"Wipe that irritating thing off your face and move." - Morgaine Le Fey
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" #38, the lead feature began when the members of the Trinity were confronted by the companions. Despite their initial dismissal of their former allies, they soon realized the Companions had powers like the Gods. The groups, lead by Alfred Pennyworth, began a psychological attack on the Trinity, trying to remind the Gods of their mortal existence. The Trinity's memories were stirred and they came to a conclusion and the area around them began to glow. The feature ended as the Trinity and the Companions were consumed by the light of the Gods.
And back in this Earth's reality, the Justice Society fought a losing battle against the Dark Arcana. With the death of Cyclone and the loss of several other cities, the JSI regrouped in their headquarters to make plans for the final battle. In those waning moments of safety, the Space Ranger revealed his true nature as the last survivor of Mars, a survivor who decided to serve with the heroes of this world in their last stand at Metropolis.
It's war! As the Dark Arcana marches on Metropolis, the remaining heroes that make up the Justice Society's ranks, under the leadership of Carter Hall, prepare to fight their final battle. With the odds they face, no hero on the ground or in the sky has the capability of convincing themselves that this fight will be anything but a suicide mission. The odds are too great against the heroes, and while they fight valiantly, they fight only to bide time in the hopes of a miracle.
In the midst of the chaos, as J'onn J'onzz and Triumph fall before the onslaught of villainy, the alien being known as Konvikt, transformed by dark magic, recollects his choices up to this point. Flashing back to the siege of Gotham, where his companion Graak tried to convince the alien warrior that allying himself with Morgaine and the other villains was dishonorable, Konvikt begins to see the measure of his companion's words. But Morgaine would have none of it, and destroys Graak before the tiny alien could convince Konvikt to change sides.
And as the last fortification of heroes falls under the onslaught of villains, the sky cracks open, and the godly representations of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman arrive!
Brian Eason: Unlike previous issues, we have a single feature this time.
Justin Eger: Yes, our story focuses almost entirely on the Battle for Metropolis, with both creative teams focusing their energies here, but for a brief flashback to Konvikt / Xor in Gotham City.
BE:Â I like the way they blend this story. Strong stuff.
JE: It's very tightly knit, which is something we've commented on before, but now it's on to the fight!
BE: Well, the battle for Metropolis is big enough to need the whole issue to tell.
JE: Absolutely. This really and truly felt like an epic story.
BE: The Justice Arcana appear to be outclassed by the Dark Arcana.
JE: Overwhelmingly so, but when you've got so much power on your side, it's hard not to be outclassed.
BE: Yes, Morgaine has done her job well.
JE: Even without the full compliment of magic needed to reshape the world, it's getting pretty dicey out there.
BE: Again, I think this is because the Troika is fighting surrogates and not the Trinity.
JE: Although Carter Hall brings up an interesting point later in the issue: that he, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott formed their own Trinity.
BE: And they do. Three of the earliest heroes and the three founders of the Justice Society.Â
JE: As we've seen other worlds do in this series, the void created by the absence of the Trinity needed to be filled. Very cool.
BE: While the heroes might be outclassed in power, they have Hawkman for a field general.
JE: I have to say, I'd follow that guy into battle, even if it was a suicide mission.
BE: Thousands of years of experience as a warrior make him in a class by himself.
JE: And he's putting it all to good use. Ambushes, air strikes, and, to quote Kiefer Sutherland's guest appearance on "The Simpsons" last year, "Front line infantry!"
BE: And the JSI is, quite literally, an army with the experience of working together under a general. Despite all of that, the heroes know they can't win.
JE: That's certainly the kind of defeatist attitude I don't like to see from my heroes, but yeah, it's only a matter of time before they get stomped. It's just too much to handle.
BE: Reality itself is the enemy here and they just don't have the power to reshape it.Â
JE: Not on the level that the villains are brining to the table, anyway.
BE: We get a look at Tomorrow Woman and Triumph again and are reminded that they know that should they win, they are both dead. Should they lose, they are not likely to survive.
JE: They've become samurai, in a sense.
BE: Prepared to die for their cause.
JE: I'm just a quote machine this week. The first truth of the samurai from the Hagekure, "The way of the samurai is found in death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance."
BE: And they are advancing -- directly into death. But these are heroes, doing what they do best.
JE: They might not have wanted to fight before, because they would die if they won and the world changed. Now, there's no other choice. Either way, they're dead meat, so they've accepted that there is no hope and want to do something with the remainder of their lives.
BE: Now we get to the point that you have been talking about for a while now. It is decision time for Konvikt.
JE: Yep. Which side of the fence does he want to be on, and with Graak as his conscience, no less.
BE: Konvikt is now transformed and has become one of the Troika.
JE: Complete with overwhelming power and a volcanic exterior. And a murderous rage, to boot.
BE: It sounds like he is trying to justify his actions.
JE: Yes. He says to Graak that this is a time of war, and that death can be justified, but Graak decides to jump in and play the "angel's advocate," if you will.
BE: Who would have ever thought of Graak as the voice of rationality and reason?
JE: Never would have expected it from the mouthy little thing, would you? I love Graak.
BE: And he continues to point out to Konvikt that his actions are not honorable and don't fit with Konvikt's stated goals.
JE: Graak reminds him that, at the end, everyone is still going to be dead, and these actions stain Xor's honor. Unless, of course, he uses his share of power to resurrecte everyone that he's killed.
BE: And when Konvikt hesitates, Morgaine vaporizes Graak.
JE: She can't lose her newest toy, can she? Poor little muppet.
BE: Morgaine is even more volatile in her godly form.Â How will Konvikt cope with ultimate power when his conscience has been destroyed?
JE: He's only got his own sense of honor to guide him. Unfortunately, that's pretty lackluster right now.
BE: But still, Graak's words appear to be enough to make Konvikt doubt his mission.
JE: That, and a vision of a frog. Go figure. Still, if it'll put him on the side of the angels, then I'll take it.
BE: And in the midst of the battle for Metropolis, Hawkman remembers the prophecy of the Trinity and holds out hope that there is a miracle coming.
JE: They'd need a big one at this point, though now he references his own Trinity, and seems saddened that he and his friends we're enough to save the world.
BE: A little reference is made to the formation of the Injustice Gang as Joker points out that he, Lex Luthor, and Cheetah should be on the same side.
JE: I thought that was a nice touch. After all, one of the key things we said when Lex was revealed as a hero was that it seemed really odd to have him teamed up with the good guys. But Cheetah and Joker aren't content to simply taunt the heroes. They bring out some big tragic magic.
BE: And it seems to take the steam out of our heroes.
BE: Forever a hero, the Martian Manhunter sacrifices himself to save Hawkman from Morgaine.
JE: And Hawkman tries to help him, but gets turned away by J'onn himself. The heroes need to hold out hope.
BE: Triumph falls and, appropriately, dies in Tommy's arms as the Troika claim final victory.
JE: That was a tragic scene, though again, the dying hero announces that they can't just give up. It seems like they know something is coming.
BE: One way or another, they are doomed.
JE: Perhaps, with their deaths, these heroes are seeing a part of the world returned to how things are supposed to be.
BE: This series has made me miss Tomorrow Woman and Triumph. Busiek handles them so well.
JE: And both deaths herald the return of the real Trinity.
BE: That's right and they have returned as Gods, just like the Troika.
JE: Somehow, I don't think this is going to be a sissy little slapfight. The Trinity is packing some serious power (and some stylish new duds).
BE: Perfect note to end the issue on.