“You couldn’t hold us back in your wildest dreams.” – Ultraman
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.
War came to Metropolis, and the Justice Society fought to hold the line against the encroaching villains under the command of the Troika. Despite a variety of tactics and the crack leadership of Carter Hall, the heroes were mightily outclassed by the empowered villains, including a transformed Konvikt. Though Konvikt swayed in his dedication to the cause, the death of his companion Graak at the hands of Morgaine locked him in to serve the leader of the Troika. And when heroes began to fall under the onslaught, the Trinity returned from their exile!
This issue, we return to our expected format as the lead and backup features are divided again. We begin with Krona in deep space, contemplating his existence as he continues to search for cosmic consciousnesses like his own. The action swiftly moves to another group we haven’t seen in a while, Despero and the Anti-Matter Trinity of Ultraman, Super Woman, and Owlman. The quartet make quick work of the Green Lantern Corps on their way to Earth. Speaking of Earth, we then move to the the showdown between the Trinity and the Troika. The conflict is on a godly level and both sets of Gods draw upon the power of their Arcana to empower them. The Trinity drives the Chaos from Metropolis, but the struggle is not over. The lead feature ends as Kellel announces that the battle has only begun.
As the issue moves into its second half, Krona examines things on a multiversal level, seeking out knowledge not only about his own universe, but about the other 52 worlds as well, claiming a vision of other versions of himself across the cosmos. However, the only version of himself that Krona is truly interested in is his own self, years in the past. Confronting his younger self, Krona sees arrogance and impatience, the things that led to his original downfall. Trying to change his ways, Krona relies on his own patience and planning to gather more power in the cosmos, only to see that his greatest tool, the Void Houd-possessed John Stewart, as escaped from his grasp.
Brian Eason: Wow. Krona is contemplating his navel.
Justin Eger: It’s a pretty big navel. It’s going to take some time, so why don’t we look elsewhere before we talk about that.
BE: My beloved Green Lantern Corps is rolled over by Despero’s army and the Anti-Trinity.
JE: What did you expect? Certainly not what the Crime Syndicate expected. They were certain of victory. It’s interesting to see the complete arrogance of the CSA as they wade into the Green Lantern Corps.
BE: The Crime Syndicate is nothing if not arrogant. As the opposites of our Trinity, Ultraman is the most arrogant, where Superman is the most humble.
JE: Speaking of the Corps, does one of those guys look an awful lot like Validus from “Legion of Super-Heroes?”
BE: Yes, and I can find no references to him as a Green Lantern or his existence in the modern day. I think Bagley was just having fun with the art.Â
JE: And it’s no big surprise where the villains are headed next.
BE: It’s always about Earth.
JE: Speaking of Earth, there’s a pretty mighty showdown going on in the skies above Metropolis.
BE: Beautiful two-page spread. Gorgeous.
JE: Kudos to Mark Bagley. That was an epic set of pages.
BE: The Trinity seem to have their memories back, as Atmahn is referred to as Batman.
JE: The declaration seems to be helping the rest of the heroes remember them, as well, but it’s a slow process.Â The Trinity are still thinking like gods, seeking to repair this world, though it seems they remember little connection to its people.
BE: But they remember who they are. The Companions have done their job.
JE: Enigma seems to be prepared to take the road less traveled and bail out on the fight.
BE: I think he’s right to just see madness in all of this.
JE: I agree. It’s a smart man who knows his limitations.
BE: Â In the end, I think that the disparate agendas of the Troika will be their downfall.
JE: Exactly. None of them have a common goal in mind, which is the one thing we can usually say with certainty about the Trinity.
BE: The Trinity and the Troika draw power from their Arcana and the battle begins in earnest.
JE: Morgaine has already proven willing to sacrifice her underlings, so her actions aren’t that unsurprising.
BE: She’s insane and this has always been about her godhood and no one else.
JE: However, the Trinity seems perfectly willing to do something similar.
BE: The Trinity appears to calling on the power of their Arcana, where the Troika are draining their team. So the Trinity has to level the playing field.
JE: The Trinity decides that those tactics are just as reasonable and taps into those same resources from their side.
BE: The Arcana areÂ at least part of the power that the Trinity represents. Hawkman — I love this guy — still thinks he is in charge of this situation and asks the Trinity to submit to JSI authority.
JE: After all he’s seen, he still thinks he’s the one who should be in charge. “Hey, god-like beings, care to join MY team?” Poor, delusional Carter.
BE: No arrogance here.Â Endless lives as a leader of men has him convinced.
JE: Anyway, the power-surge seems to work. The Troika and their army seem to have been wiped from Metropolis.
BE: And the transformative chaos they wield. But we’re not out of the woods yet, as the Trinity still expect to be worshiped as gods.
JE: With the way the Trinity is thinking, I have to wonder if they might not be all that concerned with establishing the old world order.
BE: Letting go of godhood may be a bigger challenge.Â
JE: I would think that if anyone was capable of it, it would be these three. As much as we love guys like Hawkman, I think they’d have a harder time of it. Then we’re back to the cosmic philosophy that we discussed earlier.
BE: Yeah, old Krona and young Krona have a talk. Weird.
JE: Not only is he aware of his own present, he’s able to access similar selves across the Multiverse.
BE: He mentions 50, so, yes he is reaching across the multiverse.
JE: In the Multiversal capacity, I sensed a similarity to the now-defunct group of Monitors that watched over the 52 worlds.
BE: Interesting. Perhaps we can rely on the Anti-Matter Krona for help.
JE: Now there’s something I hadn’t thought of. What a wonderfully interesting twist that would be.
BE: Kurt Busiek seldom introduces a concept without taking advantage of it.Â
JE: Krona seems to be able to touch every part of his past, as well.
BE: He is truly cosmic at this point.
JE: I had a… difficult time with processing some of this conversation until I realized that it had a very basic theme at its root.
BE: It’s the question we ask ourselves every day.
JE: If you had a chance to tell yourself something in the past, what would you say?
JE: There’s also an underlying sense of distance. Krona has the chance to teach his younger self something, but his younger self is too arrogant to listen.
BE: I get the feeling of paradox here, that since this happened to young Krona, old Krona had to have this conversation.
JE: Ah, the joys of time travel. Which makes an interesting point: old Krona knew this was coming, and knew how futile this would be, but he still went ahead with the visit.
BE: Because it did happen, therefore, it must happen.Â
JE: Time travel makes my head hurt, sometimes. Trying to overcome his previous limitations, Krona plans to go forward one step at a time.
BE: By awakening those planetary intelligences he is so obsessed with.
JE: Krona seems to be seeking to awaken that sentience to tap into more power.
BE: And he plans to use the void hound to awaken the cosmic intelligences, but there’s a hitch.
JE: Unfortunately, John Stewart, possessed by the Void hound, had different plans.
BE: Yes, it’s just off doing its own thing, but Krona doesn’t seem worried.
JE: It’s been a long time since we’ve seen John Stewart, as well.
BE: “Trinity” #24.
JE: I have to think that the possessed Green Lantern running loose in the universe isn’t going to be a good thing.
BE: We’ve seen what this combined power looks like, I have to agree.Â