Review: Trinity Vol. 4: The Search for Steve Trevor trade paperback (DC Comics)

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That Trinity Vol. 4: The Search for Steve Trevor marks the end of the Rebirth Trinity series is not a great surprise. The series started with an interesting premise, the pseudo-New 52 Batman and Wonder Woman getting to know the pre-Flashpoint Superman, but with Superman Reborn, this became simply a "Big Three" team-up book.

Not that that might not have a place, but especially with Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny, we've increasingly been seeing a title that wants for a regular creative team and also a storyline with some relevance. I like that this volume launches from Wonder Woman's search for Themyscira, but nothing significant happens in that regard; with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman regularly appearing in one another's titles these days and in Justice League, a toothless team-up of this sort no longer impresses just for existing.

There's a potentially strong creative team here in James Robinson and Patch Zircher, and Robinson writing Skartaris ought be can't miss. But the story bobs and weaves and doubles back on itself, surely longer than it needs to be, and again the lack of real substance in the end, continuing a pattern for this title, upholds that cancellation is justified.

[Review contains spoilers]

The opening pages of this trade show Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together riding unicorns, surely an image for the ages. If swords and sorcery is your bag, this story is an exercise in putting the "Big Three" in such a setting. Indeed as well, Warlord Travis Morgan, his daughter Jennifer, and ally Machiste all appear; I think Warlord is like Batman and the Outsiders in terms of how the classic characters have fallen out of familiarity with modern DC fans, but here's Skartaris if you've been missing it.

But unfortunately Search doesn't offer much to distinguish itself. Most of the story is Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman fighting their way through armies of monsters; there's little in the way of character development or subplot, clearly a limitation of this kind of extra team-up title. Robinson offers some cute moments in Superman and Batman kidding around with one another and Wonder Woman seeming exasperated with them -- this is cute in its demonstration of Superman and Batman's unique friendship, but Robinson's Wonder Woman is markedly, off-puttingly dour here. Dialogue is often stale, as when Superman emotes, "I'm about to find out how resistant these armored goons are." "Resistant to what, Clark?" Wonder Woman asks. His hoary reply, "To me!"

Not to mention, the evil wizard Deimos is defeated here after he casts a spell so that Superman and Wonder Woman's "strengths become weaknesses." That's fairly nonsensical, and we never find out if this means, for instance, Superman punches someone else and ends up punching himself or what this is. Instead, Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth right at that moment, making it instead a "Lasso of Lies" that traps Deimos in his own head. It's a really coincidental climax to this story, clearly just a device to bring things to a close, and unfortunately of a piece with much of the rest of the story.

It's my own wishful thinking, but given that the last major use of the Warlord characters was their random starring role in Convergence, I had rather hoped a reference would be made here to that, but no such luck. DC published a little-known Warlord series within the past ten-ish years (by Mike Grell even!) in which Travis Morgan appeared to have died, and so the suggestion of Warlord being dead at the beginning at least made me think this book was keeping with that continuity. No such luck either, because -- in a very confusing sequence -- Warlord reveals his presence to the heroes, then almost immediately after they're told he's dead, then he's revealed to be alive again as a ruse to fool Deimos even though that doesn't seem to make a difference to the overall plan.

Support Collected Editions -- Purchase Trinity Vol. 4: The Search for Steve Trevor

The "search" part of Trinity Vol. 4: The Search for Steve Trevor, by the way, refers to the second of the two three-part stories here; they all involve the Warlord characters, but the first is set in Skartaris and the second is set mainly on Earth as the heroes try to rescue Steve from Deimos. There's a sequence in "Search"'s second part (the fifth chapter overall) where Robinson reveals just part of the dialogue from conversations between the "Big Three" and the Warlord cast, revisiting it all in full later; this was the kind of unusual, nonlinear storytelling I might expect from James Robinson and that I was sorry not to see more of here (the one instance seems ostentatious by its lonesome). There's not a lot here, really, but maybe Robinson will give the story a mention in his Wonder Woman run.

[Includes original and variant covers, cover sketches]

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Trinity Vol. 4: The Search for Steve Trevor
Author Rating
2.75 (scale of 1 to 5)

Comments ( 1 )

  1. I had forgotten that the original hook was weaving the pre-Flashpoint Superman into the Trinity. Three years ago, that sounded great, but now I'm kind of rolling my eyes at bending over backwards to accommodate wonky continuity.

    For me, the bigger draw on Trinity was Francis Manapul. I remember the book being heavily marketed on his shoulders, both as a writer and an artist (but, let's be real, as an artist first and foremost). Seeing Rainbow Batman in the first issue more than earned my devotion. But as Manapul fell away from the book, it lost me. I'm glad he's still getting big work with the occasional Justice League issue, but I'd love to see him on something more regular than variant covers.


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