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Trio by John Byrne
Review by Drew Bittner
IDW Publishing Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781613774113
Date: 16 October 2012 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

A team of superheroes--informally dubbed Rock, Paper, and Scissors--battle an aquatic behemoth and then said behemoth's mighty master, greet an alien and face a long-forgotten the space of four issues. Clearly, the titular Trio by John Byrne does not spend time drinking coffee and waiting for the phone to ring!

When a Godzilla-sized creature dubbed Leviathan arises from the harbor of their fair city, three superheroes answer the call of duty. They are: One, who exists in only two dimensions (though able to stretch her limbs and body, she has absolutely zero depth--physically, not metaphorically); Two, who can turn his lower arms into long cutting blades; and Three, a stony powerhouse. Working together, they battle the monster through the city, fighting it to a draw just in time for Nautilus, an amphibian who seems seriously hostile toward the surface world, to make an appearance.

The action is slam-bang fast, with scarcely time to draw a breath before another, potentially more dangerous menace rears its head. But despite long odds, Rock, Paper, and Scissors manage to keep barely a step ahead--and the solution to their most immediate problems is both elegant and ingenious.

John Byrne is that rarity among creators: a fellow who has justified the term 'legend' many times over. His work at Marvel Comics includes groundbreaking work on The Uncanny X-Men (a stint that saw Wolverine become a breakout star) and The Fantastic Four; then he rebooted Superman in the Man of Steel miniseries and continued Superman's adventures well afterward. He has drawn virtually every character in the worlds of Marvel and DC, drawn and/or written comic book titles for Star Trek and the heroic vampire, Angel, and branched out into original works such as Next Men, Danger Unlimited, Cold War and now Trio. Very few comic book professionals could hope to approach such a diverse and illustrious body of work.

Trio is classic comic book storytelling, harking back to the days when superheroes faced real danger and the stakes kept getting higher with every page. Byrne masterfully recreates that rollercoaster experience here, using all new characters who feel like long-established veterans, battling evil and coming across surprises at every step. New readers will delight in the team's adventures, older readers will nod in appreciation--and catch subtle bits that might escape young 'uns. There is literally something here for everyone.

The one downside? It might be awhile before the next miniseries, as Byrne has many commitments ahead, including a pair of mystery projects and a return to his Next Men storyline. But it's sure to be well worth the wait.

Highly recommended.

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