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DC Comics' 2012 Free Comic Book Day offering, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by top artists, Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Gene Ha, and Kenneth Rocafort. This issue sets up events soon to come in the DC Universe, while telling the origin tale of the mysterious Pandora, the woman who merged several universes at the end of Flashpoint. The title also includes previews of the six "second wave" New 52 titles, Batman Incorporated, Dial H, Earth 2, Worlds' Finest, The Ravagers, and G.I. Combat.

“There was a time when man first discovered magic. A time when those who first harnessed its power believed it to be their responsibility to protect the world. And to punish those guilty of harming it.”

Centuries ago...

Three individuals are summoned to the Rock of Eternity for judgement. They are the greatest transgressors known to humankind. They are the Trinity of Sin.

The first of them, a man with dark hair in a long blue cloak, begs for forgiveness. “Forgive me as he would!” They judge him as beyond forgiveness. Greed is his sin, and his greed has forever darkened the world.

Silver pieces fuse together around his neck, branding his skin, an eternal reminder of his greed. He screams, and his hair goes white with shock. He is sentenced to walk the earth as a stranger to all, cursed to bear witness to the consequences of greed throughout the world.

The second of them, a shirtless man with light red hair, stands defiantly against the gathered wizards. “If you do not kill me, I will rise to power again! And you will fear my name as does the world!”

In sentencing him, the Circle of Eternity takes his face. None will know him. All will forget him. And one day, even he will forget his feared name. He is cursed to question his identity forever, to seek answers he will never find.

Finally, the Circle of Eternity comes to the last among them, a woman, Pandora.

And she doesn’t know what she did wrong.

“You opened the box!” they yell. “The prison to tragedy and torment and torture! You unleashed the terrors of man!”

The young woman begs them to help her, help her not be evil. But it is too late. She is sentenced to an eternity of loneliness. An eternity of being told she was evil for no reason than that she opened a box.

Centuries pass in tears, in shame, in isolation. But today...

The Red Room in Detroit, Michigan, is the world’s largest covert research facility for housing extraterrestrial, unidentified and classified technology recovered from around the globe. And today, not long after the Justice League delivers the android Amazo to them for study, the Red Room is on lockdown.

As warnings sound throughout the facility, Dr. Silas Stone attempts to contact his son, but to no avail. This leads to an argument between him and his colleague Sarah Charles, who feels Stone is far more interested in the machine his son was made into than the man he has become.

Dr. Thomas Morrow summons Stone and Charles into the other room, where the alien “monitor machine” has come online for the first time. It picks up a signal that seems to originate in another universe. There, notably different versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman do battle against the parademon horde that attacked Earth five years ago. Other snippets of the universe’s radically different history show new heroes rising from the ashes of that battle.

Unbeknownst to them, the machine activated in response to the mysterious Pandora, searching for something within the Red Room’s walls. When her search ends fruitless, she leaves, and the signal blinks off just as mysteriously as it began.

She knows that what she’s searching for is close.

At an A.R.G.U.S. facility in Washington, D.C., Col. Steve Trevor and his assistant Etta Candy discuss the Justice League’s recent battle against Professor Ivo’s mad android. Candy worries that someone will sue them for property damages, but Trevor assures her they’ve arranged things so that Green Arrow takes the blame for any such damage.

At his insistence, she briefs him on A.R.G.U.S. monitoring activities. They’ve recently lost track of a group of meta-human teens in Alaska. They’re also monitoring Talia al Ghul’s recruitment efforts. She also points out a book that arrived for him. No signs of where it came from, but it’s just a book; a copy of David Graves’ “Justice League: Gods Among Us.”

Just then, an alert sounds. Someone has broken into the Black Room, the A.R.G.U.S. vault containing the world’s most dangerous supernatural artifacts. With Dr. Mist still in South America, no one is present to oversee its contents. Some believe this may be the same person who recently stole the Orb of Ra, but once inside they find an unidentified female: Pandora.

The Black Room holds in storage an amazing collection: the Spear of Destiny, the Black Diamond, the Seven Spells of Shazam. But Pandora comes for one thing only. Pandora’s Box.

Trevor orders his men to attack her, knowing they cannot let her leave with it. He was there when it was recovered, and many of his friends died to make sure it didn’t fall into the wrong hands. But she will not be denied. She believes it to be the source of her curse, and ultimately, the source of her salvation.

In a blink, she disappears.

Trevor receives reports of the attack on the Red Room. He orders an immediate lockdown of the other rooms, placing an emphasis on the Circus. He summons Black Orchid, and sends word for John Constantine. One of his men suggests they call the Justice League, but Trevor isn’t sure they’re up for a mission like this. “It’s just a matter of time before this all comes crashing down.”

In the near future...

Batman tangles with Green Lantern. The young man, new to the uniform, is formidable, but in Batman’s estimation he’s “no Hal Jordan.” He uses a capsule of acid to break free of the young man’s constructs, and gets clear just as Superman rams a column directly into Batman’s opponent.

Chaos grips the future as those now called heroes battle each other in what will be known as the Trinity War...

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4.17 stars 4.17/5 Stars Average score of 3 user reviews

The New 52 Review 0

Plot: For a FCBD comic, I felt DC really delivered. Three origins of some of DC's most mysterious characters. At least nu52 origins. A few questions were answered about Pandora, but I'm sure just as many were raised. Earth 2 was featured for one page, plus a glimpse of Earth 2's Lantern and Flash. There was even a new Lantern in this issue. There are sneak peeks at the second wave of nu52 comics and a preview for the Trinity War which was promised next year.Art: The four page Trinity War spread ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Free Mediocrity 0

So now we know Pandora's origin.... which is that she really IS Pandora. Ok. Oh what's that? Now The Question is mystical in nature? That's...... really weird, but ok? I guess it is a bit of neat new version of the character. And The Phantom Stranger is Judas..... REALLY? Really Geoff Johns? I never knew The Phantom Stranger's origins, in fact I'm pretty sure they've always been pretty vague in nature, and that's always been part of his charm. He's a mystical enigma who simply walks the world as...

2 out of 4 found this review helpful.
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