Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Forever Evil #3

"Issue Three: Prisoners"

Geoff Johns Writer
David Finch Penciller
Richard Friend Inker
Sonia Oback Colorist
Rob Leigh Letterer
Kate Stewart Assistant Editor
Brian Cunningham Senior Editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family

The cover is by David Finch, Richard Friend and Sonia Oback, and I don't care for it one bit. Most of it is because I can't stand David Finch's style. I understand the appeal of getting somebody like Finch for this dark, Forever Evil story, but I think he's a bit too sloppy to justify the amount of money this issue costs. Everybody's arms and hands seem out of proportion, and nobody's face looks quite right. Plus, nothing remotely like this happens inside. In fact, the exact opposite happens. Anyone expecting/hoping for a big showdown between these villains would be pretty disappointed once they read the issue.

Our story begins in S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit, where Batman and Catwoman are explaining to Dr. Stone and Dr. Morrow what happened to the Justice League. After the robotic half of Cyborg split away from him, the Crime Syndicate showed up and Deathstorm did something to Firestorm to cause all the heroes to be sucked into the Firestorm matrix.

Batman and Catwoman were able to escape to the sewers with the nearly dead Vic Stone. They took him back to his dad in the Red Room, which contains the most advanced collection of technology, known and unknown, on the planet. While Dr. Stone works on his son, Batman learns that the Crime Syndicate has exposed Nightwing's secret identity. So Batman decides to leave to go help his old friend.

In Metropolis, at the remains of Galaxy Communications — a subsidiary of LexCorp — Lex Luthor, with some difficulty, gets Bizarro to help him connect to one of his hidden satellites. This enables him to monitor the actions of Ultraman, who is currently beating the snot out of Black Adam. But Ultraman begins to bleed after the fight, so he asks Grid to help him find Metallo, who is in Tooele, Utah. (Quick note: Tooele, pronounced two-will-uh, is in the middle of the desert near Nevada, and it's actually fairly close to the Salt Flats. Its remote location makes it an ideal place for military tests and such.) Luthor watches Ultraman fly in a rather unusual path, and he realizes he's avoiding the sunlight.

In Central City, the former home of the Flash, Power Ring and Deathstorm are punishing the Rogues for not destroying the city. Deathstorm removes Captain Cold's powers, and Power Ring destroys the glass the Rogues were using to escape to the Mirror World. This causes them to become separated in Metropolis. While the rest of the Rogues battled the Parasite and eventually went to Gotham, Captain Cold came across Luthor and Bizarro. They then were joined by Black Manta, who had saved Black Adam, and they all realize they hate the Crime Syndicate and decide to team up.

The Good:

The fate of the Justice League. I know the whole point of Forever Evil is to see how the world deals with the sudden and mysterious disappearance of the Justice League. But it was rather frustrating to be operating in the dark with no clue as to what happened. Now we finally have something. It doesn't explain everything, but I think it kind of makes sense. Firestorm is created when one person is sucked into another, so potentially, if someone like Deathstorm messed him up, then he could contain a bunch more people. True, it doesn't make sense how Batman and Catwoman were able to get away and not the Green Lantern, when he was the one keeping Vic alive with his ring, but I've come to accept all inexplicable actions performed by the Batman. He is by far the most popular character out there, and DC needs to keep him out and about. And I guess having a free Green Lantern would give the good guys too much of an advantage here. It still could have been handled in a better way, though.

The Bad:

I actually don't have much to complain about. Yeah, I don't like Finch's art, but it's not unbearable. And the lack of the Flash here was necessary and fitting. There was some overlap with Rogues Rebellion #2, but that was also necessary and rather minimal.  All in all, it wasn't a bad comic.

Final score: 6 out of 10

Next time: We finally get an active Flash appearance in the Forever Evil arc. But instead of it being in Justice League, like one might expect, it's in Justice League of America #8.

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