Now that Villians Month is over you would think that you would have to time to catch your breath, but thanks to Forever Evil mastermind Geoff Johns, that is the last thing you will get to do by the end of this issue. Geoff Johns does some of his best work when he visits the darker side of comics, and Forever Evil is quickly becoming signature work. Now that the Justice League is no more who is left to fight the Crime Syndicate? The answers just might surprise you. The New 52 is in utter disarray, and the players that still remain have the will, but do they have the way against such a formidable force as the Crime Syndicate? Not since Blackest Night has Johns gone to this degree of savagery and darkness, and I for one couldn’t be happier with the results.
Lex Luthor is a survivor, and he means to unleash whatever is necessary to save Earth from Ultraman and his cronies. There is a lot of set-up here, but there is also a lot of forward progress and the twists and turns are only seemingly beginning. Lex has had a project in place for years - touched upon during his Villains Month issue - that will now have to be unleashed and who is a perfect companion to Luthor, now himself a hero. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of the Crime Syndicate and their inner struggles dealing with Nightwing and the prisoner they brought with them from Earth 3 yet to be revealed. There is a lot of misinformation between our trinity of villains, Owlman, Superwoman and Ultraman, as Johns plants the seeds of double crossings and back-stabbings. Least we forget that Luthor can be as cutthroat as the best when he unleashes his pet project who may or may not turn out to be a familiar face.
The Teen Titan’s seem to be the last line of defense in this hostile takeover, and their battle with Johnny Quick and Atomica is as swift as it is cruel. But nothing quite sets the tone for this battle as the single page announcing, “This is a job for Lex Luthor.” The visual alone is one for the ages. No one matches the intensity of a story like David Finch does and his work in Forever Evil #2 is top-notch. His subtle details and strength of action is a perfect match to Johns' story. Some of his finest work is the final reveal of Luthor’s project, and he adds just the right amount of intensity and fear at his introduction.
Villains Month was a lot of fun and a great distraction, but now it’s time to get back to work, and Johns and Finch have certainly rolled their sleeves and are up for the task at hand. Forever Evil may turn out to be a defining piece of comic book work for everyone involved, and the New 52 is better off for it all. For anyone who had trepidations when it came to the reboot of DC’s universe, it’s time to be reassured that there was a plan in place all along and that Johns knows what he is doing. By the final few panels, you will get to see what remains of the Justice League and the answers may be more terrifying than the questions. Johns is great when he walks on the dark side, and Forever Evil #2 is proof positive!