Its the final issue of Trinity and though it’s been clear for a while now that the series wouldn’t be going out on a high, characters act as they should, in-world rules are established and followed, plot points are resolved and questions are answered!
In fact, the entire first half of the book is taken up with explanation (albeit occasionally intercut with a fight scene). I didn’t find myself bored though, thanks to the pantomime performance of Deimos. He’s floated around the edge of the story for five issues now so it’s satisfying to spend some time with him here, particularly as he’s a deliciously stereotypical arch villain. I’ve complained elsewhere when villains act generically but there’s a time and a place for such behaviour and every experience I’ve had of Deimos leads me to believe he’s exactly the eccentric narcissist he’s portrayed as here. Not only that, but his reasons for making a deal with Blue Strike actually make sense. A few issues ago, I wondered if Deimos had goaded the Trinity out of pure egomania or had something more sinister in mind for them; this issue clearly answers my question but does it so bombastically that I can’t bring myself to be disappointed.
The only other character that gets much speech in this issue is Batman, which is a relief after seeing Superman boasting his way through fight scenes in previous issues. Sometimes Robinson’s Bruce is spot-on, such as when he is simultaneously intrigued by and suspicious of a dangerous woman. At others, he’s characteristically bossy but Robinson overdoes it; Bruce narrates Clark’s actions to the reader even though we can see what he’s doing and instructs his fellow superheroes in battle (‘Use your lasso now!’), which is unnecessary when he’s been fighting alongside them for years and this would surely give his enemy a warning of their plans.
Other characters get shorter shrift. The shadowy Blue Strike organisation never really developed into anything interesting but I suspect that’s because any plans Robinson may have had for them died when the series was cancelled. Meanwhile, Warlord asks, ‘Were we even really necessary?’ of himself and his army. If even the characters are wondering such things, you know they’ve not been utilised well.
In my review for Trinity #21 I wrote about what seemed to be a pointless scene in which ‘we discover that Batman wasn’t looking at anything interesting at all.’ Well it turns out that this was all a distraction technique so Batman could steal some technology from Jennifer! Just as with the cryptic opening last issue, I don’t think writing scenes that seed later developments should come at the expense of the current scene’s comprehensibility.
I also found it odd that Deimos ridicules Diana for trying to talk Steve out of fighting her, saying his spell is ‘ironclad,’ and moments later she succeeds in doing exactly this. It’s probably an example of the mage’s inflated hubris but it’s such a damning representation of his naiveté that he loses the respect and fear of the reader.
It’s good to see that art duties are not shared for the finale so we get some consistency across the book. Aside from his rather soft approach to Batman’s face, the only thing that disappointed me about Zircher’s artwork this issue was the recycling of a shot of Diana (see above). Zircher is restrained when he has to draw a large group of people but as these are Blue Strike members and Warlord’s soldiers, I guess the reader probably flicks past them anyway as they’re not important characters. Instead, he concentrates on imbuing the heroes with rich detail; defined hairs cover every inch of Steve the Ogre, and when Superman is blasted with magic, you can see his skeleton in all it’s detailed glory along with shadowing appropriate to the extraordinary light show going on around him (kudos to Eltaeb for making Deimos’ magic aura glow).
• You don’t mind the occasional over-the-top villain.
• You love that Zircher goes all out when drawing monsters.
• You’ve stuck with Bruce, Clark and Diana for the previous 21 issues.
Overall: Thanks to it’s structure of long-explanation-followed-by-flurry-of-action, Trinity #22 feels like an abrupt end to the arc which will probably read better in the trade compendium. ‘The Search for Steve Trevor’ isn’t the ending Trinity deserved but at least the final issue ties up a few loose ends and doesn’t fall prey to the mistakes that may be to blame for the series’ decline and cancellation.