Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I’m helping my pal Tom Bondurant out with annotations for the latest issue of Trinity. I’ll also be hosting Tom’s annotations for Trinity for the rest of the month until he and the Blog@ crew get set up in their new digs.
This issue seems a bit light on trivia (like last issue, as well, really), but we shall see what we shall see!
“Time to Suit Up” was written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, colored by Pete Pantazis, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Charity and Rita discuss their next step while Morgaine and Konvict strike up a bargain.
The book opens in the Arctic, where Konvict is on his way to meet up with Morgaine, who summoned him last issue. Morgaine and Enigma are in the Harteigen Mountains in Norway, and Konvict was in Mass-a-chu-setts, so he’s made up a lot of ground already.
We cut to Opal City, the home of Starman, where Rita and Charity O’Dare are dealing with the magic energy from last issue.
We get a reminder that Charity is a fortune teller. Charity was an older DC character that James Robinson made into a supporting character in the pages of Starman, ultimately marrying her off to one of the O’Dares – a family of Opal City residents who were major supporting cast members in Starman.
Rita, our Tarot-reading heroine, is worried about the Worldsoul, the living embodiment of Earth, which is in bad shape due to the disappearance of the Trinity.
St. Roch was the home base of Hawkman during Geoff Johns and James Robinson’s Hawkman series from a few years back. Carter Hall’s museum, Stonechat House, is in St. Roch.
The bad guys remind me of the Millenium Giants, but they are probably just nameless extra-dimensional bad guys.
The heroes on this page, courtesy of Tom’s annotations for previous issues, are:
– Vibe, a/k/a Paco Ramone, was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton and first appeared in the aforementioned Justice League of America Annual #2. Vibe was killed in the line of duty in JLofA vol. 1 #258 (January 1987). He was survived by a brother, Joey … I mean, Armando, who also became a superhero (Reverb, then Hardline) with similar vibratory powers.
– Space Ranger, a/k/a Rick Starr, was created by Edmond Hamilton, Gardner Fox, and Bob Brown, and first appeared in Showcase #15 (July 1958). It’s a little surprising to see him in this context, since (in regular continuity) he lives in the 22nd Century. Either this is an ancestor or time travel was involved; and he’s visited our time previously, so it’s not out of the question.
– Triumph’s pedigree is a little tough to figure out. Wikipedia credits Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Howard Porter with creating him. The Unofficial Triumph Chronology gives his first appearance as Justice League Task Force #16 (August 1994), which was written by Waid and pencilled by Sal Velluto. However, his 3-part “origin story” – the first one I remember where he really played a major role – was written by Christopher Priest and appeared in the September 1994 issues of the League’s books (Justice League America #92, JL Task Force #17, and Justice League International vol. 2 #68). Triumph, a/k/a Will McIntyre (sometimes MacIntyre), was a superhero with energy-based powers who, but for a quirk in the timestream, would have been a founding member of the Justice League. That’s right, he was the Sentry before the Sentry was cool. Also, he’s usually drawn with blond hair.
– Skyrocket, a/k/a Celia Forrestal, was created by Kurt Busiek and Tom Grummett for their original super-team The Power Company. She first appeared in the Power Company preview story in JLA #61 (February 2002).
– The Flash (Wally West) you all know.
The Heywood Corps are a reference to Hank Heywood, Sr., a Golden Age hero known as Commander Steel who had powers due to mechanized components. He used those same components to keep his grandson alive (and also to make his grandson the hero known as Steel). Here, Heywood is using mechanized components to create the Heywood Corps of cyborg heroes.
Carter Hall watches as various heroes try to stop the invasion of multi-dimensional baddies.
The heroes on this page are pretty straightforward – Luthor, Atom-Smasher, Power Girl, Hawkgirl and Black Orchid.
The only one I am unfamiliar with is Sky-Knight. Anyone know who Sky-Knight is?
I don’t think we need annotations for Konvict meeting up with Enigma and Morgaine.
Morgaine is most likely discussing her communication with Konvict in last issue’s second story, where Konvict discovered that the human he killed is alive in this reality.
So we finally have a name for Konvict! Xalitan Xor, Warhound of the First Array!
Xalatan is a brand name prescription eyedrop. Xalitan’s eyes are so red he could probably go for some eyedrops.
Xalitan Xor is a pretty cool name – suitably pompous.
Here we learn that the Trinity being taken from reality is not the ONLY thing messing with the Worldsoul. The Worldsoul could probably heal from simply the Trinity being yanked from it, but Morgaine and her terrible trio are still messing with reality, so it is like a wound that keeps getting poked at, never allowing it to fully heal.
Here Rita confirms that the bad guys need her, so she and Charity have to figure out what to do next.
I don’t think I need to annotate Carter’s nice speech debating whether it is a smart idea to risk this reality for a possible better reality.
The Thanagar outfit that Gangbuster gives Carter here – where is it from? It looks different than Hawkman’s standard outfit.
In any event, there is a Troika once again – Morgaine, Enigma and Xalitan Xor!
“Here and There and Everywhere” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Scott McDaniel, inked by Andy Owens, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief – The Trans-Volitional Man, Swashbuckler, Primat and the Tattooed Man escape captivity just in time to be recruited by Morgaine for her army.
This is the return of the Dreambound, first with Michael Cannefick, the The Trans-Volitional Man, who we first met in Trinity #8. We get some background info on Michael here.
Here we see Michael slowly connect with the previous reality and his fellow Dreambound (nice little touch – unbound dreams, dreams…bound).
We see Primat, also of Trinity #8, who was previously shown to be quite the reader, so it makes sense that she’d be reading in jail.
Here is Swashbuckler, who first popped up in Trinity #9, working for Morgaine.
Mark Richards, the current Tattooed Man, first showed up in Green Lantern Vol. 4 #9, by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins. Richards was a former U.S. Marine who became a hit man, who claimed he was “redeeming” the sins of the men and women he killed. He showed up in Infinite Crisis as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains, and he recently popped up in Final Crisis in a nice story with Black Lightning in Final Crisis: Submit.
Here we see the others use Richards to bring back Hemi Kiwara, also introduced in #8, who was transformed in #10 to Sun-Chained-In-Ink, thus completing the four Dreambound members.
Morgaine brings them back into the fold.
Now we see the Dreambound leading the new army, including a number of major villains like Doctor Polaris, Eclipso, the Brain, Poison Ivy, Parasite, Gorilla Grodd, Ace from the Royal Flush Gang – who are the other three guys?
Okay, that’s it!
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