!

Mild Mannered Reviews


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