Thursday, March 04, 2010
Best Shots Reviews Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box
Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box #1
Written by Rob Levin & Bryan Edward Hill
Art by Allessandro Vitti
Colors by Sunny Gho
Published by Top Cow Productions & Image Comics
Review by Kevin Huxford
My only previous experience with Broken Trinity directly involved the Darkness and Witchblade. So I was a bit surprised after picking this up to find them completely absent. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I had expected. It clearly puts me into the new reader camp when it comes to the properties being used here.
Through the use of the opening re-cap page and an efficient use of exposition, the writers do a really good job of bringing the uninitiated up to speed. There are two opposing forces that have been around for millennia have recently found new people to carry their artifacts and powers. For some reason, they are compelled to find the rest of the thirteen related artifacts scattered across the globe and tear each others’ heads off.
They do such a good job of laying things out that I honestly thought this might have been the first appearance of the characters. It wasn’t until preparing to write this review where I decided to verify what characters pre-dated this issue that I found out most of the players have been around for at least a year. Other than a few minor quibbles, this had as much info as might be required to start a movie with a similar subject matter.
While they did a really good job of introducing us to Michael Finnegan and the Disciples of Adam, better establishing the Glorianna Silver character would have really made the book virtually flawless in its new-reader-friendliness. While it is obvious they tried and I’m sure all her interactions with her mentor ring true to the character, I suspect they seem to be much more effective than they actually are when viewed through the eyes of someone already familiar with the property. When she tells Wulgar that she won’t be felled like the dragon, there aren’t enough contextual or visual clues to tell us whether she’s saying that defiantly or more sheepishly. It makes it hard to get a proper read on the character or really care about her, if you’re coming relatively fresh to this first issue. For those already a bit familiar with the character, I’d imagine it all works smoothly and avoids going so far in trying to coach new readers as to turn off established ones.
The story is setting up two mystically-powered, diametrically opposed beings in a conflict where they share a common enemy. The “two enemies somewhat united by a shared enemy”angle isn’t new. Neither is a global scavenger hunt, which seems to be where this is leading. But it is the execution here that makes the difference. That includes the art. Vitti’s art (with Gho’s coloring) reminds me, in places, of Leinil Yu’s work on Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk. At the same time, you can see some work that is more like traditional Top Cow art styles. Both are pleasing to the eye in the book and, while somewhat different, really don’t clash along the way.
The highest praise I can give a book that isn’t part of or related to my regular purchases is that I will seek out the next issue. Guess what #2 I’ll be looking for in a month or so?