Realities collide! In the aftermath of the universe-fusing events of Superman: Reborn, Clark lets Bruce and Diana in on the battle for truth that has been raging in his psyche. But are these visions more than dreams? And if they are, what do they mean for the wider world of DC’s heroes?
An interesting premise…
While the light of Rebirth has—to some degree—waned since last year, the overweening conceit of Geoff Johns’s course-correcting mandate remains very intriguing. Perhaps because we have still only scratched the surface, the idea that characters from the Watchmen universe have been monkeying with the DC universe fascinates. Superman: Reborn took one of the largest steps forward to date, confirming my long-held suspicion that post-Crisis Clark and New 52 Clark were actually two parts of a whole. Bunn—who also wrote last month’s installment of Trinity—sets a compelling stage with this month’s issue, as Superman goes into greater detail about his struggles—detail he has thus far only shared with his wife and son. Batman teases out some of the more sinister implications of the universal manipulation, particularly as it pertains to someone as powerful as Clark. Wonder Woman, true-to-form, feels more compassion for Clark’s struggle than fear of the possibilities. At a high level, Bunn has the makings of a great character study, very much in line with earlier issues of this series.
Unfortunately, a mixture of linguistic and artistic shortcomings prevent Trinity #8 from reaching its potential. While Superman and Wonder Woman read (mostly) well, Batman feels wrong more often than not. And even the good dialogue has trouble sustaining interest for very long. That’s not all Bunn’s fault, as he gets very little help from Lupacchino and Hi-Fi; but regardless, this issue does not teach us much that we didn’t already know or strongly suspect, so the good stuff is still largely a well-characterized bore.
Lupacchino’s breakdowns are actually very good, so it’s a shame that her finishes are so distracting. A consistent-looking Bat symbol is a challenge that seems to stymie even the best of the best, but things are downright awful here, even when the perspective gives Lupacchino a larger canvas to work with. Her faces also look strange more often than not, something that was easier to overlook several issues ago when she rendered a very majestic Themyscira. Hi-Fi provides fairly bland colors (with the exception of the opening shot of Metropolis), so feeling any sort of immersion in the environments of the story is a tall order. There is one redeeming visual in this issue, however, and it comes late enough that you could probably finish with a smile on your face, even if you were bored before you got there.
Okay for filler
Bunn had a tough task this month: continue to tread water before the next major arc of Trinity begins, AND provide a tie-in to Superman: Reborn. He didn’t knock it out of the park, but neither did he utterly fail. Lupacchino impressed far less than she did back in Trinity #4 (that luscious exploration of Themyscira), but she produced a spread worth ten pages near the end. I would have liked a better showing, but as a transitional step (for multiple books!), it works well enough.
- You want a closer look at Superman’s recent identity crisis.
- You want another crumb from the Mr. Oz conundrum.
- You dig seeing an artist take a stab at classic character designs.
Neither great nor bad, Trinity #8 spins its tires a bit too much, and its new developments hardly deserve twenty pages of exploration. Capable—but disappointingly bland—visuals struggle to generate excitement, although a late spread may make all of that irrelevant. If you’re buying Trinity, it’s worth adding this to your collection—just don’t expect to be blown away, and you won’t be disappointed.