Cyborg is dying! The mysterious outbreak on the Watchtower has left Victor in critical condition, and as Batman and the Flash race to save him, Superman and Wonder Woman try to make sense of the mystery with the help of a strange visitor. Things come closer to crashing down in Trinity #10!

Manapul has lost his voice

While I have largely enjoyed Manapul’s work on Trinity, I have found little nits to pick in the dialogue along the way. Most of the time, I figured those issues were the result of being too casual about the details. Unfortunately, Trinity #10 contains the largest concentration of these sorts of errors, and it’s hard to get past them when they’re so pervasive.

The problems start immediately with Wonder Woman’s opening voiceover. If the first box didn’t feature her watermark, I would have attributed the text to the Flash, particularly with the rather scientific assessment of their situation near the bottom of page one and on page two.

Batman has his moments, too. He awkwardly refers to a “chrome silicon wire”, when he could have simply referred to “this wire” or “these bonds”. Later, he has an extended, one-sided conversation with the unconscious Victor Stone, the purpose of which seems to be for our information more than anything else. Granted, some people actually do have one-sided conversations in real life, but this strikes me as a distinctly un-Batman behavior.

In the same sequence, he refers to the Watchtower as “this ship” in two consecutive balloons. It’s not a huge deal, but it makes the dialogue feel a bit repetitive, and it would have been easy to rephrase. Some time spent considering the details would go a long way toward improving things like this.

Then, we have this:

All by itself, yes—this is pretty funny. It might even be an Indiana Jones reference, which would be awesome. But in context, it doesn’t really fit. The rest of this issue reads pretty straight, and this sort of humor dropped into the middle of it stands out too much. Again—a little more authorial and editorial attention to the details could make a lot of these things go away.

Superman has less to say this time around, but even his speech shows similar signs. Consider this panel:

Why would Clark refer to the Watchtower so officially? He’s not even speaking to another person. Why call it “The Justice League Watchtower”? This panel by itself wouldn’t warrant my attention, but like I said at the top, and like I’ve demonstrated since, there are too many of these blips; and with their effects combined, it’s hard to get really plugged into this one.

Poor planning at the top

If Trinity is your only Justice League book (which I know is the case for some of our readers), this section is probably irrelevant. But for those of us reading Justice League, this arc feels increasingly familiar. We’ve seen several Bryan Hitch stories featuring anonymous hordes of aliens latching on to people. Worse, Shea Fontana’s (very good) Justice League #22 just covered the “dangerous but innocent” and “drawn to a queen” plot devices two weeks ago. The two titles have different editorial teams, but I would hope that they might work together more tightly than this indicates. I would much rather encounter discrepancies in continuity between these books than feel like I’m reading two very similar narratives two weeks apart.

The doldrums

Trinity’s first few issues earned the book a spot at or near the top of my pull list.  I loved it. The first arc ended with a whimper, and Trinity hasn’t recovered yet. It’s a shame, given the talent involved. I love Manapul, Steve Wands and every other creator involved in this thing—here’s hoping they start knocking it out of the park again soon.

Recommended if…

  • You’re comfortable paying the cover price for Manapul’s artwork. The story isn’t a total wash, but it isn’t worth four bucks.
  • You haven’t been reading Justice League.

Overall

Rather than recover from the book’s recent lull, Trinity #10 extends the decline with sloppy dialogue and a plot that has too much in common with another lately-published DC book. The artwork is, thankfully, as beautiful as ever, but I want more than that.

SCORE: 6.5/10