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Triple playmaker: an interview with Kurt Busiek

Grumpy Old Fan

Grumpy Old Fan

Although I wrote quite a lot over the past year about DC’s weekly series Trinity, I kept coming up with questions that went outside the scope of my weekly notes. Fortunately, writer Kurt Busiek was nice enough to participate in the following e-mail interview, conducted after Trinity concluded (and after he returned from a well- deserved vacation).

We discussed the nuts and bolts of producing Trinity, its connections to a couple of Busiek’s other DC projects, a few nitpicky items, and what the year-long series leaves behind.

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Annotations for Trinity issue #52

Trinity #52

Trinity #52

Well, it all comes down to this. With Trinity #52, Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, and the rest of their intrepid band have one last opportunity to sound off about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Who will live? Who will die? Will there be food? And where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Join me, won’t you, for one more trip around the triune block!

SPOILERS FOLLOW

“Where They Should Be” was written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; penciled by Mark Bagley (pages 1, 4-5, 19-25) and Mike Norton (pages 2-3, 9, 12, 18), Tom Derenick (pages 6-8, 10-11), and Scott McDaniel (pages 13-17); inked by Art Thibert (pages 1, 4-5, 19-25), John Stanisci (pages 2-3, 9, 12, 18), Wayne Faucher (pages 6-8, 10-11), and Andy Owens (pages 13-17); colored by Pete Pantazis and Allen Passalaqua, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #51

Trinity #51

Trinity #51

Lots of last-minute housecleaning in this penultimate issue of Trinity. Just about every lingering subplot is either resolved or set up for resolution, which doesn’t leave much old business for next week’s conclusion. Considering the standalone nature of this miniseries — and the fact that it’s a 52-issue standalone miniseries — I think that’s for the best. There will probably be some super-powered action next issue, but I still hope that Kurt Busiek & Co. have left room for a thoughtful epilogue.

We’re not there yet, though.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

LEAD STORY (pages 1, 12-22)

“Can You Hold Out” 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.

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Annotations for Trinity issue #50

Trinity #50

Trinity #50

Maybe it’s just me, but this was one deep issue of Trinity.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the way I approach fictional universes, and had put some of that into words on Tuesday with regard to Star Trek. Accordingly, Trinity #50 gives me the chance to expand on that.

For those of you concerned about such things, this means very little trivia and a lot of rambling. You have been warned.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

LEAD STORY

“So…” 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.

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Annotations for Trinity issue #49

Trinity #49

Trinity #49

Off and on throughout this series, I have wondered how Busiek, Bagley, Nicieza, et al., would spend their last few issues. Would they go all-out right up to the very end, or would they wrap things up a little sooner in order to have some time for an epilogue? Like last issue, Trinity #49 concerns itself pretty much with one plot point; and with Krona trapped and Morgaine and Despero on the ropes, the issue was shaping up to be rather pivotal.

And it was — but not exactly how I imagined.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“This Planet, These People…” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #48

Trinity #48

Trinity #48

This issue of Trinity was pretty much devoted to one plot point. Considering that we’re on issue #48 of 52, it was a crucial plot point, but still. Just enough trivia to retain my regular format.

Mind you, I am not complaining, because I liked the issue pretty well. However, the days of obscure references and extended riffs on tangential Easter eggs are probably behind us.

But that’s not why we read Trinity, now is it?

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“Batman Said They Had A Plan” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #47

Trinity #47

Trinity #47

Lots of payoffs in this week’s installment of Trinity, and not just for this miniseries. Many of the plot threads and other elements about which I’d been curious show up here, which makes for a pretty exciting issue.

As the great tactician said, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“Power To Spare” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #46

Trinity #46

Trinity #46

I found a lot to like in this week’s installment of Trinity. It advanced each major plotline, it showed characters behaving proactively, and it had some good, unexpected character moments. After all this time, I think I like Trinity best when it doesn’t go too small (like last issue) or too big (like the epic battles). I liked the super-team interaction which kicked off the issue, the frustration which ended it, and most things in between.

Of course, this is probably just the calm before everything goes big again.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“They Who Taught Us” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #45

Trinity #45

Trinity #45

This week’s set of Trinity notes will be a little different. Issue #45 was extremely light on trivia, focusing tightly on a relatively small group of characters. Since my function is to offer insight on elements which come from outside the series, there’s not a lot of that to discuss here, because everything happens based on these characters’ roles in the series to date.

Accordingly, #45 was an important issue for the series. It built steadily towards a big finish and threw in a couple of twists. I’ll be eager to hear what you thought.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“The Power Is Close…” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #44

Trinity #44

Trinity #44

The two stories in Trinity #44 each ask their characters to face some hard facts. The Troika, the Crime Syndicate, Despero, and Kanjar Ro have no reason to trust each other; and as of last issue, the Trinity hadn’t found any compelling reason to return to their old lives. The result is more foreshadowing, albeit in an entertaining way.

Accordingly, this was another issue where not much happened on a macro level, but which still left me with some thought-provoking questions about the nature of the Trinity and what it could really mean for the world. After all, that’s what Trinity is supposed to do….

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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Annotations for Trinity issue #43

Trinity #43

Trinity #43

This week’s issue struck me as similar to last week’s. The Trinity is still putting the Earth back together, the villains are still regrouping, and everyone else is trying to figure out what to do. The overall plot did advance a little, but that had more to do with gathering all the players than showing them in action.

Still, the problems I had with this issue seemed also to be the point of the issue itself … so without further ado:

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“Shiny Face Pitch A Fit” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #42

Trinity #42

Trinity #42

If last issue was “transitional,” the one-word description of this issue might well be “housekeeping.” Everything’s being put in order in advance of the big finish, but that finish keeps looking bigger all the time.  As of last issue, we’ve got two divine trinities, a would-be god with an unstoppable hunting dog, an alien armada with its own set of supervillains, and a handful of Earthbound villains, all set to fight over ownership of our little planet.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“An Old Pattern Repeating Itself” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #41

Trinity #41

Trinity #41

Quite a few transitory in this issue, as old plot threads are wrapped up and new ones are set up.  Actually, I thought it spent a good bit of time on characters, which was nice amongst all the energy-blasts and reality-adjusting.  Plus, the issue ends with the potential for the greatest squirrel-versus-dog battle of all time.

Nothin’ up my sleeve…!

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“Our Rightful Realm” 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.
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Annotations for Trinity issue #40

Trinity #40

Trinity #40

You know, I’m a little ashamed to just be thinking of this now; but in a weird way, Trinity has pulled at least a little truth out of those “Batman will become a New God” rumors from a year or so ago. True, Batman hasn’t become a capital-N new god, but the god he’s become is certainly new to the rest of us….

Too much of a stretch? Yeah, probably.

Anyway, with this issue we start the last quarter of Trinity. It’s 75% over now, people! Give yourselves a hand (assuming you’ve been following all along)! While I was expecting certain developments to last a little longer than they have, I suppose there’s only twelve more issues to go and we need to start wrapping things up.

Naturally, any more and I’d have to say …

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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Annotations for Trinity issue #39

Trinity #39

Trinity #39

Act One of Trinity featured a few big super-scrums, but to a certain extent, Act Two got away from that. Now Act Three is underway, and although we’re not too far into it, I daresay we’re already in for a few issues’ worth of super-team combat.

Not much in this issue discusses the nuances of the Trinity, and for the most part, the big character development isn’t all that surprising. However, the combat is choreographed well, and the last page is a welcome development.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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LEAD STORY

“Metropolis” (pages 1-6, 17-22) 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.

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