So, the big event of the New 52 era begins, and I’m sure that DC will get more shit about how dark and grim this book is, but really, this is a story where the Justice League are ‘dead’ and the world has been conquered by their villainous counterparts and all the other villains. It should be fucking dark.
I thought this was a pretty intriguing opener for this event, did a good job at showcasing who the CSA are as villains, really demonstrated the scale of the threat, as well as providing one very interesting development.
The story opens with Lex Luthor attempting take over another company, and despite being confused about just how Lex is free from jail (in Trinity War he was still in prison), I loved this scene, mostly because the company he was trying to buy was Kord Industries, and it’s heavily implied that Ted Kord is alive and well in the New 52. I try not to let my fanboy out too hard these days, but Blue Beetle II is one of my favourite characters of all time, and the fact that he’s not dead anymore is great news for me. In my heart of hearts I’m hoping that he’s going to become a superhero in this event, but I doubt that, just a nod is enough for me. Anyways, Lex’s helicopter crashes because of The Grid (evil Cyborg) and we see just how the CSA are taking over the world, by shutting down technology and breaking all of the Earth’s villains out from prison. We see them busting Arkham Asylum (where Nightwing is captured), Iron Heights, and Belle Reve, and giving the villains their communicator coin to recruit them to the Secret Society.
It was good to get a bit of development for the CSA, as they only had a few pages in Justice League #23, but so far, I’m liking what Johns is doing with them. Seeing Ultraman crush Kryptonite and snort it up like cocaine was just crazy, I loved it. Ultraman is fucking insane, and it’s going to be awesome when he and Superman finally fight. Because really, nobody believes the Justice Leagues are dead right? The CSA say they’ve killed them, but this happened off-panel in between Justice League #23 and this issue, so no way it’s true, I just wonder how long it will take for the truth to be revealed.
Speaking of revelations, the CSA unmask Nightwing live on TV, so the whole world knows he’s Dick Grayson. I find this an intriguing revelation in a lot of ways, although I do think they should have gone all the way and unmasked Batman. Doing it to Nightwing does make him slightly more interesting (and Dick Grayson’s only ever been interesting to me as Robin or Batman) but it seems like DC chickened out. But then again, if the citizens of the DCU can’t put 2 and 2 together and figure out the identities of the entire Batman Family, then wow, they really are stupid.
The issue ends with Ultraman moving the Moon to block out the sun, which is once again, a great demonstration of the size of what our heroes are up against. But who are our heroes? It looks like Lex Luthor is going to lead a bunch of villains in rebellion against the CSA until the real good guys come back, which should be interesting. I know Geoff Johns’ villain-boner is a bit ridiculous, but hopefully he’s getting it all out of his system here, and we can all move on. And in the meantime, we can enjoy a big dumb event with lots of crazy shit happening. I’m down for that.
David Finch is the artist here, and whilst he’s perfectly good, I still don’t think he suits the DC Universe, I can’t help it, he just screams ‘Marvel Comics’ in my mind, but then, I thought that about the Kuberts and I eventually got used to it. I dunno. The best thing about the art here was how the opening panel of Lex Luthor’s evil eye mirrored the final eclipse image, that was cool.
Forever Evil has gotten off to a good start, let’s hope Johns can keep it up, and this is more of a Sinestro Corps War than a Blackest Night, he’s got to do a good job, this is as I said, the first big DC event since Flashpoint, they need to make it count.