My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Went into this one with my hands up to protect my chin. Geoff hasn’t really been consistently putting out great stuff of late and I’ve been disappointed with his Justice League related books in the past. This is yet another book that a couple of friends (Anne’s review , Sam’s review ) have pretty different opinions on and I think this time I definitely fall more in line with one of them.
Anne, I really liked it. Sam, as well as a couple haters at my local shop, make some valid points about weaknesses in the story. But much like you Anne, I just thought it alotta fun. Picking up shortly after the Trinity War event, Forever Evil puts Lex Luthor firmly in the driver’s seat. And boy, he’s got some rough road ahead. This review has some SPOILERS so if you haven’t read Trinity War, Forever Evil, or my under-educated review is already giving you a headache, you’ll probably want to stop reading now.
The Crime Syndicate is taking over, the Justice League is presumed dead, and it’s up to Lex Luthor to save the day. Or at least save himself, and inadvertently, the rest of us along with him. Lex gets to show off his big-ass brain in this one as he assembles a group of cold hearted villains to get the job done. But not before the Syndicate takes over. I’ve been a fan of these villains since Morrison’s JLA Earth 2 and the Justice Lords of the “A Better World” episodes of the AWESOME Justice League cartoons. The animated villains are a little different, but are definitely inspired by Morrison’s despots. They’re some evil sons-a-bitches. Next order of business is for Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, Atomica, and Deathstorm to go on a recruiting drive and the baddies start lining up to sign on. With a few notable exceptions that is. Luthor manages to enlist several of the holdouts to put together his own dream-team consisting of Bizarro, Sinestro, Black Adam, Captain Cold, Black Manta and eventually, Deathstroke. So fuckin cool. Love the Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster thing that Lex and Bizarro have going on. Really like Sinestro in this one too. Being a fan of Geoff’s Green Lantern run, it was great to see him writing the totalitarian Lantern again. Especially once the dismemberment gets started. Not to be left out Cap’n Cold cripples a guy and Manta shanks a bitch prison style. Finally, circumstance leaves Batman with no logical choice but to work with Lex’s Lil’ Legion of Doom in order to pull Nightwing’s bacon outta the fire. Grayson is the first non-Leaguer hero to get caught up in the shit-storm and boy does he get his ass handed to him. Lots of fun little moments like these peppered throughout this whole event. Pretty dope.
David Finch’s artwork really pulled this all together for me. Loved his old Marvel stuff and I kinda lost interest in him when he was working on the Batman titles. He is back on point with this book and outside of a couple of nitpicky issues, he owned it.
On the flip side, Sam and the boys at the shop have a bunch of reasonable complaints. The moon thing was dumb, the “creature” from Earth 3 plotline that goes nowhere was weak, Catwoman getting the grand tour of the Bat-cave, the Syndicate destroying the world just because, and Lex’s annoying inner monologue wore thin quick. All valid opinions. I also wish Geoff had just let Lex be Lex from start to finish. He could have just been the dick he was in the beginning all along and still got the job done.
But none of these legitimate criticisms kept me from having a great time and ultimately enjoying the shit outta this one. If you can let some stuff slide and just take it for the summer blockbuster I think it was meant to be, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying parts of this one too.