Forever Evil #6: A Twist Gone Wrong
Well, Forever Evil had me right up until the end. The epic tale that Geoff Johns has woven about the Crime Syndicate coming in, taking over the Earth, and laying waste to the Justice League, is clunking to a very drawn out end. I’ve been a big supporter of the actual Forever Evil run, less so of the tie-in issues, but Johns may have lost me here. Issue #6 starts of well, but ends with the heavyweight title belt for stupid.
Let’s recap. The invading Crime Syndicate have been reduced by one with the slaughter of Power Ring by Sinestro. Now, the remaining members fear a crack in the universe, one that is bringing a power that destroyed their home world. Meanwhile, a rag tag group of villains, led by Lex Luthor and Batman, have made their way inside the Crime Syndicate’s HQ. Once there, they discover Dick Grayson, who was kidnapped as a special project for Owlman (the evil Batman). In direct disobedience of Owlman, Grid (villain Cyborg) has built Grayson into a human bomb. The only way to stop it is to kill him.
As Batman wrestles with that decision, the evil Alfred has also decided to ignore his master’s warning and tries to kill the mystery “captive” that the Syndicate brought over from their universe. When the Crime Syndicate return home, they find the waiting Batman/Luthor group, and the fight is on. During the battle, we learn who the mystery stranger is. Why, it’s Alexander Luthor, the man who once helped to destroy the Anti-Monitor, only to return and try to end the Earth based on his finding the failures of Earth’s heroes unforgivable.
Is this Alexander Luthor still the man behind the deeds of the pre-New 52 version? No idea. What we do know is that he’s connected to the crack in the universe that’s scaring the Crime Syndicate. What’s the connection? Ready for this? Apparently, Alexander Luthor is Mazahs, or as we know the word, Shazam. Yep, and when he yells out Mazahs, the dark lightening comes from the crack in the sky and turns Luthor into a Shazam-like enemy. He’s not only going to destroy the Crime Syndicate, but also all the other heroes so he can rule Earth.
Seriously? Mazahs? Alexander Luthor gets his power by yelling out what sounds like a character from the movie Yentl? This is a prime example of Johns' “opposite” theory gone berserk. The biggest failing of this entire story is Johns focus on “opposites” playing havoc with the logic of Earth 3 and sometimes, as with Mazahs, being just downright stupid. Forever Evil #6 had me until it presented Alexander Luthor as Fiddler on the Roof.
As always, David Finch’s art is excellent. Like Jim Lee or Doug Mahnke, Finch is a main event artist. When your book needs to be huge, when it’s got to be smash mouth, thick lines and heavy inks, you call Finch. Everything is executed with razor precision and laid out with an eye towards cinematic action. Finch is like Hitchcock – he’s so good that, even in the factory-like nature of these tent-pole books, his personality and mastery of the craft shines through.
(3 Story, 5 Art)