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Subj: It's All About One....
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 at 01:02:43 pm EST (Viewed 457 times)
Reply Subj: Trinity (2016-) #17
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 at 06:54:45 pm EST (Viewed 455 times)
It has bright colouring. It has impressive visuals. But why do I find this issue, and the arrival of James Robinson as writer, so very difficult to analyse? To say something about?
Do I even care about it...?
The first issue of a new story and the introductions and set-up pages are very much atypical of what we have come to expect from these team-up books from DC in modern times - It's a variation on the Superman/Batman title launched by Jeph loeb, or its successor the Batman/Superman title that came from the 2011 relaunch of the Publishers line of books, and then of course the Superman/Wonder Woman book of the same umbrella. Trinity is a very direct continuation of that publishing theme, the belief that a self-contained book featuring Superman, Batman and/or Wonder Woman engaging together in an adventure can stand proud and stand tall.
The not inconsiderable fact that the aforementioned Batman/Superman and Superman/Wonder Woman titles lasted not three years though would certainly be considered firm evidence that the belief is a flawed on, on a commercial level if not a creative one, as opening up Trinity #17 the problems that were present in those two titles are all still in effect here. And no greater a problem is there with the Publishers approach to such titles is there than what James Robinson presents withing this very issue - the key problem at hand chiefly being - What is the point to this book, it's reason to exist? The Point of the Story? The point to Diana engaging her two closest friends to search for a home we have already been told doesn't even exist on the earthly plane? Surely if any help were to be meaningful then a visit to the members of the Justice League's Supernatural branch would be the logical and sensible choice rather than the materialistic and scientific approach of Batman and Superman no...?
But take the book for what it is, open the pages and we have an opening page that sets the forth what appears to be a debriefing of sorts, three panels of a featureless gray room with a seat, close-up shots of a seated Wonder Woman taking the first question from an unseen person then a similar middle panel of an apologetic Superman stood, and lastly a stood Batman also apparently answering some question to this unseen body, and then we are cast back to the events being hinted at... at least one assumes this is what is happening, it isn't made absolutely clear. Yet the next, second page is the Batman and Plane being escorted by Wonder Woman and Superman over some stormy mid-ocean vista, narration from Superman indicates that the setting is a joint search for Diana's missing island home, but here, and we are barely even entering the story, the fundamental problem of this issue is to be found - Wonder Woman's home is missing, taken by the Gods from the mortal plane and lost to all, even Diana. The reader then is faced with an immediate barrage of questions here, how long has Paradise Island been gone? When did it disappear? Is this something ongoing in Wonder Woman's book or is this a self-contained story to this title? Where then is the prize... IS there to be a prize?!
The point is not insignificant. For someone who reads Wonder Woman, like myself, the memory strains to remember what the current status of the island home of Diana actually is, extant certainly, but still lost no? Or was it more the case that Diana had simply forgotten how to get home...? It's so hard to remember. And Robinson does not a thing to properly explain the background to the Island's current fate nor what the exact motivation and trigger-point for an in-depth search as being seen here actually was for these three very busy heroes.
But here they are, mid-ocean, chasing for... something. Somehow James Robinson never succeeds in telling us what the three are doing there when out of nowhere an enormous portal opens in the stormy sea surface and jeopardises some equally conveniently placed ship that happens to be there, it just so happens... and it just so happens that as he engages to save the vessel something that must be 'magic' is robbing Superman of his power, and this proving to be a fatal development as the Portal sucks all three heroes through it where a steamy Jungle awaits and joining a powerless Superman Wonder Woman has also inexplicably gone blind and.... and...
As a set-up issue Trinity #17 does nowhere near enough to compel the reader or furnish necessary intrigue or risk. The plot of the hero being sucked into a mysterious Island setting is a well used one in comics, Superman himself shared just such an adventure as this not so long ago as he and Son found themselves transported to a Lost Land of dinosaurs and met Captain Strong. There there was genuine poignancy to be found. Lives to be saved and heroes to be remembered. As a diversion Peter Thomasi's story left a human story. In Robinson's tale all there is is an empty spectacle, a forced scenario,and one with no human aspect or dimension to it whatsoever to possibly pull forth the readers investment in the, admittedly, colourfully well rendered pages. All there is is the arrival of well endowed Travis Morgan. And ands up who remembers him if you are under the age of forty.
Pretty much all of James Robinson's tales include, or end, with a Bronze-Age continuity egg such as this. Whether it be the long forgotten 'Dc Explosion' footnote that was Atlas, Alien Starman Mikaal Thomas, or the Simonson drawn Hercules Unbound. That this opening first issue of his story ends with The Warlord and the location revealed to be Skartaris can only suggest that THIS was the entire purpose to his story here. The past 20 pages with a forced and largely senseless search for a Paradise Island which Dina surely knows cannot be found by conventional physical means and an inexplicable portal shanghaiing all to set the stage for the last page reveal of Robinson's entire reason for the issue... all of it was to service his want to use Travis Morgan. For something. Anything.
And in the end, did anybody care?
When there is nothing to a story other than revisiting one character from the past, whom few will remember firsthand, never mind care about, what you end up with is a book as utterly hollow and empty to read as Trinity #17. Surely nobody's favourite book this month....
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