Review: Trinity Annual #1

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
June 4th, 2017

T. Kyle King is a lawyer, a former sports blogger, a panelist on the "Twin Peaks"-centric "Wrapped in Podcast", and a Superman guy.

Review: Trinity Annual #1
Comics
0
Price:
Mixed

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On June 4, 2017
Last modified:June 4, 2017

Summary:

A weak beginning and a handful of artistic excesses marred an otherwise serviceably effective effort that was salvaged when the creators stuck the landing.

Price:
Mixed

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On June 4, 2017
Last modified:June 4, 2017

Summary:

A weak beginning and a handful of artistic excesses marred an otherwise serviceably effective effort that was salvaged when the creators stuck the landing.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Trinity Annual #1, released last week, was the lone Superbook to hit the stands on the final day of a month featuring five Wednesdays. Writer Rob Williams and artist Guillem March teamed up to produce Tied Together, the belated continuation of the Pandora Pits storyline. ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King brings you his thoughts on the extended issue.

(Warning: Spoilers follow!)

Trinity Annual #1 Review:

Bruce Wayne is hosting Clark Kent and Diana Prince for dinner in Gotham City. Elsewhere, however, Circe and Ra’s al Ghul are making plans for the use of the Pandora Pits… but can even those villains anticipate the devilish developments to come?

Trinity Annual #1 Synopsis:

Lex Luthor has declined to join Circe’s and Ra’s al Ghul’s “unholy trinity”, yet the wicked sorceress insists that they — like the threesome of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — are tied together. In Gotham City, Bruce has invited Clark and Diana to a restaurant he owns for the purpose of forging a “human connection” to his fellow heroes. Their meal is interrupted, however, when an incoming distress call demands their attention: Jason Blood has been drawn by the lure of the Pandora Pits and discovered an ancient yet prophetic painting.

The League of Assassins attacks the interloper, prompting him to unleash Etrigan. When the Pits separate the Demon from his human host, though, the whole world is imperiled by an invasion from Hades. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman offer up their own lives to allow Blood to reclaim Etrigan, but their sacrifice proves unnecessary when Circe intervenes to spare the heroes. The Demon is contained and the world is saved, but a third triad emerges to complete the circuit when Artemis, Bizarro, and the Red Hood are summoned to combine forces with one another.

Story continues below

Trinity Annual #1 Analysis:

March, who is best known for his work on Batman Family titles, gave readers a preview of his upcoming collaboration with Williams on a couple of issues of Action Comics being released later this summer. Brought vitally to life by colorist Tomeu Morey, the artwork of Tied Together is expressive and kinetic on a grand scale. The imagery of this outsized issue, which is filled with highly lined figures sporting jutting jawlines and mammoth muscles, is heavily indebted to DC Comics’ distinctive post-Flashpoint aesthetic. Although the artist is perhaps most associated with an unfortunately titillating style, March largely (and wisely) steers clear of excessively objectifying imagery in Trinity Annual #1, apart from the occasional upskirt angle accentuating an overly curvy Circe or exaggerated emphasis on Wonder Woman’s indulgently exposed thigh. Minimizing that sort of thing the week that Wonder Woman debuted was a good call.

Williams’s writing is generally strong yet falls short of stellar. At almost double the length of a typical issue, Tied Together is spacious enough to make room for more subtlety than the author deigns to include in Trinity Annual #1. Circe’s recitation in the opening five pages consists of straight narrative exposition that embraces only minimal explication, and the three pages that follow are even more on the nose. When Wayne uncharacteristically arranges a social engagement with his colleagues, it falls to Kent to give a name to their encounter in an unambiguous instance of telling instead of showing.

In case all this was insufficiently explicit, Williams gives Prince the duty to be even more unequivocal, baldly declaring: “Yes, Clark. A human connection. It takes an alien to remind you of this, Bruce.” The Action Ace proceeds to invoke his adoptive parents, his wife, and his son in support of the proposition that, if there’s one thing he knows, “it’s family.” The Caped Crusader — another orphan raised by foster parents, a fellow father, and the individual who extended the invitation to the guests with whom he has “been working together so closely of late” — responds with bewilderment: “Family?” Throughout this segment of Trinity Annual #1, the title characters inexplicably discuss their secret identities openly in an outdoor restaurant in which other patrons are present.

Fortunately, the sophistication of the storytelling improves significantly once Jason Blood appears. Between his clever repartee with the League of Assassins, glib (if sometimes forced) poetic pronouncements in the form of the Demon, and pained resignation at having to reaccept Etrigan into himself, Blood provides the nuance and humor that drive, elevate, and eventually redeem Tied Together after its inelegant opening act. The cliffhanger ending of Trinity Annual #1 likewise effectively left some things unsaid when the uncovering of the relocated Pits by Circe and Ra’s al Ghul produced the discovery of the “trinity of trinities” that was revealed to include the pointedly morally ambiguous counterparts to the heroic and villainous trios introduced previously. This adventure ultimately recovered from its slow start to set up interesting upcoming storylines.

Did Trinity Annual #1 tie you together with future installments of this series? Form a human connection with your fellow fans and ComiConverse with us in the comments!

T. Kyle King is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Trinity Annual #1

  • 3

Mixed

A weak beginning and a handful of artistic excesses marred an otherwise serviceably effective effort that was salvaged when the creators stuck the landing.

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