(a) Daniel Sampere, Vicente Cifuentes
** SPOILERS ARE IN THIS REVIEW **
What a steaming pile of crap. For real. Trinity of Sin: Pandora makes such an egregious error in only it’s second issue that I’m seriously considering not even reading the third issue even though it still connects to “Trinity War”. The major problem with Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2 is that it doesn’t stand on it’s own at all. NOT AT ALL. Even when I was younger — before I became enamored with critical analysis of comic books — I hated when a new series was launched just to connect to the current crossover event. Starting something during an event that will become dated very quickly is no way to begin on a strong note. In fact, if a new series is reliant upon an event — or the other way around — it can actually detract from and harm the new title in the long run. Now, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 was a fun issue despite it’s repetitive nature. While we’d already seen a lot of Pandora’s backstory, the first issue of her solo series focused more on Pandora’s emotional setting, giving readers a deeper look at why Pandora is the way she is. It was enjoyable and informative, but ultimately left me wanting more and hoping I would get it in Pandora #2.
Unfortunately, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2 is a total crapshoot that I really, really wish I hadn’t bought. Usually, even if I don’t like an issue, I don’t regret buying the it; mostly, I accept that it’s a down point and appreciate the information I’ve been given nonetheless. In this issue, all the information we get is completely boring, then when it should be interesting, Ray Fawkes dances out Signalman and we get my vote for one of the worst characters in the ‘New 52’.
At the end of Pandora #1, Pandora decided that Superman, being purest of heart, could handle the power of the golden skull from whence the seven deadly sins escaped. Pandora #2 picks up after she’s given Superman the skull and everything went to hell. You absolutely must read Justice League #22 to really understand what’s going on in Pandora #2 and that is simply poor form for a brand new series. I’m sure that 90% of the people buying this series are reading “Trinity War”, and thus will know what’s going on in Pandora #2. But for some random kid who saw the first issue and thought it looked cool, this follow up is going to confuse them. It confused me and I’ve read all the Pandora material DC’s published thus far.
Now let’s talk about Signalman, the single worst reintroduction in the ‘New 52’. To start, he basically looks the same as he did prior to the line-wide reboot. It’s lazy, and honestly works against the ‘New 52’ aesthetic as a whole; all these other villains and heroes have newish looks that feel more modern and less campy. Signalman, however, looks as terrible as he did when he was first created. Lame spandex (not armor-esque like almost everyone else), crazy yellow cape that has no apparent explanation for how it’s attached to his jumpsuit. Terrible yellow bandana mask combo. And to top it all off, a power that turns Signalman from an awful super villain into a proxy for the writer to spew exposition. IT’S INFURIATING. Signalman basically explains Pandora and her powers to the reader as his “advanced signal capturing powers” are able to somehow give him information about how Pandora’s parahuman (a term I really hope does not catch on) physiology works. What? Excuse Me? Just, don’t…
I usually really like Ray Fawkes. His wok on Justice League Dark with Jeff Lemire has been incredible. But Trinity of Sin: Pandora gets two strikes for this second issue. There is nothing of value in this comic book because it’s structured so poorly. All the relevant information going into this second issue is covered in another series, and all the new information we’re given throughout these pages is either only applicable to Pandora herself, or is just boring. Pandora fights against the Secret Society, but we already knew that. She’s immortal, but she’s not a metahuman by contextual standards in the ‘New 52’, but we already knew that. She’s trying to get the golden skull to open back up, but we already knew that. I just can’t get over how useless Pandora #2 truly is. Don’t buy it; don’t waste your money.