The third volume of the popular graphic novel series based on Filipino folklore goes back in time to expand on Alexandra Trese’s origins as well as those of the dagger-wielder’s powerful sidekicks, the Kambal (the Twins). Gorier and edgier, TRESE (13) also finally introduces Anton, Alexandra’s father who died protecting her as she went through the 12 trials, a rite of passage for any aspiring mandirigmang-babaylan (warrior-priestess). For details and more of my impressions on the series, read my previous Trese posts here and here. With this volume, I am satisfied that the series has achieved a neat tie-up to story lines spun from previous volumes, yet apprehensive over the ability of succeeding volumes to live up to the awesome action of Mass Murders (the conclusion was also rather hilarious, a tribute to gaming madness). New premises—the fate of Alexandra’s brothers; her fate; the lost three years, and the ambiguity of her role as mediator between human society and the Underground or as conqueror-destroyer of either world—promise a bigger and more explosive finale or the proverbial carrot on a stick. I hope it’s the later, as I like the idea of an open-ended story. That way the story never ends.
Oh, and in Exhibit 13, my favorite is by Melvin Arciaga.
And, darn it, there goes the binding. VISPRINT, use better glue!!! Or readers will be saying next that someone in your printing press is cheating on the books by using paste for good-quality glue!