One of the biggest mysteries since Forever Evil began was the notion that all three Justice League teams were dead. Up until now it has only been spoken about as an assumption. In issue #3 we get, at least, partial answers to what happened to everyone after the Crime Syndicate’s attack via Batman and Catwoman, the only surviving members of any Justice League. I suppose you can say Cyborg is a survivor as well, but you would be using that term extremely loosely. Batman describes the attack after he brings what’s left of Cyborg back to S.T.A.R. Labs and Victor’s father, followed by a touching and heartbreaking panel between father and son.
The explanation of the missing Justice League members is still somewhat vague, but we do know now that Deathstorm is turning out to be one of the most powerful and dangerous members of the Crime Syndicate. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is planning his attack with his version of Bizarro, and there is some very light-hearted interaction between the two, which is a rare moment of levity in this story. Lex has a plan, and as the story continues we are experiencing very formidable heroic actions on the part of Mr. Luthor.
The best of all the action happening is the last half of the issue with Ultraman against Black Adam, and Deathstorm and Power Rings verses the Rouges. Black Adam is a worthy opponent for Ultraman but quickly finds out his real power and the literal meaning of “shut-up.” Power Ring, while having very little spine, has a ton of firepower, and Deathstorm’s abilities continue to surprise. Even though these replacement “heroes” stand their ground it is obvious they are still vastly overmatched.
This was, without a doubt, my favorite issue of Forever Evil so far, and this issue is the one that really starts to bring the bigger picture together. Johns is an expert at big universe events and maintains that level here. Finch’s art is great, as always, and it’s nice to see his depiction of a less-wimpy and more violent Power Ring this time. This is also the first issue that starts to answer some questions, which are many, and one which begins to unite some of the villains. It’s also nice to see Lex, even as a villain, as something so much more. This is how Lex wants the world to see him, and this is the first time, with our own eyes, we get some real insight as to what that vision looks like.
We finally get our first “team” together, some brutally violent action, another great take on the Rouges as group and more devastating victories by Ultraman, Power Ring and Deathstorm. I loved it. This event is starting to take shape and feel more complete and cohesive, and I can’t wait for what’s next. This issue brought out the fanboy in me and there is plenty here that will get you gushing like one, too.