Saturday, November 23, 2013

What the Hell is up with Forever Evil #3?

I'm back! Sorry, school had me really occupied for most of the whole last month. I'll try to update on the regular again.

One thing I regret is that this post is pretty outdated by now

The issue opens with a short flashback from Batman and Catwoman, wherein we see the first glimpse of the JL/CS fight. Sort of. It's mostly Deathstorm busting up Firestorm. They're still at STAR Labs talking to Cyborg's dad, and have no useful information about what happened to the Justice League or what they should do next. Somehow this manages to be the most boring part, I don't think anything interesting is even discussed here.

Luthor is having Bizarro dig through rubble for some satellite crap so the end of this issue doesn't seem so forced. Bizarro gives him a flower instead.

This is the only part of the issue that vaguely entertained me, except for one line from Black Manta at the end. I really don't know if I'm that into the "less intelligent Scooby Doo" version of Bizarro here.

Ultraman's fight with Black Adam, hinted at last issue, finally happens. It's really brief, and naturally features the now-ubiquitous use of the "SHAZAM!" lightning bolt as an offensive weapon. I think that's a little tired, but at the same time it's perfectly in Adam's character.

That's seriously up there with "STOP RAPING ME!" and "I'LL KILL YOU TO DEATH!" Surprisingly enough for one of Johns' pet characters, Black Adam is trounced pretty easily by Ultraman, and is left for dead in the ocean. Afterwards, Ultraman calls Grid about Metallo's whereabouts, because he needs to refuel on Kryptonite dust. How is this sustainable? There's only so much kryptonite, eventually you'll crush it all.

Luthor sees Ultraman flying and notes he avoids direct sunlight. The man who had described himself earlier in the issue as "the most powerful mind in the world" hasn't quite put together that Ultraman, whom he saw block out the sun, does not like the sunlight.

Meanwhile Deathstorm and Power Ring shake down the Rogues, who refused to raze Central City for the Syndicate (blah blah Rogues Revenge, "buy this other comic to get the whole story" and other bull). Power Ring is basically the star of this sequence, and it really reinforces my dislike for the character.

See, Power Ring is the most pathetic and dysfunctional member of the Crime Syndicate. This is only natural, because it means that his good counterpart, Hal Jordan, is the best and brightest of the Justice League, a sentiment that Geoff Johns has clung to for years (and that nobody else can relate to). He starts a fight that the Rogues are ready to finish.

I don't really see how this version of Power Ring can really be called "evil" -- he's more "tortured". He feels like a victim to both his ring and Deathstorm. I've mentioned before that of the Crime Syndicate, Power Ring is the most annoying after Johnny Quick and the lamest of the bunch period, but I think these attempts to show more of his character went too far in the other direction -- now I don't really buy him as the evil GL.

Deathstorm removes Captain Cold's powers, talking about it out loud as he does so. Even so, the first thing Mirror Master says after Cold is left powerless is "What did he do to you?" I thought the Pied Piper was the deaf one. The Rogues try to retreat via Mirror Master's mirror powers, but Power Ring flips out and shatters the mirror they were using, sending them all who-knows-where.

Meanwhile, Luthor and Bizarro summon Black Manta, who has recovered Black Adam's body from the ocean. Implicitly he got in contact with Manta via the satellite thing he asked Bizarro for help with earlier. There's actually some cool characterization for Manta here -- the Syndicate took Aquaman from him, stole his revenge, and now it's time for them to pay.

By contrived coincidence, Captain Cold is blasted out of the mirrorverse basically right next to Luthor's little team. I'm sorry, let me count the conscious people here -- Captain Cold, Lex Luthor, Bizarro, and Black Manta? Isn't this a partial Legion of Doom reunion? If this isn't just a coincidence, I'm wondering how they'll get Grodd (who doesn't like Cold but loves what the Syndicate has made for him), for instance, to join them.

And then this is seriously what happens

See, this is the problem with this whole event -- if the Justice League went to Earth-3 or wherever, would the heroes of that world hate them?