Trinity (2016) #1 Review

Written by: Francis Manapul
Art by: Francis Manapul
Colours by: Francis Manapul

I’m just going to stay straight out the gate that if you’re a fan of Francis Manapul’s art, then get this issue. With Manapul in control of both the story and art, Trinity really allows him to let loose, even more so than he did on The Flash. That’s not to say the writing is bad, because it’s actually great. It’s a heartwarming exploration of DC’s big three characters and their relationships, but tackled in an interesting way.

A big part of why Trinity should focus on character relationships is that this Trinity has a sort-of new member. The Trinity was already kind of a thing, but Wonder Woman and Batman were close with their Superman, the New 52 one (NuSupes). But he’s dead, and this new Superman, really the old one from before the New 52, is taking his predecessor’s place on the Justice League and in Metropolis. And Manapul does an excellent job writing this, as Bruce tells Superman about why he and NuSupes, and how Lois Lane and Diana discuss how Diana was in a relationship with NuSupes. Even though he’s gone, NuSupes’ presence looms over this comic, and it’s rather touching.

Trinity #1’s plot is basically a get together for Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman arranged by Lois. There’s an awkwardness in the air, especially from Batman, but the group agrees that it’s necessary for the Trinity to bond. At the same time, there’s some subtlety to the writing, with Lois’ narration about parenting correlating to certain characters’ attributes. how they act and their history. Using Lois Lane as a narrator really was a good move by Manapul, as she has a certain wisdom to her while also being the most relatable of the characters. She’s also not the focus of the issue, not being one of the Trinity, so the lack of narration and thought bubbles from the Trinity adds to the tension of their meeting. This issue is sweet, and the farm setting and dinner help add to this sentimental, simple tone Manapul is aiming for. However, a twist is built up throughout the issue, so don’t think this series will be The Daily Life of the Trinity or anything. While it’s very vague, the relationships between these characters is much more important to this series than the plot right now, so it’s understandable.

This is the Lois Lane I want! Normal yet acclimated to weird, spunky but wise.

The art is everything you’d expect from Francis Manapul. Loads of stylisation, but not so much that your immersion is broken or things become hard to make out. His water colouring works extraordinary well for this issue, adding to the sentimental tone of the story while also also just looking beautiful. He mostly uses clean lines and simple layouts that don’t distract from the story unnecessarily, but Manapul isn’t afraid to give readers some glorious two-page spreads with beautiful but easy to read layouts. After all, Manapul is one of the very few artist whose layouts are gorgeous to look at while still being readable for your average reader, and he really has some fun here.

Where are these bats coming from? Who cares, look at this page! Then read it, because the story’s good too!

Francis Manapul’s Trinity #1 is a great first issue that places more importance on setting up new character relationships and exploring previous ones than on action or plot. Along with gorgeous art, this leaves you with a comic that has depth, yet appears simple and not overwhelming. It’s the perfect Francis Manapul piece, and a great start to what should be a heartwarming look at DC’s three biggest heroes.

5/5 – Amazing!

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