Indie Comic Review: Trio #1

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!


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5 Responses to Indie Comic Review: Trio #1

  1. Al Cool says:

    Read TRIO at the store and promptly put it back on the shelf. Terrible comic by Byrne.

    The writing is dull and pedestrian. The art is rushed and the cover stock makes the whole comic look cheap and feel like it was printed on toilet paper.

    His old stuff was so much better. What happened? Is it true Byrne is losing his eyesight?


    • admin says:

      I honestly think this is the best Byrne stuff in years. It is not as good, in my opinion, as his work in the 80′s, but it is better than some of the stuff I have seen from him recently.

      Like I said in my review, it is difficult for me to see my icons struggling. Shooter’s stuff at Dark Horse was not great. Claremont is almost unreadable for me. Byrne is really struggling as well. But, Trio was a solid effort (in my opinion).

      What did you pick up that you enjoyed?

  2. Matt R says:

    Great review as usual but I have to disagree. The whole issue was tepid at best.

    Byrne’s dialogue is horrid. He cannot write real people talking and his captions just recap what we are seeing in the artwork. Pedestrian stuff.

    Avengers Assemble #3 by Bendis and Bagley was fun. Lots of action and a cool reveal at the end that fans of the movie will love. Superheroics done right.

    The latest Batman by Snyder and Capullo was great too. The Owls storyline is a modern day classic.

    Matt R

    • admin says:

      Agree that the dialogue was a bit stilted. zBut, if you look back at his issues of Alpha Flight or Fantastic Four, there is a lot of the same thing going on. I did feel like I had stepped in to a bit of a time-warp with the book. As I said, very 1986!

      I am very curious about the Batman reboot. Have ordered some of the trades. I am gun-shy with Bendis on Avengers. He put me right off the book. I love his work on Powers. I think Alias is genius. His Avengers work left me cold. Maybe I will check out an issue or two and see if I have warmed to it.

  3. Joe says:

    I found it entertaining, and will certainly be back, but more for the story than the Art.
    I’ve usually been a fan of Byrne’s storytelling, and this was more of the same. So there was that to enjoy, and the art was … passable.
    But to hear people raving about the art is ridiculous. This is some of the worst Byrne art I’ve seen, and it’s typical of his style for the last decade and a half
    I mean, he has a character that is a Flat, Empty, white, geometric shape!!?? Which he can stretch to hide large sections of the page… Guess he was real clever to come up with That One !
    And he’s got a Thing-like character that consists of basically a contour, an outer shape, then he adds a few quick lines to suggest minimal interior muscle, and then (here’s the best part) He just Fills It with a Photoshop filter. It’s shockingly weak
    I doubt any page in the book took longer than 2 hours for him to draw.

    But it looks like he still has the skill, because if you want to see “Real” Byrne Art… Go to his website and check out his commissions. That’s where he actually seems to put the real effort (and actually adds Detail and rendering to the characters).
    The commissions are so beautiful it could almost bring tears to your eyes. And if you’re an Art Student, I’d recommend zooming in, and studying his lines.

    So maybe that’s whats really paying the bills for John, and if that’s the case, I can respect his choosing to therefore put less detail, or effort, in the comic books.

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