Second Coming: Trinity #1 Review: The Profound Satire from Ahoy Comics Returns

One of the best things about Second Coming: Only Begotten Son was the way the series made its larger-than-life characters—a Superman-adjacent hero named Sunstar and the literal Son of God, Jesus Christ—seem human in their challenges and failings. When we last saw them, both men had done some significant growing and were left embarking on new challenges but this time, writer Mark Russell's series takes on another significant figure in the story and, in the process further examines what it means to be human through the lens of his decidedly not human characters and while Second Coming: Trinity #1 is, like the two series before it, rooted in satire, there's a lot more profundity and truth on the pages than one might initially think.

Second Coming: Trinity #1 picks up a year after the previous series and sees Sunstar dealing with fatherhood while Jesus is still around as well, still friends with Sunstar and more or less serving as a nanny of sorts to Sunstar's child, Jordan. But while we have a somewhat idyllic domestic set up, Sunstar is dealing with something more complicated. His nemesis, Cranius, is on trial and Sunstar is to testify in the sentencing phase. However, while it would seem that this is a direct matter where Sunstar could send Cranius away for a very long time—or even land the villain with the death penalty—for his crimes, the story takes a comic book turn but with nuance by finding a way to spare Cranius. It comes via the exploration of the idea that not all villains are simply evil and not all heroes are blameless when it comes to their foes.

This is where Second Coming: Trinity #1 truly excels as an individual issue. We go into not Cranius' true origin story, but rather his life and start to understand why, in part, he is the way he is through an examination of the casual cruelty of those around him. Never at any point in this issue does the villain get a free pass, but the comic does a fantastic job of bringing the idea of being trauma informed to light. Cranius—real name Bill—has been treated horribly by his peers for decades and more than that, the shining example of a good guy, Sunstar, is a major part of it. It's the cruelty of the hero and the vulnerability of the villain that makes this satire less a satire and more a meditative commentary on human nature and the pack mentality we often take on when it comes to those we perceive as different, as well as what that pack mentality can do to another person. By the end of the issue, the reader can empathize with Cranius while still accepting that he's done bad all by himself. Both things can exist at the same time.

While much of that is held in Russell's writing, the other aspects of the issue do their fair share as well. Richard Pace's layouts and Leonard Kirk's finishes are key to balancing the emotions as they flow through the words and Andy Troy's art is a marvel, balancing this upbeat visage over such a serious and moving story. To put it bluntly, this is an issue where all of the pieces work together and while there's a lot of heavy things to consider, it's a testament to how well it all works that the reader doesn't come away overburdened. You just come away thoughtful – and wanting more.

While the entirety of Second Coming has been both fascinating and delightful, Second Coming: Trinity #1 is easily the strongest issue in the whole saga and flawlessly sets the stage for what might be its deepest dive into human nature yet. With strong writing and structural aspects to match, this is simply a marvel of an issue, and it will be fascinating to see where things go next.

Published by Ahoy Comics

On April 5, 2023

Written by Mark Russell

Art by Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk

Colors by Andy Troy

Letters by Rob Steen

Cover by Richard Pace