"Woo. Colorful." - Atom Smasher
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 Trinity and the Troika had a face off in city of Metropolis. The Troika immediately began to disagree as to the best course of action -- Morgaine desired battle, but Enigma counseled retreat. The disagreement was short lived, as Xor attacked Morgaine from behind, taking her out of any hypothetical fights. With the Troika gone, the Dark Arcana were attacked and defeated by the Justice Arcana. In the wake of the victory, the universe began to right itself, becoming closer to our reality. As the feature concluded, Cheetah, Joker, and Lex Luthor all began power plays that would bring them into conflict with their arch nemeses.
Deep in space, the Void Hound took control of its shared existence with John Stewart, though the Green Lantern's own sensibilities shone through, forcing the Void Hound to hunt criminals rather than innocent prey. As the Hound related its history to Stewart (and to us), it found its way to Krona, who offered a partnership. In recognition of the paired threat, John Stewart's ring sent out a distress signal.
The lead starts off with Cheetah relocating to, as we predicted, Washington D.C. There she begins a face off against Black Adam, but the Trinity arrives on the scene and strips Cheetah of her stolen power. The Trinity then moves to Gotham, where they plan to do the same with Joker. Lex Luthor arrives to claim that all of this creation energy could do so much more than restore the Universe, it could make a perfect world. The Troika are not swayed and cast Luthor aside before depowering and capturing Joker. The Trinity then returns to the JSI and let the mortals decide if the universe should be restored. Jay Garrick, the golden age Flash, speaks for all when he asks that the world be made right again. The feature concludes as it focuses on the carnage left by Despero and the Anti-Matter Trinity.
With the heroes returned to their natural forms, the Justice League and the Justice Society part ways, if only briefly, to reassess the conflicts still raging around the world and to prepare for the next conflicts. As the two teams head for home, Firestorm becomes the recipient of John Stewart's emergency beacon, which provides the League with information on Krona and the Void Hound. However, without a direct threat, the League decides to attack problems closer to home first. Meanwhile, Gangbuster decides that his path is not with all these heroes, and begins planning a rescue operation for Tarot with Charity, who informs the hero that his and Tarot's fates are more intertwined than he realizes.
Justin Eger: Well, that is one big kitty cat.
Brian Eason: Cheetah as a giant, with Washington as her "place of power."
JE: Last time around, you mentioned that it seemed out of place to secure Washington as a home. It seems that the Trinity thinks the same of Wonder Woman, as well.
BE:Â As they mention, Wonder Woman has always been transient.
JE: I guess the idea is that Washington is just as good as any place for someone as nomadic as her.
JE: Black Adam arrives to challenge Cheetah, but decides to go home, instead.
BE:Â Well, the Trinity do show up and save the day.
JE: Was it just me, or did Adam look a little relieved to see the Trinity arrive?
BE: He may have been the surrogate for Wonder Woman, but I don't think he was ready to take on Cheetah as a goddess.
JE: I imagine he'd just be happy to head home and secure Khandaq's borders.
BE: And remember, he hopes that the return of the Universe we knew will restore his family.
JE: Yeah, because that's going to turn out so well for him. A wave of the hand and it is curtains for Cheetah's stolen power.
BE: That appears to be the balance of power here.Â
JE: Despite access to the chaos magic, the three underlings that regularly challenge the Trinity just don't seem to have much control.
BE: Yes, and that's surprising.Â I would have actually though that Cheetah, Luthor and Joker would have been a better Troika. Yet, if that had been the case, they would have been the central focus and not Krona.
JE: And don't forget that it wasn't Luthor who was the Superman adversary tapped into the Troika's power, it was Lord Khyber (introduced in that role during issue #31).
BE:Â Likely Kurt Busiek's most lasting creation.
JE: It's much the same in Gotham, although, as always, Joker puts his own spin on things.
BE: In his madness, Joker remembers our reality.Â
JE: And seems almost happy (okay, okay, really happy) to have Batman back.
BE: Joker is well aware of who defines his existence.Â
JE: It's a pretty creepy scenario, no matter how you take it. He's like an addict that just got handed his favorite fix. Luthor tries to intervene, trying to convince the heroes not to fix things, or at least not to return them to "normal."
BE: He always sounds so rational, but it always comes down to personal power.
JE: Exactly. I wonder what Lex's perfect world might look like.
BE: A world without super humans or a world where he is Superman.Â
JE: I'd say that's a safe bet. And in New York, the heroes are given a choice.
BE: Yes, they are given the choice of whether or not the world should be restored.Â
JE: It's an interesting question, here. Despite the fact that we know how people will answer, some of them might not have wanted to go back to normal.
BE: As we have stated, the world, in many ways, is better in this reality.Â
JE: Less people have died, there seems to be less villainy to be concerned about, and almost all of the heroes are on the same page.
BE: And yet, the definition of heroism is watered down - the people of Earth are xenophobic, and when there is a huge threat, it requires an army to stop it.Â
JE: Rather than just a concise grouping of heroes fronted by a handful of powerhouses?
BE: It's harsh when you say it like that, but true.
JE: Supergirl isn't particularly thrilled with the changes, but I can't quite figure out what Donna might be thinking.
BE: I think she's actually pleased.Â
JE: Her reappearance in her near-goddess form certainly pleased me. And Alfred confirms an important point by almost calling Supergirl by her altered name.
BE: Supergirl is not ready to let go, for one thing.Â
JE: As we learn in the backup feature, she's not the only one, but it also confirms that restoring the world didn't change anyone's memories of these events.
BE: And I think that will be important when they encounter Krona.Â
JE: How do you think it might play into Krona's return?
BE: An understanding that the creation energies created by Krona's escape will be necessary in comprehending him. I think everyone has gained powerful insights in that regard after seeing what the world would be like without the Trinity.Â
JE: So, with the world restored (as much as it can be), it looks like we've got a Justice League and Justice Society team-up in the works.
BE: Which is how this all started at the Troika castle HQ.
JE: Could we be getting everyone back into position to pick up right where we left off?
BE: I think so, just in time for Despero.
JE: And that armada that he's fronting, complete with his own Trinity.
BE: Interesting to see how things will shake out with Enigma when the Crime Syndicate shows up.
JE: Hawkman seems to be suffering a lot thanks to these transformations.
BE: For someone so in touch with his various incarnations, this must be jarring.
JE: Indeed. He was essentially back to being a king, or at least a valued leader, and that's snatched away pretty quickly.
BE: Oh. Good observation.Â He's Pharaoh again.
JE: And now he's back to being what he's been for centuries, the lone gunslinger or the wandering knight. Firestorm is the chosen target of John Stewart's ring beacon.
BE: I should have caught that. After there early iterations in the series, he's the logical choice.Â
JE: I felt the same way. After all, John has no way of knowing that things have been corrected back on Earth, so Firestorm is his only link. Meanwhile, back in the Hall of Justice...
BE: The reconstituted league meets.
JE: I could almost hear the voice-over from the old episodes of "Super Friends." And once again, Gangbuster is the odd man out when it comes to superhero armies.
BE: He remains our faithful everyman that witnesses these mighty events.
JE: But it must be hard. After all, even Black Canary tells him that he's not exactly league material, no matter how politely she does it. But he's not without purpose, as Tarot is still in danger.
BE: And he gave his word to stick by her.
JE: That's his bond. He's been very knightly all this time, hasn't he?
BE: I think his honor defines him where his lack of powers fails to do so.Â
JE: Much like some of our other favorite heroes that happen to lack the power to level mountains.
JE: And the issue closes with Charity giving one final reading.
BE: What we saw all along, that Tarot and Gangbuster are meant to be together.Â
JE: To the rescue, then?
BE: And that would lead him back to...
JE: Castle Branek, here we come.