** SPOILERS BE HERE! **
Pandora’s life is a tragedy. Not just the adjective, but in the way Shakespeare presented the idea of a dramatic tragedy. Pandora was good, she had some very bad things happen to her, now she’s bad. Those are simple words to describe a rather complex character, but those intricacies all spring from this one inevitable truth. Trinity of Sin: Pandora attempts to reconcile this truth against her role in the DC universe. Readers first met the maroon-cloaked mystery in Flashpoint #5 when she used her powers to integrate the DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm universes into a single timeline. All by herself, Pandora recalibrated the multiverse.
Now, Ray Fawkes is going to tell us how.
I like Ray Fawkes and the writing for Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 is great. He’s able to capture a grand, mythic tone that’s not often achieved, and he does it well. Pandora herself feels much more like an actual character instead of just a prop for DC’s major events, and Fawkes goes out of his way to express Pandora’s utter self-loathing, an emotion with which many, many people can relate. Also, telling Pandora’s tale as it marches forth through the ages is a great way to convey the breadth of her life; she’s experienced enough to drive even the most pious and stoic mad. This historical montage also serves to show us Pandora’s emotional journey, from desperation at the sight of her entire life destroyed by her own actions, to her acceptance that her life was hollow, and eventually, to how we’ve seen her before, as the vengeful warrior intent on dismantling the horrors of her own doing.
But, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 is a pretty straightforward origin story. I say ‘straightforward’ because nothing in this issue particularly surprised me. Even though Ray Fawkes has a new spin on the classic Pandora’s Box mythology, most of what happens in this issue seems rather obvious. We already knew — quite a long time ago due to The New 52 #1 for Free Comic Book Day 2012 — that Pandora was damned by a Council of Wizards for opening up the box containing the seven deadly sins, we already knew that she spent a millennia wandering the planet just like Phantom Stranger and the Question, and we already knew that she had — sometime in the 20th century — decided to take matters into her own hands. All of this is information we had prior to the release of this issue, which makes the regurgitation of this information somewhat dull.
Fortunately, Fawkes didn’t decompress this origin, and later this month we get a “Trinity War” tie-in. As an origin story, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 is spot-on, but as an ongoing series based on a character readers have been invested in since the literal inception of the ‘New 52′ universe, the issue falls a little flat. Fawkes’ solid dialog and narration saves the issue from being boring, but the fact that these pages basically just reaffirmed what we’ve already seen is frustrating.