Robot 6

Annotations for Trinity issue #33

trinity_33Before we begin, just a bit of follow-up from last week.  I had thought that “every woman can be a Wonder Woman” was a quote from the Golden Age.  It may still be (I haven’t finished scouring my new copy of the Fleisher WW Encyclopedia), but I think what I was remembering was the full quote, “Do good to others and every man can be a Superman,” from October 1962’s Superman vol. 1 #156.

Ah, a clean conscience!  I feel better — don’t you?

Now for this issue…

SPOILERS FOLLOW

* * *

LEAD STORY

“There Must Be Hope” 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: More on Dinanna and Kellel, plus a new group of bad guys.

Page 1

— No annotations, although we’ll find out about the “machinists” soon enough.

Page 2

— For some strange reason, the Powders Of Banishment remind me of an old Steve Martin routine (probably paraphrased): “You Americans are so naïve. You have many naïve and confusing ways. Like how you break up with a girl. Where I am from, we say ‘I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee’ … and then we throw dog poop on her shoes.”

Page 3

— No annotations.

Page 4

— Assuming they are both supposed to be about the same age, I am struck by how professional Interceptor is, compared to the way Supergirl is currently portrayed. In regular continuity, Supergirl is still a teenager, or at the most in her very early 20s. Sure, her military training is the difference (and she’s probably been trained since she was very young, not unlike Supreme Power’s Hyperion), but still.

Page 5

— Appropriately enough, the Machinists (analogues collectively for Lex Luthor, going by the battlesuit-like design of their armor) are the Genesis Planet’s third villainous analogue, joining the Laughing Chaos and the Gray Lord.

Page 6

— Superman found himself under Max Lord’s mental control in the “Sacrifice” storyline, which ran through Superman vol. 2 #219, Action Comics #829, The Adventures Of Superman #642, and Wonder Woman vol. 2 #219, each cover-dated September 2005. This page is an homage to J.G. Jones’ cover of WW #219, where the big fight took place.

Page 7

“Kellel took the Sun’s heat away”: the captions in panels 1 and 2 describe specific moments in WW #219.  Not that it’s important here, but the fight took about two minutes, according to Max’s stopwatch.  Wonder Woman interrupted Max’s timing by binding him with the magic lasso, cutting open Superman’s throat with her razor-sharp tiara, and forcing Max to release Superman. Here, Dinanna whacks Kellel’s throat before capturing Max, but the end result is the same.

Page 8

“Maximilian Lord”: maybe Nemesis is remembering a different Max, but I’m pretty sure this one was “Maxwell Lord.”

“They interrupted the game”: in The OMAC Project #4 (September 2005), Max’s artificially-intelligent satellite Brother I interrupted TV broadcasts worldwide with footage of Wonder Woman killing Max.

“What broke [Kellel]? I need to know!” See, Lois doesn’t like taking out the recycling, but she hasn’t been able to do anything about it….

Page 9

“The gods broken, the three of them at war”: of course, in the regular timeline, the Trinitarians made up after the events of Infinite Crisis (December 2005-June 2006).

Page 10

“Tight, tight pants”: well, I for one never noticed that they were any tighter than any other superhero’s; but then again I never had a life-long platonic crush on Dick Grayson.

Page 11

“Godwar”: again, possibly a reference to the Infinite Crisis period, although there’s no guarantee that it has an analogue in this timeline.

Page 12

— References to Kellel’s death, the “world’s great loss,” and him “coming back” clearly relate to the extended “Death and Return of Superman” storylines which ran weekly from December 1992 to October 1993 in Superman vol. 2, The Adventures of Superman, Action Comics, Superman: The Man of Steel, and assorted other series and special issues.

* * *

SECOND STORY

“To Reflect Her Nature” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Scott McDaniel, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.

In Brief: An Israeli girl tries to escape Morgaine Le Fay’s magic.

Page 13 (story page 1)

— Obviously I recognize Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Space Ranger, Stargirl, and Power Girl, but I’m not sure about the other two Justice Socialites off in the distance.

— Dina appears to be reciting this prayer for martyrs who died for their faith.

Page 14/2

— No annotations.

Page 15/3

— Kinda looks like the villains are using a version of Enigma’s S.P.H.E.R.E. (in the background of panel 4).

Page 16/4

— In the Dark Arcana lineup, Doctor Polaris is Judgment, but so far the Cheetah is unassigned. The Moon, maybe?

— The Cheetah’s history was covered in the annotations to issue #13.

Page 17/5

— No annotations.

Page 18/6

— No annotations.

Page 19/7

“Honey”: as revealed in issue #21, S.P.H.E.R.E. contains what’s left of Enigma’s daughter Stephanie.

Page 20/8

“You seek to impose your perceptions on a world which does not suit your desires”: the JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely, established that the Anti-Matter Earth, Enigma’s home planet, is irrevocably evil; and Enigma, despite his role in this series, is not.  Like anyone who tries to make the A-M Earth “good” (including Superman and the Justice League), Enigma is probably doomed to failure.

Page 21/9

— Although it doesn’t look like Dina has transformed into one of them, I can think of a few snake-haired people in DC lore. Dr. Myrra Rhodes, a/k/a Dr. Medusa, was a member of World War II’s Creature Commandos. Created by Bob Kanigher and Dan Spiegle, she first appeared in Weird War Tales vol. 1 #110 (April 1982). Andonis Bal, a/k/a Gorgon, was a member of The Hybrid, sort of a villainous Doom Patrol. He was created by Marv Wolfman and Eduardo Barreto and first appeared in The New Teen Titans vol. 2 #24 (October 1985). George Perez gave Deimos, Ares’ son, a beard made up of snakes, as shown in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #5 (June 1987). Finally, writer Greg Rucka used the mythological Medousa herself during his run on Wonder Woman vol. 2. Medousa is revived in issue #205 (August 2004) — I can’t remember whether she was seen in WW previously — and Wonder Woman kills her (on television, foreshadowing Max’s televised death) in issue #210 (January 2005).

Page 22/10

— No annotations.

* * *

If my math is right, in the next couple of issues we should reach the end of Act Two. (Act One closed out September, but there are still two Wednesdays left in January.) At times it seems like just yesterday that I started charting the differences, subtle and otherwise, between the regular timeline and this Trinity-deprived one.  Overall it’s been fun, expanding the scope of the series and introducing some engaging mysteries without taking anything away from its core themes.  As with Act One, look for a special Act Two wrapup around the first of February.

I’ll take another look at Act Two’s pacing when I read it in a big chunk, but for now I have mixed feelings about this particular issue.  I enjoyed it on its merits, and I liked how the second story advanced the larger plot (Morgaine’s magic has harmful side effects) through Dina’s poignant story.  However, I wonder if Dinanna’s story really needed two issues to tell, even with the introduction of the Machinists and more background on the blue people’s cultures.  It probably goes back to my expectation that Act Two would have a clear stopping point, like Act One did; and so far it doesn’t appear to be building to one.  (What’s been going on with John Stewart, Kanjar Ro, and Krona?) Again, I presume we’ll get a better idea in the next issue or two.

See you next week!

++++++++++++++++++++

Issue #32

Issue #31

Issue #30

Issue #29

Issue #28

Issue #27

Issue #26 and previous

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Comments

4 Comments

Excellent summation, sir. About Supergirl – I thought she was late teens, and I’m thinking in particular of the bit in Brave & the Bold (#3?) where she and Hal are travelling through space – “17, 17, 17.”

:-)

Cheers,

B

>> Kinda looks like the villains are using a version of Enigma’s S.P.H.E.R.E. (in the background of panel 4).>>

That’s S.P.H.E.R.E. — she’s observing things throughout.

>> However, I wonder if Dinanna’s story really needed two issues to tell, even with the introduction of the Machinists and more background on the blue people’s cultures.>>

Dinanna’s tale is spread over two issues, but doesn’t take two issues. It’s roughly the last third of #32 and the middle third of #33, making it pretty much the same length as Atmahn’s tale, which was also spread over two issues, though not quite so evenly. Kellel’s tale takes up about the same number of pages, but it doesn’t get told straight-out either — there’s other stuff going on that takes up room, and reasons for the legend to be interrupted. If we’d just packed it all into three backups, I expect readers would have felt the story wasn’t going anywhere while history was being established; we’d rather make it a part of a forward-moving plot than separate it all out like that.

But all three of the Trinity have been back on stage, the last couple of issues, at least…

kdb

You know, it hasn’t really bothered me that the Trinity has been missing, or behind the scenes, for so long.

As for Dinanna’s story, you’re right of course that Atmahn’s was spread over two issues (which is the phrase I should have used to describe Dinanna’s). I’ve said before that I like how the “mythology” is integrated into the main story, and how that takes advantage of the weekly format. I guess this week it felt like a lot of information I already knew, and since the Gray Lord story tracks Max’s story more closely than Rabat’s did Dick & Jason’s, I didn’t get that feeling from the earlier one. I agree with your points about moving the story forward, and again, I’ll be looking more at the big picture at the end of Act Two.

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