The Trinity Sessions: Busiek on #7 AND #8

The Trinity Sessions #7 and #8

Welcome back! We had a slight schedule change-up, but we’re getting back on track with this double-up. Let’s get to it.

Trinity #7

Newsarama: For those unhappy people that missed JLA/Avengers, and despite the fact that you do touch on it in the second story, can you give a bit of background on Krona and the Cosmic Egg? What’s your take on Krona, in particular?

Kurt Busiek:Well, I don't think we just "touch on it" in the back-chapter -- it's pretty much a dossier on who Krona is and why he matters to this story, so I'm not sure what to add.

But beyond the factual stuff -- like Krona being an immortal Oan scientists who wants to learn everything there is to know so he defied his society's taboos and caused a disaster but is unrepentant and still driven (deep breath) -- I'd say he's kind of DC's Pandora character. Driven by curiosity, he unleashed evil, and while Pandora did so out of thoughtless curiosity and realized her error, Krona just doesn't care how much he wrecks in the search for more knowledge. So he's going to keep at it until he's learned everything there is to know or he's destroyed everything trying. Which makes him a pretty good villain.

Last we saw Krona, in JLA/Avengers, he'd just had some major revelations about how universes worked, and been put into a position where he could experience the birth of a universe directly. The JLA assumed that was kind of a win-win situation (he's not a problem any more and he'll get what he wants), but they've been keeping an eye on him just in case.

But as things seem to be working out, he's still not happy and they didn't have the eye on him they thought they had. And the bad guys are playing with greater power than they're aware of. What'll come of it? What does Krona want now (aside from "out!") and will he get it? Stay tuned...

NRAMA: I love that the JLA has a “wolf-men” database. I also love the Jimmy Olsen gets an entry. At this point, is there someone in particular in charge of maintaining JLA case files? Batman? Oracle?

KB: I assume they take turns, and everyone updates the files in turn, so Flash is going to keep the Mirror Master file updated, while Superman's the guy who wrote up the entry on Jimmy.

And I also assume that Batman updates everything, correcting other members' entries, and annoys people doing it.

Sometimes, I figure the notes they leave behind as they update things read something like this:

NRAMA: Speaking of Batman and case files, he demonstrates some of his familiar detective flair by connecting the thefts, the tarot elements, the creatures and Wonder Woman’s brand pretty quickly. Is it difficult to apply the detective flair to Batman, in terms of giving him a challenging case at this point in his fictional life?

KB: The trick to writing someone smarter than you is, as Mark Waid has said, that you get to think for four days about what Brainiac 5 is going to do next, and then you have him come up with it in a split-second. It's the same with Batman -- he often figures things out the minute he has all the evidence, so the suspense comes in trying to line up the evidence.

Although in this case, I'll note that Wonder Woman figures it out the same time Batman does, and other characters are right up there with them. He's smart, but they're no dummies either.

NRAMA: Have to ask: is the single rose in front of the dead civilization a reference to the Dark Tower? We are talking about worlds upon worlds and the end of all that is, after all.

KB: Fabian plotted that bit in, so he might say otherwise, but I don't think so. It's just a way to show the cycle of things growing, dying and renewing.

NRAMA: I liked the way that you portrayed the John Stewart/Young Firestorm interaction. Would say that John’s a natural mentor for the younger heroes?

KB: He probably could be. In this case, though, it's more that Firestorm sees him that way, or at least sees him as someone to talk to -- Firestorm's new to all this, and doesn't want to look stupid. So he goes to one of the other black men on the team privately, rather than say something in a group setting; it's probably easier for him to admit he feels vulnerable to someone who's been a success as a black man in avery high-profile situation.

Had he gone to Black Lightning, that would have likely worked too, but Jefferson Pierce hasn't been around the League as long or had personal experience with Krona, so it'd have wound up a drier story. And this way, we've started off a Firestorm/GL relationship that'll lead to stuff in later issues...

Trinity #8

NRAMA: So, Despero and the Egg. Bad news, eh?

KB: Oh yeah. All the power of a gestating universe with an angry nutball in the middle, in the hands of unscrupulous villains? It doesn't sound good.

NRAMA: Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor . . .and yes, great to see you use the words “stately Wayne Manor”. Actually, I was intrigued by the brief scene with Dick, Tim, and the two female party-goers. Tim in fact compares the ladies to Killer Croc. Keen detective skills aside, are the boys just naturally skeptical of any woman that shows an interest in Bruce, given his mission in life and the, er, frequent lack of depth of his party companions?

KB: I think they both have the ability to read people well, so they're not going to make blanket assumptions. But someone who just wants to get close to Bruce because he's rich, handsome and famous -- well, they'll have seen a lot of those, and endured a lot of attention from people who see them as nothing more than a doorway to Bruce.

NRAMA: The party scene segues into other moments with Clark and Diana in their civilian identities. Diana’s return to “Diana Prince” is a somewhat recent development, after many years of Wonder Woman having no “secret identity”. How crucial is the Diana Prince construct to the current reading of Wonder Woman?

KB: I think it's pretty interesting. Diana's spent years without a secret identity, so she needs to adjust -- even back when she was slinging tacos, she was still a princess first and foremost. Now she's got a civilian ID who isn't a princess, so she's got to figure out how that works, and for all that she said in #1, she's not as used to it as Bruce and Clark are.

It's just one more way the characters are different, so it's fun to explore. Of course, if she still didn't have a secret ID, that's be another way they're different, and we'd be exploring that. But I like her having a secret ID, and enjoy writing those scenes.

NRAMA: On the mystery of Enigma . . . he says that he has “familiarity” with the operatives committing the robberies, he refers to his abilities as a riddle, and his half-mask covers obvious scarring. The things suggest connections to Batman’s Rogues Gallery in general, and the Riddler and Two-Face in particular. You’ve also suggested that this might be someone we already know. My first take would be that it’s someone amalgamating the gimmicks of various Bat-enemies, maybe even a version of the Riddler from the future. Is that anywhere in the neighborhood of the right track?

KB: That's...hard to say. At least not without giving stuff away.

I will say that you'll know more about Enigma by the end of the first act of this series, and learn more about him still in Act II. And the back-chapter to #12, beautifully-drawn by Mike Norton and Karl Kesel, stars the Riddler.

NRAMA: Out-of-left-field question . . . we just found out that the Milestone and Archie characters will be back in the DCU. If you had the ability to do so, given your schedule, are there any of those characters that you might like to see run into the Trinity? Any particular favorites among them?

KB: I wouldn't want to rope them into TRINITY, because this series is all about how the Trinity fit into and work with the rest of the DCU, so characters who are complete newcomers to them don't have as much to say about that. But outside of TRINITY, it might be fun.

I'm a big fan of Static and Icon, and I like the goofy Sixties treatment of the Mighty Crusaders way too much to be healthy. Though I doubt DC's going to go that route, with the Web being a henpecked husband and the Shield being a chronically-fired guy in love with the woman at the employment agency. But I'll be very interested in what angle they do take...

Incidentally, I'm attaching some art that DC says I can share, and here's all I'll say about it at the moment:

This is someone who turns up in #18. She's a hero, and you've seen her before. And boy, Bagley draws nice, don't he? Newsarama Note: Click the right arrow up top to see the image Kurt is talking about.

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