By John Byrne & Leonard O’Grady
Even though the cover says Triple Helix #1 and is the first issue about this particular super-group, this issue picks up right where Trio #4 left off in the ruin of the city after Trio had defeated Nautilus and is hulking monster. This may seem like a new series but it also seems to be John Byrne doing a bit of his own world building.
Both Triple Helix and Trio take place in the same universe of Byrne’s making so this issue serves mostly as a transition from one series to another. It may sound confusing but it really isn’t, Byrne has a lot of experience in making comics that are easily accessible to most new readers. One thing you can always expect from a Byrne books is fleshed out characters. Almost all of Byrne’s recent mini-series for IDW set up the story do some world building and introduce characters incredibly well with the first issue which is imperative when you only have four issues to tell a story. The one thing that makes Triple Helix unique compared to his previous IDW work is not only does he introduce a new super group but continue a story he left over a year ago. This is no easy feat but Byrne’s pulls it off well without bogging the story down with a bunch of exposition.
When people hear or see the name John Byrne they immediately think of his distinctive art style and this continues in Triple Helix with Byrne drawing the kind of art that got him his large fan following, simple superheroes. Triple Helix is a 5 person team and each character has their own style and personality even if their uniforms might be sort of similar. Aside from the clear team leader, Cataclysm, there is Javelin the quick thinking female, Pylon the armored-skin strong guy, Apex the agile crime fighting ape and new member and speedster young girl, Dart. Each character is designed to have their own identity but they also have some mild stereotypical traits that borrow from characters you may have read before but not similar enough to call them analogs of anyone except Pylon does seem to draw heavily from X-Man Colossus. In fact, if you consider Trio Byrne’ version of a Fantastic Four then Triple Helix would be his version of the X-Men.
Triple Helix but like it’s sibling series Trio are a kind of throwback style reminiscent of Byrne’s older works from the 80’s. For fans of Byrne’s work or just that period of comics, this can really satisfy that hunger but many new readers might not “get it” or find some of the themes to fell simple or dated. It’s not really a bad thing, there are plenty of younger kids that could read this and get enjoyment out of it. Characters might seem somewhat stereotypical but there are also some adult themes and small twists to still keep the reader interested. I would urge people who are either fans of comic nostalgia or if you are new to comics and find the mess of continuity at the Big 2 to be overwhelming then give this a try and if you like it then go find the Trio trade because Byrne really is one of the creators you should know.