Review: Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

August 22, 2018

I'm pretty high on Rob Williams after his recent, good Suicide Squad volume, so I'm inclined to give him a pass on Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny. Given Cullen Bunn kicking this off in Trinity's second volume (and the increasing modular nature of this title), it would seem this story was more brought to Williams than that this is the story he's long been dying to tell. And having mostly just one artist, V Ken Marion, pen Dark Destiny is an impressive and rare feat, offering that if DC would just get rid of those darn interspersed covers and issue credits, this could read like a graphic novel.

But aside from a clever use of trinities within trinities, we've got a five-part story here that most assuredly could have just been two or three, and that's mostly a repetitive series of the characters running around and fighting the same opponents for five issues. That makes for often long and tedious reading. Better is the one-shot Suicide Squad-themed issue at the end; Williams' stories clearly perk up when he's writing more in his wheelhouse, and I think I would have much more enjoyed seeing DC's Big Three face off against the Squad (which, in part, is where all of this is leading back in Williams' own title anyway).

[Review contains spoilers]

DC's superheroic Big Three -- Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman -- are helped by the mystical Big Three -- Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman -- to save the possessed off-brand Big Three -- Bizarro, Red Hood, and Artemis -- with Circe and Ra's al Ghul pulling the strings. Assuredly, that's a match up I want to be a part of. Unfortunately, Williams doesn't spend much time on how these three trinities are similar or different, nor what Superman thinks of Bizarro running around or how Wonder Woman knows Artemis (maybe this kind of thing has already been handled in Red Hood and the Outlaws, I'm not up to date, but neither should Williams assume any reader is). This could have as easily been three of the Titans as the three Outlaws.

As well, Zatanna and Deadman are knocked out early in the book (after Williams, I think, misunderstands Deadman's powers), so really this is more a Constantine and the Big Three team-up than anything else. Constantine is portrayed here as kind of a coward, kind of a fool, and given Constantine being the only magic user on the page, I found Williams' writing of his prattle annoying if not also off-character. Having just read Suicide Squad Vol. 6: The Secret History of Task Force X, Constantine is kind of like Williams' Captain Boomerang here, and he shouldn't be.

The book starts off with the first Trinity annual, drawn by Guillem March, in which Circe and Ra's al Ghul snare Jason Blood and Etrigan the Demon in a prelude to their controlling the Outlaws. This is the best of the book, while the action is still fresh and hasn't gone on and on, and also because March draws a great Etrigan. Williams also parallels well Jason's burden to carry Etrigan with the various burdens of Superman's, Batman's, and Wonder Woman's origins -- a great moment, but maybe peaking too early, as this kind of thematic relevance is more of what I'd like to have seen later when the "Dark" characters and Outlaws came along.

The final one-shot is a New Year's Eve-themed issue where Wonder Woman and Superman find Batman working with Deadshot to rescue his kidnapped daughter. This is news as of Suicide Squad Vol. 6, which dealt with Deadshot's daughter in a different way, so Williams had my attention right away. The frenemy relationship between the Rebirth League and Squad is great, along with the tension whether a Squad-er will kill on the Big Three's watch; further, Williams doesn't wrap up the kidnapping plot neatly either. All of that livened the end of the book a lot, and again it made me sorry this whole book hadn't been a Squad team-up story story instead.

Support Collected Editions -- Purchase Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny

I am glad Circe gets the spotlight in Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny; this has been a favorite villain of mine since Wonder Woman: War of the Gods and Underworld Unleashed -- even JLA and Greg Rucka's original Wonder Woman run, now that I think about it. There's an interesting flashback scene here where Williams has Circe, looking like her early post-Crisis on Infinite Earths self, about to bargain away her soul to someone who looks like the New 52/Rebirth Circe; we don't get much explanation there aside from that Circe does lose her soul, but I was sorry Williams didn't dig into it more because it seemed for a moment like Williams trying to reconcile the pre- and post-Flashpoint Circes. Oh, well. Probably this book is really only imperative for really devout Suicide Squad fans.

[Includes original and variant covers]

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny
Author Rating
2.5 (scale of 1 to 5)

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