"I just felt they ... belonged." - Carter Hall
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.
In a dark pass between the lands of the harbor folk and the patterned men, Alfred, Dick, Donna, Interceptor, Nemesis and Lois prevented a conflict from starting between the two groups of aliens. Donna Troy discovered her lost powers and the aliens revealed their knowledge of the Trinity. In Opal City, Tarot and Charity delved into the future of the Worldsoul and discovered a shift in power was coming, and that it is a time to take bold action.
Meanwhile, the Justice Society International tried to stem the tide of newly-freed supervillains created by the Dreambound, and faced heavy losses. The heads of the JSI were forced to make hard decisions, and allowed the powerful villain Brainiac to go free while the heroes are united to save Metropolis from rampant creation energies.
The alien harbor folk and patterned men tell the story of the Firstgod, who created all things and drove the people to toil and to advance swiftly in technology. When they had reached the pinnacle of science, the Firstgod (revealed to be Krona) was freed and abandoned his followers. It was then that the Trinity appeared, teaching the people truth and justice and to turn aside from war.Â
Thanks to the efforts of a disguised Space Ranger, the JSI learns the location of Morgaine's gathering, and as the super-powered spaceman makes his escape back to the JSI, he leaves behind a spy in the form of The Atom. Linking to Brainwave, Atom gives the heroes a first-person view of what the villains have planned: Morgaine and Enigma want to create a full deck of major arcana represented through the newly freed villains. Interestingly enough, Carter Hall has considered a similar route with heroes, and the arrival of Charity promises to fill the gaps in Hall's planning.
Brian Eason: I love the biblical nature of the aliens' narrative; the story of the Firstgod (Krona) and the coming of the Trinity.
Justin Eger: Most creation stories, no matter the religion, tend to follow a similar pattern. Attaching these characters to it, though, is creative.
BE:Â Agreed, it was unique that the creator in the story is not the benign god, but those that followed.
JE: It's odd to really sit down and think about Kal-El, Diana and Bruce as gods, though.
BE:Â But as archetypes, don't they already fulfill that role?
JE: One man's god was once someone's hero, if you believe cultural anthropology.
BE: Krona drove the aliens to advance in technology to the exclusion of everything else.
JE: Bigger, better and more seems to work for Krona, as we see him doing a similar thing right now in previous issues.
BE: He's obsessive and seems to have many irons in the fire. What of the army of planetary consciousnesses?
JE: Bigger and better once again. You might argue that this is just another extension of science, aligning power in such a way to create something new.
BE: Creation energies, again?
JE: Exactly. Creation is logically based in science.
BE: Imagine a society driven only by unbridled science with no regard to the people.
JE: It's pretty horrific. The breeding experiments alone gave me chills.
BE: How about the freezing experiments?
JE: And the underwater exploration. Just so brutal and callous, but what else should we expect from Krona?
BE: To use and abandon his charges.
JE: Not exactly the all-caring creator of popular religion, is he?
BE: Countless lives were lost in Krona's drive to advance the aliens.
JE: Not to mention destroyed. No morality, no regard for life, human or otherwise, graced the survivors.
BE: An interesting ethos for a creation myth.
JE: And we see how well it worked out with the field of the dead the travelers visit.
BE: A plain of skulls reaches back generations.
JE: A perfect testimony to the failure of the past.
BE: Then, once freed, Krona left.
JE: That makes for a pretty ugly god, and we see the most expected reaction here in the people: they look for something new to follow.
BE: After generations of servitude, they had no purpose. I love the depiction of the Trinity here.
JE: Very much so. The shimmering, godly look, but at the heart, they're still the heroes we know.
BE: And the artistic depiction was very stylized, reminded me of Darwyn Cooke.
JE: I can see that. It was very clean, very reminiscent of what we consider Golden Age artwork.
BE: In this case the comparison was apt. They heralded a golden age for the aliens: Hope, justice, and wonder.
JE: Those are some nice images there, as well. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman uniting a people, much like they united our own world.
BE: Doing good works for the people.
JE: And teaching them new, better ways. Not demanding these things, either, but participating with them at each step. Bruce guiding the surgeons was an inspired touch.
BE: His father would be proud. And 'beauty' is an interesting choice of words.
JE: Absolutely. There are two ways we might look at that. One is just a very surface interpretation: the heroes look differently from the people of this world.
BE: And unique, as a result.
JE: Precisely. Secondly, they're spiritually beautiful. They treat these people with kindness and regard, and they don't abuse their power over them.
BE: I think that's the key here. Beauty of spirit.Â
JE: Which leads to beauty of purpose and, ultimately, the beauty behind this religion.
BE: Kurt Busiek is on the mark with this. A Utopian civilization based on DC's big three.
JE: But since this is comics, there is not such thing as Utopia. So Morgaine's heavy hitters have arrived at Harteigen Mountain. Care to handle the roll call?
BE: Dr. Polaris, Scarecrow, Gentleman Ghost, Giganta, The Royal Flush Gang, Vandal Savage, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, The Floronic Man, and Braniac's big noggin.
JE: Not exactly very many lightweights on the team, aside from the Royal Flush Gang.
BE: As a single unit they can be a threat, but, yes, a dangerous group.
JE: And letting Braniac escape seemed to be all a part of the plan.
BE: And now we know what became of Space Ranger.
JE: If that is indeed his real name. "Interspatial Lineral Field?" "Thermal Helm Blast?"
BE:Â Not buying it.
JE: A creative cover, though.
BE: If this isn't the Martian Manhunter, I'll eat my hat.
JE: Sucker bet. We are so on this. Another trick on the part of Luthor's League: the Atom has got a front row seat to the action.
BE: A shrinking scientist is a great spy.
JE: Morgaine and Enigma reveal their plot, once again linked to the Tarot.
BE: An army based on the cards. I should've seen this coming.
JE: I think we all should have, because it makes perfect sense.
JE: We've got Giganta, Zoom, Vandal Savage, Brainiac, Lady Shiva, Morgaine herself, Enigma, Konvikt, Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, the Floronic Man and Ra's al Ghul. And Carter Hall has been considering the very same thing, but using Ragman, Tomorrow Woman, Aquaman, Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, Lex Luthor, Starfire, himself and Hawkgirl.
BE: Not surprising. He's been on top of the tarot angle since day one.
JE: But he's not nearly as far along as Morgaine is. He's got a lot of roles to fill if he is going to get his team of the ground, but those are two armies I can't wait to see go to war.
BE: I think this is because Carter had lost his way with the changing of the universe and Morgaine has had continuity from the beginning.Â
JE: What do you make of Charity's arrival?
BE: She's come to the same conclusion and she has the answers.
JE: It's a small thing, but she also picks up a peace token from Carter's trophies.
BE: Good eye. She did indeed.
JE: Perhaps we'll learn of some greater significance to this item (aside from the obvious) next week.