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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

Forever Evil #5 Forever Evil #5

Forever Evil #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 5, 2014

Cover date: March 2014

"Hit and Run"

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

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Forever Evil #5 Forever Evil #5 As Power Ring runs and hides from Sinestro Lex Luthor, Batman, Bizarro, Captain Cold, Black Adam and Catwoman find themselves besieged by a cadre of villains led by Deathstroke. Their mission? To kill Lex and any other villain that stands in the way of the Syndicate. The fight doesn't go well for Deathstroke's forces as Black Adam is prodded into the fight by Catwoman. Power Ring and Sinestro fight as well but despite Power Ring's momentary defiance Sinestro eventually cuts his arm off, which severs the connection between Power Ring and his power ring. As the ring flies off to find a suitable new host Power Ring thanks Sinestro for setting him free before Sinestro incinerates him.

Eventually Lex is able to convince Deathstroke to give up the fight. Sinestro joins them and Lex convinces him to join their side. Batman tries to assert his dominance and leadership over the villains but Catwoman points out that he isn't in charge; the villains are. Meanwhile Ultraman, Johnny Quick, Owlman, Super Woman and the rest of the Syndicate watch the skies. Ultraman tells them that he was right... told all of them that he was right. The creature that destroyed their world has found them.

4Story - 4: This issue could have easily lapsed into filler and when you look at what happened the chances for that happening were high. Basically you had two big fights and a reveal. What elevated this fifth chapter was that Johns was able to infuse a lot of character into the story which made me care about what was going on beyond just liking the fact that a bunch of colorfully clad characters are knocking the seven bells out of each other.

Forever Evil #5 Part of me wants to like the Lex and Batman and their merry band against the crew the Crime Syndicate sent to kill them fight more than the Sinestro vs. Power Ring battle. To be fair there was a lot to like here. From Black Adam picking a side to Captain Cold and Black Manta vs. the Shadow Thief to Captain Cold telling everyone that Batman isn't so scary in the light, like at all Johns gave us an engaging fight scene that ultimately formed the final, final opposition team to go against the Syndicate. Not that I think that throw down is going to be as important as the Syndicate and our "heroes" teaming up against the bigger threat hinted at on the final two pages of this issue but I'll get back to that in a paragraph or two.

My favorite part of this end of the issue is that for once Batman is not in charge. Don't get me wrong. I like me some Batman. I really do but there has been this... for lack of a better term movement over the decade or so to make Batman the coolest thing on two legs and a cape in any situation. To a certain extent I can see why; you need to justify why Batman is running with the super powered heroes of the Justice League but I think some writers have overcompensated for this and made him all that is man and superman. The moment where Selina tells him that he's not in charge was pivotal because it let me know that as awesome as the Dark Knight is he is not the one that is going to see this situation through.

The Sinestro vs. Power Ring fight was both amazing and gratuitous. On one hand I appreciated the emotional journey that Power Ring went through. He is the opposite of Hal Jordan of "our" Earth; frightened, unsure and unable to commit without others prodding him on. Finally he has had enough. The problem is that he is facing someone that has mastered his fears and in every way that matters is powered by them. So on that level I really liked this fight. On the other hand Sinestro cuts his arm off. On panel. Without any subtlety at all. And that bugged me. It really did. I can honestly say that the scene didn't need that gasp inducing image. It was strong enough on its own but this is how DC has rolled for going on a decade now so why should I be surprised?

That may sound snarky and in all honesty that wasn't what I was going for. I am fairly sure there is an audience for this sort of material so I can't argue with the constant use of such shock and awe moments. They're obviously selling. I am just not a fan.

Other than that this was a fine issue. I am enjoying this event for what it is and not trying to dislike it for what I want it to be. I am a little disappointed that once again the major threat is some unknown force that will allow the bad guys thus far to team up with the "heroes" but again this is how comic book storytelling has been at DC for some time so why even complain?

4Art - 4: Overall the art was strong in this issue. I was particularly impressed with the emotion Finch and Friend were able to convey during the Power Ring/Sinestro fight. Power Ring was going through a lot through the course of that fight and I think the art was able to show that, which gave that part of the issue an emotional anchor that it needed. Finch and Friend continue to have wonky moments in their work, like the shot of Ultraman at the end of the issue but there was more art to like than dislike.

3Cover Art - 3 (Main Cover): The composition of this cover is fine but there is something off about all of the characters. Lex's head seems out of proportion, Batman looks as though he has no neck, Sinestro and Black Adam look off and Bizarro is...well, Bizarro looks to be the best of the bunch. This cover seems to want to evoke an epic feeling but the final result doesn't give that feeling to me.

4Cover Art - 4 (Black Adam): This is a pretty epic shot of Black Adam. My one problem is that this doesn't look like Black Adam but rather Shazam in the Black Adam outfit. Otherwise I like this cover quite a bit.

4Cover Art - 4 (Sinestro): Ethan Van Sciver draws a great Sinestro. He has since GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH. This cover is no exception. My one problem is the crooked, broken leg of Power Ring. Sure it sends the signal that something REALLY bad happened but for personal reasons I really don't feel like getting into here I am tired of the "limb on crooked" motif that has been popular in comics and film and television to show how hardcore the fight has gotten. I'm tired of it. Other than that I have no complaints about this cover.

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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