Trinity of Sin Combines Old Myths with New in Pandora
By David Rondinelli
DC’s newest universe-spanning event, Trinity War, gets started with prequel book Trinity of Sin: Pandora. Yes, that Pandora—the one who opened the wrong box. To DC’s credit, they do add some flesh to this heavily referenced myth. The story of Pandora is usually counted among other hero myths, so tying it to the new hero mythos that dominates most of the comic book industry is a marriage made for the pages.
Beginning with a primitive society in prehistoric Macedonia, a peaceful tribe introduces us to Pandora. She finds a golden skull with three eyes. When she holds said skull up to her face, we see hidden beneath her hood a third eye on her forehead. She releases the seven deadly sins, all mutated humanoids (it’s good to have something you can hack and slash at) that consider her their mother.
After being released into the world, the evils waste no time in making their presence known. They start by destroying Pandora’s village. A council of gods brings Pandora to the Rock of Eternity, where she is shackled with two other guilty parties who all bear some responsibility for the evil now inhabiting the world. They are dubbed the “Trinity of Sin.”
Pandora is scarred on the face (more on this later) and sentenced to a life of immortality. From there, the issue follows her as she scours the globe in different ages to remedy the infection of the seven deadly sins.
After most of her pursuits end in brick walls, she begins to take other tactics. When Pandora finds herself in the middle of the Crusades in Antioch, she finally starts leaving behind some of her passive measures. After a chance encounter and some vicious name-calling from the immortal, tens-of-thousands-of-years-old supervillain Vandal Savage on the battlefield, Pandora starts to become more kick-ass; she takes up martial arts on Mount Song and gains knowledge of magic in Flensburg.
The latter half of the issue takes the reader to the present day, in which Pandora takes on Wrath, only to be transported into a dark alleyway. The god who condemned her at the beginning revisits her. He bears a familiar yellow lightening bolt on his chest, much like one worn by a certain big red super hero (Shazam).
The conclusion of the issue shows the god dying as he warns Pandora, “Only the power within can end the curse.” Pandora, daunted at returning to the box, concludes that she must find a power source strong enough to “purge this world of the seven spirits of sin.” A nice close-up shot of a giant red “S” lets fans know just where she’s going to find that kind of power.
Hailed as a “major turning point in The New 52,” I was amped up to hear that the Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark would be going blow for blow in an all-out slugfest. Trinity War is being told in six issues spread across the various Justice League and tie-in titles.
Although who will be paired up for this all-out super-rumble is yet to be determined from what is shown in the pages of Pandora, it does allude to a potentially epic story of the various Justice League teams going toe-to-toe with the seven deadly sins or possibly grappling with DC’s version of the mystery behind Pandora’s box.
In this case, the big foes will probably be from DC’s fall event, Forever Evil, touted as “the biggest shock of all” on the last page of Pandora. After all, what better time is there for a villain to take over than when just about every relevant character in the DC universe is fighting each other for reasons that we have yet to know? Despite whatever the dispute is about between the teams, one thing is certain—it’s going to be interesting to see what, exactly, make the teammates turn on each other.
Pandora’s story demonstrates some layers in this prequel issue, though I think she’s a bit of a rip-off of Zealot, one of Jim Lee’s earlier characters from his WildC.A.T.s series. The scars on the face are certainly familiar. However, helmed as the centerpiece of the series, Pandora is a character to watch out for. Regardless, I don’t think readers will need this first tie-in issue to follow the main story. Save your money for when the real war begins.