Ray Fawkes’ half of “Blight” did not get off to a great start last week. And sadly, Trinity of Sin: Pandora more often than not fails to live up to its potential. So, combine two underperforming entities and you’re sure to get something lackluster, right?
Ray Fawkes takes this issue to remind us just why he’s a professional comic book writer working for one of the biggest names in the business. This book does what is often hard to do in a tie-in, or team books, or even other books with ensemble casts: make every guest star useful. Fawkes takes the time to show off the personality, skills, and modus operandi of every single character in this issue. While Constantine and Pandora fight Blight, Swamp Thing, Nightmare Nurse, and the Phantom Stranger clear out surrounding bystanders from the battle, and it’s really impressive.
The Phantom Stranger: 50% magic, 50% style.
Of course, the star of this book is Pandora, and we finally get some more insight into her character. Pandora’s been roaming the world for 10,000 years, in a constant fight against evil, but somehow it’s never been brought up just what kind of willpower and undying spirit that must take. We’ve seen her train in various practices through the years, but we still don’t know much about her as a person outside of her goals. This issue, that changes, and we get a very compelling character, always working for the better of mankind, fighting because of her past mistakes, and always believing in the good in people. In a way, Pandora’s kind of a combination of the drive of Batman and the hopeful side of Superman, and it works. It especially works because, well, she’s Pandora, and so far the part of the Greek myth that has her releasing hope into the world hasn’t been touched upon, so it could be argued that Pandora herself is hope. We stop seeing Pandora as a hunter of evil and start seeing her as an actual hero; it’s wonderful.
Constantine seems to be reverting to Hellblazer levels of awful to make everyone else look more heroic. It works.
Francis Portela is the main artist on this issue, and he does a great job. Character models are all big, bold, and clear, with a nice amount of detail, but not so much that it becomes distracting. There’s a lot of action here, and it’s all nice and clear. Magical attacks, characters in motion, fire, and Blight’s dragon form are all well-defined and easy to make out. Add in the always-beautiful colors of Hi-Fi and this book is almost perfect looking.
The key word is “almost” because, once again, this issue needed to call in a second artist to pick up the slack. Staz Johnson only has four pages in this book, but they’re four of the most important pages, and the difference in the art is just awkward. Johnson’s art has a certain style to it that could be described as “barely stylized”. The characters, for the most part, look like normal people instead of cartoons, but they’re drawn with proportions that are just slightly off, and make them all look stretched out and rubbery. It’s really not bad at all, but next to Portela’s artwork, the shift in art creates a sort of uncanny valley feeling.
If Portela had been the only artist on this book, it would’ve received five globes, but the jarring art shift is just too much to call this book perfect. Still, this is the best issue of this series yet, from a story standpoint, and an excellent addition to the crossover that is “Forever Evil: Blight”.
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #6 is available for $2.99 USD from physical and digital retailers.