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Trio #1 - A Day in the Death Review

3

John Byrne introduces a new team of heroes. But in this world, anything goes. Don't expect all the heroes to come out unscathed.

The Good

I've always had a soft spot for John Byrne. Imagine my surprise when I discovered YESTERDAY that he had a new book coming out from IDW (how the heck did I not hear about this?). The story takes place in "another time, another place." That means Byrne has free reign to do whatever he pleases with the characters he creates. When you're a fan of a creator, part of you wants to see them work on your favorite characters but there is something refreshing knowing their working on characters that they've created themselves. Not saying that creators don't always put in 100%, but I would imagine working on your own characters gives a tiny bit more motivation in creating the best stories possible.

In this world, the premiere team of heroes is known as Trio. The members are a variation of the Rock-Paper-Scissors notion and we jump right into the action as the team deals with some 'bad guys.' There were some moments of slightly corny dialogue but I'm going to take that as part of the mood or vibe Byrne is trying to establish. There definitely is a retro and more innocent feel that you don't really see anymore in today's comics.

But don't take the reference to "innocent" as an indication that the book will be a watered down adventure. There is violence and destruction. It was funny because I started thinking to myself that the cost of damages from one battle was skyrocketing and then on the next page, there is a comment on the amount of damage occurring. There's also the fact that the heroes can get hurt. We don't know much about the characters and what their history is but we get enough to make us become invested as tiny details on the Trio are sprinkled throughout.

The Bad

As much as a truly love Byrne, there are some of those infamous empty backgrounds. In fact, one of the characters is ideal to have a lack of detail. I mentioned the bits of corny dialogue and it could be a little standoffish at times.

We have a good introduction to the characters but the level of greatness this series could have will depend on the next issue. The mysteries and little indications on who the Trio are will pique your curiosity but we'll need some solid answers and characterization to make the new characters compelling enough to follow on a regular basis. I can't say I'm completely impressed with the villain in the second half either.

The Verdict

John Byrne and superheroes is a winning combination in my book. Somehow I was completely unaware of this title and seeing Byrne's creations was a welcomed treat. The issue jumps right into the action and the lack of a full introduction or origin is an interesting change of pace. Normally first appearances can get bogged down with the backstory but here we're given some and hopefully we'll continue to get some more next issue. As a huge fan of Byrne's art, it's great to see it but there are moments where the action feel a little empty. The coloring is nice but the overuse of blue and a lighter blue for the sky makes the art sometimes look a little bland. That's not something I normally associate with Byrne's art. Because the characters were all created by Byrne, he can do whatever he likes with them. That adds more suspense, especially when we see one member of the team injured. I now have high hopes for this series and want to be won over even more in the next issue. New and different is good and this is our chance to have more comics from Byrne. I can't wait to see what happens next. Fans of Byrne should definitely check this out. If you haven't read a lot of Byrne's work, give it a shot and see what he has to offer.

13 Comments
Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I've heard good things about Byrne, but I'm hesitant to try because I LOATHED his Doom Patrol with a fury reserved for few others.

What stuff of his is particularly good?

Posted by G-Man

@The Mighty Monarch: I'd say give this a shot. I may have rated it a bit lower because I expect so much from him, if that makes sense. It was borderline between a 3 and a 4. I first fell in love with his Fantastic Four run from the 80s. He did some good Incredible Hulk stuff (there's a Visionaries book with his issues). Some of his West Coast Avengers was good. Next Men was good too, which he recently brought back. Maybe check out the reprints. Oh, and I dug his Wonder Woman stuff too. He introduced Cassie Sandsmark.

Edited by cbishop

@G-Man: He also had a previous IDW book, called FX. Byrne is one of those guys that amazes me for his ability to toe the line of copying a character, but making it his own.

Posted by butters911

I didnt like this book at all. It just felt like a bad Fantastic four ripoff. Instead of coming up with a plot he used "underwater villain very similar to the Submariner decides to lead a big sea monster to attack the city". I used to really enjoy Byrnes work, but now days, it just feels like he's phoning it in.

Posted by G-Man

@cbishop: I liked the first arc but then I think it drifted a little.

@butters911: I didn't like the sea villain. I really really hope things change. I need more Byrne in my monthly comics.

Posted by cbishop

@G-Man said:

@cbishop: I liked the first arc but then I think it drifted a little.

That's probably because it was a originally a mini-series, but expanded into more. I kind of have to agree with this:

@butters911 said:

I used to really enjoy Byrnes work, but now days, it just feels like he's phoning it in.

FX was okay, and I've only seen preview pages of Trio, which made me think it would also be okay, but it does kind of feel phoned in. It sort of feels like Byrne is just doing character exercises here, saving the good stuff for something else. I'm not sure why he'd do that, when this is creator owned, but that's how it feels to me. FX and Trio are fun, but the names aren't that imaginative, and the characters clearly have their parallels at DC or Marvel. Rock, Paper, Scissors are fun names, but their "real" super names are One, Two, and Three. What the <yawn>?

Posted by Gokujam

@G-Man:

Tony, how do you not mention Byrne and Claremonte's X-men work?!??!?

For shame...

Posted by StrangerXL

@G-Man: What?! You didn't hear about this book before yesterday?! BOO!! HISS!! What kind of Byrne fan are you?? (I kid, I kid.)

My two cents. This book may not be for the new school comic fans. Byrne loves doing throw back style comics. I grew up on the pre-90's era of comics so I'm willing to give this a try. I actually like not having everything answered right at the get go.

Byrne reading recomendations : X-Men run with Claremont. Man of Steel mini-series. His Fantastic Four run. Next Men. His Wonder Woman and New Gods/Kirby's Fourth World runs. Superman/Batman Generations 1& 2 mini series and the OMAC mini series both under the Elseworlds imprint.

Posted by SupremeHyperion

It does almost look a little too fantastic four-ish? a think and stretchy man type character? I'll probably give it a read though.

Posted by AskaniSon295

So invis girl has Mr. Fantastic powers torch has blade claws and the thing looks like badrock from youngblood. seems consistant with comic tradition. Hey Cyclops fires red beams out of his eyes just like Superman.

Posted by cloverfly

I believe in giving Byrne time to tell his stories. They almost always are worth the wait to see it all unfold. Thats why his stories read best as TPBs.

Posted by Frobin

I really loved John Byrne back then ... X-Men, Fantastic Four, Superman ... but my interest in his own creation has always been pretty low. He always was amazing working on classic characters like Superman, FF, Alpha Flight, ...

And now I can't stand John Byrne anymore, same with George Perez (whom I also loved back then) ... it's just so old-fashioned to see their artwork nowadays. Same with John Romita Jr. on the Avengers or World War Hulk ... don't like it ... superhero comic books changed, the artwork changed ... somehow the artwork of these guys doesn't fit for me, at least not for the classic heroes (I loved Romita Jr. on Kick-Ass, but I hated him on Avengers).

Posted by Darkmount1

I just picked this up and issue #2, and let me just tell you all this: this series is one of a few exceptions I have regarding my stance on modern comics. I'm giving it a shot, because I like old-school superhero stuff (never got into comics till 2008, so I never experienced the 'magic and wonder' you guys and gals have read). I actually thought these first two issues were charming--AND the paper isn't glossy!!!