I mean I really didn’t like the book and was seriously considering dropping it altogether. I dropped Countdown, after all and man that was hard to do, at least from the perspective of being an addict. You are currently reading a blog written by a person that has in his house at least 80% of the super-hero books DC published between 1986 and 2006 and will tell you that he owns the 1997 crossover Genesis and not blink or feel dirty like he should. I have stuck with them through a lot, so it has been kind of rough lately to admit to myself that I really don’t care for a lot of what DC is doing at the moment.
I am such a DC guy. This point is driven home to me every time I have tried to get into the other company. I’ll go hog wild in the world of Marvel (which is my universe, apparently) and buy a bunch of books and jump on bandwagons but in the end I just don’t stick around long term. While I have a great affinity for many of their characters (Captain America and the Incredible Hulk spring immediately to mind) I always go back to DC.
I recently went through another round of cutting down my pull list, mostly for monetary reasons but also because I am becoming more and more willing to drop books I am not enjoying. Frankly, if it isn’t about Superman, doesn’t have the word justice in the title, isn’t part of Final Crisis (which I am having serious problems with but it’s a DC crossover and some habits are harder to break than others) and isn’t written by Geoff Johns I’m just not buying it. Despite the presence of Superman in Trinity it was on the chopping block, but I was weak and so it stayed.
I realize now that many of my problems came from the preconceived notions that I had with the very concept of the series. I have serious issues with the “Trinity” as DC has now taken to calling the gathering of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in one place and those issues stem from the fact that it is either a marketing gimmick or the dream come true of certain people currently in a position of power at DC that always wanted these kids to get together. Looking at the history of DC Comics both in terms of the stories and in terms of the forces that have shaped Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman I can’t see how these characters would have any sort of serious connection considering they have had very little to do with each other outside of occasionally being members of the same team. Wonder Woman has, for the most part, been the red headed stepchild of the DC universe. More people remember her from the Super Friends and her live action television series than from her comic book adventures which until 1987 were silly at best and flat out insulting at worst.
The Golden and Silver Age were not kind to Wonder Woman. In the few stories I’ve read she is subjected to stories that make little to no sense. During the Bronze Age she received a big revamp which saw her stripped of her abilities and made into a Diana Rigg clone. Then when she got her powers back she had to prove herself to the League. Sure you can point to George Perez and Greg Rucka’s runs on the character as high points (Gail Simone seems to be doing bang up job currently and while I wasn’t a fan the Phil Jimenez run was fairly well received) but at no point in there can I point to an era where she was a pillar of the DC Universe. She was well known and there was a certain amount of respect, but I never got the sense that she was all important to the universe.
Superman and Batman had a long history together, going back to the fifties when they finally started having adventures together in the pages of World’s Finest, but even that was interrupted by the title being turned into a Superman team-up book for a while. Again, they’re important and I think there is a sect of fandom that loves seeing these guys as pals, but while they were important separately in their own ways I can’t see a time when they form the foundations of the fictional universe.
In 2003 this began to change and for once I can point at a comic and say, “Yup, there it is.” Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity, which was a three issue mini-series by Matt Wagner, is where the recent wave of these three characters acting as the pillars of the DCU.
(Yeah, I know it’s a multi-verse again but twenty years of calling it the DCU is not going to go away easily)
(Fair warning, I was extremely verbose in those days. I know what you’re thinking. “But, Mike, you’re extremely verbose now,” which is true but at the same time I’ve gotten a lot better over the past five years.)
It was here that DC first started pushing the importance of these three characters being a unit of sorts and from there is was kind of forced upon us at every turn. From special covers to one of the major themes of Infinite Crisis being that much of the bad that was happening in the DCU at the time caused by the fact that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were not getting along. Again, don’t get me wrong. I liked those stories. I was a big fan of Infinite Crisis and still enjoy it but when you sit back and realize that Infinite Crisis solved a problem caused not by twenty years of inconsistencies but by a very calculated effort to make the DC Universe a darker place and some of the magic is lost. I loved what Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and the others did before and during Infinite Crisis, but there’s this unsettling aspect to it that is caused by really thinking about how the story came about.
It’s kind of like starting a fire then rushing in to put it out and expect everyone to be happy about it.
The conflict within continued with 52, which is probably the best series to come out in this decade. Sure the story didn’t involve Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman in their costumed forms but the whole story was predicated that the “Trinity” was missing and how the world reacted and survived. I can’t look at Countdown and say, “That’s a story about the supposed pillars of the DCU,” but then again I can’t point to Countdown as being a story, so there you go.
And then they announced Trinity and all of these feelings went into my first impression of the series, which was very poor.
I can’t lay all of the blame at the feet of my problems with how DC hypes their product. The story didn’t do much for me. I didn’t like the whole thing with Konvict and I really didn’t like the Tarot back-ups because the whole thing felt like this would have been an awesome book if it were 1996. Trinity kept getting put lower and lower on the reading pile to the point where I literally let six weeks go by before reading it again.
What a difference six weeks can make.
This story went from kind of boring to, “Holy crap that was awesome.” Tarot was pushed to the background. The bad guys became more defined. The back-ups were very entertaining and then Kurt and Fabian had to go and do the one thing I can’t resist and that’s have the Justice League fight the Crime Syndicate.
I loves me some JLA/CSA fights.
So yeah, after a slow start this book has really taken off. Sure the whole trinity thing is overplayed, but once you get past that it’s a really neat series. I mean the Riddler back-up they did was one of the best stories that character has ever appeared in and don’t get me started on the red ass beat down Superman gave to Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman. That awakened the fifteen year old fanboy that has been beaten down by the thirty-two year old jaded fanboy of late.
I’m glad I kept the book and for now I look forward to each issue.
That could change though and I’m sure you’ll hear about that here.
For now though, it is, as my buddy Jon from the Unique Geek recently said, Awe to the Some.
More to follow…