Forever Evil #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by David Finch, Richard Friend, and Sonia Oback
The short of it:
Lex Luthor reminisces about the time he tried to save his sisters cat as a child, climbing up a tree to fetch it only to be scratched and swat it into the river. It attacked him for wanting to save it, so he ended it. The things Lex Luthor thinks of while flying over Metropolis and talking business with Thomas Kord. The recently completely exonerated Lex Luthor. Lex wants his company, but Kord doesn’t want to sell; it was his grandfathers, and his mothers, and one day it will be his son’s. Lex paints him a picture, however, of what life will be like after he pushes him out of a helicopter. How he’ll manipulate his son into drugs until he dies, and push his wife into the arms of another man before ripping that away so she’ll kill herself. Really, really dark. Love it. Anyway, before Kord can make a decision, the power goes out in Metropolis and that Copter crashes into Lex’s own building.
The Grid is taking the world offline, only leaving up the message ‘THIS WORLD IS OURS’. Nightwing winds up hearing the message as the power goes out in Gotham, where he had intended to drop off Zsasz but instead found a woman ripping the doors off of Arkham. He goes to investigate, but is quickly brought down by two shadowy assailants. Back in Metropolis Kord is hanging on to the back of a copter for his life while Lex gets his bearings, but in flies a very Superman like figure. Kord falls to his death, Lex is confused, and the man steals kryptonite. Same basic thing is happening in Central City, where the Rogues want to break Trickster out of Iron Heights because he’s learned his lesson, but Johnny Quick and Atomica rip the place open first. Down in Belle Reve, same thing. Waller is trying to recruit Black Manta into the Suicide Squad, but there’s Deathstorm and Power Ring!
Ultraman snorts up some dusted kryptonite, and it’s on to the show. All of the villains are gathered to Happy Harbor, where the Justice League Satellite lays in ruins It doesn’t take long for them to start fighting, I mean, again, VILLAINS! Penguin and Bane are looking for Joker because they don’t think he’s dead, the Rogues keep their distance from Grodd, and Deathstroke is just getting pissy. And that’s when the heirlooms start to drop. Black Manta grabs Aquaman’s trident, Cheetah takes Wonder Woman’s lasso, and Metallo and Parasite fight over Superman’s cape. That’s when the Crime Syndicate appears and announced that the Justice League is dead. Ultraman introduces his team, explains how they ruled their previous world before destroying it, and how this is their world now. One villain speaks up and is promptly blown to hell.
To make a point, the Syndicate brings out a prisoner. A hero. They take off his mask, give away his real name, and let that air across the globe. Now it’s time to spread their message, as these villains are let loose on the world to cause havoc. There’s just one final thing Ultraman has to do to insure his power, and as Lex Luthor thinks one more time about that cat, as he watches darkness fall on the globe
Where is Superman?
What I liked:
Lex Luthor is free, not crazy, and acting just like the Lex I know and love. I am very happy with this. VERY VERY happy. Lex is one of my all time favorite villains, and his portrayal in the New 52 was absolutely terrible until recently.
Lex bookending this issue worked great, you open with the white collar villainy that makes him stand out, and then you end with the villains going nuts all over the world as he looks for some sort of order. The covers for this would have led me to believe he was front and center with the villains, but him not being part of the giant gathering was so much better.
Ultraman snorts kryptonite to get his powers. LOVED THAT! Totally made me crack up.
Unmasking Nightwing works for me, mainly because I think DC has the balls to run with the ball instead of having a Devil team up with a Wizard to make it go away. Dick Grayson is one of my favorite DC characters, and I think this new status quo is going to do for him what being outed did for Daredevil and just really push him over the top.
Despite my feelings on how posed most of the book looks, I do think this is one of the better issues that David Finch has turned out in a while. Now, admittedly, I’m just comparing it to his JLA (which I also liked), but this book looked good. I really liked the fold out spread of all the villains.
Still loving how ridiculously insecure Power Ring is. Every version of the CSA I’ve read in the past just has him be crazy and evil, I like that this one is truly Hal’s opposite number.
So glad that the brilliant Deathstorm design/name didn’t go to waste like so many other things in the time just before the New 52.
What I didn’t like:
David FInch’s art, while I like it, turns into a lot of poses and little else when he draw capes. It makes for some cool shots, but it’s a lot like what Ethan Van Sciver and Jim Lee do. Always trying to make a poster or cover or whathaveyou instead of just drawing a normal issue. It’s not really a complaint, I mean, I did still like the art, but the constant posing is annoying.
There’s also issues with over shadowing things, especially faces. The faces either look great or way too over drawn and it makes for weirdness.
I understand why we haven’t seen it yet, but it always drives me nuts when I see the aftermath of the fight without seeing the fight. Like, you don’t have to show me how the fight between the Justice Leagues and the Crime Syndicate ended, but at least give me an idea as to how these seven people took out three different Justice League teams at once.
Not nearly enough of the Crime Syndicate. Ultraman has a few moments, and the team have their reveals, but I was left more intrigued by them than I was by the mayhem their followers were unleashing. At the same time, with this spinning out of Trinity War, there was no real need to shadow their reveals to start this issue. If people go from Trinity War to here then they should already know who the bad guys are since they debuted last week.
Just going to name a few villains that I haven’t personally seen in the New 52 before the splash page, so don’t jump all over me if I’m all “So and so just debuted!” and they actually popped up in some book I don’t read last year. I fully get that will happen. ANYWAY! The Fearsome Five, Monocle, Girder, Angle Man, Black Mask, a dude with a STARRO on his face, the Royal Flush Hockey Mask Gang, and Ragdoll. Where has that Royal Flush Gang been all of my life?
Speaking of Monocle, the second I saw him I thought ‘fodder’, and then he was dead a few pages later. I laughed.
I understand Black Manta wanting Aquaman’s trident, and Cheetah wanting Wonder Woman’s lasso. Those are practical pieces of equipment from their blood rivals. But Metallo and Parasite fighting over Superman’s cape? Well, Parasite I get, he can try and feed on it, but Metallo? What’s he going to do? Wear it?
Last time I saw Black Adam he had turned to dust. Explanation for his presence here? Is it in line with why Sinestro and Black Hand are here? Maybe it’s just that you have an artist drawing tons of characters and so long as they don’t have speaking parts it doesn’t matter? I mean, that would explain Catwoman front and center on the cover despite not really being a bad guy.
Ultraman really is Superman’s opposite. Snorting kryptonite for power, being hurt by the sun. I really want to see how they pull off that fight.
Atomica doesn’t have a different costume?
I wish the Nightwing reveal would have had more pages to settle in, but at the same time, this issue was paced pretty well. it’s a very different beast than Trinity War, but Johns is still on his game as far as not stalling out. I’m anxious for the next issue, just like I was with Trinity War, and I really can’t wait to see what happens next.
I mean, come on, LEX LUTHOR IS BACK!
Tags: Crime Syndicate, David Finch, DC Comics, forever evil, Geoff Johns, Lex Luthor, New 52 (DC Comics), Reviews, Trinity War