TRINITY #7 by Cullen Bunn, Miguel Mendonça, and Brad Anderson
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
This fascinating look into the minds of the villains creates a parallel with the heroes of TRINITY, setting up an exciting conflict to come.
95 %
Parallel Storytelling
User Rating 5 ( 1 votes)

TRINITY #7, in many ways, unfolds as an exact mirror image of the arc that came before it. Where the first six issues focused on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Women, this issue focuses on their most powerful adversaries — Ra’s Al Ghul, Lex Luthor, and Circe. The result is an engaging exploration of character, and the intriguing beginning to an arc that will bring about this new “dark shadow” Trinity.

Trinity #7

TRINITY #7 begins with Ra’s exploring the ruins of an ancient temple, which he calls the Dominion of the Dead. Ra’s has apparently been summoned there, along with Lex Luthor, who arrives in the middle of a battle with the temple’s protectors — massive animated statues come to life. After the fight, the two reluctantly join forces and journey forward, running into Circe, who presents to them the Pandora pits. These bubbling wells represent the ancient mythological origins of evil on Earth, and from the pits rises a Frankenstein-esque monster, a monstrous hybrid of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman whom the shadow Trinity must conquer as representations of their greatest fears.

READ: For an inside peek at this issue's action, take a look at the ComicsVerse preview of TRINITY #7, featuring the first five pages! 

TRINITY #7 uses a unique approach to narrative, splitting the issue’s viewpoints between Ra’s, Lex, and Circe. Through narration, each of their distinctive voices weigh-in on their predicament, their feelings about each other, and the pros and cons of briefly aligning with one another. It’s great fun to read both the bantering and the little thought bubbles. Villains don’t often get the chance to let readers in on their inner monologues. Ra’s is the most cunning, self-assured due to his many thousands of years in life, and offers the most cautious strategies for dealing with their monstrous opponent. Lex, ever a master of science, approaches their temple trek the most logically, strategizing how to handle the other two while “pretending” to align with them. Circe, being a demigod, is the most well-versed in the lore of the temple itself, and unlike her two temporary allies, appears to be thoroughly enjoying herself. Even the battle against the hybrid, which Lex and Ra’s take seriously, is greeted with Circe by devious glee. As all three attempt to undermine each other, writer Cullen Bunn shows us how these villains are all victim to their own arrogance. Amusingly, for all their inner thoughts about betraying each other, they remain aligned to the very end.

The other thing Bunn accomplishes is creating a storytelling parallel to Francis Manapul’s first arc. The obvious similarity is the aligning of three characters, and the narration split from each perspective. Additionally, Bunn parallels Manapul’s technique of revealing the characters’ inner demons through a dream-like journey. In the first arc, the Trinity were literally trapped within dreams revealing their deepest insecurities. Here, the shadow Trinity takes on a mystical, dream-like quest, and come face to face with a hideous monster who is the embodiment of their greatest demons. As the three villains face the monster, they see only the enemy who has challenged them the most. Lex sees only Superman, Ra’s only Batman, and Circe only Wonder Woman. Much like in TRINITY #1-6, it’s a dream battle, primarily fought inside the villains’ minds. Through each perspective, we understand how they really feel about their adversaries and the sense of righteousness they possess. In Lex's, Ra's', and Circe’s minds, they’re the true heroes of their own stories.

Trinity #7

Miguel Mendonça’s artwork conveys these different perspectives through the precise figure work and bold renderings of the shadow Trinity. Inside the atmospheric design of the temple, Lex, Ra’s, and Circe tower like Gods. Though Circe is the only true immortal of the bunch, each villain is designed with weight and grandeur. None so dominating as the monstrous Super-Bat-Wonder-Man, who looks appropriately freakish and terrifying. Special mention must also be made of Brad Anderson’s colors, which cast the temple in deep shadows, the Pandora backstory in hellish red, and the pits in mystical purple. All in all, it’s one of the most expressive and moody artwork accomplishments in the DC Rebirth era.

WATCH: We talked about TRINITY #7 on this week's Weekly Comics News Show!

Led by the impressive and distinctive characterization of Ra’s, Lex, and Circe, TRINITY #7 provides an engaging departure from the comic’s usual hero-focused writing. The emphasis on the villains allows a refreshing change in direction, as well as artistic parallels to what came before. With the emergence of this shadow Trinity, the stage is set for an epic confrontation of heroes and villains in the pages of TRINITY to come.

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