REVIEW: Trinity #17 (Lost in Skartaris)

Superman and Batman decide to help Wonder Woman try to find Themyscira but instead, they end up finding a whole other world.

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TRINITY #17
Author: James Robinson
Artist: Patch Zircher
Letterer: Josh Reed
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Publisher: DC Comics



!!!Spoiler Warning!!!



What You Need to Know:  
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have been close allies for years now, but friendship is the one thing these three hold dearest to them. Together these three make up DC’s “Trinity” the strongest, smartest and well-rounded heroes the DC universe has to offer. The trio has had to challenge their biggest threats, and face their most fearsome enemies, but together they always manage to triumph.
After being stuck in a mystic dream spell caused by Poison Ivy, and being taken over by the evil Circe and her “Pandora pits” our heroes have stuck together through thick and thin sharing a feeling of connection that no other group of heroes can seem to grasp.



What You’ll Find Out:  
Wonder Woman has had a troubling time getting used to man’s world. After leaving her home of Themyscira she was never able to return, only recently finding out that any time she had thought she returned was nothing but a mirage. She did get to talk briefly with her sisters of Themyscira when she defeated Ares during the second volume of “Wonder Woman Rebirth”, but instantly had to leave them again in order to keep Ares locked away.

Now, she has asked her two closest allies and friends, Superman and Batman, to help her find her way home once again.
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After very little convincing necessary the trio heads towards the middle of the sea looking for any evidence of a portal to another dimension, or any other way that they could find Themyscira. After some great dialogue shared between the heroes they locate a giant hole in the ocean and immediately, Superman and Wonder Woman both feel magic forces working within the storm.

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After being sucked away by the portal, each member finds themselves banged and bruised… and powerless. Wonder Woman has lost her sight again, only to let the boys no that she won’t need any help standing up for herself. Superman has lost all his powers, but also stands on his own when it comes down to it even leaving Bruce to comment “Superman did a great job of reminding me that even without his powers, he still deserves the name”.
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The only one unaffected obviously is Batman who just becomes annoyed whenever magic is involved. Together the three take on an army of lizard people that become more of an endurance training regimen than an actual fight.


After finally defeating every reptile-human hybrid within a hundred mile radius our heroes try to decipher where they have ended up. Wonder Woman tells them that they are lost in “Skartaris”
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“a 
fictional Hollow Earth fantasy setting created by Mike Grell for the sword and sorcery comic book The Warlord, published by DC Comics. Skartaris debuted in 1st Issue Special #8 (November 1975), where the character Travis Morgan, a U.S. Air Force pilot, discovers a passage into this world through the Earth’s North Pole.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skartaris) After which they find the one they call “Warlord” as the issue comes to a close.



What Just Happened?  

Coming in hot off of his Wonder Woman run, James Robinson takes the entire Trinity out for a spin in an impressive first issue. Writing a book like Wonder Woman must be hard after someone as legendary as Greg Rucka. In my opinion, Robinson has done the character justice, maybe not bringing the same memorable stories as Rucka, but also not making stories worth writing off either.

After Francis Manapul started Trinity with some memorable art and stories, Rob Williams came in for an arc causing a drop in quality. James continues the roller coaster effect with a slow chug up the hill as he starts to bring the series back into focus before its end after issue #22. I like the idea of bringing the writer from wonder woman to do a wonder woman-centric story, causing great characterization of the right characters. Luckily enough he does an impressive job with the rest of the crew, making Superman and Batman feel right at home during the Wonder Woman focused arc. The fact that each member of the team is actually telling this story to what seems like a shrink, or some kind of Psychologist, reminds me of the upcoming Tom King work about heroes going to talk about their past and the horrors they must face as heroes. For anyone interested, this definitely feels like the beginning and should definitely pick this story up to see where it goes in that sense.

Most of the speech dialogue is expositional which makes it just grand that there isn’t much to be said directly to each other. The dialogue thought bubbles ( or maybe talking to shrink bubbles in this case ) are well done and fitting for the story and helps show the reader the relationship that these three share. I love some of the stuff that the heroes say about each other, it makes the story feel more alive along with the characters and makes any consequential actions that much more impactful. Unfortunately, we don’t get any consequences or action really as this issue feels short and is a quick read due to the lack of dialogue.

Zircher’s art reminds me of Brian Hitches during his Justice League rebirth run, not saying that’s a bad thing seeing how the art was the only real high point of his run. Zircher does great at setting the tone of a story, really making everyone’s emotions exaggerated but not too much so. Probably the biggest upset with art from Patch and Hitch are the lips, everyone just feels like they have puppy dog lips and I can’t get over that. Patch does drop one of my favorite drawings of Superman (as he hits a lizard man with a bat with a half tattered costume) and makes “Skartaris” look absolutely stunning.



Rating: 8.5/10.  
Final Thoughts: James Robinson and Patch Zircher deliver the best issue of “Trinity” since Francis Manapul was writing and drawing, with a Wonder Woman-centered story that should give us some great evolution for the Trinity team. Hopefully, this will be the send-off that this team deserves as it will probably be the last arc before the title comes to an end.



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