Best Shots Extra
From: DC Comics
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art: Mark Bagley with Art Thibert
Color: Pete Pantazis
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Writers: Fabian Nicieza (script) with Kurt Busiek
Art: Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens
Color: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Carlos Pacheco
Now this, kids . . . this is how you launch a weekly book. DC definitely made the right choice with this assemblage of talent. From the opening narrative caption, Kurt Busiek demonstrates that he’s in complete control of his part of the story. It’s obvious fairly quickly that this book has a drive and purpose solidly in place, and I think that we can agree by now that that’s extremely important with this type of project. As you know, Busiek’s handled most of the big guns in comics at one time or another (most recently, Superman, and in the not too distant past, the JLA); he’s a veteran storyteller that not only knows the mechanism by which super-hero stories should be written, but how scope and attitude play their part.
In the first story of the issue, Busiek juxtaposes brewing events of cosmic import with Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Diana Prince gathering for . . . breakfast. It’s a dynamite bit that quickly establishes who everyone is, how they play their secret identities in public, and how their behavior and mannerisms compare. I love the anal-retentive exactness with which Bruce orders a latte versus Clark’s notion of taking whatever’s easiest from the kitchen staff. It’s damn smart character writing.
Of course, there’s some action as well, most of it supplied in the first part by the fastest family alive. Busiek demonstrates his command of character with a spot-on Wally West (who might be the best dad in comics these days). The further cast interactions set the tone for things going forward, and we get some interesting cliffhangers dealt as well.
Now, inasmuch as the writing is great, Bagley and Thibert simply tear it up on the art side. Their panels are ridiculously detailed (check out the donut counter) and the action is fluid. (Note to DC: if Bagley’s not completely exhausted when this is over, how about a run on Flash?) The pair also demonstrates terrific subtlety of expression; note the goofy smile that Bruce wears as his public face, then watch how it recedes into the sharp demeanor of Batman. This is good stuff.
As for the second half, it’s very entertaining in a completely different way. We’ve all wondered exactly what Nicieza’s “side” was going to be, and looking at it now, it makes perfect sense. Approaching the other side (plotted with Busiek) more or less as an inversion of the first side, Nicieza gets to throw the spotlight on some lesser-known, lesser-used characters in a way that’s still a completely organic part of the larger story. This also answers the question (for the most part) of who the “other” Trinity might be, while suggesting further mysteries to be examined.
Art over here is by the familiar team of Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, and they also do a great job. Actually, their work complements Bagley and Thibert well; you can see that in full effect when we get some cut-scenes that actually are done by Bagley and Thibert. Seeing the images side-by-side is a really interesting bit, and shows you just how hard everyone is working.
I really, really enjoyed Trinity #1. If you’re going to do a weekly series, this seems like a great way to approach it: two parallel narratives shepherded by some top-flight creators working toward a clearly defined plot. I’m frankly excited to see more. Busiek truly gets the characters, Nicieza seems to be having a good time, and the art all-around is rock-solid. Trinity looks like DC’s next big winner.