What did the
Art by John Byrne
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Cover by John Byrne & Ronda Pattison
Size: 0 pages
This is either the dumbest thing John Byrne has ever created, or the most brilliant. If you’re a fan of his old-school superhero work, it definitely gives you what you want: Lots of action, exquisitely detailed rubble and smashing, mod futuristic vehicles and overwrought narration. These definitely aren’t the only things John Byrne can do — look at his recent work on Cold War — but it’s as if he’s realized his specialty is throwback comics, and he’s giving us a triple dose of that to see how much we can take.
If you saw the cover to Trio #1 and thought, “hey, that’s just a three-person version of the Fantastic Four,” you’re not exactly wrong. They have a rock-guy who clobbers in a very Thing-like fashion, and a stretchy woman who’s more or less Mr. Fantastic if you crushed him under a steamroller. The guy with blades for hands doesn’t have an exact Fantastic Four analogue, but later on you get a speedoed aquatic supervillain who’s basically what you’d get if Namor and Marrina successfully had a son. Even the rock-paper-scissors motif is reminiscent of Byrne’s Fantastic Four work; his first FF issue, #232, strongly played up the idea that the Four each represented one of the four elements, by having Diablo pit them against their elemental opposites. That issue was called “Back to Basics,” and that feels like what we’re getting here: A really basic, elemental superhero story. Whether it succeeds depends on how easily people can look past the rock-paper-scissors thing, which, admittedly, is a goofy concept for a book.
The previews didn’t exactly make this clear, but it’s also worth noting that this is a superhero team made up entirely of minority characters. Rock, when not grey and rocky, is a black teenager; Scissors is of some unspecified Middle Eastern ethnicity; and Paper is Asian. The politics of this aside, it’s cool to see how far John Byrne has come in drawing different types of faces and different body types; not every character has to be a high-cheekboned blond Adonis any more.
All things considered, I’ll stick with this for a while longer. If this is how he plays rock-paper-scissors, I can’t wait to see what he does with Tic-Tac-Toe.
Art: 4 - Very Good