DC is prepping for their next crossover – Trinity War – with the debut of a new comic, the Trinity of Sin: Pandora. Arguably some may say that this has been coming since the titular character's appearance in Flashpoint, after which Pandora appeared (in a where’s Wally style) in every first issue of all the initial New 52 releases. This was never completely explained, however this was brought to the forefront of everyone's minds in the DC New 52 2012 Free Comic Book Day special, where we learned the origin of the Trinity of Sin - the Phantom Stranger, the Question and Pandora herself.
Starting around 8000 Years BCE, the story opens with an unnamed daughter finding a golden skull which inadvertently releases the seven deadly sins upon an unsuspecting world (interestingly it appears that they are all the same colours as the variety of Lantern Corps). These sins take corporeal form and wreaking havoc, slaughtering the young woman's village. Called before the Rock of Eternity by the Shazam Council, the Trinity of Sin are duly branded and punished accordingly, with Pandora now fated to walk the earth as an immortal - powerless to do much except witness the horror she has created.
After years of not being able to stop the sins, despite trying to teach the world around her about them, Pandora realises that she can learn from a variety of sources, training herself to fight back.
Finally after millennia have passed, Pandora is visited by a member of the Council. In a moment of huge honesty he proclaims that the judgement passed upon her was not sound or fair, and sets her on the path to redemption. She is charged with relocated the golden skull - which is identified as the legendary Pandora's Box - and using its power to end the curse. Finding the box is one thing though; to find the one either pure enough or dark enough of heart to open it is quite another.
As a first issue, this is very much a character setting story and doesn't feel like an essential part of the Trinity War itself. It does however explain fully the motivation behind Pandora bringing her on par with The Phantom Stranger in terms of understanding their back stories and motivations. Only the Question fittingly remains a mystery in the New 52.
Ray Fawkes has managed to set up a very credible and fitting corner of the triangle, in anticipation of the main story arc. With his creed coming from Justice League Dark (alongside Peter Milligan and Jeff Lemire), he is also in good stead when it comes to having a calibre of work to support this moving forward too. How this will all fit together is yet to be seen. In the teasers we know that a hero is going to die at the hands of a surprise killer, and as a result this could be a strong lead or a red herring with Pandora. Regardless we know there are presently three Justice League teams and three immortals stepping into the ring to fight it out.
The artwork has been subdivided out through the issue. Daniel Sampere creates a sandwich of pages, around Patrick Zircher’s work. This highlights a transition for the character and segways nicely between the past and present. It’s also the main moments of change and development for Pandora, so you get a good feel of her evolution as well.
The cover artwork is also of interest. On one hand you have a variety of Justice League characters, but also snuck in there are a couple of villains, noticeably Black Adam who I feel could provide a strong role in the coming events.
There is a feel of previous pre-New 52 greats such as Identity Crisis and the year-long 52 series, whilst also very much feeling like it's part of the new continuity. Although you don’t get the full impact of the upcoming Trinity War in this issue, it is definitely a comic that collectors should grab now, and one for those wanting to get the full experience of the Justice League crossover. It would also make a good extended set considering that Trinity War is going to lead straight into September's Villains' Month too. This is not an essential title but there will be ripples and repercussions that are going to be explored in later issues. Still it is an eye opener and a nice, different, take on things.
Matt Puddy urges everyone to get their Villains' Month orders in over the next fortnight!