By Brian K. Eason and Justin Eger
"You wanted to go for a personal best at giant robot smashing?" -- Superman
Welcome to week two of TRINGENUITY, CBR's ongoing commentary of DC Comics' weekly superhero series, Trinity. The title is divided into two 15-page 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.
PREVIOUSLY IN TRINITY
Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman met in Keystone City to discuss the disturbing dreams they all seemed to share, of an entity of great power that is imprisoned and rages for release. The three returned to their respective cities and began to hear the voice of the cosmic prisoner in their waking hours, crying to be freed. As the feature ended, Metropolis came under attack. In the backup feature, a mysterious new villain named Enigma approached the sorceress Morgaine Le Fey and proposed an alliance in opposition of the Trinity. The pair used Le Fey's magic to glimpse images of the future, which included a young woman whose powers stem from reading tarot cards, an alien monster named Konvikt, and a vision of a mountain of stone that features carvings of idealized versions of the Trinity.
Our lead feature is written by Kurt Busiek and features art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert. We pick up this issue where the last one left off, as Metropolis is attacked by -- of all things -- a very small solar system, including a tiny sun. As Superman faces this threat, Batman finds himself transported to a Gotham City very different than his own. In this otherworldly Gotham, the buildings and streets have an old-world feel and the city is patrolled by robed figures, carrying staves, and speaking in an archaic manner. At the same moment in Washington D.C., Wonder Woman is forced to battle giant robots that have appeared from nowhere.
Faced with the very real possibility that the rapidly growing invading solar system will crush Metropolis, Superman grapples with the newborn micro-sun and wrests it beyond Earth's atmosphere.Once free of Earth's gravity, the Man of Steel hurls the sun and the orbiting mass of planets into deep space, where he assures us it will do no further harm. In the archaic Gotham City, Batman finds himself surrounded by the enrobed law enforcement and takes note of how fragile this reality seems to him. With a single word of denial, the Dark Knight shatters his connection to this strange reality and returns to our own world. Finally, Superman rushes to the nation's capital just in time to see Wonder Woman dispatch the last of the invading giant robots.
With the three challenges overcome, the scene shifts to Morgaine and Enigma, who have been observing these struggles. The pair observes how handily the heroes have succeeded in their trials, and Morgaine notes that the trio may serve as keystones to universal power. The feature ends with a distress call from Green Lantern John Stewart, who is locked in mortal combat with the alien known as Konvikt.
The details of that conflict are told in the pages of this week's back-up, written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher. Here, we learn of John Stewart's return from an alien emergency. As a member of the Green Lantern Corps, such events are in his purview, as is a rocketing escape pod that rapidly approaches touchdown on Earth. Tracking the pod ahead of John, we learn the vessel contains Konvikt and his translator / shoulder-buddy, Graak, who reveals precious little about the pair's adventures, all the while trying to tame Konvikt and keep him from crushing the local police force. Unfortunately, the mysterious alien force that is Konvikt is very, very strong, and nearly overcomes the Green lantern on several occasions. As John prepares for a final effort, he finds himself surrounded by mysterious weaponry that responds to his thoughts in much the same way as his Power Ring does, only with pure force instead of constructs. Surprised by the blast, John is distracted just long enough to allow Konvikt time to shatter his emerald bonds and strike down the Green Lantern. As John falls, his Power Ring sends out the emergency distress call seen in the opening feature.
Brian Eason: This week we start off with the action, a micro solar system in downtown Metropolis. One of the weirder challenges I've seen.
Justin Eger: As you like to say, very Silver Age. It's a completely ridiculous idea for a threat, and even more ridiculous that Superman just pushes the threat out into space, but it's just so awesome.
BE: I hesitated to say it, because I say it so often. Glad you said it, though.
JE: Dude, it's your thing. It wouldn't be a week if you didn't say it.
BE: I like that Batman is in an archaic Gotham, and it's kind of Gothic in the architecture, so, it's fitting.
JE: Yeah, it looked pretty cool. The lawmen seemed to stem from some sort of Inquisition, which also added to the creepy factor.
BE: Wonder Woman versus Giant Robots! This was huge fun to see.
JE: I love when Mark Bagley draws big robots. I mean, I love when Mark Bagley draws anything, but the big robots are really just super.
BE: I didn't realize that he had such a prolific history drawing giant robots.
JE: It may not have been prolific, but I fondly recall his work on Amazing Spider-Man #351 and #352 (1991), featuring the titanic struggle between Spidey and the Tri-Sentinel, the biggest of big robots. Just fantastic.
BE: All three of the challenges were very over the top and classic comic book style. It was like reading Kurt Busiek's Astro City.
JE: It's a very, very classic type of story, one that really gets to the heart of what being a superhero is about, which is big threats coupled with big action.
BE: And very smart. Busiek writes very smart stories. As with this story: Superman's challenge was physical, Batman's was mental and Wonder Woman's was martial, each fight fitting with their specific style. Like last issue, Busiek defines the characters by the mutual heroism and by their differences in the same stroke.
JE: Agreed, though I have to speculate and think that, as time passes, we'll see that which separates our main cast become less distinct. I imagine that strength of body, strength of mind and strength of combat will be featured for all three heroes, linking them as surely as does this new threat.
BE: I am, however, skeptical that simply tossing a growing solar system into the cosmos is a solution to Superman's trial.
JE: Odd that unlike the other challenges, it didn't fade away after the problem was solved. Perhaps the problem has yet to be contained from that front.
BE: Or it's a likely setting for a future story.
JE: Dare I say it? A new Earth? Is this an actual addition to the Multiverse?
BE: Morgaine and Enigma get some face time in the lead feature this week.
JE: Surprising tactic, as I expected the two tales to run simultaneously, but without overlapping much. This week, we see that likely isn't going to be the case, as Busiek and Fabian Nicieza co-write the back-up feature.
BE: And we close out the lead with John Stewart and Konvikt (as we promised last week).
JE: Right. This leads us right into our aforementioned backup feature, containing the tale of John Stewart's distress call. It wasn't a big thing, but I liked the fact that Jon still thinks of Pluto as a planet.
BE: Well, he's a Green Lantern, I'm sure the Corps has its own definition, and they should have consulted him.
JE: From the get-go, this is really just an all out brawl between Konvikt and Green Lantern John Stewart.
BE: With running commentary from Konvikt's sidekick, Graak.
JE: Interesting that Graak seems so intent on keeping Konvikt under control.
BE: I imagine working with such a loose cannon is like having a tiger by the tale.
JE: Graak also gives us a few teases into what brought the alien duo to earth
BE: And we know from last issue's back-up that they will be meeting Le Fey and Enigma, I'm sure we'll be getting the full story on these two soon.
JE: Any thoughts on John's new battle-gear?
BE: Very strange, I can't even begin to speculate, and that's saying something.
JE: I'll just toss this out there: Wasn't John Stewart a Darkstar?
BE: Interesting point, but the Controllers (who created the Darkstars) are now the patrons of the Orange Lantern Corps, so, any appearances by the Darkstars would be unexpected.
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