So once in awhile you come across a comic that you know is going to be special, a comic that says "just go ahead and pluck me from the pile, you don't even need to look inside, you know I'm gonna be worth the two bucks." This is one of those comics.
Nothing screams "take me home" like promising the secret lift-off origin of four Campbell's Soup Kids disguised as Power Rangers! And confusingly titled "Trinity Troopers?" I mean, there's four of them!
Hmm. "Trinity." Does this mean... is this...
Well, here we are in a town like ours, seeing a boy, much like ourselves, climb up to a tree house just like all the other tree houses that were designed by professional tree house architects and built by professional contractors. Seriously, this is one hell of a tree house. And I know tree houses! Some of my greatest broken bones were the result of tree houses.
I'm not up on my slang, is "trippin'" good or bad? Does the Bible help you to not trip, or to trip further? At least now we know what the "Trinity" in "Trinity Troopers" means. It means the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ALL signed off on this.
Just a little something to make life in your luxury treehouse a little more bearable - a giant armload of treats and snacks.
Buckle in, Charity, it's gonna be like this from now on - your value to men is directly proportional to the food you provide them. We don't make the rules!
Ten-year olds talking like sitcom characters, complete with laugh track. Trinity Troopers! Thursdays at 8:30, 7:30 central!
Sure, you can trip over a box of cookies and do a complete somersault onto an ottoman. Happens all the time... in sitcoms. As we mentioned before.
Kids wander aimlessly, Bud might get fired again from his minimum wage comic book store job, the place is crawling with fuzz, and people - people are downright grumpy. Also, apparently Shoney's Big Boy has somehow fathered children. Civilization is definitely doomed!
Somebody needs to contact the news media right away about this important, breaking "children unhappy in school" story!
Meanwhile on a TV set somewhere nearby, a re-run of "The Super Friends" reveals the fortress of the Legion Of Doom rising from the swamp.
Oh no, the limited edition Cabbage Patch "Masters Of Evil" collection is making dastardly plans!
Remember, when your kids misbehave and rebel, it's not their fault, it's the fault of these weirdly deformed mutants and their bid for world conquest through childhood gossip and greed for candy and toys.
The plans of the dark master are always given a thorough examination and rigorous debate before being put into action, right? Oh, who am I kidding, the mascot for the Sacramento Serpents hisses "yes" and that's all there is to it.
Meanwhile our friends are putting their own plan into action! And that intricate and finely-detailed plan is... "ask God what to do."
I'm not saying this comic might want to find a different name for its inspiring preacher, but the only "Pastor Fred" most of us know of is Fred Phelps, who was famous for public-shame demonstrations outside funerals; demonstrations so hateful and disrespectful even outlaw motorcycle gangs were appalled. Maybe don't listen to *that* Pastor Fred.
Just pray and wait! That's it. None of this "God helps those who help themselves" stuff. And if you thought we were going to be getting any sort of Christian guidance or ethical goalposts in this comic - if you were waiting for these kids to actually get out there in the world and forgive their enemies, help the suffering, feed the hungry, any of that actual Christian stuff... well, no. You're not getting any of that.
You know, artists throughout the ages have chosen to depict the Heavenly Kingdom in vague, nebulous strokes, generally letting the shining light of glory obscure the finer details of the Pearly Gates and all that lay beyond. Perhaps Trinity Troopers could have taken a cue from its artistic forebears? No. Heaven looks like printed circuit diagrams, and that's final.
Usually when we see the Glowing Head of JHVH Himself in the comics, He's condemning sinners to eternal damnation after making them watch a real-time film of all their life's mistakes. I guess today is His day off from damnation duty.
Yes, they're all seeing it. Now get on with your story, comic. Wasting two panels on whether or not characters can see a thing? This isn't decompressed storytelling, this is decompressed story-STOPPING
Sure, waste THREE panels on this. Also, get that kid checked out, I think he's having a seizure.
Hello, children of God. I have a message for you. And that message is "stop staring at my codpiece."
What's worse, descending from Heaven with a holy mission from God just to interrupt it with lame vaudeville jokes, or writing, drawing, printing and distributing an entire 32 page comic just to interrupt its holy message from God with lame vaudeville jokes?
Hey readers! Can you do me a favor? If a glowing Jollibee-mascot-head angel shows up and tells you God has called you to go to war on his behalf, I want you to seek psychiatric help right away. I mean like immediately.
And now, back to Trinity Troopers, who are being charged with defeating their town's enemies. I assume these are real estate speculators, onerous zoning boards, and Wal-Mart killing all the mom & pop businesses along Main Street.
So I'm guessing we have to waste the rest of this comic with pointless character introduction and world-building?
YOU HAVE GUESSED CORRECTLY!!
I can't remember if this is the bad guy from Rainbow Brite, or if this is the bad guy from Care Bears, or from Strawberry Shortcake, or the Popples? The Wuzzles? Was there a villain menacing the Get-Along Gang?
Dollar Store Serpentor, Great Value Harley Quinn, Kirkland Signature Iron Man, and President's Choice Dr. Doom are some of the enemies you might see, if this comic book ever got beyond the "character introduction" stage. Which it definitely will, for certain! It's not like we haven't seen fifty or a hundred of these small-press indy super people comic books that wastes its one chance in print telling us all about how great everyone is in the story they won't be telling us.
Well, at least we're done with these useless introductions.
Whoops, here's three more characters that we're only seeing because somebody spent a lot of time coming up with these names and costumes, and by golly, they're going to make it into the comic book, they didn't come up with these characters for them to NOT see print. And beware!! They could spend the rest of the day telling us all about their amazing galaxy of wonderful original characters that are available for licensing in a wide variety of multi-media projects! Do you mind? I think you'll really find them fascinating, and... (sound of feet running, door slamming)
Certainly a rough gang of villains! They would definitely be a challenge to face in a story that actually involved conflict or confrontation, instead of exposition and backstory. But remember. You might be tired and want to give up. You'll have to ask God to give you the strength to finish making fun of this comic. Which, interestingly enough, is what I am doing right now.
Ethnic Kid, Horse Girl, Doofus Dude, and Uber Eats Cookie Delivery Specialist are ready for their holy war!
FINALLY the text references God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the Holy Trinity! Take THAT, you 4th century Arian heretics!
And just to make sure this comic never gets anywhere near any sort of plot development, let's give each Trinity Trooper their own introductory spec-sheet. Just in case you might need to refer to these characters and their specific super-powers at some point in the two whole pages they have left in their one appearance ever.
Let's break this down: the boys can go places and do things, the girls can watch. That's how God wants it and that's how it's gonna be.
So this custom treehouse was already awesome, it had electricity and a TV and video games and one of those rolling Rubbermaid three-drawer storage containers, they're really useful and they hold up really well, you definitely want one of those in your dream treehouse. And now, this already amazing treehouse is transformed into a high-tech control room with buttons and controls and video screens and everything! To make it easier for God to talk to them, or something.
Okay kids, you've got your full Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future Christian Nationalist Theocracy Armor on, you've got the amazing control room, you possibly have some sort of hallucinatory schizophrenia or bipolar disorder situation happening, and you've got a battle cry within you just itching to get out there.
And no, the battle cry is not "schwik."
It's Lightsabers Aloft as our Trinity Troopers unite... right back into the darkness of the big-headed Snap Crackle and Pop cereal mascot nightmare world from whence they came. This was it! This was all the Trinity Trooping we were ever going to get. We were spared seeing these characters make any sort of attempt at actually trying to fight the forces of misbehavior and selfishness and gossip, and for that, I guess we need to thank a higher power... most likely the divine indifference of the comic book buying public.
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