See all reviews of Triple Helix (4)

One of the most prestigious writers in comic book-dom is back: John Byrne returns to comics with his new series from IDW, Triple Helix. Does Mr. Byrne still possess that magic that kept him so popular for so long? Is it good?

Triple Helix #1 (IDW)


Damn, can John Byrne can write a debut issue. Without any knowledge of any of these characters we are immediately plunged headfirst into a multi-layered, character filled conflict on several different fronts.

This is a very ambitious way to start a series. If the conflict gets too complicated (maybe we wouldn’t be able to understand who these characters are and what roles they play,) new readers can get turned off quickly. Fortunately, Mr. Byrne knows exactly what he’s doing so the conflict is easy enough to follow but still confusing and chaotic enough to create the right kind of hectic atmosphere. My only complaint here would be that we don’t really understand who/what Triple Helix is (three people as the name suggests or a whole group?) and it’s referenced quite often. But that is only a minor grievance.

One of the things I really loved about this comic was how old-school the dialogue sounded but wasn’t forced to the point of being hard to understand. All of the banter is in the Silver Age spirit but still flows nicely.


Although I really liked this issue, I don’t think it was particularly new or interesting as an overall piece of art. There isn’t really any inner meaning or message in this issue, just a battle and a misunderstanding. It didn’t ruin the experience for me, but I think there could have been more to this comic then there was.

And who could hate on Byrne’s art? No one. Although it isn’t the most modern or darkest or most photo-realistic, Mr. Byrne’s artwork is something to behold. I don’t think anyone quite nails facial expressions, proper body mechanics and postures, and realistic action so perfectly as Byrne. There is fun in his artwork yet it remains serious enough to carry the story well.


I am not really sure how this series will play out over 4 issues. I think this comic would have made a wonderful one-shot, but I just can’t even guess where he’s going to take the actual story. I do know I’m looking forward to what comes next, however.


  • Fun, exciting opening
  • Who doesn’t love Byrne’s art?
  • Writing is overall pretty good
  • Seems more like a one and done than a continuous story

Is it Good?

In my humble opinion, yes, quite. A nice mix of old-school spirit and exciting action makes for a pleasing opening issue.



  • Samuel

    “Not a single person in the whole book who isn’t white” maybe you should clarify.

    • Sam Roche

      Any character or extra in the book is white; no blacks, no Latinos, no Asians. I was just trying to point out that John Byrne is pretty racist and doesn’t draw anyone but white people.

      • Mike Norris

        Based on what? If you read Trio, you’d know that Rock is black, Scissor is Arabic and Paper is Asian.In Triple Helix, Javelin is not white. Her skintone is obviously darker than Dart. She might be Southasian since her name is Chandi. There’s also the TV guy, who’s name is Enrico Gomez. The cop who talks to Cataclysm is black.

        Byrne is the guy who made Jim Rhodes black. He created Shaman and Talisman who are Native Canadians. Murcheson in Next Men is Black. Byrne also drew Powerman and Iron Fist featuring black characters Luke Cage and Misty Knight.

        So again I ask, based on what?

        • Buke

          Don’t waste your time, Mike. It’s obvious that Mr. Roche isn’t interested in facts. Though I do wonder how Sam reconciles his accusations of racism with the fact that in addition to including people of various races and ethnicities in much of his work, John Byrne also voted for Obama… TWICE!

          • I appreciate everyone taking the time to post their opinions, even if they were contrary to mine. I would like to say sorry for making such a strong statement and in hindsight probably should have put it somewhere in the review and not the rating box.

            That being said, it wasn’t a huge factor in this books overall rating. The score probably would have been the same if I didn’t notice the lack of people of various races.

            And, last off, I didn’t read Trio so I wouldn’t know about those three in particular.

            Thanks and sorry.

          • Mike Norris

            Maybe you should take that comment out, since it isn’t true. There are several nonwhite characters in Triple HeliX.

          • Mark Haslett

            Yes, wouldn’t removing the inflammatory misstatement be the first thing any responsible blogger would do? Leaving it up in bold bullet points makes these apologies very confusing.

          • I am not able to edit the site but if I could I assure you I would have taken it out right when you made your points.

          • Patrick Ross

            Hi all, editor here. I appreciate everyone’s concern and feedback. The line in question has been removed from the review.

          • Buke

            Thank you, Mr. Ross.

        • I did not in fact read Trio but it is more than possible that you are correct.

      • johnbyrnesays

        Might I suggest rereading the issue, perhaps paying closer attention before you make the comment that there are only white people in the book? You are mistaken.

        John has created many non white characters in his career and has continued to do so at IDW. Even a cursory glance at his most recent works, The High Ways or Trio would attest to that. He continues that in Triple Helix.

        • Buke

          Both Greg and Sam have been proven wrong. I wonder if either one of them will have the strength of character to admit it, and stop spreading lies.


          They’d lose cool points if they did that.

          • I admit that I am wrong on a number of fronts.

          • Buke

            Sam, you have my apologies. I didn’t mean to come off so snarky. I probably should have addressed the matter in a more civil manner.

      • tch

        You mean besides the entire line up of Trio ( a black teen, an Asian woman and a gay man of middle eastern descent) and the one dark skinned member of Triple Helix?

        and then we get into how can you deduct points for a book that feels ‘done in one’ when it ends on a cliffhanger?

        Were you worried if you said too many nice things about Byrne the other fanboys would shun you in the lunchroom?

        • Even with the cliffhanger it seemed more like a one-shot than something that would kick-off a series, but I think that could be debated.

          I’m sorry for any false statements made, my apologies and regrets.

  • Greg

    Another low selling title by Byrne that will barely last 4 issues (Trio was supposed to be ongoing..then 12 issues..then 5…lasted only the mighty have fallen).

    And yes indeed Byrne is racist. His despicable comments on his message forum show everyone his true colours.

    • Bill

      Trio was never intended to be an ongoing, not sure where you heard that. Trio was a four issue limited series and that’s what it ran; I’ve got all four.
      Triple Helix is also a four issue limited series, of which this is the first. I can’t speak on the sales, and I don’t care as long as I enjoy the series, which I have.

      • johnbyrnesays

        In his haste to attack John, Greg confused some facts. Bill, there is some mistakes in your reply as well.

        Trio was in fact conceived and discussed as an ongoing. It was said multiple times in this thread I will link to by John as well as his moderator, Matt Reed. It was then supposed to go five issues. Then the reason it became four issues was stated to be low sales and then later on John feeling his speed of page output would mean if Trio was ongoing he could do little else.

        Where Greg likely got his information is that Next Men: Aftermath which was originally supposed to be ten to 12 issues but was changed to five issues. That information can be found in this thread.

  • Al Cook

    The lemmings are out in force i see to defend their lord Byrne! Dog forbid anyone has an opinion that is not in lockstep with their master.

    Buke – when you crawl on your belly does Byrne let you touch the hem of his robe?

    Either way byrne has slid into irrelevency as he cannot get work at the big two and ow just churns out licenced garbage and low selling superhero tripe that sells a sliver of what his books sold in his glory days.