The New 52’s big debut character had a rough time. After a bunch of brouhaha in Flashpoint that still begs for an explanation, Pandora had a promising start as the mysterious woman floating around in the background of the first issue of every series.
It certainly drew attention to the character, but so far the follow-up has been a bit lackluster. Pandora’s solo series was supposed to finally give the character the attention she deserves, and it’s been doing that, but the results so far have been less than ideal. So, can Ray Fawkes get on track and steer this series in the right direction? Well…
It makes me very happy to say that there is a lot of good here. The book opens with Pandora having been transported to Earth-3 after the events of “Trinity War.” As she looks around at the devastated world she’s trapped on, despairing over her situation, she speaks with a dying Earth-3 Martian Manhunter (who was not given a name, but I will call J’o J’onnzon), who helps her understand that she needs to reassess her priorities to fixing her situation rather than just moping about it.
Pandora gets back to Earth Prime, but the box is broken and the villains are running the world, She has her work cut out for her.
This is an incredible design for an evil Martian Manhunter and it makes me sad that we won’t get to see more of this guy in Forever Evil.
The big thing here is that in this issue, like the last one, Pandora is finally doing something substantial. The problem with the “Trinity War” tie-ins was that, for most of it, Pandora was kind of just stumbling through the dark, acting on assumption rather than fact.
Even though she had been in her present situation for 10,000 years, she didn’t really have a clear purpose to her actions, and this made her series uninteresting to follow as a result. Now she has a clear, well-informed course of action and purpose, and it makes her a lot more interesting. We also finally learn what just who her weapons-dealer Marcus is, and he’s an interesting character in his own right.
The art is great here. There’s a new artist on this issue, Francis Portela, and his pencils are to die for. Everything is nice, clear, and expressive. Characters are all nicely detailed and keep consistent with how they’re supposed to look. While the book doesn’t look realistic or anything, it doesn’t look cartoony either, and has a nice neutral tone that fits the story. Colors are by Hi-Fi, so I don’t feel I need to explain just what makes them so amazing.
Marcus’s backstory is told, not shown. In fact, it’s hammered out in two VERY wordy panels, and pretty awkward to read. But aside from that, no major issues here.
Also, I never got the impression that Pandora was that tall.
With Pandora about to be sucked into Forever Evil: Blight, it’s nice to see that these events are being used to serve Pandora’s personal story instead of the other way around. Pandora is a character I think has a lot of potential here, and that if she sticks around long enough, she can grow into her own character truly worthy of carrying her own title. This is a step in the right direction, and I hope to see more issues like this one.
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #4 is available from physical and digital retailers for $2.99 USD now.