Better Than #4, But Still Disappointing.
This review was originally posted on my blog.
For the Crime Syndicate of America, the end has finally begun. For four issues now, they’ve continued to establish their dominance over the Earth. Whether we talk about the big time heroes like those of the three Justice Leagues, or the lesser heroes like the Doom Patrol and the Teen Titans, they’ve taken out almost everyone, and have shown themselves to be supreme. But nothing lasts forever. And this new issue is a perfect example of that. The story has taken a long time to get to this point, but it is finally here, and I’m honestly very relieved that things are actually moving forward now.
The new issue is a contest of arms. In the last issue we saw that Lex Luthor led his band of supervillains to Wayne Enterprises in Gotham to procure some tech, but ran into Batman and Catwoman there. In the midst of it all, Power Ring arrived with a band of Earth 1′s villains like Deathstroke and Giganta to take them all out. This is the issue that packs a ton of action into the story and moves the story forward in the context of the big enemy that the Crime Syndicate ran away from, from their own Earth.
For once, I won’t comment on the cover here. It is actually representative of what happens in the comic and there isn’t anything terrible about it, nothing that I can see at least. If there is anything deficient here, it is that Captain Cold is nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that he’s a member of Luthor’s Injustice League. And that’s another thing with the script: Captain Cold does absolutely nothing in this issue. He’s just background decoration and nothing more. How disappointing.
There actually isn’t all that much effective story progression in this issue. It is all about the action, supervillains going at each other and nothing else. Even the altogether brief scenes we get with the rest of the members of the Crime Syndicate fall a bit flat because there’s nothing particularly gripping about their scenes, not up until the final page at least, and by then its kind of late. In many ways, I’m kind of surprised since Geoff Johns has written some great event comics before, balancing the story and the action very well. With Forever Evil though, we either get an issue heavy on the action, or heavy on the story, nothing that has a bit of both.
The coolest part of the issue however is the fight between Power Ring and Sinestro. We kind of learn how Sinestro comes to Earth in this issue, but its a thin explanation at best. Still, seeing him fight against the Earth 3 Hal Jordan gave me quite a thrill. The character who embodies strength borne out of fear versus the character who wears a ring driven by his willpower but which drives him in turn with its own will and dominates him with fear. Such an interesting look into these two characters. And Geoff’s dialogue for Power Ring’s ring’s consciousness was super good too. Some really cool moments there.
The one thing I didn’t like though was that Batman acted like an arrogant ass in the final pages. His arrogance really is outstanding and I’m rather surprised at the character’s turn in characterisation. It seems so out of place in light of the events in this issue, since the Injustice League essentially save him again and again, despite them all being enemies of each other. I’m very disappointed at this turn of events, and I’m not really looking forward to seeing more of Batman in the next two issues.
With the art, it was all rather meh once again. Sinestro’s character design is extremely weird, as are his facial expressions. The only reason you can tell that he is Sinestro is because he has purple skin and he wears a yellow ring. And some of the more… violent and bloody scenes didn’t work so well for me because of how the characters are laid out in those panels. The art has been this series’ kryptonite, and this is proven once again with this issue. Even the colours weren’t all that impressive.
Best I can say about this issue is that it was decent. Slightly better than the previous issue, but not by much. My disappointment with this series continues.