Ricky Church reviews Trinity #1…
“BETTER TOGETHER” part 1! Together again for the first time! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The core of the World’s Greatest Heroes…but with a new Man of Steel, the bonds these three share will be tested and redefined by super-star writer/artist Francis Manapul. In this premiere issue, see the trio travel from Metropolis to Gotham City and beyond to learn what forces launched their heroic careers. But how will this journey of discovery lead them to a new threat?
This year has marked a big one for DC’s trinity of superheroes. Between the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman’s upcoming solo film and the reshaping of the DC universe in the Rebirth era, each hero has gained a lot of attention. It’s no surprise, then, that DC would want them to headline their own title together in the new series Trinity. Artist turned writer Francis Manapul takes on both duties in this series as The New 52 Wonder Woman and Batman come to grips with the pre-52 Superman in their world. It is a satisfying and character driven issue that delves into the core of DC’s trinity and the connections they share.
Rather than begin with a straight action adventure, Manapul instead crafts his first issue of Trinity as an introspective character piece. The premise of Bruce and Diana coming to the Kent farm for dinner is rather ingenious since it was clear in the pre-52 universe that these heroes were friends and still hung out together when they weren’t saving the world, an aspect that many felt lost throughout The New 52. Manapul takes the time for the characters to talk to each other as they try to get over their initial awkwardness into something more familiar. While the heroes don’t quite reach that familiar state, the steps are there for them to reach it eventually.
Manapul also does a quick recap of each character and their prior relationships in both universes for any new readers to quickly catch up without feeling lost in any way. Something like this can feel forced, but Manapul manages to work these recaps into their characters, using it as an examination of their connections to each other. One other thing Manapul also smartly does is make Lois and Diana’s feelings for Superman a non-issue, making it clear Diana has moved on since this Superman is not the Superman she was in love with. A rivalry or jealously between the two women could have been tricky and unfavourable by many fans, so it’s a relief to see it dealt with quickly and using it to connect the two together instead.
Manapul’s art compliments his writing very well. His character designs are well rounded and the brief flashes to iconic moments in the pre and New 52 look great. Even though the characters remain sitting at a table, the art still draws you in by focusing on a character’s reaction to something, such as Clark to Bruce’s condemnation or Diana subtly glancing at Clark and Lois holding hands. It all feeds into what makes these characters tick.
Trinity #1 is already one of DC Rebirth’s best titles due to how focused it is on the big three. Its refreshing to see since titles like Action Comics or Justice League that feature them have been huge spectacles lately. Manapul takes the time to delve into each character and build their relationship while introducing a slow burn to whatever the conflict in this first arc may be. While some consider it risky for a person to take on both major duties of a comic, his writing and art work together to a great degree and he knows exactly what to emphasize in both areas.
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