Happy Comic Release Day!
I choose a book once again because one of the kids grabbed it off my stack to read. That’s usually a good sign.
Trinity is a three-volume collection of a comic published weekly by DC for fifty-two consecutive weeks. It’s written by Kurt Busiek (with an assist from Fabian Nicieza) and drawn by several excellent artists, most notably Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, the primary penciller and inker.
As the title and cover spell out, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman are the stars of this book.
The premise is that the three main superheroes are the mystical core of their universe. Unknowingly, they keep the spirit/soul of the universe in proper balance.
Three villains discover this fact and hatch a complicated plot to replace the hero trinity with a self-aware trinity of their own, thus making them the supreme beings of their known universe. It doesn’t work out the way that they’d hoped but, in the meantime, the fabric of reality in all the known universes becomes frayed and altered.
The story is a fast-paced, epic journey through the entire DC universe and it includes practically every hero that’s remembered and not more than a few that aren’t save by diehard fans.
What Your Kids Will Like About It:
My two sons picked up this book because they thought it looked cool and had a lot of the heroes familiar to them from the Justice League Unlimited television show. Their main complaint on finishing the first two volumes was that I didn’t have Volume 3 on hand. (It hadn’t been released yet. It’s available now.)
They liked it because the action is terrific. It includes epic battles all over the place. Heroes and villains. Batman and a furry aliens. Splash pages of large numbers of heroes banding together to battle cosmic energy. Bagley, Thibert and the other artists have outdone themselves.
There are also with very human moments, such as at the beginning of volume one, where Clark, Lois and Bruce meet for lunch at a restaurant on a pier. Bruce buys out the entire end section so they can have some privacy.
But I connected most with the forgotten hero Gangbuster and his quest to save a heroine, Tarot, who turns out to contain the key knowledge about the villain’s plan. The relationship between Gangbuster and Tarot gives the story heart.
What Adults Will Like About It:
If you still love superheroes, you’ll like this book. In some ways, I could call the story old-fashioned. The heroes are three-dimensional but they always try to do the right thing. This book is not cynical or dark. There is tragedy here but it’s the epic kind. Instead, it’s a a celebration of people with powers who also happen to be good human beings trying hard to do the right thing against impossible odds.
Long-time fans will enjoy the inclusion of the vast history of the DC universe. Tomorrow Woman is in the story, along with Gangbuster, and there’s a panel that includes depictions of all of Hawkman’s past lives. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The alternate reality that occupies much of the second volume is a nice twist to the familiar. It’s always fun to see “what if” versions of favorite characters. It made me smile to see Alfred (even an alternate universe Alfred) take a prominent role in putting things right.
My favorite is in Volume 2. An entire page features massive rock statues of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman overlooking a parallel world.
Extras In The Trade:
The trades include all the individual issue covers, plus pencil sketches by Mark Bagley.
About the Creators:
Kurt Busiek is probably best known outside the comic book world as the writer of Marvels, which was illustrated by Alec Ross. He’s also a walking font of information about the various characters and eras in both DC and Marvel comics and wrote the JLA/Avengers DC/Marvel crossover, which was illustrated by George Perez.
Mark Bagley is best known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man in the 1990s and drew issues #1-111 of Ultimate Spider-Man. According to the Wikipedia entry, he got his start at Marvel through a contest created by then-editor Jim Shooter to find new talent. Trinity was his first assignment at DC and his first work on iconic DC characters.
Art Thibert inked much of Bagley’s work on Ultimate Spider-Man. He’s twice won the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Inker.