One year later, DC Comics’ third year-long-weekly series of the 21st century has come to a close. Unlike the previous two (“52” and “Countdown to Final Crisis”), “Trinity” didn’t have the advantage of spinning out of or leading into a huge “event” comic. While it didn’t get that particular sales boost, it did end up with those rules, and I’d say in many ways it’s the most solid of the three.
“Trinity” had its faults along the way; the first act in particular felt a little too slow and drawn out, the one major downside of needing to run for 52 installments. If this had appeared in issues of “JLA” back during Kurt Busiek’s brief stint on the title, it’s easy to see the entire story appearing in just six or eight issues. Needing to fill up a weekly title for a year, some parts of the story definitely overstayed their welcome.
At the same time, though, the weekly format also helped enrich other parts of the story. It gave Busiek a chance — especially in the back-up features with co-author Fabian Nicieza — to really explore some of the smaller background characters and give them more page time. Who’d have thought that a book primarily about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman would be able to make characters like the formerly deceased Tomorrow Woman or a talking gorilla with bows in her hair named Primat fully-fleshed individuals that you want to see again? Even better, as the series progressed Busiek and Nicieza’s back-up features integrated more with the pages by Busiek and Mark Bagley, transforming first into a co-feature and then into just part of the main story as a whole.
For that matter, major kudos need to go to Bagley, as well as additional artists Mike Norton, Tom Derenick, and Scott McDaniel for managing to keep the book running smoothly, on time, and attractive. What impressed me the most is how the book in this final issue switches from one artist to the next, and while their individual styles are all different, all the characters look the same from one to the next depiction. Sure, they’ve got the same outfits and uniforms on, but even small things like Jay Garrick’s hair are carefully kept looking notably the same.
As an epilogue, “Trinity” #52 does a nice job of closing things up. It sets up new status quos for several characters, and I think it’s safe to say that there are even a few surprises along the way for jaded readers. Not everything is put back exactly where it was left, and hopefully these shifts will be followed up in other titles down the line. And while a party that most of the characters won’t remember afterwards may sound a little cliche, I have to give all involved credit that somehow it just felt right.
Down the line, once all the collections are released, I can’t help but think that “Trinity” is going to be remembered as a book that didn’t get the attention it deserved. It’s in many ways a definitive altered-timeline story for DC Comics, and it’s going to be hard for future stories to feel as satisfying. I’m definitely glad I stuck with “Trinity.” If you didn’t, well, those collected editions are worth you giving the title a second chance. At the end of the day, it was not only cohesive, it was just plain old fun.