Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Comic Book Review -- Forever Evil #1

(Spoilers for Trinity War to follow.)

I'm just going to open with this: Trinity War was a disappointment. The much hyped summer event comic which featured the three Justice Leagues (The Justice League, The Justice League of America, and The Justice League Dark, for those counting) fighting each other started very strong with this:

And ended very strong with this:

But pretty much everything in between was just kind of pointless and lame. The three Justice Leagues didn't so much go to war as they did have a brief skirmish and then come to a polite understanding (although Trinity Polite Understanding wouldn't have been as catchy a title), and the tie-ins were all pretty bad with the exception of The Phantom Stranger #12, and that only worked as a Phantom Stranger story because the current run on The Phantom Stranger is fantastic and you should be reading that instead.

So, while Trinity War is far from the worst comic out there (or even the worst comic DC's put out recently), it had a strong beginning, a strong ending, and a very long, very mediocre middle, which ended in a fairly lame story overall.

Which makes me all the more excited to tell you that the first issue of Forever Evil, the immediate follow up to Trinity War, is excellent.

Forever Evil picks up shortly after Trinity War ended, with the Crime Syndicate, the evil doppelgangers of the Justice League from Earth-3, having used Pandora's Box to make it through to the Justice League's world and supposedly killed the Justice League.

The Crime Syndicate has used their resources, and their new member Grid, to black out the planet, announce to the world that it now belongs to them, and broken the world's super-criminals out of prison. As in, all of them. This, of course, leads into this month's special DCU-wide event, Villain's Month, where all of the DC Universe's titles have been replaced by #1 issues for their respective villains (Justice League 23.1-23.4, for example, will be "Darkseid #1," "Lobo #1," "Dial E #1," and "Secret Society #1").

And, in my humble opinion, Forever Evil #1 is an excellent start to the DCU-wide event which will be running from now until March.

Geoff Johns has gotten a pretty bad reputation among comic book fans lately, not entirely undeservedly, but this is him at his best. His talents have always seemed best suited to the massive, broad scale stories, and his smaller scale stories (which, unfortunately, Trinity War ended up becoming) usually fall a bit flat. Forever Evil provides a story of an impressive scale, and he seems to be jumping right in.

The Crime Syndicate present excellent villains, and having recruited virtually every supervillain in the world sets them up an incredibly powerful. The fact that our heroes are gone, and our "hero" for the series is now a famous supervillain himself (who is none too happy to let the Crime Syndicate conquer his world) gives us an excellent hook.

Even within the first issue, the plot takes several twists and turns, including several which seem like they'll have massive repercussions DCU-wide even after the Forever Evil event has come and gone. If Forever Evil can keep up this level of quality, it'll be a series to remember.

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