Thursday, July 10, 2008

Five Weeks of The Big Three

So we have just passed the one month mark of DC’s most recent weekly series - Trinity. Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman have just defeated the first arc’s Big Bad. The troubles surrounding Tarot has just started heating up. We have seen new villains and old heroes. Ultimately, we have seen Busiek and Bagley start exploring the idea of what make the Big Three the Big Three.

However, I am hearing a lot of people starting to go, “I’m not sure about Trinity.” I am hearing a lot of hemming and hawing. I am hearing a lot of people considering dropping it. Heck, I am considering dropping it. The question is why? Why can’t Trinity seem to keep me interested.

It is not the writing. Busiek is turning out a pretty good tale. I mean gone is the plodding slowness of both 52 and Countdown. In the first page of the first issue you have the big mystery introduced - this force in space. Yet, the characters are not dealing or searching or talking about said mystery. No, they are out fighting rampaging aliens. At the same time we see lurking villains starting to plot and scheme. There is a lot going on. It is solid comic storytelling, for the first half at least. This follow-up plot of Tarot and what not is only so-so. As my fellow Second Printer Devon said, “Who really cares about Gangbuster?”

It’s not the art. Bagley, for his first real foray out of Marvel, is doing a really good job. All his characters, especially his Superman, feel like how superheroes should feel on the page. It’s a pose or an expression or something but it really works. Backing him are personal favorites of mine Scott McDaniel and Mike Norton. Again, these guys are doing solid art. I mean, hell, they make Whiteout look almost menacing and he might have the stupidest character design out there.

So what is it? What is keeping the comic from really taking root in our heart as a must have title? It is because it is a weekly and it should not be. Say what you will about 52 and Countdown but their ultimate goal was to show or lead up to a change in the DCU as a whole. An in continuity, universe level threat or shift - that is weekly worthy. They stumbled along the way, but the original concept warranted fifty-two issues.

However, Trinity is exploring a theme and exploring it in a way that will not be affecting any other titles. It does not feel big enough, it doesn’t have the gravitas, to make me want to go out and get four or five issue each month. It would make a great maxi-series or a great essay or thesis just not a weekly. It is the same reason the weekly Superman failed and why weekly Spider-Man has been dragging. It is not just putting big names into a comic that earns it the right to be a weekly, it is the story itself.

Think about it this way. I like Kyle Orton, the third strong quarterback from the Bears. I like his Dave Grohl mustache, I like how he stepped up when Grossman and Griese faltered. He is certainly not A-list, superstar QB though. I like Trinity. I like its idea, how it is kicking off in a better way than 52 and Countdown. It is certainly not a weekly though.

How Do You Feel About It?


BIG MIKE said...

Good post, buddy. I think you're right. The biggest thing working against Trinity is that it's coming out in the background of Final Crisis. Because it's a solid book, but busting it out in crossover season is like serving me hot soup on a 100 degree day.

Devon Sanders said...

I REALLY wanna like Trinity but it's hard to when Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and The frickin' Justice League have been fighting the SAME GUY FOR FOUR WEEKS and doing a downright inept job of it, to boot.

I do love how Busiek's portraying Wonder Woman as the total bad-ass of the three, though.

Lois Lane said...

I really wanted to like Trinity, but I dropped it after last week. I did the math and realized that the story was just not interesting enough for me to spend another $140 or so to see it through.

I'm also admittedly burned out after sticking through Countdown for a year.

Though I will agree with you on Busiek's portrayal of WW.

ChrisM said...

Actually, I think what you guys seem to have problems with (and which I have always not enjoyed with Busiek) is the pacing. Busiek's best with characters-not so much with plotting/pacing/writing (at least compared to others).

Four issues haven't really gone anywhere. It doesn't sound like the problem is breadth of story. In fact, it would sound kind of odd if you were suddenly complaining that a book wasn't "big enough" given how much fuss people have made about too many cross-over event books.

I've been enjoying it on the whole...and given how much some of Busiek's other stuff w/the JLA has REALLY tanked (the CSA x-over comes to mind), this is usually a welcome addition in my weekly pile.
I think it boils down to: We have an interesting anti-Trinity among other curious plot threads and all they've done is fight a brick for the last 4 issues.

Benhatt said...

Chris -

I don't think my complaint is with pacing. I like the fact that we have seen something happening over these last weeks. Yeah, it's been four weeks but really only two issues worth of fighting and that's o.k.

My biggest beef is should the comic have been conceived as a weekly in the first place. A weekly should impact the universe as a whole and there is no indication, from the first few issues or any interview, that it will be tying into something larger. It will explore the them of the Trinity but that could have been done in a well put together maxi-series.

Patrick C said...

Hey, the weekly Superman's worked great for like 5 or 6 years. I thought so anyway.

I dropped Trinity after issue 3. I'm not sure why. I think it's a combination of being let down by Countdown and not wanting to commit to another $2.99 book every week.

Allan said...

Having just read the Hawkman backup story in issue 6, I'm now officially of the opinion that anyone who complains or drops this book is either crazy or incapable of experiencing joy.

But that's just me.

Derek said...

It's not just you, Allan.

Trinity's been great, and I can't really understand why people aren't as into it as I am. Different strokes, I guess.