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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

Forever Evil #3 Forever Evil #3

Forever Evil #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 3, 2013

Cover date: January 2014


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: David Finch
Inker: Richard Friend

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Forever Evil #3 Forever Evil #3 Batman tells Dr. Stone and Dr. Thomas Morrow what happened when the Crime Syndicate invaded their world. Firestorm's matrix was exposed by his evil counterpart and everyone except Batman, Catwoman and what was left of Cyborg was trapped inside. Batman asks if Dr. Stone can save his son again and Dr. Morrow replies that of course they can. Thanks to a nearby television Batman learns of Nightwing's capture and unmasking and leaves Cyborg to go help his protégé.

Elsewhere Lex has Bizarro unearth a satellite dish so he can make contact with the 28 satellites he has staged in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Once he makes contact with them Lex is able to get a lock on Ultraman and watches the evil Superman's battle with Black Adam. Ultraman defeats Adam but is injured and has Grid locate Metallo for him. Lex is curious why Ultraman is avoiding sunlight, which is the source of Superman's powers.

In Central City Deathstorm demands to know why the Rogues haven't leveled the rest of the city. Cold tries to explain that the innocents haven't been evacuated yet but Power Ring's paranoia causes him to attack. Deathstorm rewrites the Rogues DNA which causes some of their powers to go on the fritz and others, like Captain Cold, to lose their abilities completely. They barely escape and Cold is separated from the group. Mirror Master is able to contact him and shows him that Lex Luthor might be with Superman.

Meanwhile Luthor and Bizarro are joined by Black Manta who has brought the left for dead Black Adam back to the surface. Black Manta believes that the Syndicate killed Aquaman and since they took everything from him he is going to take everything from them. Captain Cold joins them and brings them up to speed on what happened to the Rogues. He asks if Bizarro was the one to injure Black Adam and is told that Ultraman was the culprit. Cold hopes that Ultraman is far away but is told by Lex that hope is meaningless now. Hope won't save the world. But maybe together, working as a group, they can.

Forever Evil #3 4Story - 4: There was a lot to like about this issue. The introductory scene where Batman explained to Dr. Stone and T.O. Morrow what happened to the League was not only a strong way to get things going but also had some nice emotional beats with Dr. Stone dealing with his dying son once again and also Batman learning that Dick Grayson has not only been captured but also unmasked on television. The explanation that all of the heroes were now trapped in the Firestorm matrix was a little wonky but I'll go with it for the time being. The scene with Lex and Bizarro was very well done and I like that Johns isn't playing Bizarro as a mindless brute. The bit with the flower made me chuckle a bit and I like the Frankenstein vibe the scene had. The fight between Ultraman and Black Adam was brief but satisfying as was Lex starting to wonder about why Ultraman is staying out of direct sunlight.

The highlight of the issue was the fight between the Rogues and the combined force of Deathstorm and Power Ring. As ever the Rogues have their own sense of honor so even though they were told to raze Central City they still refused to destroy the school and the hospitals and were concerned with the innocents that hadn't been evacuated. Power Ring's instability is coming along nicely and I dug that it was his paranoia that caused the fight to start. Not surprisingly Captain Cold has emerged as the standout rogue for this story but Johns likes the character a lot so that makes sense. More to the point the way he is playing with Captain Cold makes him the clear choice to join Luthor's team.

Like the beginning the end of the issue was strong and satisfying. All of the major bad guys that have rejected the Crime Syndicate's offer have been assembled. The team itself is not surprising given that Johns is writing the story but again that doesn't make them bad choices. Black Manta, Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Black Adam and Bizarro are all villains that Johns has used in the past and seems to have an affinity for. Now all we need is Sinestro to show up and the Johns All-Star Villain team will be complete. That may sound like I am being snarky but I'm not. While I have had some issues with Johns' writing in the past overall I have been a fan going back to 2000 and this is the sort of story he excels at.

More than anything I like the pace the overall story is taking. So far I am not getting the sense that there is any unnecessary padding going on. The first issue set the stage, the second issue dealt with the immediate aftermath of that and now in the third issue the opposition force has come together. It has been an exciting and enjoyable story to read. Sure I still have issues that by the very nature of the story Johns is telling the villains (at least the villains of the "real" world) are being made the protagonists but for once that is a novel concept when it comes to the Crime Syndicate. Usually it is the JLA vs. the CSA and at some point I do want to see that fight but when you take the heroes off the table the only people left to fight against the invasion are the villains. If this wasn't a trope Johns had played with in the past I'd be a little more excited but so far it hasn't diminished my feelings towards FOREVER EVIL as a whole.

3Art - 3: The artwork in this issue looked very rushed and rough. The page layouts were fine but the details were lost and the figure work looked odd in place, like the proportions of Batman on page five. There were some highlights though. I dug the opening splash page with the minds of the heroes entering the Firestorm matrix. I liked the battle between Black Adam and Ultraman. The shot of Black Manta rising out of the water was really cool too.

It would have been nice if the art was more consistent and speaking of consistency was it me or did Bizarro's costume seem to change from last month to this one and then change again during the course of this issue? At the end of the previous issue (and in other places) Bizarro was in the T-shirt and jeans look but in his first scene in this issue he's in the armored costume. Then a few pages later it looks like he is back in the short sleeve shirt and then even further down the road it is the armored suit again. I could be wrong but that's how it looked to me. Despite this the issue ended on a high note and I liked the final page of the villains assembled and ready to take back the Earth.

4Cover Art - 4 (Main Cover): This was a fun cover. It's a bit on the misleading side but at the same time it gets your attention. It also makes for a nice mirroring effect with the villains in battle being the first image you see and the last thing you see before closing the book is the villains standing united.

3Cover Art - 3 (Variant Cover A): This is a creepy cover but at the same time I think it is kind of funny. It shouldn't be. The bad guys tearing Cyborg apart should be a frightening idea but the fact that Cyborg looks more annoyed than terrified gives the cover a humorous feel.

2Cover Art - 2 (Variant Cover B): I didn't care for the Firestorm with heads in his mouth cover. Firestorm looks odd and the faces look odd and it just isn't an appealing image.

4Cover Art - 4 (Villain Variant): This is my favorite cover by far. The villains look great, the composition is amazing and the lighting is so effective.

4Cover Art - 4 (B&W Cover): While I like the black and white variant I think this cover works better with the coloring and the effects. Bizarro in particular looks better in color but I liked seeing the black and white version.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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