“Who protects the world?” – Atmahn
|“Trinity” #36 on sale now|
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.
Last week’s lead began with a battle between the Machine cultists and the Companions. But the action moved swiftly to Madagascar, where the Dark Arcana were victorious over the Justice Arcana. Enigma and SPHERE, observing the battle, began to discuss their place in this alien world. What followed was a flashback to Enigma’s quest to return his family to life. Enigma’s plan was finally revealed when we learned that he plans to make our Earth a hell, so that Anti-Earth (the reflection of our own) will become a heaven. As SPHERE reminded her father that they cannot create good by doing evil, Enigma began to doubt his mission.
The Companions heard the rest of the history of the gods and more about the life of Kellell. After walking away from death, Kellell decided he could do just about anything, so he decided to live both as a god and a man, taking a mortal wife and living a life of happiness with her while still doing what he could for the people of the world. The pilgrims used this story to mark the beginning of the gods’ downfall, and Lois Lane took that to mean her marriage to Superman brought about the end of all things. Angered and ashamed, Lois called upon the gods, who returned to this mortal plane.
The lead deals with an interesting group: the Trinity! For the first time in many issues, the Trinity take the lead in the form of Atmahn, Kellel, and Dinanna. In the Citadel of the Gods, the three look down on the Companions and it stirs a memory for the three. In a flashback, we learn the conflict between the trio that lead to the God War: when the forces of evil began to overrun civilization, the members of the Trinity were off fighting other battles. In the end, a city was destroyed and each of the Gods blamed the other. The feature ends as Atmahn, Kellel, and Dinanna prepare themselves for war against one another.
In the backup feature, the newest powerhouse on Morgaine’s team stands revealed as Sun-Chained-in-Ink, who has become The Sun of Morgaine’s arcane tarot. Channeling awesome power, Mark Richards has become a major player in the world conquest, overshadowing the members of the Dreambound who worked with the original Sun-Chained-in-Ink. Frustrated with their lack of importance, Primat, Swashbuckler and TVM discuss what they might need to do to change their lot, only to be confronted with The Atom, now cut off from the rest of the JSI. After battling the Dreambound, Palmer is teleported away with the help of SPHERE, who joins with the Dreambound in feeling trapped by the side they have chosen.
|The Trinity returns!|
Brian Eason: The Trinity is back in the lead feature.
Justin Eger: Yes, or at least a variation thereof. They seem to have become elevated into the godlike beings of myth.
BE:Â Then all of this mythical allegory has been, in fact, reality on some level.
JE: Indeed. The gods seem to have referenced their own mortality as stemming from a past life.
BE:Â Dinanna’s war reminds me of “Amazons Attack,” though I’d hoped to forget it.
JE: Well, I’m sure Diana would like to forget it, too. A difficult time to be Amazonian.
BE: The story of the Gods mirrors the events leading up to “Infinite Crisis.”
JE: Yes, the discussion in the wasteland was very, very similar to the discussion Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman had in the ruins of the JLA’s watchtower, though it seemed to also reference Bludhaven.
BE: Bludhaven was exactly what I had in mind when I saw the city destroyed.
JE: That was a hard time for the DCU. Lots of damage done when the Chemo bomb was dropped.
BE: Since we see the laughing chaos and the machinists working in concert, this appears to represent the Society of Super-Villains.
JE: All the worst the world has to offer in one big package? Yeah, that’s a cool image.
BE:Â Have you noted that stories of the Gods do not take into consider their parentage, which helped define them as heroes?
JE: Now that you mention it, it does seem to be sorely lacking. Perhaps in these godlike forms, the heroes have forgotten where they came from.
BE: And that might be the source of their detachment.Â
JE: With no ties to their own mortality, they’ve no reason to see themselves as anything less than godly.
BE: I keep coming back to that place as though the root of this is the parents.
JE: It’s certainly an idea with merit.
|The seeds of war are sown|
BE:Â The conflict between the Trinity defines the way they see themselves and each other: Dinanna as mother, Kellel as father, and Atmahn as outsider.
JE: An interesting perception, though there’s very little harmony among the three at this point. Each sees a lot of fault with how the others do business.
BE: This was not something we saw with the Trinity prior to their disappearance, however.
JE: Not in this series, but your earlier reference to “Infinite Crisis” holds true. There was a great deal of conflict between the three heroes during that time.
|The time for battle draws near|
BE:Â Then we set the stage for the God’s War as the Trinity prepares for battle.
JE: And each returns home to arm themselves, an interesting (and particularly threatening) image.
BE: Just as each of them has a nobler aspect, they are all warriors as well.
JE: I just have to say that I enjoy Atmahn wielding swords, and Kellel’s helmet looks pretty spiffy as well.
BE: Very Kryptonian, reminds me a bit of the Kryptonian war robots we’ve seen in the past.
JE: Morgaine’s crew picks up another city: Perth, Australia.
BE: A shame, I like Perth.
JE: Never been there, myself, but I wouldn’t want to see any place taken over by chaos magic. With the death of Dr. Light, it looks like Sun Chained in Ink has taken up a position of power among the villains.
BE: Yes indeed, but this is a new Sun-Chained-in-Ink. Mark Richards, the third Tattooed Man who recently appeared in “Final Crisis: Submit.”
JE: And rather than having the power to will tattoos to life, he seems to have seriously upgraded his threat level.
BE: Richards is very powerful as Tattooed Man, so it stands to reason that he would be a superior Sun-Chained-in-Ink.
JE: I hope this is a character we’ll see more of in this incarnation following the conclusion of this series. There’s a lot of potential here. His teammates don’t seem too thrilled his place in the pecking order, either.
BE: Well, the first Sun came in with them, was part of their team, but Richards has no ties to them.
|The time for battle draws near|
JE: The Cafeteria of the Underworld. Bet you never thought you’d see that.
BE:Â Please, I had lunch there on Friday. My meal did not, however, have the Atom in it.
JE: I would consider that a blessing, however small. And yes, that was an intentional pun.
BE: Just a little one.
JE: And all that glorious punning means that Ray Palmer makes a return appearance.
BE: And does a fine job of mopping up the cafeteria staff and attacking the Dreambound, as well.
JE: He’s a mobile little man, no doubt about it, even if he does get picked up at the end. Most writers like to focus on his genius, but he’s a skilled combatant, as well.
BE: Who can control his weight, density, and size. That’s a potentially lethal combination.
JE: I did enjoy his escape of TVM’s powers. That was a nice way to prove that TVM isn’t as powerful as he’s been made out to be. Ray looks a little haggard after being cut off from the free world.
BE: He’s rocking the whiskers and looks like he could use some sleep.
JE: With that stubble, I was worried that, for a moment there, it was the 1990s again and he would be sporting a trenchcoat. I have to say, I’d love to see Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens take on the art duties for a new “Atom” series.
BE:Â Oh, if we had our way, these guys would have to do 20 books a month.
JE: That they would, and they would reap sizable paychecks for it, as well.
|The time for battle draws near|
JE: SPHERE seems to be taking matters into her own hands.
BE: Probably because she feels that her words are falling on deaf ears.
JE: True. Her father has been bullied into place by Morgaine, and she’s been relegated to the role of a mere toy.
BE: If my parents and children idea is a good one, this may play into it as well.
JE: That would tie the story together nicely, wouldn’t it? So, do you think that the JSI has some new allies on Morgaine’s team?
BE: I think that the JSI may have new members.
JE: A heroic shift would be very interesting as the war for the planet continues.