Trinity #12 By Rob Williams and V Ken Marion
Rob Williams employs a wicked sense of humor in this enjoyable showcase of conflicting personalities and magical mayhem.
86 %
Mystical Mayhem
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A Trinity of Trinities. That’s the dynamic Rob Williams promises in TRINITY #12. We’ve got our original Trinity, the Dark Trinity of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, and the new Mystical Trinity of Deadman, Zatanna, and Constantine. It’s a massive smörgåsbord of super heroes. Williams has been alternating writing duties on TRINITY with Francis Manapul, and here, Williams resumes the storyline he established in TRINITY #7 and TRINITY ANNUAL #1. The comic introduces mysticism into the adventures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The result is an engaging tale that offers intriguing set-up and plenty of wicked good fun. There are some structural errors in the mix, given the number of characters Williams has to juggle, but this ultimately doesn’t detract from the issue’s stellar execution.

Trinity #12
Courtesy of DC Comics

“Dark Destiny: Part 1” presents a Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro who are possessed by the demons of the ancient Pandora Pits beneath the Trans-Antarctic mountains. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman hold Jason Todd captive and attempt to remove the demon inside him with the help of Deadman, Constantine, and Zatanna. Through their efforts, they uncover a plot by Circe and Ra’s Al Ghul to release a horde of demons upon the world — and murder our original Trinity in the process.

The plot is as straightforward as they come, but it’s great fun to see this band of misfit characters interact with one another. I particularly got a kick out of Constantine’s various quips and one liners. His character works wonderfully in an ensemble like this. In TRINITY #12 every other character is so self-serious about the end of the world drama. Constantine helps inject the proceedings with his particular brand of sarcasm and crudeness. Plus, he constantly hits on Wonder Woman and Zatanna. It never gets old watching Constantine’s clumsy advances fail spectacularly.

READ: The Pandora Pits storyline was introduced back in TRINITY #7 — catch up by reading our review right here!

The issue introduces Bizarro and Artemis late in the game. The demons here have taken on the attributes of their bodies’ former owners. Williams has a fun time pumping demon-Bizarro with ridiculous backwards dialogue such as “Me am not eat your soul.” However, as an avid reader of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, Bizarro’s dialogue does feel a bit jarring. Bizarro never speaks backwards in that series. Williams appears to be basing Bizarro’s backwards speech off of an older version of Bizarro predating Scott Lobdell’s run. Not a huge issue, but this does suggest that Williams isn’t paying much attention to RHATO. This is problematic given how important the Outlaws are to the plot.

TRINITY #12 also suffers from some structural problems. Splitting the series between Manapul and Williams has resulted in constantly alternating storylines, with no acknowledgment of the other writer’s efforts. It makes every storyline, including “Dark Destiny,” feel as though it’s taking place in a void. Furthermore, this current arc would have worked much better as a crossover with RHATO. Both series could have built the “Dark Destiny” storyline together, which would have made the Outlaws sudden appearance less jarring.

Trinity #12
Courtesy of DC Comics

That also would have helped prevent the oddly placed ending, which flashbacks to the Outlaws’ possession at the Pandora Pits. This sequence occurs right after Bizarro, Artemis, and their horde of demon minions free Jason from the Trinity. It was misguided to include a flashback here. It interrupts the action and totally kills the momentum of the present day storyline. A better solution would have been to start TRINITY #12 with the flashback, or even better, to do the full-fledged crossover and tackle the possession in an issue of RHATO instead.

Structural issues aside, the comic moves along splendidly, thanks largely to the artwork by V Ken Marion. He pumps up the standardized plot with fun semi-abstract artwork. Marion turns Red Hood’s mask into a hilariously demonic red face with fangs and soulless yellow eyes. He now looks more like Red Skull than Red Hood. Even more absurd, Red Hood’s mouth opens up into a portal to the demon dimension.

LISTEN: We discuss the classic Trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in Episode 75 of our DC Comics Podcast!

Marion amazingly demonstrates this in one key panel, where Superman pulls open Red Hood’s mouth so wide that it looks like Scooby Doo getting ready to eat a meatball hero. The inside of Red Hood’s mouth reveals an actual staircase leading down into the depths of his hell-throat. This kind of design is whacky enough to amuse but not so much that it distracts from the plot. The artwork is just absurd enough to remind the reader that we’re reading a different kind of TRINITY story – one where magic abounds, and anything that can happen, will happen.

TRINITY #12: Final Verdict

Overall TRINITY #12 is a fun read, if not overly eventful. The characters delight, especially Constantine, whose sense of humor basically carries the issue. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are ironically the most underutilized here but that’s not a huge loss since the story needs to make room for a grand total of four trinities (if you factor in the absent Lex Luthor, who was initially tempted to join Circe and Ra’s). It remains to be seen how these four trinities will eventually come into conflict. The issue ends dramatically, with Red Hood poised to take down Batman. The possibilities are ripe for a personal, psychological battle between the former partners. With help from Marion’s zany artwork, Williams crafts an engaging story that satisfactorily builds on the Pandora Pits setup and promises much mystical mayhem to come.

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