Forever Evil #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by David Finch, Richard Friend, and Sonia Oback
The short of it:
Deep below Metropolis lurks the one man that the Syndicate should be afraid of, the one man who is totally off their radar, and whom they have no idea they should fear yet. Lex Luthor lives, and he isn’t pleased that these doppelgangers have staked claim to his world. It’s just him and his security guard, Otis, on a journey across the sublevels of Lexcorp to find a solution. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the Teen Titans are discussing the reveal of Nightwing’s identity, and the Society taking over. Red Robin wants to do something, he wants to go save Nightwing, but his team doesn’t think they can pull it off. All the while the world goes to hell as the villains take over.
The Crime Syndicate sits in the ruined Watchtower, plotting their next actions, Owlman wanting to take over the way they had on their world, with puppet leaders and a false sense of security for the normal people, and Johnny Quick just wants to tear it all up so he can get Atomica hot. In fact, they take off to go massacre some people just for the sake of doing just that. Power Ring shows Deathstorm the nasty damage the ring is doing to his arm, but the Professor doesn’t care that much, he’d rather see how it goes from there. Alfred, The Outsider, is watching their prisoner, still with a bag on his head, and Owlman wants him dead…Ultraman does not. Apparently whatever destroyed their Earth is still out there, and when it shows up they want to throw him right at it. Ultraman makes it clear, you harm him, and he will kill you. Owlman demands that Nightwing be kept alive as compromise. Ultraman takes off for Kahndaq, most likely not realizing that Black Adam is waiting there, Owlman and Superwoman…they have a reason to make this work, a reason why they want this world controlled and not destroyed.
Speaking of, Lex Luthor has a pair of super weapons in his basement. One of which is a ten year plan that he kicked off five years ago, and when he sees the face in the tube he knows full well it hasn’t been long enough. Back in Happy Harbor the military comes down on the remains of the Watchtower, looking to be heroes. Johnny Quick doesn’t let them, and if not for the Teen Titans, he’d have killed the lot of them. Of course, he may very kill them as well. Just like Luthor (there is jumping around happening) tells his clone to kill Otis to see if it will, the clone that he has no choice but to release as with no solar power it will just break down and become wasted. The clone doesn’t listen to Lex, nor does it respond to Otis shooting it, but it does beat the man to death the second he threatens Lex.
Johnny Quick disposes of the Titans quickly, using Kid Flash’s time displacement as a slingshot to get rid of the lot of them. Time to find more heroes.
This looks like a job for….Lex Luthor.
And is the Justice League actually dead?
What I liked:
Well, that’s certainly the best usage of the Teen Titans since…well, definitely since the New 52 started. They had a purpose, personalities, and a reason for being there outside of serving up fodder.
Geoff writes a fantastic Lex Luthor. Seriously, this is some awesome Luthor goodness the likes of which I’ve been waiting the entire New 52 for. He’s cold, he’s calculated, and he’s amoral…but he sees the world under siege and wants to save it. Sure, he probably wants to go down as a hero to the world, but that doesn’t change that he’d rather be the hero than the villain. That’s classic Lex, he’s not a bad guy, he’s the hero of his own story.
And that is a sexy looking battle suit. I hate the super sized human tank suit that he sometimes gets stuck with, so seeing this one that looks actually practical is an instant sigh of relief.
The origin of Bizarro! Lex’s ten year plan rushed into action after only five years, perfectly explaining the imperfect nature of the Super Clone. I especially enjoyed it because, as a kid, my Bizarro was the one Lex had cloned as an anti-Superman weapon. So I have a soft spot for that kind of Bizarro. Plus, with the grunting and groaning, I get the feeling that this won’t be a backwards talking jokey Bizarro.
Otis showed some backbone! Not many people will say ‘screw you, Luthor’ after Lex tries to have them killed, let alone point the gun at him. Dude totally deserved the mauling Bizarro gave him.
Whatever the hell Power Ring’s ring is doing to him is creepy looking and has me thinking way too freaking much about it. Totally Geoff’s fault, as I’ve traditionally known Power Ring to be powered by Volthoom, and Volthoom was the First Lantern. Is he connected?
Save for the facial issues I have with Finch’s art sometimes, he and the rest of the art team do a damn fine job with this issue. It’s dark, moody, creepy, and fits the tone of the bad guys being the victors.
What I didn’t like:
I actually like David Finch’s art, for the most part, but he has this nasty habit of getting sloppy with faces as the issue progresses. Nothing new or unique to this book, it’s a problem I’ve always had with him, and it reared its ugly head here.
Johnny Quick’s headgear is awful.
I know three Justice League’s went down at the same time, but is there really nobody else to save the day except for the Teen Titans?
Otis drove me crazy, I’m glad he died.
Superwoman is cheating on Ultraman with Owlman. Some things never change.
B-Zero. Bizarro. Yup, sold. Wait, you’re saying he doesn’t talk either? And he’s creepy looking? And he looks like an evil clone and not some piece of comic relief? Super sold.
Weird observation, but when he’s in the tube, Bizarro looks more like Lex than Superman.
The Teen Titans aren’t based out of San Fran in the New 52. Whoops.
I have no idea what Atomica was trying to do to Wonder Girl. Dives in her mouth, Wondy looks confused, climbs out of Wondy’s mouth.
The Society has a similar arrogance to that of the last would be Earth ruler out of Earth 3, Alexander Luthor. For all his plans and his near success, his most critical error was not including the Joker, and that cost him dearly. It seems the Society is making a similar, possibly even more dangerous mistake. They’re overlooking Lex Luthor. Nobody ever overlooks Lex Luthor and lives to tell the tail.
So far The Grid is more prominent than Cyborg was.
Finch needs to do horror books instead of action books. I mean, I dig his work on action books, but I always look at his art and think that he’d just absolutely excel at horror. This issue did a great job of looking creepy, especially Power Ring’s arm.
The more I think about it, the more this book is what Final Crisis promised and failed to deliver. The day that evil won.
Hooded man is probably Lex, but then again, that may seem so obvious that it’s actually not Lex and it’s someone like Green Arrow. I mean, yes, it’s probably going to be Lex, but I’m not going to declare the mystery solved until such a time as it actually happens.
Tags: Bizarro, Crime Syndicate, David Finch, DC Comics, forever evil, Geoff Johns, Johnny Quick, Justice League, Lex Luthor, New 52 (DC Comics), Reviews, Teen Titans