Review: Trinity #8

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
April 22nd, 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 #8
Comics
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Review of: Trinity #8
Price:
Competent

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On April 22, 2017
Last modified:April 22, 2017

Summary:

Conceptually sound yet unoriginally executed, this issue efficiently constructed a foundation for future stories but did nothing more than that.

Review of: Trinity #8
Price:
Competent

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On April 22, 2017
Last modified:April 22, 2017

Summary:

Conceptually sound yet unoriginally executed, this issue efficiently constructed a foundation for future stories but did nothing more than that.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Trinity #8, featuring a script by Cullen Bunn and pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino, tied the team title into DC Comics' ongoing examination of the aftereffects of Superman: Reborn. The Metropolis Marvel confides in the Amazing Amazon and the Caped Crusader at the Fortress of Solitude in The Truth About Superman. ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King offers his thoughts on the new tale.

Trinity #8 Review:

The Man of Steel is having nightmares, leading him to share with Batman and Wonder Woman the changed reality behind his disturbing dreams. As they mull over events and their implications, what critical choices will the three Justice League leaders make?

Trinity #8 Synopsis:

Meeting privately with his friends at the Fortress, the Man of Tomorrow tells them about his recurring dream, in which the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 Supermen are locked in a perpetual struggle to the death. The Action Ace, believing the troubling nightmare is his mind's way of retaining the fading memory of his recent reunification, explains what he learned from Mr. Mxyzptlk and what he knows about Mr. Oz.

Delving deeper into the details of his dreams, Superman describes Batman's and Wonder Woman's presence in his vision, in which he sees various incarnations of each of the three of them from across the multiverse. The trio discusses the possibilities and their respective ramifications, sharing their differing perspectives until an uneasy consensus coalesces into a definitive decision. At last, they settle upon a plan of action, unaware of the lurking presence of an eavesdropping onlooker.

Trinity #8 Analysis:

Lupacchino's artwork ordinarily earns unstinting praise, but the graphics in The Truth About Superman deserve somewhat more reserved plaudits. The action sequences, inked by Ray McCarthy and colored by Hi-Fi, bristle with energy, while the exchanges in the Fortress convey the participants' tense emotions. Subtlety is lacking in the characters' reactions, however, as every Bruce Wayne hand gesture and Clark Kent facial expression is as over the top as William Shatner portraying Hamlet on stage. The fight scenes likewise are literally and figuratively hard-hitting, but the physical positioning is more statuesque than kinetic. Add to that a more than merely occasional rawness of features and awkwardness of posing, and the imagery of Trinity #8 is merely good, but not great.

Story continues below

This issue reads better than it looks, yet similar criticisms may be leveled at the writing, as well. After the slowly unfolding plot developments and earthshaking revelations of the highly satisfying Superman: Reborn, some of the issues in the expansive aftermath have been workmanlike rather than transcendent, and The Truth About Superman is one such tale. At the outset of the Big Blue Boy Scout's explanation to his coevals — and Bunn's narrative exposition to his audience — Clark acknowledges: "The sky falling… The Planet toppling… The symbolism isn't lost on me." With the script written in such broad strokes and the principal players behaving more like archetypes than individuals, the symbolism of Trinity #8 isn't lost on anyone. To the contrary, it borders on the sort of writing for which Neal Adams would have Batman apologize.

Although The Truth About Superman is overcooked, it is not half-baked. The idea underlying this story is a good one, and its execution, though little more than adequate, still is a good deal better than bad. Indeed, Trinity #8 actually begins quite well, with a series of lines constituting a staccato burst of evocative riffs: "It always starts the same way" echoes another opening observation ("The dream is always the same" from Risky Business); "A beautiful day in Metropolis" puts us in mind of a completely different second sentence (from the Spin Doctors' "Jimmy Olsen's Blues"); the first page ends with the iconic quotations from nameless bystanders that date back very nearly to the beginning. It's a clean, uncluttered cold open with real resonance, the reverberations of which carry over to the double-page splash showing two Supermen fighting one another.

Some nice touches follow, such as the heroes taking a break from their battle to save the innocent victims endangered by their melee. The mood admittedly is ruined by dodgy dialogue like Batman's finger-stabbing "That person just became public enemy number one — with a bullet" (which is so genuinely awful that the reader hopes it's a ham-handed homage to Emil Hamilton's "LexCorp is bad news!"). However, the characters' reflections on what the DC Universe's repeated reboots would feel like to someone existing inside of them contain the kernel of a truly intriguing concept. Trinity #8 largely was designed to set up forthcoming publications — including next month's All Along the Watchtower, with its titular allusion to Watchmen, which has just begun becoming really important to the Rebirth continuity — so The Truth About Superman must be forgiven for focusing more on future installments than on the issue at hand.

What did you think of Trinity #8? ComiConverse with us in the comments!

Trinity #8

  • 3

Competent

Conceptually sound yet unoriginally executed, this issue efficiently constructed a foundation for future stories but did nothing more than that.

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