I was going to write a Top Ten list of best DC Rebirth books, but I quickly realized that there was way more than ten books on my list and also I had way too much to write about them. So instead, let’s look at one book that you may not be reading, but which is absolutely amazing: Trinity by Francis Manapul.
Trinity is a Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman team-up book, replacing the previous New 52 books Superman/Batman and Superman/Wonder Woman. And when I wrote that this was “by Francis Manapul,” I mean that for the first two issues, Francis Manapul wrote, penciled, inked, and colored everything. (The artist for issue #3 was Clay Mann, probably because doing everything yourself is insane.) I’ve not read any interviews with Manapul about the book, but this obvious a labor of love for him.
In any case, for a book about the Big Three, you would expect it to be a big punch ‘em up book, with them taking on some big villain, like Darkseid or Brainiac or something. But, well, that’s not how the first issue starts. Or ends. No, the first issue is all about Wonder Woman and Batman arriving at Clark’s for a dinner together.
This is explicitly the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, who is almost a complete stranger to the New 52 Wonder Woman and Batman. Still, as a new member of the Justice League and fellow superheroes, they have to get to know one another and sitting down for dinner is probably better than getting into one of the usual “superhero confusion brawls.”
The dinner ends, however, with all three hearing something unusual in the barn and opening it to reveal...Clark Kent as a young boy.
Now, obviously, something strange is going on. The Trinity find themselves in Kent Farm of the past, talking to Pa Kent (who mistakes Superman for Clark’s real father). But as the end of issue #2 shows, this isn’t actually the past: it’s all an illusion provided by the Black Mercy, which has been placed on each of them by Poison Ivy.
The Black Mercy, which I remind you, gives everyone their greatest desire. But, somehow, this Mercy has all three in the same dream. And once Superman’s greatest desire — talking to his father again — comes true, it’s time for Batman’s desire in issue #3. It is not, however, saving his parents, but rather being absolved of the blame of their deaths.
(I love this page so much. Alfred is such a good dad.)
Trinity is a book that should be a giant battle scene, something akin to Justice League, but it isn’t and instead, it works so much better as a character study of Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Diana of Themyscira. It manages to be interesting, exciting, and show us old situations with new twists as all three characters seem to dive deep into their own psyches.
Oh and it also features Lois Lane ramming a truck into the barn to save her son and husband. Which just means it’s another day in the life of Lois.
So yeah, you should be reading this. The next issue is going to explore Wonder Woman’s past and I’m interested to see if Manapul can pull a rabbit out of his hat for her, too. Certainly, the first three issues have been impressive.