A crisis on the Watchtower! Still trying to put together the pieces of their adventures with the White Mercy, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have no choice but to put a pin in it and save the day—in space! Trinity #9, right now!
After a few issues with other artists, Trinity receives a huge bump this month from Manapul’s return. His aesthetic is one of my favorites in comics, but even more than that, his creative storytelling makes this book a delight to the eyes. And this single issue features plenty of things to love: titles that integrate with the page, a super-sweet schematic backdrop of the Watchtower while the Trinity navigates the ship, and plenty of lush colors and sweeping perspectives. If you’re a Manapul fan, you’re going to be smiling the whole time. And if you’re not a Manapul fan, what’s wrong with you?
Have a look at some of my favorite pages in the spoiler tag:
Look at Batman’s cape in that top panel. I love the way that it sweeps in from the left edge, and I especially love how the purple, mixed with what looks like air or debris, almost takes on the appearance of a window into the stars.
I doubt that Manapul is the first to come up with the idea of using a schematic in this way, but I love it just the same. Notice, too, that it’s hand-drawn. Instead of a computer-generated picture plopped into the middle of a hand-drawn comic, we get Manapul’s rendition of it. Might seem like a small thing, but to me, it oozes charm.
This is my favorite page in the whole book. The bottom right corner is one image, but it functions perfectly as an adjacent image to each of the four panels. Amazing stuff.
Unfortunately, the story this month feels like pretty standard superhero fare. Manapul writes it well enough—though there are a few overly-telly points in the dialogue—but even so, the unsurprising nature of the narrative seems like an inadequate partner to such stunning artwork. I’m still invested, because I still enjoy simple superhero stories, but I wanted to feel about the writing the same way that I did about the artwork—I wanted that incredible convergence of talents that Manapul exhibited in Trinity’s first two issues.
Thankfully, the story’s opening scene adds some intrigue that will payoff in the future. Though imperfect, “Better Together” was an excellent first arc for this book, and I will happily spend more time following Manapul as he explores the White Mercy and the blurring of dream and reality. While I don’t want things rushed, I hope we see that thread picked up sooner, rather than later—the strong emotional currents of “Better Together” made this title one of my favorites, and it has yet to impress me again in the way that it did at first.
- You love Francis Manapul’s artwork.
- You’re interested in getting a few more tidbits of information about the White Mercy.
Other than some mindblowing art, there isn’t too much to talk about in Trinity #9. It’s an enjoyable read (even the second time), but it’s pretty basic. The promise of a return to some of the first arc’s subject matter has me intrigued, but that payoff is in the future on some undetermined date. Right here, right now, this is just a pretty good story with otherworldly visuals—worth your cash, and lots of looks, but not much extended consideration of the plot or characters.