Issue #19 continues the tour of the altered timeline from a couple of ground-level perspectives. Neither of these stories takes a particularly new approach to this kind of material, and the mechanics of the “reboot” remain rather elusive; but we’re still in an information-gathering period. The potential trouble I see with Act Two is that, unlike the first act, it may end up focusing entirely on this new timeline — and because altered-timeline stories can play out in very similar ways, the issue becomes whether Trinity will distinguish itself from the other variations on this theme.
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“Call Me Freddie” was written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, colored by Pete Pantazis, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Gangbuster and Tarot are guided through Europe by a very familiar ex-spy.
– Coffee apparently does wonders for Tarot, whose hooded poncho also makes her look a lot different (compare Panel 1 with Panel 4).
– Add Rita to the number of people who remember the Trinity, including Firestorm/Gehenna, Bigger Melvin, and possibly Orin and J’Onn J’Onzz.
– Looks like they picked up the motorcycle somewhere between Austria and the French Alps.
– The altered Alfred looks a lot more vibrant now that he’s getting more fresh air.
– “Late of Her Majesty’s Secret Service”: According to Bob Greenberger’s Essential Batman Encyclopedia, Alfred’s Secret Service career was established in Batman #599 (March 2002). (In the pre-Crisis days, when he would have been young enough to do so, Alfred served in World War II.) One of Alfred’s missions was seen in a two-part backup story in Detective Comics #s 806-07 (July-August 2005).
– Is the cave-figure “representing” Wonder Woman supposed to be Hippolyta?
– Wonder whether Alfred has discovered the giant Trinity statues seen in issue #1?
– “Lost city of Bana-Mighdall”: In regular continuity, Bana-Mighdall was a hidden city in Egypt founded by Amazon followers of Hippolyta’s sister Antiope. The Bana-Mighdall Amazons were created generally by George Pérez (and drawn initially by Chris Marrinan and Will Blyberg) and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #29 (April 1989). By issue #35, the god Hermes had destroyed the city, and the Bana-Mighdall Amazons resettled on Themyscira.
– “How the world worked … behind the scenes”: Regular Alfred also has a well-established acting background.
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– “A father-figure”: this is a relatively recent development in Alfred’s history, going back only as far as Batman #404 (February 1987), the first part of “Batman: Year One.” In pre-Crisis continuity, Alfred came into Bruce Wayne’s service well into the careers of both Batman and Robin (see, e.g., Batman #16 (April-May 1943) and #110 (September 1957)), learning their dual identities entirely by accident.
– The Batcave’s giant penny is a trophy from “The Penny Plunderers!” in World’s Finest Comics #30 (September-October 1947). The “modern” account appeared in The Batman Chronicles #19 (Winter 2000).
– “Khufu”: presumably reincarnated as Carter Hall/Hawkman, who (and not Ted “Wildcat” Grant, as I previously thought) was seen last issue with Alan Scott and Jay Garrick. Thus, “head of the JSI” may also be a reference to the Winged Warrior. If so, it looks like the Gangbuster/Tarot/Hawkman trio may be reunited before too long.
– “Bruce”: what would an alternate timeline be without a way to jog its residents’ former memories?
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“Just A Little Bit Of Hope” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Mike Norton, inked by John Floyd, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: A mother-to-be has visions of Wonder Woman.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– Not sure if we’ve seen Desiree before, but a pregnant African-American woman (Helen Anderson) was featured in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #s 55-56 (June-July 1991).
– “Trev”: might this be the altered version of Trevor Barnes, one of Diana’s beaus? He’s dead in current continuity, which (as we saw last week with Bigger Melvin) may have helped him to remember the “real” timeline … and since he loved Diana, that might have driven him to his current state of drunken jerkhood. Trevor was created by Phil Jiminez, first appeared ‘round about Wonder Woman vol. 2 #170 (July 2001), and died in issue #194 (September 2003).
– Remember, the National Air and Space Museum was seen back in issue #11. Wonder what happened to the space-plane Constitution?
– The idea of Diana periodically touring the United States giving speeches started in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #8 (September 1987), not long after she arrived in the country. Since the costume depicted is the most current version, I take it this was a fairly recent speech … but since Desiree seems to remember the costume details incorrectly at other times, that might not be entirely accurate.
– Here’s Julia Kapatelis, mentioned back in issue #13 but not seen until now. (Actually, was there anyone out there familiar with the Pérez Wonder Woman who didn’t think this would be Julia Kapatelis…?)
– “National Museum of Natural History”: again, in regular continuity Julia works (or did work) for Harvard.
– “JSI Satellite”: clearly this timeline’s counterpart to the original Justice League Satellite (discussed back in issue #6). The smaller photo shows that the two space stations are virtually identical. However, assuming the timelines match up generally, the JSI satellite lasted longer than its counterpart.
– “Khund forces”: I wondered when I’d have a Legion reference! The Khunds were created by Jim Shooter and Sheldon Moldoff to fight the 30th Century’s Legion of Super-Heroes, and first appeared in Adventure Comics #346 (July 1966). (It seems that in that issue, one of the Legionnaires might have been — gasp! — a traitor!) In the present day, the Khunds were part of an alien alliance which attacked Earth in the Invasion! miniseries (now in paperback), serialized over three issues (January-March 1989).
– Wonder Woman is fighting Khunds in this flashback.
– “Dominators”: the leaders of the aforementioned alien alliance. They’ve got yellow skin, elongated heads, and long sharp teeth; and they’re scientifically inclined. The Dominators were created by Jim Shooter and Jim Mooney and first appeared in Adventure Comics #361 (October 1967).
– “Metagene-thing”: the Dominators discovered that humans possess a “meta-gene” with the potential to bestow super-powers. As part of the invasion, they detonated a “gene-bomb” which targeted super-powered individuals. It put most into comas, but in others it activated their latent super-powers. In regular continuity, Superman recruited Daxamites (yet another extraterrestrial race, this time with Kryptonian-style powers) to help defeat the invaders. In this timeline, apparently humanity negotiated a truce.
– “Something … bigger?” Is this going to be a running gag?
– Mammoth and his sister Shimmer (real names Barin and Selinda) were created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and first appeared in The New Teen Titans vol. 1 #3 (January 1981).
– This look at the Justice League includes Zatanna (real name Zatanna Zatara) in her blue-and-white costume. She was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson and first appeared in Hawkman vol. 1 # 4 (October-November 1964). Since she is also a stage magician, she performs (and goes out adventuring) in a top hat, tuxedo, and fishnet-stocking ensemble. The blue-and-white costume was designed (I think) by George Pérez, but first appeared in Justice League of America vol. 1 #187 (February 1981), in a story pencilled by Don Heck.
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By the way, Desiree’s “real” backstory (if there is one) still bothers me — although I’m pretty sure she’s not Hoppy, Diana’s old manager at the Taco Whiz (first seen in WW v. 2 #73, first named in issue #75). Anyway, you know what the music means … our time is through.