Broken Trinity is graphic novel anthology that collects issues from a Top Cow crossover event involving characters from Witchblade and The Darkness comics. Picking up after the events of an earlier crossover, forces beyond our world are battling it out for supremacy, leaving Sara Pezzini (the bearer of the Witchblade) and Jackie Estacado, The Darkness, as the only defenders of the Earth. These two individuals recently had a child together, which has drawn the attention of The Angelus, a group of celestial angels who have taken an interest in the infant. Meanwhile, two ancient artifacts have found new masters that, when worn, turn them into mythical beasts from ages past destined to fight each other for eternity. These two forces ultimately interfere with the Angelus, Witchblade and The Darkness resulting in a five way battle royale.
First and foremost, Broken Trinity will not make much sense to those who have not been following Witchblade and The Darkness. Not only is Broken Trinity set some time after the last major crossover between these two franchises, it references material from that event and doesn’t explicitly say why Estacado can’t use his powers, the comic assumes you already know. Furthermore, the story doesn’t end after you’ve closed the book. Broken Trinity is the start of an entirely new story arc that tasks the major players with hunting down several mysterious artifacts. Despite the investment needed to really get the most out of Broken Trinity, I could still follow the plot. Even though I had several moments of “Who’s that guy? How do they know her? Who’s baby is that?” it wasn’t enough for me to quit the book. That said, I came away with no interest in seeking the conclusion to this new arc.
As is the case with crossovers, Broken Trinity’s artwork is inconsistent as almost every chapter is drawn by a different artist. Stjepan Sejic’s contribution is the highlight of the entire work, as characters, locations and action set pieces are rendered beautifully in a nice watercolor-like style. On the other hand, I didn’t much care for the work of Jorge Lucas because of his overeagerness to cast shadows over everyone and everything. The design of the characters, specifically the Angelus, highlight the main issue I have with Top Cow properties. Costumes and creature designs tend to be exaggerated and busy. A good example of this is when the Angelus appear in their true form. They are given the typical organic outfit that cover up the important lady bits while showing as much skin as humanly possible, especially around the pelvic and chest regions. The Angelus are supposed to be warriors, but their outfits are ridiculously unsuitable for combat.
For a comic involving mafia hoods and angels that can disintegrate people, the level of violence is surprisingly tame. There are a few bloodied corpses, a barfly gets cut up into several pieces, and an older man gets turned into a charred skeleton after being kissed, but on the whole, things are quite tame. The work is easily suitable for the 15 and up crowd, as long as they don’t have a problem with adult language. However, what will ultimately make or break this book for readers is their knowledge of the the central cast. While you can read Broken Trinity on its own, those who have followed the exploits of The Darkness and Witchblade will get more pleasure out of it.
by Phil Hester, Bryan Edward Hill, Ron Marz
Art by Nelson Blake II, Stjepan Sejic, Brian Stelfreeze
Top Cow, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: 15