Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Trinity #1 (August 1993)
Green Lantern
script: Gerard Jones
pencils: Gene Ha
inks: Romeo Tanghal
colors: Stuart Chaifetz
letters: Albert DeGuzman
editing: Kevin Dooley
script: Michael Freedman
pencils: Travis Charest
inks: Ken Branch, Steve George, Peter Gross, Andrew Pepoy, & Mike Sellers
colors: Stuart Chaifetz
letters: Bob Pinaha
editing: Brian Augustyn
script: Mark Waid
co-plotting: Mark Waid & Barry Kitson
pencils: Barry Kitson
inks: John Stokes
colors: Stuart Chaifetz
letters: Albert DeGuzman
editing: Dan Raspler

Hal Jordan is transporting a charter, who is something of a jerk, when his flight is interrupted by an emergency call from the Guardians of Oa. He takes this as an excuse to put the charter to sleep and contacts Oa.  He is sent to investigate a disturbance on the planet Scylla in his sector, but is warned that something is blocking the Guardians from seeing the nature of the disturbance. 

Hal arrives on Scylla as Green Lantern to find the planet being terrorized by a giant purple woman. She is pouring large amounts of what appears to be electricity into the surface and demanding for the planet to come to life.
When she ignores his attempts to communicate, Hal tries to stop her with his ring. She proves to be too powerful for him, and after identifying herself as Quarra, Goddess of Creation, she buries him underground.
Has soon frees himself but she has already departed. He returns to Oa and explains to the Guardians what happened. They recognize the name of Quarra and are terrified that it means the return of the Triarch. They send Hal to the Book of Oa where he learns that the Triarch were a race of Gods from Maltus, the same homeworld as the Guardians, but they preexisted the Guardians and other ancient races. They had slain their own father, Daalon, and in their guilt fled to the stars. The three were named Quarra the Creator, Archor the Sustainer, and Tzodar the Destroyer. The promised to return one day to lay waste to Maltus and then the universe would be made new.
The Guardians dispatch Hal to Maltus but only to observe, and they insist that he take no action beyond that at this time.

Meanwhile, on the planet Elyrion, the Darkstars are battling Archor the Destroyer. He has began to lay waste to the planet, which is the homeworld of the Darkstar Tuprolix, but is under the jurisdiction of the Darkstar Rayyana. The battle goes poorly for the Darkstars, and another of their members, Epernix, is killed. He is soon followed by Tuprolix, leaving Rayyana to fight alone until reinforcements arrive.
Rayyana holds her own for a while but the reinforcements arrive too late to save her. They attack Archor but do not do much better than their teammates had. 
Fortunately for the Darkstars, Archor suddenly disappears, which leads them to wonder if they had succeeded in hurting him after all.

A group of L.E.G.I.O.N. operatives are setting up a base on Maltus when Phase overhears one of them complaining.
Captain Comet is explaining that Dox considers this station to be of critical importance and that he is one man they do not want to disappoint. Their discussion is interrupted by Dox, who has come to take Phase on an investigation of Maltusian ruins. He explains that Maltus is the world that birthed the first intelligence life in the universe, and where both the Oans and Controllers come from. His intention in setting up a base there and investigating the ruins is to learn as much as he can about them.

They run into Bertron Diib, who has discovered an ancient medallion. Dox believes that it pertains to ancient Maltusian dieties but is unable to translate it. There is a sudden flash of light and the giant figure of Tzodar the Destroyer appears.
After Dox's attempt at communication fails, the L.E.G.I.O.N. troops began firing canons at Tzodar. He brushes them off and his own blasts prove far more effective.
Tzodar comes close to stepping on Phase but Comet uses his telepathy to awaken her just in time to use her power. Dox concludes that they are overpowered and orders Bek to call for reinforcements. He believes that once Lobo and the others arrive they will be able to win, but this seems less likely when Quarra and Archor suddenly join their brother.
Before getting into the story, I want to start by looking at how well each segment in this issue introduced the characters from the different DC titles. That is the purpose of a crossover event after all, to introduce readers from one title to characters from another in hopes that they may decide to stick with them.

Green Lantern is obviously the most well-known hero here, but nevertheless, someone new to the character will learn a great deal in his section. They will see that he is a pilot, get a basic idea of how his ring works, and learn that he is essentially a space cop assigned to a particular sector of space. They will also learn that the Green Lanterns are run by the Guardians of Oa, and that they are an ancient and powerful race. So all the basics of Green Lantern are laid out here.

As for the Darkstars, I should note that I know virtually nothing about them other than Donna Troy and John Stewart were members at some point. I never read their title, and I did not buy this crossover when it came out, despite being a L.E.G.I.O.N. reader. This story reveals that they are also a sort of interplanetary police force and were set up by the Controllers, another ancient race from Maltus. So the intentional parallels to the Green Lantern appear to be strong, although I got a vague sense they may be a bit rougher around that edges than the Corps. I will have to see if thats the case when we get to their issue, but for now, I think I got the gist of who the Darkstars are.

Of course, I am already familiar with the L.E.G.I.O.N., but I think Phase did a good job of explaining what it is to new readers in the opening scene. Their story also revealed Dox to be a stern and demanding leader, but we do not really see Dox's manipulative side here. Still, there is plenty of time for that later, and I expect we will see more of it once he begins to interact with the Corps and the Darkstars. For now, I think someone new to the L.E.G.I.O.N. will get what they need to know from this issue.

The basic premise here is good and I like that it builds on previous DC mythology in a way that I would expect from writers like Jones and Waid. With Green Lantern and the Darkstars as major players, it makes perfect sense to exploit the connection between the Guardians and Controllers. I found Quarra and Archor to be a bit bland  but there was something far more appealing about Tzodar. He comes off not just as powerful, but there is a nice brutality of his appearance. Overall, I found this to be a solid opening to this event, which for whatever reason, I did not feel the need to check out back in the 90s.

A few minor points before I close. It was nice to see Captain Comet get some prominence as we have not seen him for a while. I am still not a fan of his new costume, but it was refreshing to see Dox not dripping with contempt towards him in their interactions. Hal is my least favorite of the main Green Lanterns, but he was pretty likable here and I enjoyed the glimpse into his private life as a pilot and his interactions with the Guardians. I also quickly bought into the idea that Dox would jump at the chance to set up a base on Maltus in order to gain insight into the Guardians and the Controllers. They are too of the most powerful races in the galaxy, and Dox hates anything he cannot control, so this completely works. And that is important since the L.E.G.I.O.N. lacks the natural connection to this storyline that both the Green Lanterns and Darkstars have.

Finally, what was going on behind the scenes of the Darkstar segment that they needed five inkers? I really love Travis Charest's art, so I don't mean to pick on him, but it seems certain he was having deadline trouble here.

This wraps up the opening of this event, but please check back with me next week as we move on to Green Lantern #44 and the following week for L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #57!

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