I am really torn on new projects by old creators. I am particularly torn when it comes to creators who are responsible for some of the greatest stories of my childhood. I have been burned so many times by the likes of Claremont, Grell, Lee (of the Stan variety), and Shooter that I am afraid to pick up anything new by classic creators. So, it was with some hesitation that I picked up Trio #1 by John Byrne.
John Byrne is, for me, The Fantastic Four. His run on the title is the one against which all others get measured. The writing, the art, the energy, his run had it all. I also loved his first twelve issues of Alpha Flight. And his work on the Avengers. But, when it comes down to it, John Byrne was The Fantastic Four.
Trio is a similar book in many ways. It is about three heroes with vaguely analogous powers to members of the FF (there is a super strong rock-like character, a flexible character, and a character who is able to turn his body in to a living weapon) who fight crime in a New York-like city while living in the public eye. It is a decidedly old-school comic. And, for once, I am fine with that.
I think we have all gone too far overboard with tricks and gimmicks in comics. There are too many splash pages, too much decompressed storytelling, and not enough in any single issue to make it stand out on its own. Byrne has stripped away much of that to give readers a perfect introductory issue that ropes us in with action, sets up the team dynamic, gives us some mystery, and sets up an even bigger challenge for the next issue. It is classic storytelling at its best!
While I may not genuinely care about any of the characters deeply, there is enough in this issue to make me want to come ack to learn more about them. I want to know who they are, how they came together, how they got their powers, and how the hell they are going to stop that rampaging creature!!! I haven’t felt like this since I was 12 and was reading Marvel comics in 1986!
Byrne’s art still has everything that made him a super-star in the 80′s. He has clean lines, powerful figures, and a great sense of layout and design. His pages are clear to read and the action is easy to follow. His script may not set the world on fire, but he story itself is a return to classic form.
Trio is all the best of comics: Pulse-pounding action, big explosions, and a hook to bring you back in 30 days. This book exceeded all of my expectations and I will be back for another dose of Trio next month!