Forever Evil #6
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by David Finch, Richard Friend, and Sonia Oback
The short of it:
As the Injustice League (and Batman/Catwoman) prepare to move on the Watchtower, Luthor points out to Batman that this sort of thing never happened before the Justice League fought Apokolips, and just really enjoys pissing off Batman. It’s easier than getting under Superman’s skin. Meanwhile, the Syndicate is looking at the bleeding in the sky and trying to figure out a way to stop it before the being that destroyed their Earth can come and do it again. Owlman is called back by Outsider, though, as Grid did something to Nightwing. The ‘League’ finds their way into the Watchtower, splitting up. Batman, Catwoman, Luthor, and Bizarro promptly find Nightwing strapped to some silver age Mr. Miracle style deathtrap of WHAT-A-TWIST!
Grid explains to Outsider why he chose to go over the top, but then something glitches and Outsider goes to check on the masked prisoner, but Manta is waiting for him and plays hide the knife in Jokerized Alfred. Meanwhile, Nightwing’s deathtrap turns into a bomb, sealing the two smartest members of the group in with him along with two others, and leaving the big guns to explore…until the Syndicate arrives. Black Adam wants his damn payback, and everyone else pairs off for a fight as Batman tries to save Nightwing. Unfortunately, the bomb is tied into his heart, and can only be disabled if he dies. This leads to Dick trying to be selfless and tell Bruce to leave, and Bruce being stubborn and refusing to stop trying to save his prodigal son. Luthor…he has other ideas. They involve not letting Batman’s sentimental nature get everyone in the room nuked.
Johnny and Atomica go to bring the punishment to Cold and Manta, who have freed the Prisoner and killed the Outsider. Johnny is stoked to kill Cold, since he killed Lenny on Earth 3, and starts taunting him. Insulting his gun, insulting that all he has is a gun and how useless that is if he can’t pull the trigger. Well, long story short, you NEVER underestimate Captain Cold. Also, Luthor does what must be done, and just in time, though Batman does try to beat his face in for it. But hey, this is Lex Luthor! He has a plan! Though with the reveal of the Prisoner…is that going to matter?
What I liked:
Captain Cold. His fight with Johnny Quick? Awesome. His voice activated gun? Awesome. His crack to Johnny after the fight? Man, I can not wait for him to be a full timer on Justice League so Geoff can keep writing him every month.
Black Manta: Atom Proof.
One thing this issue did a nice job with is taking full advantage of the length of the issue to give us bang for our buck. I know that sounds like it should be standard, but more often than not you’ll see a second to last issue drag on to set up the big moment in the finale. Like, this issue could have just spun its wheels until the Prisoner got out, but Johns did his best to not make this issue feel padded out.
Batman probably would break his no killing rule if anything happened to Dick.
What I didn’t like:
Let’s start with the cover and let it dovetail from there. Seriously, scroll to the top of the page, look at that cover. If I weren’t already invested in getting to the conclusion of this story, that cover might make me say screw it. It’s like a rushed fourth panel on a row blown up to fit a cover.
The Murder Machine. The name, the idea, the fact that it was even cobbled together to be a thing. This thing is what would happen if Grant Morrison needed to tie a damsel to train tracks for the hero to save her, because he couldn’t just do something that simple. And Geoff? I love Geoff, but this….no.
The art is all over the place. Sometimes it starts to look pretty good for a few panels, and then it just falls apart. I get going dark and gritty, but Doug Mahnke can do dark and gritty and not have his pencils fall apart left and right. There are moments where the issue looks good, but far more where it’s just inconsistent. I am really not a fan of David Finch on this series, and I really wish they’d gone another direction when picking an artist for this book.
How about some Doomsday consistency? Some books refer to him existing and killing Superman, but then you’ve got Superman/Wonder Woman where he’s just now debuting and is still a total mystery.
The masked man was a bit of a let down. I mean, a lot of one. I guessed Alexander Luthor back when he first showed up during Trinity War, just because it made sense. I didn’t guess that he’d be an Amazo, however. Well, not an Amazo, since he’s not an android, but he does seem to be a power thief.
Favorite line of the issue? “See, The Flash and I got mutual respect. That’s the difference between you and him. Besides having two legs.”
How has Lex Luthor, smartest guy in any room he walks into, not put together that Batman is Bruce Wayne? Any reports about Dick Grayson have to include that he was adopted by Bruce, and I mean, Batman is treating him like a son, not a partner.
Hell, same goes for Selina, who has supposedly had sex with Bruce AND Batman (the Batman one we know to be fact).
The Outsider was a waste. He had a cool setup in JLA, seemed to have promise with the Syndicate, and then immediately fell to the background until Manta murders the crap out of him. He went from interesting supporting character to cannon fodder in pretty short order.
I have to imagine that Luthor does do something to revive Dick, because, I mean, we already know that Lex is joining the Justice League and will be working alongside Batman. If he killed Dick Grayson right in front of Batman, there’s no way that would work.
Speaking of new Justice League members, how freaking awesome is it that Captain Cold is set to join?!
Forever Evil….almost over!
Tags: Batman, David Finch, DC Comics, forever evil, Geoff Johns, Justice League, Lex Luthor, New 52 (DC Comics), Nightwing, Reviews