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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #52

Trinity #52

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 27, 2009

Cover date: May 27, 2009

Main Story: "Where They Should Be"

Main Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Main Pencillers: Mark Bagley, Mike Norton, Tom Derenick and Scott McDaniel
Main Inker: Art Thibert with John Stanisci, Wayne Faucher, and Andy Owens

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey with Barry Freiman and Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

The heroes party, having saved the world. They're apparently allowed to do so because the Worldsoul is allowing it to happen without their identities being compromised as a reward. Conveniently, people who learned secret identities are also forgetting what they've learned over cocktails.

Time cuts back to the fight with the Crime Syndicate, or the lack thereof, as the heroes bluff them into believing the fight would be against their better wishes and damage the villains, so the baddies run back to Earth-3.

On Earth-3, Enigma and his daughter, now in the Void Hound, fight crime.

Jason Blood sucks Morgan into a talisman and takes her. The Green Lanterns take Despero.

Konvikt decides to make up for killing people by going to work with the mob (Not a typo! Not an imaginary summary!).

Tarot can now see the interaction of the Worldsoul. She and Gangbuster kiss.

The Dreambound are pardoned because they were under Morgan's control.

Tomorrow Woman is somehow back alive, and human instead of a robot, and has apparently always been around. The Worldsoul says so.

Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman leave the party to deal with some sirens.

Krona is imprisoned naked by the weird alien types from the analogue stories for the Trinity (the Machiners, the Max Lord retelling, etc). Apparently, that world is reborn using Krona's power, and becomes Earth One, though it's vague whether this is actually the case or not.

Neal's Review:

1Story - 1: This is actually worse than Superboy punching the walls, because at least the Superboy punches corrected things that actually had some point to being corrected, and weren't easily corrected by storytelling. Like, Tomorrow Woman suddenly always being there and now being human, etc. Like a party in the open being justified by some ethereal concept of the Worldsoul saying it's okay.

One page to introduce Earth-1, with all of the wasted space in this series? Really?

The Dreambound being released because they were under Morgan's control would be just fine, if the Swashbuckler hadn't, I dunno, MURDERED PEOPLE IN A MALL. But I guess we're supposed to have forgotten that. The "I was mind controlled" defense is readily provable, I guess.

Given that this is the final review, and given that Jeff and Barry said a nice, protracted thank you and goodbye, I probably should too.

Play them off, Neal-bored cat:

3Art - 3: There's nothing here that really jumps out, and there are a few pages that have virtually no backgrounds, or it'd be a four. It tells the story in a way that's clear, but it also doesn't pop out at you especially.

4Cover Art - 4: Pretty good, save Superman's face. They're just arbitrarily posing, as they have for the entire series, it would seem, but at least the background is interesting, detailed, and well rendered. It lacks the one thing that would make it a five... any real point beyond a good image.

Barry's Review:

1Story - 1: Didio? Didio? That guy owes me money.

$2.99 times 52 to be exact. Plus damages for pain and suffering and intentional infliction of emotional distress. And interest. And reimbursement of depreciation on my computer as a result of 52 weeks of angry tapping.

The story this time out is wonderful for one reason. It's over. Finally. I'll never look at the number "three" without fear of spontaneously breaking into seizures.

Once the party on the docks is over, everyone's going to forget everything that happened. Too bad we readers can't say the same.

This story meant nothing. Nobody learned a lesson. The Caped Crusader, the Amazing Amazon, and the Man of Steel all ended up exactly where they started. And Hawkman's history is as convoluted as it was before Geoff Johns took one of his earliest successful character reboots out on Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

But we got Tomorrow Woman back - woo hoo. Tomorrow Woman was a one-shot Justice Leaguer introduced and 'killed' in the same issue at least a decade ago, after it was revealed she was built by Professor Ivo to betray the JLA. She sacrificed herself and discovered her humanity in death. And now she's back and she's 'a real girl' and she has a pre-established secret identity? I'm as confused as the heroes who were trying to parse it together themselves. Presumably, when the party's over, and memories go back to where they were pre-Trinity, everyone will always have thought Tomorrow Woman has been human (or super-human as the case may be) and actively practicing super-heroing for some time. Well thank goodness now all those 'Bring Back Tomorrow Woman' websites can finally move onto a past DC character that really deserves to be brought back to life like Dumb Bunny from the Inferior Five, or Jerry Lewis, or Kurt Busiek's career. Never mind Busiek's career: that one does not deserve a reboot; after Trinity it deserves to lie dormant longer than Barry Allen did.

Trinity was supposed to be about the relationships between and among Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. It was supposed to examine their place in the world. The DCU world of heroes, villains, and ordinary people. How they were thought of by their JLA allies, by their loved ones, by their enemies. That's how the series was touted by Didio and the band last year in the press. Except we didn't get anything close to that type of self-examination. We didn't even get a story about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

In this final issue, the only ambiguously interesting thing that happens concerns the comment from the blue-skinned alien that they would make this "EARTH ONE AT LAST". There are two ways to read that phrase - to make it a unified Earth or the second possible meaning that this re-configured Earth is the new Earth-One. I know some writers have referred to the newest New Earth as Earth-One but we know that isn't the case - it was made clear in 52 that there was New Earth and Earths 1-51. There isn't a world we've seen yet that is like the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths version of Earth-One. Especially from Superman's perspective.

The New Earth Supes may have recently picked up much of the Pre-Crisis Earth-One Superman's back story but the Earth-One Superman and his supporting cast are quite different than even this most recent New Earth version. Unlike the guy we have as Superman in the comics today, on Earth One, Clark was orphaned twice; he anchored the news on WGBS with co-anchor Lana Lang; he had a Fortress of Solitude built into a glacier with a giant gold door that only a giant gold key could open; Lois learning his secret never even seemed an option; and he had a remarkable singing voice.

It's been a continuing mystery to me why, since Infinite Crisis, there's been this assumption that New Earth was mostly Earth-One with a little bit of Earth-Two. Like majoring in Earth-One with a minor in Earth-Two. Except that's never really been the case. Within a year after the twelfth and final issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths, we got post-Crisis reboots of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman that distinguished all three of them from their Earth-One counterparts in fundamental ways.

I waited all through Final Crisis thinking that the new Multiverse Earth-One would be revealed and I still think there's a story to be told there. I'm not sure if Busiek just told the Earth-One story or if I'm just over-thinking the issue and out-thinking the writer. Whether Busiek intended to make that implication or the lettering makes the implication for him, it's still an interesting thing to ponder.

The final lesson of Trinity is simple. In a world without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, we'd all have blue or purple skin. So it's skin pigmentation ultimately that defines what the Trinity bring to the DCU. Or to put it at its most obvious and basest, as I'm sure Busiek would have intended it, a world without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman would leave us all a little blue.

The bar is closed. Get your things and head out in an orderly fashion. Let me end by saying, and thank the gods and goddesses for my being able to say it at all: Not-To-Be-Continued.

2Art - 2: The art's not bad except it's inconsistent. Same thing I've said about the art for 52 weeks in a row and it holds true this last time. Have I said recently how much I despised this series?

1Cover Art - 1: 52 divided by three is 17.33333333. 51 divided by three is 17. Being somewhat familiar with math, it occurred to me early on that issue 52 couldn't be part of a triptych cover. Except they managed to give us a triptych fold out cover instead. One last gasp of non-creativity.

It's too bad it isn't one of those MAD Magazine fold outs where the page folds up and you get a secret message or funny picture when you fold the page into thirds. But the message I'd want to see wouldn't be a secret. It'd be a message from Dan Didio and the Trinity team to those of us who stuck with this series for 52 issues and the message would read simply: "Suckers".

Jeffrey's Review:

1Story - 1: "It almost feels anticlimactic, doesn't it?"

You sure said it, Kurt, and with some of the worst dialogue I've ever read in a comic book.

This issue wraps up nothing, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are hardly even in it and just as much time is spent with worthless supporting characters that no one gives a crap about except Busiek (who wanted to know what happened to the Void Hound? Krona? Enigma? Morgaine? Tarot?).

Everything I have left to say I said in my final main review for issue 50.

3Art - 3: I'm just glad it's over.

3Cover Art - 3: This image should be FAR more spectacular and awe-inspiring than it is.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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