I missed the first “Broken Trinity” miniseries, and from what I gather, this is the second arc of the story — the part where the origins are over and done with, and the action kicks into church crashin’, sword fightin’ high gear. I have to admit, the opening few pages of this issue didn’t inspire much faith that this would be anything other than the comic book equivalent of a “Myster Science 3000” episode, minus the funny commentary.
We get a quick recap of the two main characters inside the front cover, as we learn about Glori Silver, “an independently wealthy businesswoman from Norway who has focused her entire life on becoming the bearer of the Ember Stone,” and Finn, “a small-time criminal from Ireland” who now wields the “Glacier Stone.” Then we get the opening three pages of exposition that, presumably, summarize the main thrust the first “Broken Trinity” series.
Here’s the thing: the recap and exposition are just terrible. Terrible in that awkward way that you might see in a middle school creative writing class, when that quiet kid who wears a lot of black and spent too much time watching her mom’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” DVD collection comes up with a one-page story idea — something she plans to turn into a 900 page novel someday. I don’t mean this as an abstract insult. I have worked with enough young creative writing students to have seen more than a few concepts like “Broken Trinity” appear, scrawled on white-lined paper. “There’s this girl from Norway, who turns into fire because of this thing called the Ember Stone, and this tough guy from Ireland who can turn into a big ice monster thing, and they fight, except not always because they’re both trying to get the 13 special artifacts that could lead to the end of the world.” Well, you get the point, and that is literally the plot of this series.
But with the clean-looking, elegant work of Alessandro Vito and vivid colors of Sunny Gho (who you may remember from Marvel’s “Secret Warriors), it doesn’t look like a comic that’s based on a something scrawled into a notebook during study hall. And, it turns out that it’s not. The exposition — and, yeah, the premise — of this series is hokey, but it definitely has a sense of humor about itself. At times. And it takes its globe-trotting, elemental-battle, artifact-hunting scenario and pushes it to a delirious extreme. So we get a gal with a gun smashing through a stained-glass window, gunning down churchgoers. We get a suicidal priest and a quick and brutal “operation” to uncover a hidden compass. And we get ninjas. Plenty of ninjas.
Okay, all that stuff doesn’t help to prove that this series is anything more than the type of thing you would find in a middle school composition book — one secretly labeled “My Awesome Ideas” — but it’s certainly not dull. Campy, yes. But not dull. And it’s not ashamed of what it is — it embraces it.