|“Trinity” #31 on sale now|
“He was Atmahn, the Night Judge and life in the shadow of his mighty wings was good.” – The Historian
Welcome to TRINGENUITY, CBR’s ongoing commentary of DC Comics’ weekly superhero series, “Trinity.” The title is divided into two features; the first focuses on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, while the second feature portrays background or tangential events that relate to the ongoing lead storyline. “Trinity” is a weekly series that is promised to be epic in scale and help define the trio of heroes’ mythical place in the DC Universe.
Alfred Pennyworth and company learned the harbor folk and patterned men’s creation myth of their world, including the Firstgod (Krona), who made the people toil for greater technological advancement. Once the goal was reached, Krona abandoned the aliens. When all seemed lost for the primitive people, the Trinity appeared and taught them truth, justice and the American way.Â
After a narrow escape from Morgaine’s headquarters, The Atom was able to report on the villains’ plans, which were to establish a hierarchy of villains based on the Major Arcana of the tarot. Carter Hall had similar plans, and the timely arrival of Charity from Opal City promised aid to this end.
In London, reality continues to break down as the Troika send the first of their warriors representing the tarot: Dr. Polaris, Professor Zoom, and Lady Shiva. In their mountain headquarters, the Troika uses Tarot to read the Worldsoul, forcing her to help the villains in their conquest of reality. But the heroes are not out of this fight. Carter Hall, using Charity as a guide, sends his own forces to counter the Troika’s minions, but London is lost. In South America, Green Arrow, Tomorrow Woman and The Flash turn the tables on the Troika and claim part of that region for the heroes. As the lead concludes, the Troika recruit Lord Khyber as their Emperor and Carter Hall finishes assembling his team in the form of the Justice Arcana.
Meanwhile, in the alternate universe where Alfren Pennyworlth and his companions journey with that world’s inhabitants, the team learns more of the world’s history. The goodly gods Kellel, Dinanna and Atmahn ultimately left the people of the world to their own devices, though the powerful beings did not leave the world untouched. As it so happens, Atmahn the Night Judge kept watch over these people, protecting them and using his skills to train a successor, Rabbat, the Hunting Hawk, though Rabbat was later murdered by Atmahn’s enemies, the Laughing Chaos. Sound familiar? Dick Grayson certainly thought so.
Brian Eason: We only get a glimpse of Alfred this week, as the focus moves to the battle for reality between the JSI and the Troika.
Justin Eger: Which is shaping up to be a big one. There are a lot of names getting thrown around here.
BE:Â When this thing started, I figured it would be just another team-up book for the Big Three, but it’s been anything but that.
JE: Even though there has been a lot of presence from the Big Three, there’s been as much, if not more, from the rest of the DCU heroes. Very cool.
BE: The Troika have an advantage with Tarot tapping into the Worldsoul.
JE: Which is good for them, but she wisely linked herself to Charity, who can provide the JSI with much the same information.
BE: So now it’s a race against time.
JE: Exactly. It’s down to who can get their team together the fastest.
BE: Zoom, Shiva, and Polaris represent the Chariot, the Empress, and Judgment. They are opposed by Ragman, Power Girl, and Triumph. The heroes fail and it becomes quickly obvious why.
JE: They seem pretty poorly coordinated, and that villainous trio is pretty powerful.
BE: All true, but the Worldsoul has the combination ofÂ the Chariot, the Empress, and Judgment set to be victorious. In Rio de Janero, Green Arrow, Tomorrow Woman, and The Flash (also representing the Chariot, the Empress, and Judgment) reclaim reality from the inquisitors that Batman encountered earlier in the series.
|Green Arrow organizes the heroic response|
JE: This trio seems a good grouping. I have one theory as to why.
BE: Is it because it’s “in the cards?”
JE: Oh, wow, that was so beneath you.
BE: I think at this point nothing is beneath me, but, please continue.
JE: I was actually thinking it was because the heroes weren’t JSI heroes, but more independently minded characters that have theoretically worked together in the past through The League. The other team had a liability, so to speak, because Ragman isn’t exactly a team player.
BE: Lord Khyber joins the “Dark Arcana” as the Emperor. This villain is of course the master of the Hashshashin from Kurt Busiek’s brilliant “Camelot Falls” storyline from his run on “Superman.” That villain quite literally destroyed civilization.
|A new recruit for Morgaine’s army|
JE: That’s heavy stuff, so I expect he’ll be quite a big player in the coming weeks. I love how Busiek refers back to his own work. He’s a very aware writer.
BE: Quizmaster, the Cosmic Egg, Khyber. It’s been all Busiek all the time with this series. Now the task becomes clear as Charity reveals that, like a chess match, each side must take a city and reclaim it for their version of the reality they are shaping.
JE: I’m hoping we see a global map as the fight continues, like a big game of Risk with superheroes.
BE: I had exactly the same thought.
JE: Not that we talk about it too much, but I’d like to point out how well the transitions from the lead story to the back-story are handled.
BE:Â The book is starting to blend the elements into a single story as everything becomes clear. Beautifully done.
JE: After helping this culture, the three “gods” of hope, justice and truth leave the people of this world to their lives.
BE:Â But watch over them — or do they? This story begins to blend allegory with reality.
JE: I was just going to ask you how closely you thought this story was referencing the stories we’re seeing in the Batman and Superman titles, as well as in “Wonder Woman.”
BE: Hard to tell yet, but the scriptures seem to follow the lives of the Trinity as a sort of morality play.
JE: And the “disappearance” of the gods seems to follow the current “Batman” storyline pretty well, and DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio has hinted at a journey away from Earth for Superman. Gone but not forgotten, as Atmahn the Night Judge keeps an eye on his people.
BE:Â From a cave in the darkness. This is sounding familiar.
JE: Dick thinks so, too. But for all his power, even this mighty god cannot be everywhere and cannot stop every crime.
BE:Â As a circus boy’s family is killed and…
JE: He offers a young boy justice, the Hunting Hawk was born.
BE:Â Robin. Or as they call him, Rabbat.
|Witness the arrival of the Hunting Hawk!|
JE: I thought that was an interesting design. Sort of a blend between Hawkman, the Scott McDaniel-designed Kryptonian Nightwing and Robin.
BE: Visually stunning stuff.
JE: Poor Dick, he looks awfully uneasy during all this storytelling.
BE:Â Wouldn’t you be? His life is now part of scripture.
JE: I think it would be disturbing, certainly, especially when the life you had been leading (for him, a member of the Zucco crime family) was all you ever knew.
BE: This is something that each of the companions must be struggling with. I am very interested to see how this unfolds for Interceptor/Supergirl.
JE: A family she has never known? Not being alone in the world? That’s going to come crashing down on her pretty hard, I would imagine. After all, we’ve seen how Clark handled much the same in years past. But as much as the story may have started to be about him, it doesn’t end with his time as Robin.
BE:Â Two elements of the Robin story are blended in the story of the Hunting Hawk. As the Laughing Chaos strikes Rabbat and kills him.
JE: The Laughing Chaos was just a brilliant design. The hooded villains in masks were very, very appropriate to the “translation” of the Batman mythos. And that equals more memories returning to one of Alfred’s party.
BE:Â A chilling ending to one of the best back-up features we’ve seen.
JE: McDaniel does a pretty mean rendition of that classic “Death in the Family” image.
|A hero fallen, and a life remembered|
BE: His ability to swipe the classic cover was very well done.
JE: It’s not a swipe, it’s an homage. And it’s an image that hasn’t lost its power over the years, even after Jason Todd, the murdered Robin, made his way back from the dead.