Man, it is taking freaking forever for Stargirl and Martian Manhunter to get to LA. I mean, I understand why they’ve been attacked by supervillains all along the way and have had lengthy flashbacks, but still, this story is dragging, and compared to the main Forever Evil series and the other tie-ins, it’s just kind of boring. I don’t mind getting an insight into Stargirl’s origins, but not at the expense of what should be an epic crossover.
So, we begin with Stargirl deep underwater, after being shoved down there to drown by Despero, she fights her way back up to try and find J’Onn, who has been beaten to hell by Despero. The fight between these two characters was actually well done, with Despero winning not only through superior strength, but also by playing with J’Onn’s mind and making him see his dead Martian wife. Despero flies off, leaving J’Onn for dead too (he really should stick around and see these things through, both of the heroes he thinks he’s killed survive).
J’Onn lies there and tells Stargirl about a story from Martian History, about a hero who went off to fight a monster who had been terrorising a village. He was attacked by the horned beast and pinned to wall, and rather than cut himself free, this hero saw that the monster was trapped as well, and he sacrificed himself to save everyone else. This story serves as a metaphor for Stargirl’s actions at the end of this issue, as she flies off on her own to stop Despero and stop Firestorm from exploding, but the thing I found interesting here was the name of the monster in J’Onn’s story, ‘Erdel’, which if I remember right, is the surname of the Scientist who brought J’Onn to Earth from Mars in his origin story. Is this a coincidence or is J’Onn just making this up to inspire Stargirl? He certainly seems convinced at the end that she’s going to save the day and that the heroes are going to win, but I don’t really share his confidence. Stargirl is caught up in a fight with Despero before she can stop Firestorm. It’s not all bad, I do want to see what happens next issue.
Throughout the issue, Stargirl continues her flashbacks, and we find out what the dark memory she’s suppressing is. Thankfully it’s not that she was raped by the shadowy super-villain, but instead we see that, after he beat her up, this villain went to her home, attacked it, and (presumably) killed her little brother. It’s the one circumstance where the death of a kid isn’t the worst possible story outcome!
Like previous issues, this was a bit of an artistic mish-mash, with 3 different pencilers involved, but it was saved by the fact that they were each drawing different sections of the story. Eddy Barrows drew the main story, Tom Derenick Stargirl’s flashbacks, and RB Silva did J’Onn’s story, so it worked out pretty well.
This has been an odd storyline, and I think you can tell from this review, which veers from being negative to positive within one sentence, that I’m not too sure what to make of it, it’s good to have such a narrow focus on 2 important characters, but it still feels out of place and odd in the context of the crossover. I don’t know!