By Brian Eason & Justin Eger
"Air is for cowards!" - Despero
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.
The Justice Society International looked on as a new Trinity asserted itself in the alternate DC Universe, and thanks to Ragman, Black Adam and Tomorrow Woman, several cities were saved from the desperate plans of villains. Meanwhile, Carter Hall began investigating the activity of the so-called "Justice League."
Deep in outer space, John Stewart battled for control against the Void Hound trapped inside him. The Hound used the combined might of Qwardian science and the Green Lantern ring to open a wornmhole to Despero's homeworld. At the same moment, Kanjar-Ro happened upon the wormhole and determined its destination. Despero, angered at the betrayal of Kanjar Ro, assembled a vast armada to attack Earth and reclaim his place among the Troika. The backup feature ended with Krona watching all of these events with interest.
While Europe burns under the wrath of the transformed entities of Enigma and Morgaine Le Fey, the JSI is powerless to resist the assault. Undaunted, more heroes rush into the fray only to be utterly destroyed by the power-crazed Morgaine. Meanwhile, Gangbuster finally delivers the scroll found by Freddie Pennyworth to JSI commander Carter Hall, who reads the information contained therein, information provided by Prince Khufu, one of Hall's previous lives. The energies of the scroll transformer Hall and his friends, rejuvenating the heroes and giving them insight into what villainy they now face. Armed with this new knowledge, Hall releases The Flash and Firestorm, needing the extra might that the Justice League can bring to the fight.
Our backup begins with Krona elbow-deep in a planet as he attempts to extract and communicate with the planetary sentience within. The collision of events draws Krona's attention as Despero's armada exits the wormhole. In an attempt to save his own skin, Kanjar Ro hails Despero's fleet, but his ship is destroyed, with only the timely intervention of John Stewart saving the alien. Stewart, now an amalgam of Void Hound and Green Lantern, attacks Despero and the pair engage in furious battle in the depths of space. Krona, observing the conflict, suspects that John Stewart's current form may aid him in communicating with planetary intelligences and extracts him from the melee. With John gone, only Despero and Kanjar Ro remain. Ro, always quick on his feet, turns Despero's attention towards the Troika. Ro convinces Despero that they both were betrayed by the Troika and that they should exact revenge. Ro's plan? To ally with the Trinity of Anti-Earth: Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman.
Justin Eger: So that's where Enigma ended up, in Europe alongside Morgaine.
Brian Eason: Because it is likely that his primary focus is becoming the god of Anti-Earth, it makes sense for him to stick next to the person that can help him complete his quest to actually become a god.
JE: Good for Earth, at least. He's the only one keeping Morgaine in check at this point.
BE:Â But he still has an agenda of his own and once that is resolved Earth will be in Morgaine's hands. That being said, I think the Anti-Trinity may have something to say about all of this.
JE: We'll talk about Owlman, Ultraman and Superwoman in a moment. For now, though, there's still quite a mess on this Earth to worry about.
BE:Â And we have to start with the JSI, but before it's over I picture an army of metahumans fighting this battle.
JE: You know, for being one of the people that conceived this plan to steal greater power, Morgaine seems awfully short-sighted.
BE:Â I think it's the anger. She gets snippy, really fast.
JE: A perceived need for vengeance against all of England might do it, too.
JE: Wow, Olympian and Lionheart join the fight. Didn't think I'd ever see those names again.
BE: Global Guardians. Didn't we see Jack-o-Lantern last issue? Someone is always dying to pull out these old Super-Friends characters. They seem a bit out of touch now, but I still like seeing them.
JE: I do, too. I was a big fan of Lionheart back during the Bloodlines crossover event that went through all the DC annuals in the 1990s, and it was cool to see him in use.
BE: Bloodlines! Did anything lasting ever come out of that besides Hitman?
JE: Not really. Personally, I was fond of Argus, though he's hardly used beyond a victim anymore. Back at the U.N. building, Gangbuster makes a timely arrival.
BE: Yet, while he knows something is wrong, he doesn't remember the Trinity. I find that very odd.
JE: So did I, but if he's willing to travel thousands of miles on the say-so of his friend, who are we to argue?
JE: Freddie Pennyworth's scroll came in handy.
BE: In a big way! Not only did it reveal the truth to Carter Hall, it rejuvenated him, Alan Scott and Jay Garrick.Â
JE: I have to wonder if we'll be seeing them in costume anytime soon.
BE: That's a really good point. I think we're going to have to, if for no other reason than showcasing their JSI outfits.
JE: You're reading my mind, partner. And now with revitalized (and better informed) leaders, the JSI can fight back a little better.
BE: But they also need the League's help, interesting.
JE: More power, at the very least. And, since I doubt Carter is completely won over to the idea that his world is wrong, I'm thinking cannon fodder.
BE: That remains to be seen, I think the scroll had more of an impact on him than we might realize. He sounds like a true believer to me.
JE: I'd hope so, but I'm willing to be the skeptical one this week. Poor Lois. Even in an alternate reality, there's still a better reporter.
BE: And it's Clara Kendall. No big surprise.
JE: With an Ultra-Humanite story, no less. And enter the sneaky superspy adventurer named (finally) Alfred.
BE:Â Okay, if Freddie could travel all the way to Metropolis, why not drop off the scroll himself?
JE: Because, as Tarot and Gangbuster realized, whoever dropped off the scroll was going to get detained, and Alfred is not one to be detained.
BE: You are correct, and now that Freddie is face-to-face with Lois, she's going to get the whole story.
JE: And maybe even have her own memory jogged.
BE: I thought Clara would do it, maybe this is the catalyst. Well, Krona is trying an unusual, Galactus-like, tactic when he tries to communicate with the planetary intelligences.
JE: Unfortunately for him, all the planets die before talking. Not exactly the best interrogation technique.
BE: Perhaps if he didn't stick his arms into the planet all the way to his elbows he might not have that problem.
JE: Good advice for all those potential planet conversators out there: fingertips only or, if you must, to the wrists.
BE: We're here to provide a service.
JE: And for those keeping score, yes, it was Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher on backup art duties this week, not Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, as the cover stated.
BE: I wasn't going to point that out. You get to be the bad cop this week.
JE: Well, it's a little thing, but might have thrown some people off. About the covers though: how did you like this grouping of Earth's new Trinity by Andy Kubert?
BE: Kubert is a genius and this triptych may be my favorite so far. I kind of feel sorry for Kanjar Ro.
JE: Poor guy just goes from bad to worse, doesn't he?
BE: Born loser has been his shtick for a while now.
JE: You've got to be carrying some serious karma when you steal a spaceship and wind up in an intergalactic conflict. Space is, I would imagine, pretty big, and to end up in the one warzone you'd like to avoid?
BE: With all of this creation energy floating around, I can only imagine that none of these things are coincidence.
JE: Yeah, just relying on bad luck would be stretching it a bit.
BE: John is fully melded with the Void Hound. That's actually a really cool power combination and Ro thinks so, too.
JE: I have to say that I enjoy it greatly, and John doesn't seem to be hating it at all, either.
BE: If he can master it, it would be a major power upgrade.
JE: And a far better use of the character beyond "Earth's other Green Lantern."
BE: Was John's "leet speak" difficult at all for your to read?
JE: Just a little, because "leet speak" drives me insane. I quit internet gaming before that became so prominent. You?
BE: It was a little difficult with all the unusual characters they chose to use.
JE: I honestly think Fabian Nicieza went out of his way to to pick words with the greatest amounts of "A" and "E".
BE: How does Despero fight with that huge freaking thing on his arm?
JE: I thought that, too, but try this one on for size: what if it's actually just a big ol' thing to hit people with?
BE: Yes, he has a big freaking hammer for a hand, but I was thinking that actually carrying a weapon might be a better plan.
JE: Bah. Despero is a weapon. And hand-held weapons can be taken away. Not from Despero, mind you, but from other people.
BE: Yes, and apparently air is for cowards. What an absurd and ridiculous statement! I love it.
JE: Best line of the issue, bar none. Absolutely genius. I think there should be more of this in the future. We could call them "Desperoisms."
BE: I'm in favor of it. Kanjar Ro is beginning to put all the pieces together.
JE: He may not have much else going for him, but he's a wily alien, for sure.
BE: Brains he's got.
JE: Now if he only had common sense to go along with it. He's always trying to cut deals (or run cons) with people that can turn him into goo.
BE: He's bold.
JE: And yet it's not yet caught up to him, despite how many times he screws it up. Something to be said for him, I guess.
BE: Now Krona has John.
JE: Apparently the Qwardian / Lantern combination might make a potent communication tool for Krona. There's a scary thought.
BE: Man, can Ro talk his way out of anything? If I was Despero, he'd be a greasy smear.
JE: Perhaps you would have used the big hammer arm, as I would have?
BE: We have now found an effective use for this weapon.
JE: Now you've made me wonder about cleaning it, though. Windex?
BE: Windex is for cowards.
JE: Oh, the places this can go.
BE: And, finally, because everything means something in a Busiek script, the Trinity of Anti-Earth return. Brilliant!
JE: I'll be the first to admit that I thought we had seen the last of the Anti-Earth's Trinity, and boy, was I wrong.
BE: I love these guys, this makes me insanely happy.
JE: Well, we should have seen it coming. Enigma certainly isn't going to let them slide after what they did to his family, and he certainly couldn't get his revenge when they were off-planet.
BE: And the Anti-Trinity just may be the people to save the Earth, how's that for a twist?
JE: Disturbing, to say the least.
BE: Earth needs a Trinity and on New Earth good triumphs over evil, so what happens when a displaced evil Trinity arrives to fight Morgaine?