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Trio Paperback – 18 Oct 2012

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Come for the art, stay for... well, stay for the art 10 Feb. 2013
By H. Bala - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's not exactly a John Byrne renaissance, with TRIO. It's an okay title if you're looking for your basic superhero narrative. Byrne checks off them comic book tropes one by one. In a near autocannibalistic move, he channels his younger self - the classic 1980s John Byrne - back when he was untouchable with the FANTASTIC FOUR, really good with ALPHA FLIGHT, and brilliant with his reworking of Superman. John Byrne is on my all-time list of great comic book storytellers. I anticipated good things from TRIO. I was hoping to be blown away. Here was another chance for Byrne to frolic and be creative in the independent field, this time with IDW Publishing.

When the lordly, blue-fleshed merman with a grudge summons a leviathan from the ocean depths to assault the surface world, can the city's government-sponsored superheroes rise to the challenge? The answer is: sort of. These heroes refer to each other by designated numbers: One, Two, and Three. Everyone else - especially the media - calls them Paper, Scissors, Rock. Byrne stacks up the odds against the heroes, pits them against skyscraper-tall monsters, and normally that would make the victory all the sweeter. Except that for most of the story arc, One, Two, and Three sort of mill around as ineffectual bystanders. They finally do contribute at the eleventh hour; they sort of luck into it. It doesn't help that Byrne skimps on character development. None of these characters made me want to care about them. Across the board, each character seems flat as, well, as Paper herself.

There are many moments that plunder the pages of the FANTASTIC FOUR. Nautilus, blue awesome master of the sea, is obviously a knock-off of Namor the Sub-Mariner. Kosmos is Galactus. The Trio themselves seem familiar. I hesitate to call it straight-up lazy storytelling because Byrne does throw a wrench in the works by neatly upending the tropes in the end. So I like the plot reversals. Except that if you were to tweak or send up them tropes, you must establish a compelling enough backdrop so that the reader can invest. I don't feel that Byrne fleshed out his characters enough. It doesn't help that Byrne's narrative captions are straight out of the '80s. Maybe Chris Claremont was a house guest when Byrne scripted this bad boy.

By the way, what modern-day 15-year-old uses an expletive like "Blast!"?

I have a hope that John Byrne has got bigger and better things planned for TRIO. He's promised further adventures with them. The worldbuilding needs some work, plenty of mysteries are unplumbed. Maybe Byrne was merely whetting our appetites. He's already introduced the next villain, an archetypal World War II big bad from a parallel dimension. How does he stack up against a hot-tempered guy who can form T-1000 blades with his hands? Or a 15-year-old kid who can painfully transform into a rock creature? Or a literally two-dimensional lady who can sub for Flatman whenever he needs time off from the Great Lakes Avengers? He probably stacks up very well.

Thankfully, John Byrne still can turn out a gorgeous-looking page. His line work and figure drawing are in top form here. That was never the problem.
A new beginning 22 Aug. 2014
By "extreme_dig_cm" - Published on
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A new Byrne-i-verse is introduced in this volume, with a new superhero team called Trio.

The highlight here for me is indeed the artwork- some of it is really quite stunning. Pencils, inks & colors are all great. Byrne is back to drawing in a more high definition style; he's constantly experimented with line-weights & inking over the years, and it's amazing to me that after decades in this industry he's still drawing at a very high level.

As much as I like this art, I think the overall concept & characters here are really kind of average.

Here are the main characters:
*One, aka Paper- she is of Asian ethnicity. A literally 2-dimensional being, she stretches all over the place like Mr. Fantastic or Flatman of the GLA. I actually like her visual design a lot, even if she seems largely ineffective in battle. She's like living origami.
*Two, aka Scissors- he is of Middle Eastern ethnicity. His lower arms & hands turn into blades at will. He seems pretty quick & effective in battle, and can even deflect bullets with his blades.
*Three, aka Rock- he is a young man of African descent. He can painfully transform into a strong, rock-like creature at will. There are a number of characters in comics like this: Thing, Blok, Badrock, Concrete, etc. I think Rock is considered the most powerful member of Trio.

These new heroes are trying to defend their city against the menaces of Nautilus, Kosmos, and Golgotha. Nautilus is a type of merman; Kosmos is a type of giant Alien threat; and Golgotha is a being who seems like the answer to the question, "What if Dr. Doom & the Red Skull had a baby?" Of these three menaces, Golgotha is easily my favorite. I think he has A-list villain potential, and Byrne was very smart to bring him in from the 90's title Danger Unlimited.

I believe comparisons between Trio & the Fantastic Four seem justified. Both teams are based on popular concepts, i.e. the 4 elements, and the kids game "Paper, Scissors, Rock". Yet 2 of the members of Trio seem like inferior versions of their Fantastic counterparts, which increases the feeling that these are mainly B-listers in appeal. Both teams have numerical values in their titles, adding to the similarity. And Byrne worked with both teams, so comparisons are easy to make.

Byrne is somewhat progressive in making all 3 heroes in Trio ethnic minorities, And Scissors is an extreme minority- not just in his ethnicity, but in that he's also openly gay & married to another man. We even briefly meet his husband on 1 page. As a heterosexual male, I'm much more interested in reading about heterosexual characters & their love interests, but if people are looking for gay superheroes, Byrne has contributed nicely.

I had high hopes for Trio, but as great as the artwork is in this paperback, I just can't see this concept as having long lasting appeal in an ongoing series. I do think these heroes could be *excellent* supporting characters, and I'd like to see them stick around. Interestingly, the adventures of Trio continue in a newer title called Triple Helix. I happen to like that paperback quite a bit more.
EXCITING,original,cutting-edge ADVENTURE-book!! 8 Jun. 2015
By Anthony"Tuc-9"Tucker - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extraordinarily creative book,with intriguing story,detailed illustration and hyper-clever heroes. Even the antagonists were of a extremely formidable never seen before variety!! Byrne has definitely lived up to his expectations with this book!!
a lot of people did not like Trio, but it is a work of subtlety in a world of continuous decompression and relaunches pre modern 26 April 2015
By David Walker - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is how a story in real time would actually look.... superhero scientists once fiction dragged into non fiction... here
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good 3 Oct. 2013
By Fred - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this it was a good read but it was a blatant rip off of the fantastic four. Still a good read though. John Byrne is a talented man.
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