(This article discusses the main event found in the Forever Evil trade, and not the tie-in issues. Below is the opinion of the writer solely.)
Writer: Geoff Johns, Penciller: David Finch, Inker: Richard Friend, Colourist: Sonia Oback.
Seven issues that nicely sum up everything wrong with the New 52.
While the writing and art are all around solid works. Not to mention the interesting premise of centring on villains trying to figure out what to do when the Justice League disappears, and something worse tries to take over. It’s execution throughout, and even it’s resolution, are undeniably bleak. Leading to a story that leaves the audience feeling disheartened, and with a sense that the future will only get darker.
The Justice League has disappeared, and in their place, appears The Crime Syndicate. Evil double-gangers from another dimension. Consisting of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Atomica, and Deathstorm. They declare to the villains of the world that the Justice League is dead, and that if they value their lives, they will join them. Nightwing is unmasked, and the only ones left to save the world are Lex Luthor, Black Adam, Black Manta, Catwoman, an injured Batman, Captain Cold, and a clone of Superman Lex has been constructing, known as Subject B-Zero.
With the New 52 acting as a reboot to the DC universe, this event does provide us with a useful outlet for fleshing out the villains of the world, as well as how this Earth has grown to view superheroes. However, in execution, the book screams for attention. Proclaiming, “look at how grim and gritty we can get! Our evil Superman snorts Kryptonite like a well-paid hooker snorting cocaine! Look at us damn it!” Actions and scenes are extremely depressing and horrific. Including the death of Atomica by way of a boot. The disturbing image of Cyborg’s cybernetic components ripping itself from his body, and the utterly unconvincing job of attempting to reform Lex Luther, despite spending the majority of the book giving us his inner monologue. In which he describes the depths of his cruelty.
For those looking for superhero fun, this book is not one for you. Very much a product of the company’s erroneous direction at the time, rather than a passion project of the creators. While dark superhero stories certainly have their place. This stands as more of a cry for attention, than an exploration.
The trade collection is available here: Forever Evil TP