Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review- TRIO

Before I begin my review, I'd like to take a moment to air my sadness at the demise of the Comics Buyer's Guide magazine. News of it's cancellation came out of nowhere and exploded across the numerous comic book news sites. Institutions such as Newsweek and now Comics Buyer's Guide are having a tough go of it here in the 21st century. While the Internet rules because it can cater to any fringe or niche, it was nice to have mainstream cultural barometers such as these. There are no real centers to the mainstream anymore.
I had 2 reviews published in CBG a couple of years ago in the Fan Reviewer section. They weren't my best work by a long shot, but seeing my stuff in print was an absolute thrill. Thanks to Brent Frankenhoff (CBG editor) for making that happen. I will miss seeing Comics Buyer's Guide appear in my mailbox every month and wish all of the staff at the magazine the best. Thanks for the memories.

When I returned to comic books a decade ago after a dozen or so years in exile, Wizard and Comics Buyer's Guide were right there informing and exposing me to various comics. I should curse them for turning me on to even more comic books, but instead I thank them. Wizard went south for a couple of years prior to it closing it's doors, focusing on movies and video games over comic books. Their once witty and sometimes sarcastic reviews became watered down hype bubbles. It was this demise in objectivity which inspired me to start reviewing these books in the first place.

What, no comic books suck? Impossible.

Bendis is a great writer? Which Avengers book did you buy? Because mine had nothing but padding in it and I read the whole trade in under 40 minutes.

Okay, so the book was a good read, but what about the paper? The binding?

It was the lack of resources on the Internet on this sort of thing and the ass-kissing nature of most reviews in Wizard that led to the formation of this here blog. I found a wonderful community of like-minded collected edition obsessives over at the Masterworks Message Board, an invaluable forum for our niche within a niche hobby. I started out on myspace and once that site was dead I decided to make my reviews their own entity, so that no matter which social networking site was in favor they would all be in one place.
It should also be noted that I buy all of this stuff myself. No freebees. On the rare occasion that something is free, I have stated it clearly. I can count all of these occasions on one hand, out of the hundreds of reviews that I've posted over the last 5 years. That also makes this site unique. This isn't a shill site, where I'm pimping Publisher X's products because I get freebees. I'm not above selling out, though, so if Avatar or Marvel or DC want to start sending me crates of books, I'd be cool with that, too. 

TRIO (IDW, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Trio Nos. 1-4 (cover dates May- August, 2012)
Writer and Artist: John Byrne

Everything about Trio is huge. The concept, the characters, the setting, and the action are all larger than life and as fun as any Marvel Comic from the '60s-80s. This is Byrne living out his superhero fantasies, creating a new team in an unnamed yet likely futuristic setting. The team is clearly Government sanctioned, although we don't see who is running the show until the fourth issue, and only then for a moment. 
Rock, Paper, and Scissors (or as they refer to each other, One, Two, and Three, and not in that order) comprise the team, and they tangle with threats such as Nautilus and his sea monster, Leviathan, an alternate Earth Nazi robot/monster called Golgotha, and an invading space alien who tries to steal the Earth's water supply. This book is high on action and low on backstory. According to the John Byrne Forum, there will be a second series. This will hopefully flesh out some of these concepts and put some meat on the bones. 
I found myself unable to put this book down until I was done reading it. I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what happened next. Isn't that what comic books are supposed to do? Four issues are not enough. I am begging for more, not screaming for mercy from a bloated 6 issue talking head arc. I can't wait for the next series, although I will have to. No issues have even been solicited as of this writing.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- IDW has improved the glue in their trade paperbacks. No creaks when fanning through this book.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Super thick stock with a slight coating, albeit a dull matte finish coating that results in no glare.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Like I said above, IDW had some glue issues in the past (see my review for the MGM Midnite Movies trade paperback a while back). That is not the case here.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. This has a decent quality coating that won't have me losing sleep.

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