Review: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1

Trinity-of-Sin_Pandora_1_Full-665x1024-300x461Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 by Ray Fawkes and a huge host of artists (Zander Cannon, Daniel Sampere, Victor Cifuentes, and Patrick Zircher) poses a lot of questions, but also fittingly sums up who and what Pandora is. So if her 73 appearances in the New 52 have had you wondering, maybe in silent frustration, or if the fact the she, oh, I don’t know, merged three different universes has you curiosity, then you have to read this book. Not to mention it’s key to understanding the soon-to-begin Trinity War cross-over event, which has been building in books across the New 52 in highly complex ways, but Pandora’s story will also no doubt effect much of the DC Universe in the War’s aftermath. Or one can only hope that major events will have lasting and major consequences, but with comics these days, who knows…

Ray Fawkes’ narratives weaves throughout history, and in general it does not disappoint, as Pandora unleashes the Seven Deadly Sins in “Prehistoric Macdeonia. About 8000 B.C.E.” to the modern day, where she’s overcome the trauma of bringing evil into the world and totes around two pistols, prepared to bring down her sinful children. Pandora’s story is certainly compelling, but Fawkes’ writing isn’t anything spectacular or noteworthy; he’s more of a large-scale narrative maker than an impressive author. But to belabor the point a bit, Pandora’s touching song which she sings throughout the ages following the traumatic death of her entire family is “We are strong, we are strong, sing our song, sing our song”—I don’t even think that rhymes in Ancient Macedonian! Fawkes has to be credited, however, with doing his historical research, as he attributes moments throughout Biblical, Classical, and more recent history to various of Pandora’s Seven Deadly Sins, and among comic nerds I believe historical references are much appreciated.

My greatest complaints fall rather harshly on the art, or rather, the over populating of this book with such diverse talent. This can be a good thing, where different artists provide the art for different stories. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 doesn’t necessarily suffer from the artistic turnovers from pages 1-7, 8-15, and 16-20, but it seems unnecessary. It’s not narratively purposeful, it doesn’t add anything to the story, and, yes, the styles across the artists are not largely varied, but I think the atmosphere of this book would have been better suited to the team of Cannon, Sampere, and Cifuentes alone.

That said, I really wasn’t a fan of Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 for several reasons. The story is off-kilter: Pandora, a seemingly innocent young Macedonian, picks up a shiny object that’s glowing a strange color, and BAM! all the world goes to hell, with sin run rampant, and the Gods (? I can only assume the group that punished her were gods…) condemn her for eternity. Secondly, the premise that things which are bad come from a single person’s doing (picking up a golden skull, by the way) 10,000 years ago is just naïve. It means that people—villains or heroes—aren’t to blame for anything, but that they are plagued, goaded on by invisible do-badders, and that’s utterly silly. It also assumes that goodness is the human default, and the qualities like anger or greed or pride are inhuman.  Finally, Pandora’s character design looks like something taken from a high school drawing contest with instructions to “Draw something that reminds people of Harry Potter and Underworld simultaneously!”

I usually don’t say a lot bad about a book, but I think it’s important to point out that, if this is supposed to prepare readers for Trinity War, and in theory supposed to be a major book—and character—in the DC Universe, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 could have been better executed and thought out. And while I’m excitedly looking forward to the Justice League books, and have no doubt that they will deliver, I fear that Trinity of Sin: Pandora is an awkward addition to the DC roster and will become quickly forgotten.

DC Comics aficionados will have to at least read this book, hence my suggestion, but it might be an issue worth collecting; who knows the role this book might play in things to come.

Story: Ray Fawkes  Art: Zander Cannon, Daniel Sampere, Victor Cifuentes, Patrick Zircher
Story: 7  Art: 7  Overall: 6.5  Recommendation: Read