Review: Justice League #23.4: Secret Society
All in all, DC's grand scheme to bring about a focus on their villains has been extremely flat. Most books have been only used to tell you what to buy next without giving you a story that would actually make you want to do so! Add to that, the negative hype regarding the 3D cover shortage and the dollar price hike and DC has really painted themselves into a corner.
There have, however, been a few exceptions to the rule and Justice League #23.4 is a shinning example of what this entire event should have been!
Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates give us a glance into the villainous world of Owlman and the alternate version of Alfred Pennyworth, in which evil reigns supreme and history is twisted. Bat fans will enjoy seeing the legend they love so much be shown in a completely different light, one where Thomas Wayne has taken up the mantle of the Bat and Alfred seems to be pulling the strings of the Dark Knight. Speckled with a myriad of Bat characters, this story has that subtle "Easter egg" feel to it, but it is the tale of Alfred and his inevitable change into the character wrecking so much havoc on the Justice League that is the most compelling.
This tale is by far the pinnacle of this "event" for DC. Where other books have failed to grab the reader, partially due to a ton of fill-in writers on the stories, Johns and Gates have created something that has depth and is truly character driven. Not only does their tale deliver on developing a marvelous "new" villain but it directly leads to pertinent storylines in the "Forever Evil" mini-series. Coupled with dark and gritty art by the fabulous Szymon Kudranski, this book is the overall best effort put out so far and it will actually make you want to continue with next month's Forever Evil #2!