Comic Book Review: Trinity #1
In the aftermath of the end of the New 52, the Superman we got to know died. However, there is another Clark Kent but he is from another world and it’s created some friction between the legendary trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. “Trinity” #1 by Francis Manapul is not your typical action heavy superhero book but in it’s quiet approach, it’s one of the strongest debuts DC has had this year.
“Trinity” #1 is basically a long dinner scene but that’s exactly why it’s so good. Lois Lane invites Wonder Woman and Batman over to try and mend fences and create a bond between all of them that doesn’t exist anymore. Manapul is known mostly for his art but with “Trinity” #1, he really shows an understanding of these characters and how to put them in a story that doesn’t rely on their powers. One of the things that so many superhero comics lose is their ability to give their superpowered gods character or personality. By slowing things down and letting his characters talk, he gives them the depth needed to rebuild this relationship. His approach is a quiet one but it’s effective. It brings these characters together in a believable way and it anchors them to each other in a way no other DC book has been able to do since the New 52’s Clark Kent died. This isn’t the one Wonder Woman was in a relationship with and this isn’t the one that Batman had a bond with, but this Superman has his own memories and there’s some distrust on his side.
It’s unconventional and it’s a bit ambitious because people will be expecting a big superhero epic. There’s still time for this but starting things off this way is deeply engaging. They’re on a path to feeling like friends again. No romance and no fighting – just a deep friendship between people with a shared goal. The biggest problem with “Trinity” #1 isn’t even Manapul’s doing. He has to navigate the awkwardness from the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing that ended up going off the rails. It hurts her as it becomes such a big part of her dialogue but with this out of the way, Manapul can write a story that gets away from this.
“Trinity” #1 is breathtakingly beautiful and some of his best work ever. Because he’s working on this on his own, he has the opportunity to really play around with panel arrangement. Splash pages can often be a waste of space but Manapul uses multiple double page spreads in the shape of the heroes’ logos that don’t act as place holders. They are bursting with energy and the narration serves a purpose. Manapul is able to go very soft during the dinner and there’s deep personality to each character. Batman has a gruff nature about him, Wonder Woman looks like a pillar of strength and almost regal, while this Superman is warm but also unsure of his place. This isn’t something that’s outwardly said over and over but implied through how they are drawn. The coloring is lively despite taking place mostly at night. He uses a great mix of blues and purples to convey the time and keeps this book from veering into darker territory. There’s something almost retro feeling about the book. We’re taken to a time that feels much more positive for this trio.
“Trinity” #1 is a beautiful book with a compelling story and unique approach. This could easily become the must read book featuring these characters if Manapul can keep examining this dynamic this well.