"Ollie Queen's chili!" - Dick Grayson
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 "Trinity" #37, the lead began with the Divine Trinity meeting in battle. The conflict between Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman ravaged the landscape. In the wake of the war of the Gods, the survivors began to prey on one another, without the Gods, they had to sense of honor or right and wrong. In the end, Dinanna ended the war, showing Atmahn and Kellel the damage they had done. The Trinity set aside their war and healed the world. The feature ended as the Trinity considered the Companions and this consideration began to awaken memories of what the Gods once were when they were mortal.
Meanwhile, Morgaine began a search throughout the world's villains to try and augment the membership of the Dark Arcana. Sacrificing current members Punch and Jewelee to dark science and magic, Morgaine traded their lives (and position as The Fool in the Arcana) to track down The Joker, who was warping chaos energy without any aid. Recruiting the Clown Prince of Crime, the Arcana gained a great deal of power, but Enigma and Konvikt wondered at what cost this aid would come.
The lead begins as the Trinity is confronted by the companions. At first the Gods seek to dismiss the group and then realize that the Companions also have power, power like the Gods themselves. Alfred, seeing an opening, tells the Companions to remember the Trinity as they once were and to remind them of who they are. As the struggle continues, each of the companions works to remind the Trinity of their mortality, stressing familial ties and ties to things as common as a favorite food or their promise to protect mankind. In the end, the Trinity knows the truth and make a fateful decision. The immediate area glows with power -- and the feature ends. We'll have to wait till next issue to find out what happens next.
Back in the current reality, the Justice Society fights a war of attrition against the Dark Arcana, but it is a fight they have all but lost. Dozens more cities have fallen to Morgaine's army, creating an overwhelming aura of chaos that threatens the stability of the entire world. Empowered by the energy, the villains themselves become even more dangerous, and Cyclone is murdered. Retreating to take a last stand in Metropolis, the society is rocked by a revelation: Space Ranger is not from the future, but from Mars. J'onn J'onzz stands revealed, and is welcomed into the ranks by Carter Hall.
Brian Eason: We start off with the Trinity observing the Companions.
Justin Eger: And it appears that the Trinity didn't just decide to look in on the Companions. They actually captured them.
BE:Â They seem to be struggling with what to do with them.
JE: There's nothing particularly threatening there. The Trinity seems to just want the matter done and forgotten.
BE:Â Forgotten is the key word here.
JE: Precisely. If they can ignore the truth, they can continue with these new lives.
BE:Â Lives of service that require no emotional investment.
JE: Save for the idolatry that they receive from their people. Which, you might say, is quite a reward after working at a pretty thankless job in superheroics. It's also not long before Supergirl cracks the containment and gets the team moving.
BE: Kara has a lot of willpower and, of course, Kryptonian strength.
JE: We also see Donna breaking out some strength, dodging some magic throw at her.
BE: It's like the Trinity has grown sloppy.
JE: I have to wonder: is it just that the companions are that powerful, or is it something more?
BE: I think there is the force of Creation behind them. That's what this series has been about, creation and the symbols tied to it.
JE: As always, Alfred sees exactly what needs to be done, and the Companions start bombarding the Trinity with memories.
BE: Interesting, but perfect, choices. Sensory related memories, like food. Memories of loved ones. Reminders of duty.
JE: Touching on the food image, I have to say that I never would have imagined Ollie Queen's favorite dish having such an impact on the universe.
BE: Green Arrow's chili is a force of nature, like a volcano or the sun.
JE: For it to leave an impression on a semi-god like Atmahn, it would have to be. Time spent together seemed to be a big theme, no matter how it was being spent. Companionship.
BE:Â Perfectly said.
JE: Kellel and Dinanna seem to be wavering, but it's Atmahn that holds tight to the deception.
BE: Batman has always held very strongly to those things that define him -- even when those things are delusions.
JE: Of which Alfred is quick to remind him.
BE: As surrogate father to the Batman, he holds a uniquely parental role that the rest do not have.
JE: True. The others are partners and lovers, as well as family in some cases, but in all those roles, the Trinity has taken the lead. Then there's a speech you never thought you would hear from Kara Zor-El, a lecture about duty.
BE: This made me smile. It looks good on her. I also like that Alfred scolds Atmahn.
JE: You'd never think that the Trinity would be considered cowardly, but they're certainly hiding behind these new personas.
BE: They fear something. Their humanity perhaps?
JE: It makes sense. There's the difference between being frail and faulty, or to be perfect and unquestionable.
BE: I think you nailed it. The fear of failure.
JE: Exactly. They've all experienced pretty significant losses in their lives. Friends, family, lovers. So, have the Trinity banished themselves from this world?
BE: No. I think they've returned to their human form.
JE: I hope we get a little more info about what (or when) we ended up during this journey. The Justice Arcana is getting trounced by Morgaine's forces.
BE: Morgan simply plays this game too well. She has the Troika's power and she has Tarot. The cards, if you'll excuse the expression, are in her favor.
JE: And despite what we saw a few weeks ago, the villains are willing to be a lot more ruthless in achieving their goals.
BE: Their baser emotions drive their need to conquer.Â
JE: So much so that even they probably don't realize it. For them, it might simply be a matter of "We're finally winning."
BE: And I think the magic is driving them, the chaos is infusing them.
JE: Maxine Hunkel, The Cyclone, gets killed by Deathstroke, and Space Ranger takes some heavy damage.
BE: As heroes continue to die, the situation is shown to be very desperate.
JE: And Carter Hall, who once seemed so militant and detached, starts to show some emotion here.
BE: The loss of Maxine hits him pretty hard. She's just a child.
JE: And one that undoubtedly looks up to him as a leader of the JSI. That should hit home. Prometheus makes the point that we've been talking about for months: Space Ranger has some weird weaknesses for someone so powerful.
BE: Fire. And Space Ranger, really, what an odd choice, as we've pointed out.
JE: Thankfully, it's almost time for some serious revelations. With greater power comes greater madness. The villains are getting more and more dangerous with each conquered city.
BE: As reality changes and they become more influenced by the Chaos, they change as well.Â
JE: Seeing Joker and Cheetah as all-powerful creatures was interesting.
BE: And frightening. The more insane they are, the more powerful they seem to be.
JE: We also get a quick glimpse of a transformed Konvikt.
BE: Finally coming into his godhood.
JE: I thought that it was an interesting choice to show him, especially when the other two choices (Joker and Cheetah) are so linked to members of the Trinity.
BE: Yes, perhaps it's because of his lengthy battle with Superman.
JE: Or perhaps he has a greater role in the near future.
BE: I think your thought that he may prove to be the Spoiler for Morgaine's plans is a good one.
JE: We'll have to see. After all, he could prove to be the nastiest villain of them all when presented with power. So, Space Ranger reveals his true nature (finally).
BE: As we predicted, he's the Martian Manhunter. Yet another hero that will be dead if the heroes restore reality.
JE: Indeed. I hadn't considered the ramifications of that until now, but this book has been very good about giving us noble visions of character that are no longer with us.
BE: Until "Blackest Night begins."
JE: He'll be among good company. There's been a lot of death around the DCU lately.
BE: Black Lanterns for everyone!
JE: I always did enjoy getting party favors. But even with the revelation, it might all be over soon.
BE: Fitting that Metropolis is the final battlefield.
JE: Metropolis as the lynchpin to it all? I never would have guessed. Everyone likes to slug it out in Metropolis.
BE: What can save reality now?
JE: I'd imagine that a timely arrival by the Trinity would do just that.
BE: I imagine that will be the case, but will Despero's army get there first?
JE: That's a distinct possibility. It's been some time since we've seen them, Jon Stewart and Krona in these pages.