Writer: Tim Seeley (with Steve Seeley for story writing)
Artist: Priscilla Petraites
Colourist: Marco Lesko
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Addison Duke
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Brilliant Trash #3 continues the explosive story, with Heller escorting Kennedy to their final destination. Still experiencing the fragmented memories of Dr Zhen, Kennedy begins to learn about the origins of Lady Lastword, the superpowered girl who destroyed Jerusalem. Unable to make the journey to the Lifespan HQ by superpowered means, Kennedy and Heller are forced to use more conventional transport, which brings them in contact with a very specific branch of the FDA, and a cyborg called Diane, who has less than pleasant plans for Kennedy…
Mild Spoilers Follow!
Brilliant Trash #3 is slightly slower-paced than the frantic opening issues, but still no less interesting. We learn, courtesy of the memories now floating around in Kennedy’s head, about Dr Zhen’s experiments that led directly to the manifestation of superpowers, and how, after recruiting a dying girl on the street, managed to mould her into the fearsome Lady Lastword. Meanwhile, Heller and Kennedy try their best to return to Lifespan Incorporated, but as discussed in previous issues, prolonged superpower use leads to a giant explosion. As such, their transportation is limited to an Uber, and a regular passenger jet. In an interesting expansion to the lore, the FDA are well aware of artificial superpower use, and monitor airports in secret. This both helps and hinders when Diane, the cyborg from St Damian’s Hospital we met at the end of issue #2, tries to dispose of ‘the competition’; namely Kennedy and Heller themselves. We are left with Kennedy wondering just how much of Lady Lastword is inside her, and therefore, what she could be capable of in the future.
Brilliant Trash #3 has more exposition and background information than the previous issues, and fills in a lot of blanks regarding the world, the use of artificial superpowers, and how various agencies react to that threat. It also does an admirable job in fleshing out the character of Heller, who despite seemingly working for an ominous corporate entity, comes across as genuine and well-meaning. This issue allows Kennedy and Heller to breathe a little, and share a few exchanges that build up both characters. However, Kennedy does not have many opportunities to shine on her own in this issue, and whilst it would be silly for her to fight a cyborg in one-to-one combat, it does feel like a bit of a step back from the ballsier Kennedy we were introduced to. Hopefully this is a precursor to her using her burgeoning abilities in some fashion as the narrative continues. The story therefore feels more like a traditional superhero story in this issue, although there are still standout highlights; the FDA agents who are unable to shed their old lady disguises whilst fighting is my personal favourite. The dialogue in general is decent, keeping things moving, whilst still giving Kennedy opportunity for a fair bit of her now trademark sarcasm.
The art is again handled deftly by Patricia Petraites, who has a flair for bold and well put-together panels, whilst highlighting key moments with impressive detail. The colouring from Marco Lesko helps here, providing bright colours to make action scenes standout. The flashback scenes also have a soft sepia tone to them, which works well to separate them from the main narrative. The lettering from Marshall Dillon is crisp and clear, with all dialogue and sound effects easy to identify amidst the chaos of a superpowered brawl. However, the unusual panel arrangements (such as the ‘social media’ feeds) seen before are not present in this issue, and the overall design is marginally more traditional. Hopefully there will be a chance for this team to flex their creative muscles more in the future.
Addison Duke is on cover duty for Brilliant Trash #3 and has created a neon-tinged cyberpunk affair that highlights the cyborg Diana. The art style is decidedly different to that of Petraites, and it would be interesting to see if he could contribute to this series in the future. This issue also features a preview of the upcoming Cold War comic by Christopher Sebela, with Hayden Sherman providing the art.
Brilliant Trash #3 is a worthy action-packed continuation of the story, which gives the main characters a chance to build up their relationships, whilst adding background to the world they live in. It is, unfortunately, a little heavy on the exposition, and is missing some of the more inventive touches from the previous issues, but still sets up future events nicely. Brilliant Trash #3 is available from today from AfterShock Comics.