In 2012, as part of its second wave of New 52 titles, DC launched The Phantom Stranger, which retold the origins and journey of one of the publisher’s mystic mainstays. Then last year as part of its Trinity War crossover, it launched Pandora, telling the story of the second member of the Trinity of Sin. Now, both titles are unfortunately cancelled IIRC and that creates a void. The former was a great story once J. M. DeMatteis got on the title though Pandora didn’t hold much fascination for me, I must admit. And now, it looks like I just might get something I’ve been wanting for more than a year.
Trinity of Sin brings together Phantom Stranger, Pandora and The Question in a mystical team-up to rival DC’s current leading mystical title, Justice League Dark. These three are said to be the greatest sinners in human history, with Stranger being Judas Iscariot and Pandora having released the seven evils on the world thousands of years ago. But we never found out what Question’s sin was and why he feels such hate for the others. But that is all about to be answered I feel, in what is another great title from J. M. DeMatteis and artist Yvel Guichet.
First of all, can I just say that this cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey is one of the best covers that Ive seen from the duo. Pandora is a bit too thin, confusingly so, but the rest of the composition is still pretty grand, and it conveys exactly what each anti-hero is about. I mean, I just love the concept of the Trinity of Sin, so this really works well for me.
The story in this debut issue starts off with an unknown character of dark provenance giving a great narration on the world through the ages, a metaphysical description that really served to pull me in and was even classic DeMatteis writing. Then we moved off to the different members of the Trinity of Sin, starting with Question, and saw what they are all up to these days. Over the course of the issue, each of them is confronted by a demonic entity serving the character of dark provenance who kicks off this issue. Tailor-made for each member of the Trinity, the entities are something else entirely, and a challenge they’ve never faced before.
And the ending is rather glorious in the way that DeMatteis’ The Phantom Stranger run was or his Justice League Dark run usually is. Cool new monsters and villains all through.
Going through this comic, I’d love to see this become a regular part of DC’s roster for the coming years. It is a solid story that brings together three of the most powerful mystics in the DC universe, outcasts and pariahs all of them. I love almost anything from DeMatteis that I’ve read in the last year and a half, and this new title is a great new addition to that stable of titles. It is also a big surprise since I’d heard absolutely no chatter about it in recent weeks, and it is nice to see that the concept and premise are executed so well.
DeMatteis understands all three characters really well, and that’s at the core of this issue. He is intimately familiar with the Stranger of course, but he brings that same level of understanding and passion to the other two characters as well, and he plays off their strengths and weaknesses rather neatly, so that in the end they really do come together as a team, even if Question outright hates the other two. But then, there’s some great commentary from the Stranger about the Question, and I loved that most of all.
Yvel Guichet is the artist here, with Jason Gorder on inks, Gabe Eltaeb on colours and Dezi Sienty on the letters. The coolest part about the art is seeing all three of the Trinity together on the same pages and the four monsters that we get to see in the issue. The facial expressions and body language, most of all, are really good. Stranger’s dourness and sadness, Pandora’s wilfulness, Question’s hostility, everything is captured here. And the fight scenes really are incredible, such as the visual effects of Pandora shooting at her demonic enemy.
Great stuff all around, and I want more! Hopefully this will fill the void left by The Phantom Stranger and Pandora getting cancelled and we finally have The Question in an ongoing!