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Cover date: December 10, 2008
Main Story: "Those We Have Lost"
Main Writers: Kurt Busiek
Main Pencillers: Mark Bagley
Main Inker: Art Thibert
Back-Up Story: "Railing Against the Tide"
Back-Up Story Writer: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Story Penciller: Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher
Back-Up Story Inker: Allen Passalaqua
Cover Art: Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino
Alfred and Lois begin to notice the others - and themselves - taking on more of their classic personality traits.
Below them, Kara uses her senses to see a society ruled by a Judgelord, Truthlord, and a Sun King who - for a primitive culture - use principles of truth and justice, and reason pretty well.
That's when Alfred's group notices - above them loom giant stone statues of middle age representations of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
To be continued...
The bad guys under Morgaine's sway are breaking out of jail but they're breaking out everybody at the jail along with them. Here comes the Justice Society with Alan and Jay dressed in costume.
Morgaine's crew escape and bring four villains with them that le Fey apparently needs - it looks like it's the Gentleman Ghost, Dr. Light, Fire (?), and someone else. The JSI are left with the remaining villains.
Hawkman flies to the JSI headquarters to meet with Will Magnus, T.O. Morrow, Lex Luthor, Dr. Sivana, and John Henry Irons. The think tank believe the universe is continually trying to replace whatever is missing in this reality. Luthor believes they should stop trying to stop it, that these reality "burps" (Lex's word, not mine) spring up worse elsewhere as they damp one down. Lex believes they should focus on his discovery that someone is draining the energy from the reality burps.
Suddenly Brainwave gets a distress alert that three of the energy villains from the prison break are attacking Metropolis. Tomorrow Woman shows up and quickly realizes the group she's fighting is some kind of decoy to keep her from the real problem. T.V.M. is absorbing reality changing energy from a bridge that keeps changing its appearance. Tomorrow Woman realizes she's being had and finds the real problem at the bridge. T.W. fires at T.V.M. and it combines with the reality warping energy inside T.V.M. and T.W. literally comes apart at her cybernetic seams.
To be continued...
Main Story & Back-Up Story - 1: This whole missing heroes thing could have been so much more. The idea of removing the Big Three from continuity retroactively - and imperfectly - could have been fascinating. We could have traced the change in time as it moved backward through time undoing the Big Three's effect on the world. There could have been a race through time by Tarot and Gangbuster as they're too late to stop the spread of the altered reality. With reality undoing itself in reverse, we actually could have seen the world change in a more linear and logical devolution.
If the Trinity disappear through a magic spell in the present, their presence is disappearing from that moment back in time. So we'd see things like a Doomsday-ravaged Metropolis for example. At that moment in time, only Superman would have been removed from that day. Doomsday would have headed to Metropolis and decimated it.
But, because time would be changing from the present backward, as time began to move forward again, reality would have readjusted itself for the new Trinity-less reality. There's no point in being master of all you survey if Earth can't survive the litany of catastrophes - from Doomsday to Invasion - that likely would have happened whether or not there'd been a Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. That could explain why things are changing in the pre-Trinity past too.
As time moves forward again, we could have seen what would have been compelling moments like Dick Grayson in the moments after his parents died. His life would diverge from the moment the consolation of Bruce Wayne didn't come. As would the life of a young Tim Drake in the circus stands when Dick's parents died.
DC promised that the state of magic in the DCU was changing. That it had in fact changed after "Infinite Crisis" and would no longer be the senseless 'abracadabra' moments of the past. Except le Fey's spell is just that kind of magic. It has no internal logic. It's undefined - did the heroes cease to exist completely? Were Kal-El and Bruce Wayne even born? Was Diana molded from clay and given life by the Gods? What happened to Thomas and Martha Wayne, Ma and Pa Kent, and Hippolyta? Is there still a Paradise Island? We know there was a Krypton and that, on that Krypton, there was the House of -El, a reasonable assumption since Kara Zor-El is Interceptor.
Why does Donna Troy still exist if she's Diana's doppelganger who came out of a magic mirror? If it's because Donna is supposed to have lived infinite other lives, then that would make her an important player as someone whose existence will shift with every reality shift. She should be changing all the time - with every burp Donna's life should somehow immediately change.
But we haven't been given any of this. Instead, we get characters who are supposed to be the DCU bad guy brain trust talking about reality belching like a fat guy soaked in soda pop and barbeque sauce at an all-you-can-eat rib-fest.
Lex Luthor wears the purple and green jumpsuit in a world without Superman? Um, why? All it did was remind me how much better this story was done on "Challenge of the Super Friends". On that show, Lex discovered the secret origins of Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. Using that information, the Legion of Doom find a way to divert Superman's rocket to a red sun system; scare Hal Jordan out of the test flyer so Luthor could take the Green Lantern ring from Abin Sur; and have Cheetah impersonate an Amazon and beat Diana at bullets and bracelets (by cheating of course) thus making Cheetah the new Wonder Woman. It's a simple story full of holes and miles more coherent than the mess being served in "Trinity".
Main Art - 3: Pretty pictures. Crappy story. Next.
Back-Up Art - 5: The art is well done but the perfect score is all about the design of the new Golden Age Flash costume. I wouldn't mind seeing Jay use it again.
Cover Art - 2: It's a boring cover with an indistinct blue-skinned race with a wide variety of hair-dos. Clearly some of these people are conditioning and some are not.
Oh, notice who gets the most flag space on the cover. That's right, Mr. Dark Knight mega-billion dollar movie guy who thinks he's such a big deal with his movie out on DVD this week. Well, at least this isn't the Wonder Woman Homepage. Her logo shows up on only one and a quarter flags. This series is supposed to prove these three are a Trinity, not a hierarchy which, one could argue, is what they actually are.
Main Story - 1: We learn that people have an inkling that the Trinity should exist, and do not, at length. That's the story here. This is something that was established long ago.
The hook, as it were, seems to be the strange beings that are worshipping/judging in the name of Superman, Bats, and Wondy. Or their Earth-3 counterparts. Whatever. Their banality makes it so that I can't hardly care.
I also get no chemistry or novelty from the crew of Dick Grayson, Alfred, Lois, and Cassie. They're cardboard cutouts, and agitating ones at that.
CALL THE JUDGELORD! CALL THE JUDGELORD!
No, call the Silver Age Police. This is a cake indictment.
Main Art - 3: The art conveys the story well, and there's nothing glaringly bad, but there's nothing glaringly good here, either. I can't blame Bagley for the purple species not being compelling in their writing, but I can say he didn't make them as compelling visually as they could be. It's not horrible, but it doesn't wow me, either.
Back-Up Story - 1: More of the dork team running around the world, being followed by the JSI with their head cut off, coupled with a blue-eyed Lex Luthor in an eighties suit for pure fan service. Add in a dose of peril that's based in Tomorrow Woman, a character I could care less about, in the form of being sliced up in mid-air for odd reasons.
And you guys know me, you know what a sucker I am for the Luthor eighties suit. I am. But here, it's not even brought into a modern context in any respect at all. It's just high collared for no reason, really. I suppose that belongs more in the art category.
And the name "Dreambound" ain't helping this story's case with the Silver Age police, either.
I honestly looked at the first page of this and stopped. For two straight days. The main story is bad enough to make you want to quit reading the book. The backup story is the dregs of the main story, which is hardly substantive to begin with.
Back-Up Art - 4: Despite the Luthor thing mentioned above, the art storytelling was actually pretty strong. I've been watching Derenick since he did Smallville comic work, and I was harsher on him then, but I'm really growing into liking his work with the Trinity stuff. He's been given an odd mishmash, but he's always done well with the details and had a good, strong run here.
Cover Art - 1: What IS this, even? And how does it relate to anything in this issue?
Main Story - 1: Well, it's... see, people remember a little of what they shouldn't, put some spices in a fire and then they remember more! And see primitive purple people in Rhode Island who worship odd avatars of the Trinity?
Hey man, don't bogart the "spices".
Is anyone else hungry, man?
Main Art - 3: It's very... alternate-universey?
Back-Up Story - 1: Bubble burps, man! And Tomorrow Woman, she's like, cut into pieces by... something or other. And it's like the cliffhanger, dude, because everyone is, like, so totally concerned about whether or not Tomorrow Woman lives or dies and...
I said don't bogart those "spices", dude!
Back-Up Art - 3: It's like... also very alternate-universey.
Cover Art - 4: Despite the idiocy within, I approve of this cover and its pro-purple-people message.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.