Trinity has turned out to be a book I wasn’t expecting it to become as each issue following the first issue has explored part of Batman and Superman’s origin. This approach has delivered mixed results for this series. On one hand it has given us the opportunity to see what Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman think of each other’s history. Then on the other hand these origins have been explored so often by now that having yet another look at these time periods has a “been there, done that” aura around it. Now with Trinity #4 we are going to get a spotlight on Wonder Woman’s childhood, before she left Themyscira. Hopefully this will be the issue that does something different and moves the story with Poison Ivy forward rather than just focusing on old territory. Now let’s find out what happens with Trinity #4.
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Inker: Ray McCarthy
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman find themselves on a boat in the middle of the sea. As they paddle to land Wonder Woman knows that after what they’ve been through so far that they are going to the place she will find the truth.
The trio arrives at the shores of Themyscira. As they get to the beach Batman reminds Wonder Woman not to be fooled as the place is not real.
They are soon attacked by a number of Amazons. Wonder Woman tries to explain to the Amazons that they are friendly but the Amazons don’t believe her.
As Wonder Woman defends herself against Amazon general’s attacks a young Princess Diana tells the general to stand down. Princess Diana says she believes Wonder Woman was speaking the truth. The Amazons tell Princess Diana that she is too young to be able to tell.
In the real world, Lois Lane drives her truck through the barn and right into Poison Ivy, who throws Jon Kent to the side for safety. Lois goes to check on her son and notices Poison Ivy has captured Bruce, Clark and Diana.
Lois tries to wake up her son and Clark but to no avail. Poison Ivy suddenly punches Lois, telling her that while Jon will be okay she can’t say the same about Lois.
Back in time, Queen Hippolyta puts Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman through games that will test their skills in a coliseum. They each pass the test with ease and impress Hippolyta.
Hippolyta agrees to allow Wonder Woman to stay on Themyscira. Just as Wonder Woman express her relief Hippolyta reveals that Batman and Superman aren’t getting the same luxury. Instead she is sending Batman and Superman to the Dark Quarters.
Wonder Woman does not accept this and ends up going to the Dark Quarters with Batman and Superman.
Princess Diana tries to convince her mother to allow the three to stay but Hippolyta sticks to her guns.
As Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman get on are traveling to Dark Quarters Princess Diana jumps onto their raft. While Wonder Woman objects Princess Diana says she can help them.
Wonder Woman takes out her lasso and wraps it around herself, Princess Diana, Batman and Superman. It reveals that Princess Diana and the world is a manifestation of Wonder Woman’s subconscious.
The cave they are in starts crumbling as they reach the end. A giant serpent suddenly appears and eats Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Princess Diana.
Wonder Woman lights the inside of the serpent’s stomach which shows she, Batman and Superman are the only ones there. Wonder Woman desperately searches for Princess Diana but only finds her sword. She uses the sword to slice open the serpent’s stomach to set herself, Batman and Superman free.
As they exit the serpent Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman come face-to-face with Mongul and his daughter. End of issue.
The Good: While she is a character rightfully on the level of Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman hasn’t had her origin driven into the ground like the others. Part of this is because unlike Batman and Superman she does not have 10 ongoing comic books that force us to go through her origin every year. So for Trinity #4 to feature Themyscira during a time period before Diana became Wonder Woman felt surprisingly refreshing. At the same time, Trinity #4 did run into similar problems as previous issues, which continue to hinder the story from reaching its full potential.
Having gone through this twice before it was interesting to see how Wonder Woman came into Trinity #4 knowing that their time in Themyscira. This put Wonder Woman in a different state of mind compared to Batman and Superman. And even as we saw how she knew this was all a hallucination Wonder Woman couldn’t help but be drawn into the world.
What made Wonder Woman adapting to what was going was that it was all based on how she views Themyscira as a place that is still her home. Even though she has long left the island to carve her own legacy in the world Themyscira will always hold a special place in her heart. In this way Francis Manapul is able to ground Wonder Woman and give us something to connect with as a person.
In a lot of ways, the way Wonder Woman feels about Themyscira is how most of us who have left home feel. There will always be a place, whether it’s the town we grew up in or our parents’ house, that we will always feel like we can call home when we visit it. At the same time we know that we left that place to carve out our own place in the world both professionally and personally. Through leaving we have been able to pursue our own aspirations, similar to Wonder Woman when she chose to leave her own bubble of Themyscira to see how it is to visit the rest of the world.
Manipul did a great job playing with this as it was clear that Wonder Woman was happy when her mother said she was allowed to stay. But he quickly turned that happiness into a reminder that this wasn’t real and that her home is by her friends side. It was a strong moment for her as she, unlike Batman and Superman, maintained her mindset that this wasn’t real and that she wouldn’t just give in to her emotions.
While not a big part of Trinity #4 it was good to see Lois Lane rejoined the story and get her own hero moment. This also reminded us that Poison Ivy still thinks she is attacking Bruce, Clark and Diana and not Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as she got Jon out of the way of Lois drive-by. This adds to the mystery of why Poison Ivy is doing all of this and what it may have to do Mongul, who appeared at the end of the issue.
This is the first time I’ve been exposed to Emanuela Lupacchino and she was able to impress me with her artwork for Trinity #4. She delivered on how Themyscira is a magical place with areas reminiscent of ancient Rome. The way she drew Wonder Woman and the Amazons makes me hope that she gets the chance to draw a Wonder Woman series in the future. She nailed the setting and the characters that inhabit them. She also delivered in the few action scenes she was able to draw that makes me want to see how she does with longer fight sequences.
The Bad: Similar to the previous two issues, Trinity #4 suffered in not being able give equal attention to the other stars of this series. Francis Manipul has yet to find a way to balance working Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman equally into each issue. Instead he places two out of the three characters into the background and they are nothing more than supporting characters. For Trinity to succeed as a series Manipul needs to balance how he portrays these characters in each issue, which he showed he can do in Trinity #1.
The other part that hurts Trinity #4 is that we yet again get very little progress in Poison Ivy’s plot in this story. Manipul has failed to give us proper motivation for why she went all the way to Clark and Lois Lane-Kent’s home to attack our heroes. Even Mongul’s appearance at the end of the issue gives us more questions than answers after four issues into the story. With Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman’s histories so well-known Manipul would be better off if he gave Poison Ivy’s side of this story more attention. Because without it we have very little in the way of worrying about Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are going through.
Overall: Trinity #4 was a solid but flawed entry into this series featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Getting a better idea of who Wonder Woman is and how she is a much more grounded character than most people give her credit for was enjoyable to see play out. At the same time the main plot of this story continues to move at a snail’s pace that gives us very little reason to feel that our heroes are in danger. This lack of urgency keeps Trinity’s first story arc from being as engaging as it could be.