Review: Trinity #3

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Introducing Tarot Girl!

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Three weeks in, and readers have been subjected to strange dreams, mystical attacks, and an attack from outer space.  When a space convict lands on the planet and starts wrecking havoc, who do you call?  The Trinity?  You’d be surprised how many times they appear in this installment.

trinity3cover.jpgTrinity #3
Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton and Jerry Ordway
Covers by Carlos Pacheco

Yes, each issue of Trinity has been a cliffhanger leading you to the next installment, but the big hook Kurt Busiek and company have with this weekly series is using the back up issue to expand on the tale.  In issue #2, the story of how Konvikt (a great cold war name if I ever heard one) and Graak came to Earth and took down Jon Stewart was told to enhance the main story and set us up for the main story this time around.

In this issue, it takes the big three the entire issue to reach their destination.  This means Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman appear for a total of four pages before Superman gets his clock cleaned by the jolly purple giant.  So how does one fill the other eight pages of the 12 page main story?  Have the Justice League run interference, of course!

While the battle sequences are cool, and it does give Busiek a chance to stretch his legs with other DC characters, this entire battle sequence is set up to show how everyone reacts to the appearance of the big three.  LeFaye makes the observation from afar, going so far as to spell it out for the reader, that everyone defers to the three when they show up on the scene; further Batman and Wonder Woman defer to Superman as the prime leader in the pantheon of DC heroes.  The nail is being hit on the head here, and I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that Superman is king of the mountain.  So, when you follow that up with Superman getting his butt kicked to the curb, and everyone’s reaction, you get the feeling that knocking these three down a peg or two during the story – ultimately having them come out on top, will only strengthen the bond between the three leads, and hopefully readers around the world.

The appearance of the Justice League has me a bit split on this issue.  On the one hand, I like their appearance, as it breaks up the action and keeps the story from becoming monotonous, but on the other, I bought a book called Trinity, not Justice League. Still, I like how Busiek can bring other well known characters into the story and still have it make sense, and flow smoothly from one issue to the next.  Best of all, even with the appearance of other characters, this series still appears to be stand alone from everything else going on in the DCU.  Thank god, as I don’t want this to become another one of those “back bone of the DC Universe complete with 10 tie-in mini-series just so we can get your money” deals.

The back up story this week features the fortune teller from issue one.  We learn her first name is Rita, but most of the citizens of Del Rey call her Tarot.  Nicknames are fine, but here it seems a bit forced, and I don’t want to see a six issue mini-series with her name on the cover.  Her story focuses on her fortune telling skills becoming more powerful, which have caused the local gang, and a spooky demon type creature, to take a greater interest in her.

Majik is certainly becoming the theme for the series, and I hope it continues for the next 49 weeks. On the other hand, magic seems to be an easy out for lazy writers to explain away inconsistencies, or close major plot holes in stories in a single sweep.  Still, if you are going to try and bring down Superman, magic and Kryptonite are the two best ways.

There’s really not a lot to say about the art, as Bagley is delivering solid work three weeks in.  The back up story art is very close to Bagley’s so there is a sense of art continuity throughout the entire issue.  The only fanboy gripe I have is with the cover.  You have to put the first three issues together to get the big picture (soon to be a poster, I’m sure), to see Superman standing at Thymescara, Batman in Metropolis, and Wonder Woman in Gotham City.  According to the Atlas of the DC Universe (based on the works of Mark Gruenwald), Gotham is in New Jersey – not Chicago,   As much as DC is trying to tie the movie franchise into the comic, having a John Hancock building prominently in the background, and the Wayne tower from Batman Begins distracted me to no end. I would much rather have the comic version of Wayne Tower appear in the skyline.

I’m not as irate at DC’s latest weekly as I was with its last, but at the same time, I’m not jumping up and down begging my LCS to open its doors early Wednesday morning just so I can get my mitts on the new issue.  The Konvikt tale is nothing new and grows a little pedestrian. In fact, if you missed the first two issues, you could buy this one, and not have missed too much.  I’m hopeful Busiek gives readers a swerve over the next three issues, but until then, I’m only giving Trinity #3 3 out of 5 Stars.

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