Forever Evil #3
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: David Finch
Page Count: 32
U.S. Price: 3.99
Sale Date: Nov 6 2013
It’s not easy being right all the time. Just ask Lex Luthor! He’s been warning the DC Universe for years that its dependence on super-powered heroes would end up being humanity’s downfall. And the events of Forever Evil have shown, yet again, that Lex got it right! The heroes are gone, and humanity has nowhere else to turn to save them. So, since he couldn’t save humanity from itself, it’s up to Lex to save humanity from the grips of Forever Evil. But he’s going to need help. He’s getting a team together, and while I usually dig it when a new band gets together, I was left a bit wanting and confused by this effort.
This issue was all about getting the team together, a device used repeatedly in recent DC memory courtesy of the New 52 reboot, but it was different enough to make it feel new. Lex’s new Justice League is an intriguing group of villains turned unlikely heroes, and the entire feel of the team is just plain fun. Forever Evil as an event has, finally, found its footing, and the second act of the event is undeniably upon us with the delivery of a solid hook in the form of Lex’s new team. David Finch’s art is strong and does a great job of helping tell the story, with very creative use of Batman’s mask to paint overall emotion. Geoff Johns writing is the star of the issue, however, and he seamlessly takes the reader from one scene to the next with a pace that should come off as erratic, but instead helps set the unpredictable nature of the story itself. I mean, who could have seen a team headed by Lex Luthor and filled out with a clone of Superman and some of the worst villains in DC history, come together without the world becoming complete shit in the process? I just got the order wrong. Johns is able to communicate the sense of the chaotic mayhem of Forever Evil without harming the story contained in the pages of this single issue. It’s the little things Johns does that really shine in the ish, however, and the previously mentioned use of Batman mask in Bruce’s reaction to Nightwing’s current state, Lex and Bizarro taking time to stop and smell the flowers, and even Ultraman referencing Black Adam trying to harm him with words were simply brilliant morsels of geek goodness. But it had some problems.
Although quite impressive, the art seemed rushed in more than a few places, and, while I just adore Finch’s work, I felt we were shorted a bit in the details department. As usual, this issue raises more questions than answers, with confusion ensuing. Firestorm shows powers that make hardly any sense, with the effects of those “new” powers possibly spoiling things in some Forever Evil tie-in issues; the loss of powers in a different character seemed like a forced afterthought, and is surely nothing more than a way to get to tell this story the way Johns’ wants to; and “oh, hey, there’s Black Manta!”, almost too convenient. Again, as usual, these are just nits that I like picking. The real trouble begins to sink in when you realize that Lex’s Injustice League team hasn’t yet reached its capacity. Bats and Cats have been solicited to be joining this team, and I’m worried I’ll have to sit through one, maybe two, more issues of getting a team together that will only have any meaning for the duration of Forever Evil. If it’s going to take four or five issues of a seven issue event just to get a team together for the event, and the event only, that leaves me a relative little time to actually see the team in action, which is, after all, the true appeal.
This is by far the worst issue of Forever Evil to date. I know, it’s only three issues in, and every modern day comic book event HAS to have at least one or two unnecessary issues, but, unfortunately, Forever Evil #3 is THAT issue. Equally unfortunate is the fact that some stuff DOES happen in this issue that will be integral to the rest of the event. Fortunately, however, readers probably won’t miss much of that if they skip this issue. So, if you really, really love Forever Evil pick this up. It’s worth reading just to see a team dynamic build, albeit a really slow build. But this issue is by no means required to get the gist of Forever Evil or enjoy anything that will follow it, so skip it.