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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #18

Trinity #18

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 1, 2008

Cover date: October 1, 2008

Main Story: "Brave Men and Women"

Main Story Writer: Kurt Busiek
Main Story Penciller: Mark Bagley
Main Story Inker: Art Thibert

Back-Up Story: "Something Bigger"

Back-Up Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Pencillers: Scott McDaniel
Back-Up Inker: Andy Owens

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey with Jeffrey Bridges and Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

A giant flaming man (presumably Krona) indicates that he is finally free of the egg.

Chain-smoking Lois Lane is late to report on the newest Justice Society International project as a news reporter.

On the news, the Justice Society's members reassure the public. The government, meanwhile, is in hostile talks with Atlantis over the oil beneath the surface.

John Jones denies alien activity in his department.

Lois mocks the new Flash on television.

Lois reports on footsteps leading into space away from Earth, leading from the remains of a castle in Romania.

Back in Romania, the characters from last issue are forgetting the past, but remain in their original bodies. Supergirl appears, tells John Stewart that being on Earth is a potential act of war. Stewart goes into his computer mode and freaks out.

Dick Grayson calms Donna, who appears to be a meek, bespectacled geek.

Lois Lane goes off on a "Nancy Grace" rant about Sue Dibny's murder.

Firestorm makes it out of the Egg's prison, seemingly normal.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "Something Bigger"

A young man named Charlie, disturbed by the disappearance of the big three, relives a series of incidents, realizing that Green Arrow should not be Gotham's defender, and that Ragman is not one of the main superheroes in his universe. As he works his way through his disrupted memory, he ultimately realizes that in the universe that existed before the evil Trinity took over, he had been killed by the Joker.

To be continued...

Neal's Review:

2Main Story - 2: Interesting idea, pretty weird execution. You have a world where everything is suddenly different, and this is your chance to exploit that. What do you focus on? Nancy Grace Lois, Manhunter turning his back, Flash cutting a ribbon, and the Justice Society's new headquarters.

There are a few interesting things that work. Dick Grayson as a mobster. Firestorm as a main hero, provided it leads to characterization.

Problem with that being, this book is called Trinity, not Firestorm, so it's a hard sell.

Meek Donna is a bit odd. Lois as Nancy Grace... well, let's just say I get mad enough watching Nancy when she lamentably crosses my path on the internet, so why would that be a focal point? To show the drastic change to Lois? Okay, we get it by the first story. As a mouthpiece to show the rest of the story? Perhaps. But why not just go there in the story?

Things that don't work so well? Footsteps leading into the sky. Supergirl as a weird visored geek.

This has potential, but here it's not realized.

4Main Art - 4: Still very good. Minus one point because I didn't know who Dick Grayson was even with verbal cues until he introduced himself.

3Back-Up Story - 3: On the one hand, this was awful. On the other, it was great. The reason why is clarity. As a concept (and the concept was conveyed), this was the story of a dude who isn't supposed to be alive, and suddenly is, and the shocking mental consequence of what that means for him. I really dug that.

Where it fails is that its utter lack of clarity in finding itself a benchmark within the universe, in staying so within the character that we don't understand why he's going through what he's going through without a ton of inference, we don't relate as much as we should. Point of fact, half the time I struggle to see what's going on.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Visceral, crazy, and very gritty and real. Nine tenths of what made me ultimately enjoy it and figure out what's going on.

2Cover Art - 2: Very stock Batman image, out of context, beneath a Wonder Woman logo, and Batman, to wit, isn't even in the dang issue. Lame.

Jeffrey's Review:


Great. What impact does this have on the actual story? What reason are we being shown a hard-drinking, corporate-tool Lois other than to shock us, which it utterly fails at? What is the point of this? What's the story? The Trinity is missing, the world is different. Just look how different!

Yes... and?

3Main Art - 3: Why does crazy space power being Krona have a belt? Likely not this artist's decision, but I'm just wondering what the hell he needs a belt for.

Regardless, once again there's nothing memorable and everything forgettable. Not terrible, but nothing to make me stand up and take notice.

1Back-Up Story - 1: I only gave the main story a 2 rating because it wasn't as bad as the backup story, and the backup was verging on complete and utter nonsense. I was confused, and worse than that, bored out of my mind. Who is this random caveman in expensive clothes? Why should I CARE who he is? We have no reason to, and worst of all, we don't even have a reason to WANT to.

2Back-Up Art - 2: Why does this guy, whoever he is, look like a caveman? Is he supposed to? Is that his character?

I don't get it. Clearly.

3Cover Art - 3: Actually not that great in terms of Jim Lee Batman art. Supes definitely got the best of the bunch this time around.

Barry's Review:

2Main Story - 2: I love time travel and alternate reality stories. The current "Booster Gold" title. "Back to the Future". "Yesterday's Enterprise" from "Star Trek: TNG". Heck, even "Peggy Sue Got Married". Busiek is the wrong guy to tell an alternate reality story. Time and reality deconstruct linearly. Change one thing in the time stream and everything else changes.

Removing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman retroactively from existence would absolutely not result in the world seen in this issue. To begin with, the moment Wonder Woman vanished, Donna Troy should have vanished as well - not been changed into a regular person like Dick Grayson but disappeared. She's made from Diana for goodness sake.

Speaking of Dick Grayson - without Batman, he works for the Zucco Mob? The gang that killed his parents when the Haly Circus came to Gotham City? Again, it's overly simplistic. Bruce Wayne's money was what brought the circus to Gotham that night. Not to mention the fact that, had Batman not been leaning so hard on the mob in those days, Tony Zucco may never have had any reason to kill the Graysons.

The one thing he got right was that, before there was the Trinity, there was, on New Earth, the Justice Society of America. However, they retired in the 1950s rather than reveal their secret identities in a witch hunt McCarthy-era Congressional hearing. It was the first appearance of Superman that ushered in the return to favor of super-heroes on DC's Earth. Yes, Barry Allen was compelled to fashion a costume and become the Flash as homage to his childhood hero, the Golden Age Flash. But there was already the beginnings of resurgence, as I understand it, as a result of Superman's coming out. In other words, without Superman, there wouldn't have been anyone to challenge the past.

Removing the Big Three from history would have changed so many events, the likelihood is time would change so much that Barry wouldn't be standing at the chemical cubby at the exact moment the lightning struck. That would have been interesting to see how removing Superman from the playing field puts people in different places than they otherwise should have or would have been at some crucial time. Who better to exemplify that with than Barry Allen, the ultimate guy in the right place at the right time?

In a world without Robin - because there's no Batman - would Barry really have put Wally into harm's way as Kid Flash? No Batman means there's no validation of the sidekick concept. Even if Barry became the Flash, and even if Wally were also in that same coincidental right place/right time when the lightning struck the second time, I can't see conservative Barry Allen putting his nephew in harm's way without there being some precedent for it, i.e., Batman did it first.

It's the same with Cassie Sandsmark. She shouldn't be in a Wonder Girl costume because, without Wonder Woman, she'd never have had the opportunity to confront Zeus and demand powers the way she did.

And how exactly did the heroes get removed from reality? Is it as if they were never born? Is it that their pasts were changed so they ended up doing something other than hero-ing? Was Superman diverted to a planet with a red sun or was Kal-El never born or did Jor-El not get him off the planet in time? Kara is there so there's still Krypton and still the house of -El. All this reminds me of is that episode of "Challenge of the Super Friends" when the Legion of Doom changes the origins of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern so they never exist. In over-simplistic Super Friend-land, all that means is Superman Day becomes Hawkman Day. That story is still more compelling and memorable than this issue.

Instead, what we get is a Lois Lane who does TV and smokes because her personality's never been tempered by her meeting Clark and Superman. Yawn.

4Main Art - 4: Pretty pictures do not a good comic make. To this reader anyway. Bagley's art is disserved by this crappy story.

3Back-Up Story - 3: This is a bit more like it. Someone who was dead in the other timeline figures out he isn't supposed to be there and that somehow things have changed. Yes, it's a total rip of "Yesterday's Enterprise" and Tasha Yar's return, but at least it's a logical linear leap that shows how one change in one event can change everything.

I don't like that Ollie Queen took over Batman's role in Gotham. Oliver is from Star City. Star City is to Ollie what Gotham is to Bruce. It's where he was born and where he was away from all those years as a castaway. It's where he'd return to. And Mia? Again the sidekick issue but even more, had he not been in Star City to rescue Mia from the streets, she'd probably be dead. It doesn't make sense she'd be the Speedy of Gotham City.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Artistic homages aplenty. Detective #27's Batman. The famed Batman and Robin poised on the building pose originally conceived by artist Dick Giordano. I'd imagine it's not easy for an artist to try to draw in someone else's style and the artist here deserves kudos for making it look so seamless.

3Cover Art - 3: Batman doesn't smile.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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