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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

Forever Evil #4 Forever Evil #4

Forever Evil #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 26, 2013

Cover date: February 2014

"Hide and Seek"

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

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Forever Evil #4 Forever Evil #4 Batman takes a blindfolded Catwoman to the Batcave to retrieve a yellow power ring in case they have to face the evil version of Green Lantern. Meanwhile Lex Luthor revives Black Adam and he agrees to join them. Power Ring is reluctantly sent to deal with Captain Cold. Luthor and crew break into Wayne Enterprises where they find a very surprised Batman. Power Ring and his crew show up as well and Batman momentarily has the upper hand when he puts on the yellow ring but Power Ring defeats him. Just when Power Ring seems victorious another player enters the game; Sinestro!

4Story - 4: There was a lot to like about this chapter of FOREVER EVIL. Johns is definitely in his element in terms of both characterization and the characters he is writing about. The man seems to like him some villains. At first I thought this might hold the series back but after some thought I realized that this is how things are and that I might as well sit back and try to enjoy the ride.

Forever Evil #4 And it was a fun ride. In fact the only real problem I had with this issue was right there at the beginning. Batman reveals the contingency plans that he had in place against the League in case they ever went rogue and apparently one of those contingencies was a yellow power ring that he managed to get when the Sinestro Corps attacked Earth. I thought that this scene was a nice call back to the best storyline that Mark Waid wrote in JLA in addition to the very awesome Sinestro Corps War from five or so years ago. The problem with liking those call backs and references were they were all pre-New 52 and that reminds me that while most of the DCU was revamped from the ground up Green Lantern was allowed to keep much of his backstory. That has always irked me. The whole point was to start fresh and show how daring DC was willing to get by rebooting everything but when you reboot everything except one or two characters then it doesn't feel as daring. The powers that be wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They wanted a fresh start but also to continue publishing their best-selling titles. Scenes like this remind me of that fact and I have to admit that it took me out of the story a bit.

Other than that this was a fun chapter. The scene with Lex shocking Black Adam was a good excuse to give us some fun interplay between the main villains of the series. Power Ring continues to be an interesting take on that character. I like that he is unsure of himself as that is the total opposite of Hal. I was a little confused during the scene between Ultraman and Superwoman as I thought he knew she was pregnant back in the first or second issue. Maybe I am misremembering that. I also liked the fight at the end. You had the villains surprising Batman and then Power Ring and his crew crashing the party. It was a fun and exciting way to close things out and the cliffhanger with Sinestro was just what the issue needed.

Far and away the best scene was where Lex gave Bizarro the pep talk. Not only was it a nice emotional beat for Lex but it also made me care about this Bizarro. I have written in the past that Bizarro works best when he is treated as a tragic creature and to see him scared of the dark and then wanting to please Lex really made me feel for the character. This has been the most pleasant surprise about FOREVER EVIL. To be fair I wasn't expecting much from Bizarro so maybe the low expectations led to a high satisfaction but no matter the whys he is becoming the breakout character for me as a reader.

4Art - 4: I enjoyed the art more this issue than I did in the last installment. I really can't put my finger on why. David Finch hit all the right beats for me on both an action front and an emotional one. The scene where Lex told the story about his sister really got to me and the art played a large part in that as well as in how much I responded to Bizarro. I also really liked his take on the Yellow Lantern Batman. It made for a nice half page splash. Finally I loved the Parallax inspired outfit for Sinestro. Not only did it make for a great cliffhanger ending but it's a neat design.

4Cover Art - 4 (Main Cover): This was a great cover but I liked it. Lex and Batman fighting as the Crime Syndicate watches on makes for a compelling image. The details are a little wonky but in the overall this cover worked for me.

5Cover Art - 5 (Variant Cover A): Ethan Van Sciver drawing the Yellow Lantern Batman fighting Power Ring! There is nothing about this cover that I don't like.

3Cover Art - 3 (Variant Cover B): On the other hand the Batman/Catwoman cover didn't do a whole lot for me. Both Batman and Catwoman look fine. I just thought it was a boring cover.

5Cover Art - 5 (Villain Variant): All things being equal this should have been the main cover of the issue. This cover grabbed me right away with the image of Deathstroke pointing a shotgun at Lex. Sure the gun looks off but this gets the point across that bad stuff is going to happen in this issue.

4Cover Art - 4 (B&W Cover): The black and white variant did not disappoint this month. The detail on Luthor's armor pops a little more without color and I liked the shading.

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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