Forever Evil #2 by Geoff Johns (Comics Review)

Forever Evil is the BIG event of the year for DC Comics, surpassing even Trinity War. Where last month was all focused on the supervillains of DC Universe, this month we go back to things being a bit more regular. But even though all the regular series are back in action this month, that doesn’t mean that Forever Evil isn’t going ahead. It very much is.

The first issue was just about decent. It had some great moments with Lex Luthor, and it gave a pretty decent overview of all the changes going on in the superpowered community, whether for the good guys or the bad guys. But, the art was definitely not up to mark, and David Finch left me disappointed throughout. Sadly, that trend seems to have continued with this issue.

Forever Evil 02The fight between the Crime Syndicate and the Teen Titans was supposed to be the big moment of the issue, at least according to the solicit, and certainly if that cover is any indication. It was actually nice that there was still some superhero team out there that had its bearing and was looking to doing something about the new world masters. But, the execution fell through. The fight is extremely limited on the Crime Syndicate side of things and it is over practically before it begins. I get why it happened like it did, establishing how far above the Teen Titans the Crime Syndicate is, fitting since they pretty much took down THREE Justice League teams previously in Trinity War, but I didn’t like it at all. And certain of Atomica’s action don’t seem to have had a resolution, which is a tiny bit frustrating.

Still, one thing that I liked was that there was finally a major acknowledgement of the fact that with Ultraman having caused an artificial eclipse and having moved the moon prematurely, Earth is undergoing some serious geological disasters: earthquakes, floods, and more. It was a point that was barely acknowledged in any of the Villain’s Month issues, Aquaman #23.1 being the only one if I recall correctly, so its nice to see it being mentioned.

Another point was that we also get to see some real character dynamic interaction between the members of the Crime Syndicate. We saw a glimpse of some of them in last week’s Justice League #23.4, which gave us a glimpse of some events that happened on Earth 3 prior to the Crime Syndicate leaving that destroyed vision of hell. There are some startling revelations here related to the relationship between the “Earth 3 trinity” of Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman. There is such a potential for conflict later on, and it ties into (once again) Justice League #23.4 where we see how the Earth 3 Joker ruined the personal life of Owlman, as well as the unmasking of Dick Grayson as Nightwing in Forever Evil #1.

And finally, the ending is one hell of an ending. A most unexpected cliffhanger, the kind that makes you wish you had a time machine so you could jump forward in time and find out what happens next pronto, without any delay. It really is interesting, and to be honest, shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. But the way it is written, it seems that there is still some hope. Only a small shred of hope, like a guttering flame, if you will.

But, the fact remains that there is a LOT going on in this issue and that the overall narrative is a bit skewed for that reason. The script is trying to do too much and there aren’t enough pages to give everything its due. The issue sets up at least one of the upcoming tie-ins, Rogues Rebellion by Brian Buccellato in which Flash’s iconic villain team rejects the Crime Syndicate and its hold on the world. Thrilling stuff that is, for sure.

A better approach I think would have been to focus on the relationships between the members of the Crime Syndicate and deal with the attack by the Teen Titans. Two major objectives, which is what the script really should have been about.

All the same, I liked that Lex Luthor is still the big “hero” of this event series. He’s got some great dialogue, and some great scenes in this issue, just as he did in the previous one, and we even get to see some slight backstory through exposition about some of the things that he did in Forever Evil #1.

For the art, I admit that I’m disappointed. David Finch remains frustratingly inconsistent, even in the same issue. There are so many differences between the various characters from among the Crime Syndicate and the Teen Titans. If there’s any one character who stays consistent, it is Lex Luthor. Rather odd. Because of the inconsistencies in Finch’s pencilwork, the efforts of inker Richard Friend and colourist Sonia Oback also suffer. Together, they put out a book that is mediocre at best in terms of its art, and that’s a real shame since there is so much potential here, untapped potential all of it. And something I realised, after talking with a friend, is that Johnny Quick’s costume seems to have undergone a change since he was in Justice League #23, where he has a white helmet but in both the Forever Evil issues we’ve seen so far, his helmet is all red. Another weird decision.

Overall, I’m not satisfied with this issue. it really could have been great, but it is letdown by the art most of all.

Rating: 7/10

More Forever Evil: #1.

Posted on October 3, 2013, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

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