IDW should be pretty thankful that I was too lazy to write a ‘Worst of 2013’ list. ‘Cause if I did, Triple Helix would be all over it. John Byrne’s superhero mini comes to a close with issue #4. I think I’ve made my opinion of this comic pretty clear, but just for poops and giggles let’s ask, is it good?
Triple Helix #4 (IDW Publishing)
Triple Helix is helplessly trapped in the middle of a battle with the Monitors, an army of hero killing machines designed to hunt and destroy people with special gifts. I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: John Byrne has yet to write a page of Triple Helix that doesn’t seem like it was cut and pasted from his ‘80s X-Men work. Same concepts, same characters, same plot devices — I don’t see why there isn’t a lawsuit going on right now between IDW and Marvel.
The story ends on a strange plot twist that doesn’t at all match the tone of the book or provide any feeling of fulfillment or satisfaction. Dart runs off into an abyss of nothingness and everythingness (what?) and meets Rock’s sister (what?!) all… just because. This is such a random and meaningless plot twist, due to the lack of strong foreshadowing or previous situations that would make sense of this weird ending. So many loose ends, so many questions, so many moments to really make an impression, but alas, there isn’t another issue of Triple Helix to meet all of those needs. The series simply ended, with no real conclusion or resolution.
And as I contemplate this ending, and the series as a whole, one word comes to mind: unnecessary.
Triple Helix was unnecessary. I don’t feel like I witnessed a great story being told, or even great story elements. I don’t feel like I got a fulfilling story arc with a beginning, middle and end. I don’t feel like I saw these characters develop at all. I don’t feel like I saw a revolutionary or even new idea come into fruition. What I do feel like, is I wasted my time.
And those things I mentioned above, those are elementary; those are things you learn before high-school. Of course you have to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. You can’t just expect readers to connect the dots. You have to make them feel comfortable with you driving, not monitoring you to see if you’re going the right way. It really feels like John Byrne did nothing with these four issues, squandering an opportunity to create a fine story.
The hell does all this mean? What is that? I guess I just won’t know.
Also, if this is the story Byrne wants to tell, a miniseries is the exact wrong approach. If this ending had concluded an arc in an ongoing, it would have worked, because I would only have to wait a month for resolution. Currently, I’m going to have to wait god knows how long for something I will almost definitely lose interest in. It honestly just makes me mad that Byrne built this all up for what turned out to be just a giant letdown.
Even without the poor ending, this issue was bad. There was plenty of weirdness in other decisions that Byrne made, decisions that also left too many loose ends and also weren’t fulfilling. The little girl turns into a spider-beast, what does that mean? What the hell are these other-dimension characters? And why are we only introduced to them now? Again, that word comes up: all of these story threads were completely unnecessary, they just won’t be explained in this mini.
Is it Good?
Definitely not. Byrne fails to end his already subpar mini series well. So much wasted potential here, plenty of story threads that weren’t well treated or explained. Not even the fun dialogue and nostalgic art can rescue this mess of a story. I would not recommend this series to anyone who cares about what they are reading.