Group Review: Forever Evil #3

Each of the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the issue a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass along with a short reason for the score. Here’s a blurb about the issue from DC before we begin: With the world under the rule of the mysterious and deadly Crime Syndicate and our greatest heroes dead, it's up to the unlikeliest of defenders to rise up to save us--humanity's only hope--Lex Luthor?!

Carl: BUY

The Justice League has been battered, and their essences have been fused into Firestorm.  The Nuclear Man, overloaded from the experience, is a ticking time bomb about to blow.  With no heroes left, the villains rise up against the Crime Syndicate.

This ‘event’ has the bad guys stepping up to battle worse guys.  The logic and motivations of the rogues gallery is sound.  Captain Cold doesn’t want his neighborhood leveled until the women and children are safe.  Sure, it sounds like Tony Montana from Scarface, but I bought it.  Meanwhile Lex Luthor and Bizarro hatch a plan to put up a good fight against the Syndicate.  And like always, Batman lurks in the shadows, awaiting for the right time to strike.

Comic Book fans have been blessed this fall with two great book events going on with Marvel’s Infinity providing another great read.  As of issue 3 of Forever Evil, I am aligning myself with DC.  The stakes are high.  For instance, Nightwing has been unmasked and Cyborg caught a virus that caused his cyborg augmentations to reject his biologics.  The last time I had this ‘the heroes are really f-ed” feeling was when I saw Transformers: The Movie just as Optimus Prime died.

So I give Forever Evil #3 an emphatic BUY IT.   For a book with no one to save the day, this comic has some powerful and moving moments.


Forever Evil is one of those books I REALLY want to like, being a firm fan of superhero doppelgängers. However, because of a lumbering pace that seems to dance around itself, shoddy art and heavy yet unenlightening exposition, I just can’t give it a “buy.”

On one hand, I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lex and Bizarro this issue, with its twisted George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men dynamic. Otherwise, though, it sort of doesn’t feel like Johns has quite the handle he’d like on the characterization of his other players, especially the Syndicate. With a few exceptions (such as Power Ring’s self-loathing, cowardice and fear of his parasitic ring), they seem generic and “uninterestingly evil” to me. I am super fucking happy, however, that they’ve undone the lame-ass inherent powers of Captain Cold; hopefully they’ll lead the rest of The Rogues down a similar path to a time predating the New 52 FUBAR.

The art is some of the most inconsistent I’ve seen recently, and not just because it can’t decide whether to give Bizarro short or long sleeves. Its highs, though few, are pretty brilliant (i.e., the shot of Firestorm imploding), while its lows (like the post-Shazam-struck Ultraman) are shockingly deformed and feel rushed. I’m still gonna follow along with this series, just to see how and when its cluster finally fucks, but right now, this all just feels like big pillow talk and unsatisfying foreplay.


James: BUY

When I started the Forever Evil series and some of its crossover books, I admit that I didn’t really like it. I mean who were these Earth 3 punks who thought they could come and wipe out our heroes on Earth 1 (Ultraman folks, please). But here they were, knocking everyone out and taking up residence.  Call me crazy, but I actually felt bad for the bad guys who had built up a lifetime of hatred on their nemesis to only be denied the opportunity to exact vengeance. Everybody has got to have a dream right?

Here we are to issue #3, and nothing has improved. The good guys are still getting laid out, Dick Grayson has been exposed (no pun intended), and there seems to be no end to the destruction of our planet, our heroes, and now even our villains are feeling the sting as they are being asked to destroy their own homes or get destroyed.

Anyway, I haven’t been into the series, but I like #3. An official title should be “The Bad Guys Strike Back” or at least “Prepare” to strike back.  The banter between Lex Luthor and his cloned FrankenSuperman I thought enjoyably funny and growing up watching the Legion of Doom cartoon stuff as a kid, I almost felt a bit of nostalgia seeing some of the gang getting back together.

With the bad guys massing and (what’s left) of the good guys beginning to regroup, it is inevitable that a partnership is in the making. Kind of a “enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of thing. It’s actually already started. Whether it plays out like that or not, I know that I am ready to settle in and read about it.   As always, the artists at DC (in this case David Finch, pencils, Richard Friend, Ink, and Sonia Oback, color), they nailed the graphics with a smooth writing flow assist to Mr. Geoff Johns. It could be real easy to get lame on the dialogue, but Johns keeps it straight and moving. Good jobs ladies and gentlemen.

Dustin: PASS

Let's start with the cover, why are the five villains that team up together fighting? Kind of dumb. I’m going to be the odd man out again and say that you should completely pass on this issue. It’s not that’s its poorly written or that the art is bad, it’s the fact that this issue relies on your fanboy completionist nature kicking in and you buying several of the one-shots and mini-series that tie into Forever Evil. Granted you can still get the gist of the story in this issue, but that’s just it… the gist. It’s like reading a summary of everything that’s happening in other issues whereas the first two at least paved the way for the story. That and it was really boring. Lex Luthor is boring. If narrates about growing up one more time I’m going to shit on his mother’s grave in a poorly drawn comic of my own creation. “Forever” is a great word for this series because that’s what it feels like reading it.

Score: 2 Buys, 1 Borrow and a Pass

Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: David Finch Publisher: DC Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/6/13