It’s been nearly two years since the character of Pandora made her first appearance at the end of DC Comics’ “Flashpoint” mini-series, followed by exactly fifty-two subsequent, mysterious and incidental cameos in each of the New 52’s first issues that followed. In “Trinity of Sin: Pandora” #1, the first of three issues and the kick-off of DC’s “Trinity War” event, writer Ray Fawkes and a number of artists reveal the character’s origin and provide some indication that she will finally interact with others in the DC Universe.
This introductory issue serves its purpose as an origin story, although Fawkes’ chronicle is essentially a protracted version of what readers have already learned in “Phantom Stranger” and elsewhere: that the character is indeed that Pandora, the woman of legend whose name has long been associated with opening the box that long ago unleashed all known evils on the world. The story essentially samples Pandora’s globe-spanning path in the ten millennia since that event and her intellectual growth in that time, as her mindset gradually changes from trying to protect innocents from the consequences of her act to her present day persona of taking a more proactive approach.
As a prelude to “Trinity War”, though, little actually happens other than a quick setup of the event near the issue’s end. Fawkes spends the majority of the issue hammering home the weight of the regret Pandora has carried around the world for ten thousand years, and in doing so telegraphs her eventual motive, and the premise of the story, long before it’s officially revealed. With the key elements of the character’s origin already known, expounding the details only makes for a predictable ending.
Readers are also asked to buy into a pretty big departure from the Greek legend from which the character is named. Unlike that oft-told legend, the character faces no temptation here, but merely curiosity. There is no warning or mandate to avoid the “box” that she comes into contact with, so her act is not one of defiance, but far less meaningful happenstance. (Also, there was apparently no sin on Earth in the DC Universe prior to 8000BC.)
With this issue, Vandal Savage can officially be declared the Rainbow Head of the DCU, for like the colorfully-maned character who wormed his way in the crowd of many a sports telecast decades back, Savage somehow manages to make an appearance in just about every DC story that takes place centuries or millennia ago.
The art is far more palatable, at least; Patrick Zircher delivers a solid effort for the issue’s middle section, and is flanked with a similarly consistent look by Zander Cannon (layouts), Daniel Sampere (pencils) and Vicente Cifuentes (inks) on the intro and closing pages. All involved admirably render period looks spanning the sprawling era that this story encompasses.
However, looks aren’t enough, in this case. There’s not much substance here beyond a belabored origin and a weak lead-in to the next crossover event, and while there’s no danger of unleashing any more sins on the Earth, this comic is better left unopened regardless.