Over the years I’ve read and enjoyed a number of comics written by Matt Wagner, his long-running series SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE being the most notable. TRINITY is a fine trade paperback reprinting a three-issue miniseries written and drawn by Wagner and featuring DC’s three most iconic characters: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
Now, when I was a kid, I wasn’t a Wonder Woman fan. I suppose I was as sexist as any other ten or twelve year old boy in the Sixties. Plus I really didn’t like the art on the issues coming out then. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, DC tried to remold Wonder Woman into a Modesty Blaise sort of character, and while that was interesting, it never really worked for me, either. In the Eighties, though, there was another Wonder Woman relaunch with excellent stories and art by George Perez, and that one won me over. I’m still not a huge fan, but Wonder Woman is okay.
Throw her into an epic story with Superman and Batman, though, and you’ve got something. TRINITY is the story of Wonder Woman’s first meeting with them, and it involves an evil, globe-spanning conspiracy hatched by one of Batman’s arch-enemies, Ra’s Al Ghul, as well as one of Superman’s antagonists, Bizarro (who’s not really evil but still plenty dangerous anyway). Several things make TRINITY a fine piece of graphic novel entertainment. Wagner provides the art as well as the story, and it really works. He’s a good storyteller who uses classic layouts most of the time. His script is top-notch, capturing the personalities of Superman and Batman in all their complexity. There’s a sense of rivalry that’s always there, as well as a certain frustration and disapproval that each feels about the other’s methods, but above all, they’re friends. Then that sort of gets knocked cock-eyed by the arrival of Wonder Woman. No, there’s not any sense that they’re vying for her affections (although Batman is surprisingly interested in her). Wagner is too subtle a writer to take the easy, obvious route. But having Wonder Woman around does change the dynamic between Superman and Batman, at least a little.
This is one of the best comic book series I’ve read recently. If you’re a fan of the classic DC characters (another of whom makes a funny, unbilled cameo appearance), give TRINITY a try. I had a great time reading it.