With Trinity #8, our heroes can indulge in a bit more introspection before the action starts up again. So far, I like the rhythm this series has established. It’s a good mix of action and theme-building, with neither part dominating for too long. While Trinity has the freedom to move at its own pace, it hasn’t taken undue advantage of that freedom to get stuck on any one subject.
In this regard I wonder how much it resembles the old World’s Greatest Superheroes newspaper strip, which (from what I understand) had a tour-of-DC aspect similar to the “Justice League” animated series. I get the feeling that those works, like Trinity, wanted to capture the feeling that anything could happen at any time, so that you should expect to get your 22 pages/20 minutes/3-4 panels’ worth from any given installment.
Speaking of which, time’s a-wastin’ — let’s get on with this issue!
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“Have You Tied Him Up Yet?” was written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, colored by Pete Pantazis, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Elisabeth V. Gehrlein, assistant editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: While Superman saves Morocco and Wonder Woman shops, the Troika plot; and a party at Wayne Manor ends in carnage.
– Despite the lofty title and bold lettering, I don’t think “lords of creation” refers to any formal group. The DC cosmology used to include the Lords of Order and Chaos, opposing sets of omnipotent beings who, more often than not, offered some structure to DC’s magical realms. However, the Lords of Order and Lords of Chaos were destroyed by the Spectre during Infinite Crisis (specifically, in March 2006′s awkwardly-titled Day Of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special).
– I really like panel 4. Bagley and Thibert draw a mean Despero.
– Mongul, another intergalactic despot, was created by Len Wein and Jim Starlin for DC Comics Presents #27 (December 1980). He was seen frequently in command of Warworld, a planet- (or at least small moon-) sized spherical starship with enough firepower to etc., etc. Lately he’s been battling a group of Green Lanterns (none of the ones seen here) in an arc which just concluded in this week’s Green Lantern Corps.
– Starbreaker is an “interstellar vampire” who drains stars, planets, and people of their energies. He was created by Mike Friedrich and Dick Dillin for Justice League of America vol. 1 #96 (February 1972). In the 2004-05 Adam Strange miniseries, he was stranded in a universe devoid of energy.
– Darkseid, incarnation of absolute evil and ruler of the other-dimensional world of Apokolips, was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970). He can’t appear in this miniseries because he’s busy in Final Crisis taking over the Earth.
– Despero hides the Cosmic Egg under a drape. Showmanship, or does the light keep him up at night?
– In thinking about the size of the Egg, all that comes to mind is this:
Egon: Let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Winston: That’s a big Twinkie.
– Gotham City newspapers include the Gazette and the Globe. The viral-marketing campaign for The Dark Knight used another newspaper name, the Gotham Times.
– The real-world Gotham Gazette is an online publication of the New York Citizens’ Union Foundation, a government watchdog group.
– According to Bob Greenberger’s Essential Batman Encyclopedia, stately Wayne Manor has been the Wayne family home since 1858. The first textual mention I can find of a “Wayne mansion” was in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), two issues after Batman’s debut. The house was severely damaged in the earthquake which devastated Gotham (starting in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73 (April 1998)), and was rebuilt from scratch by Bruce Wayne in time for Detective Comics #742 (March 2000).
– I presume the barn out back can be used for some mundane purpose, but in the old days (for example, Batman #4 (Winter 1941)) the Wayne barn covered up a tunnel leading to the manor. Later, a barn concealed the vehicular entrance to the Batcave (see, e.g., Detective Comics #48 (February 1941)).
– Therefore, the use of a barn predates the Batcave (which has appeared in Trinity before, but not for very long). The Batcave first appeared in the comics in Batman #12 (August-September 1942). It was also destroyed and rebuilt as a result of the quake.
– [By the way, these Golden Age citations come largely from Michael Fleisher's Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Vol. 1: Batman.]
– Here’s the first on-panel appearance in Trinity of Timothy “Tim” Drake, the third Robin, mentioned last issue. Tim’s parents are the late Jack and Janet Drake, a wealthy couple who lived next door to Wayne Manor. Janet Drake was murdered by the Obeah Man in Detective Comics #621 (September 1990), and Jack was murdered by the first Captain Boomerang in Identity Crisis #5 (January 2004). Bruce told Tim he would adopt him in Batman #654 (August 2006).
– Tim must look young to these women, since he was in middle school when he became Robin and should be in his late teens (at least) by now.
– Tim’s red tie and lapels match his Robin costume; and likewise Dick’s blue accents match Nightwing’s.
– “Killer Croc” first appeared in Detective Comics #523 (February 1983), written by Gerry Conway, pencilled by Gene Colan, and inked by Tony DeZuniga.
– First on-panel appearance of Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler. An “Alfred” has been Batman’s butler since Batman #16 (April-May 1943), but the original Alfred was a portly gentleman with the last name of Beagle. Alfred’s first appearance was written by Don Cameron, pencilled by Bob Kane, and inked by Jerry Robinson and George Roussos. His current appearance dates back to Detective Comics #83 (January 1944), which was written by Cameron, pencilled by Jack Burnley, and inked by Roussos. His makeover had real-world roots — it made him look more like the actor William Austin, who had played Alfred in the 1943 “Batman” serial.
– The “bizarre warcraft” resembles (but probably isn’t related to) Man O’War, a multi-part vehicle used by Quraci agitators. Created by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway, it first appeared in The Adventures Of Superman #424 (January 1987).
– Firebug (that’s him on the monitor in the yellow and orange), a/k/a Joseph Rigger, was created by Len Wein and Irv Novick for Batman #318 (December 1979). He is not to be confused with either of the (more popular) villains who have called themselves “Firefly“.
– The Sprang Theater is obviously named for the definitive Bat-artist of the 1950s, Dick Sprang.
– That green CGI face is the online avatar of Oracle, secretly Barbara Gordon, also mentioned last issue.
– Rabat is the capitol of Morocco.
– No annotations.
– The Horn Blows at Midnight was a 1945 film starring Jack Benny, who turned its failure at the box office into a running gag on his radio show.
– First on-panel appearance in Trinity of Etta Candy, mentioned in the annotations for issue #6. Her current look was first seen in Wonder Woman vol. 3 #14 (January 2008).
– “Tom Tresser,” a/k/a the master of disguise known as Nemesis, was created by Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #166 (September 1980). Currently he is Diana Prince’s partner at the Department of Metahuman Affairs.
– “I didn’t believe [Batman] was real”: for a while during Dennis O’Neil’s editorship of the Batman titles, the people of Gotham were supposed to treat the Darknight Detective and his associates as urban legends.
– No annotations.
– Hey, it’s the Howlers! I’m so glad I can put a name to a set of furry faces.
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“Dreams Of Power” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Scott McDaniel, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Allen Passalaqua, and lettered by Ken Lopez; Elisabeth V. Gehrlein, assistant editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: At Castle Branek, the Troika does some recruiting.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– I don’t recognize Hemi Kiwara, Primat, or Michael Cannefick; but clearly, they’re another dreaming threesome.
– Hemi is chanting the name of the Sun in the Maori language, “Tami-Nui-Te-Ra.”
Pages 14/2 and 15/3
– No annotations.
– Is it just me, or do Enigma’s technicians look like a better class of beekeepers?
– DC’s Multiverse was first revealed in the seminal “Flash Of Two Worlds,” written by Gardner Fox, pencilled by Carmine Infantino, and inked by Joe Giella for The Flash vol. 1 #123 (September 1961). Currently recreated as a “cosmic orrery” of only 52 parallel universes, the notion that New Earth (i.e., DC-Earth) is the key to the Multiverse’s survival was (I think) first articulated in 52 #52 (May 2, 2007).
– The “architecture” of reality? Prenez garde aux Architectes! (… which itself is an oblique reference to the four — drat! — writers of 52….)
– No annotations.
– A couple of the symbols hanging over Tarot include those related to Wonder Woman’s scar.
– “Operatives I have some … familiarity with”: Looks more and more like Enigma is the Riddler of another Earth. Also, obviously this links the robberies with the Troika.
– Primat could be a resident of Gorilla City, a hidden civilization of highly advanced apes. Gorilla City, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appeared in The Flash vol. 1 #106 (May 1959).
– So, the fourth “dreambound” subject was dead (or just resting)?
– The guy with the metal hand is Sargent “Sarge” Steel, Wonder Woman’s boss at the DMA. He was created by Pat Masulli and first appeared in Charlton Comics’ Sarge Steel #1 (December 1964). Since moving to DC after Crisis On Infinite Earths, Steel has been a sort of all-purpose government agent.
– No annotations.
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Well, that’s it for me for this week. Look for the preview of issue #9, and try not to get jet-lagged on the trip back from San Diego!