Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Against The Trinity

Scipio has made an eloquent argument in favor of the Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. And while I think he made his case eloquently, I couldn't help but cringe at the "sit at a four-legged table versus a three-legged one, and ask yourself which one wobbles more." Sure, but who wants to read a story about a table that DOESN'T wobble?

Sure, there are iconic trinities, but much more "iconic" symbolism falls into Fours: The Four Seasons, The Four Elements. It is also the configuration of two sets of two played off against each other: crescent, gibbous, waxing, waning. The two sides of the X and Y axes giving four quadrants.

Also, even for each element that Scipio correctly argues is a set of "Three", there is the missing "Un"-element. The unasking of the question. The Trinity give you the three possible parenting arrangements, but what about the character for whom parentage simply isn't an issue, or is fluid? The one who looks at the spectrum of values, and decides that it is not the proper spectrum to be considering?

When I started writing this post, I didn't really have an idea who the fourth member of the Tetrology should be. "Green Lantern" or "The Flash" seemed like likely choices, or maybe a legacy to distinguish "new" from "old." But the more I typed, the more obvious it became.

"Superman, always super; Wonder Woman, super in costume and normal without; Batman, always normal." Sure, but Guy Gardner doesn't care. If he's got a Power Ring, then great! If he doesn't, he's got internal Vuldarian powers! If he gets his ring back, he becomes human again, and Vuldarians go away. Guy Gardner defies your powered/unpowered tri-ality (that's duality + one). Whether he has "superpowers" or a "power ring" or is just fist fighting in an alley, the nature of the power is just not an important question.

The city, the country, the city-state -- and the universe!
Focus, restraint, and balance -- and chaos!
Admiration, fear, respect -- and who freakin' cares, I'm freakin' Guy Gardner!

So, in my view, the Trinity could be improved with the addition of Guy Gardner, specifically BECAUSE he'll make the three-legged table wobble.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

He does seem to have a unique status with the so called "trinity".

Batman and him are opposites. Batman is all about his secret ID and rejecting people, Guy wants everyone to know his name and who he is and all that.

Superman and Guy generally have the same view of the other flipped. Guy respects Superman but hates his boy scout attitude, wheras Superman respects Guy's attitude for getting things done but doesn't respect Guy himself.

Wonder Woman has always gotten along with Guy which you'd think wouldn't be the case but Wonder Woman has always had the ability to read into a persons true self and Guy and her are both "warriors" in a sense.

I think you're over-analyzing things. Trinity has only had one issue and Final Crisis as well. While it seems that something is happening with regards to the Libra character (who is a precursor to the 'god' angle) and superheroes becoming "Gods", starting probably with those three, in order to take down whatever sort of being Krona has become.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Ragtime said...


I completely agree that Guy could have been a perfect counterpoint to the "Private Identity"/ "Secret Identity" Conversation in Trinity #1. No mask. No glasses. He's just "Guy" whether he's fighting Sinestro or running a bar.

In terms of "over-analyzing," though, I'm not really analyzing "Trinity" at all. I enjoyed #1 and will buy #2. That's enough for now.

I was simply responding to Scipio's post on the theoretical value of a "Trinity." He's all for it. I think it's missing something.

6:59 AM  

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