FForever Evil #7 5/21/2014 Written By: Geoff Johns Art By: David Finch
I think we can all agree that “Forever Evil” as an event was a bit of a mess. And by a bit of a mess I mean it was rubbish forced down our throats with a funnel and a push broom. Still, there were great moments on the whole that were incredibly cool and I’m not entirely convinced “Forever Evil” was a bad decision. Sure it was unnecessary but Marvel has certainly thrown less worthy events. Though DC should get quite the shellacking for putting out their issues late.
On a whole I’m not going to murder anyone over a book being delayed. However, if your book affects a web of other books, I feel I have the right to force feed you your own nasal bones. The problem being is that while “Forever Evil” hit the pause button, the other issues didn’t and pretty much made the ending unnecessary. I already knew who survived and the repercussions so I didn’t feel a pressing need to see the details in “Forever Evil”. It’s like that time when Joss Whedon was writing X-Men and his last issue was delayed but everyone else kept talking about how sad it was that Kitty died. What I’m saying is how did DC not prioritize its own event? I once left three projects to the last minute in University, I at least had the presence of mind to finish the final project first before completely ignoring the other two.
But let’s talk about the issue at hand, what happened and was it any good? Spoiler warning—it was all right. As finales go this one was average. The standout however was Lex Luthor. I think we’re finally seeing the Luthor that we’ve all wanted to see since the launch of New 52, a cold and cunning genius who’s only goal in life is to muck up anyone else’s take over the world schemes. He doesn’t want to save or protect the world; he just doesn’t want anyone else to have it. And as motivations go that’s a Hell of a lot better than murdered parents and abandonment issues. Anyway, Luthor gets to be the focal point of this review because no one else did much of anything.
Lex got to be the complete badass in this issue. He kept cool under pressure, came up with the battleplan, and had actual pathos when he lost someone dear to him. What’s great is he is the underdog; the other person he is fighting (Spoiler: Alexander Luthor from the alternate universe) has way more power and is essentially unstoppable. In fact, even if Superman had been there with all of his super friends he would have failed. This was a man that only Luthor himself could defeat. We comic fans get to see why the only thing that can take on Superman’s formidable physique is Lex Luthor’s unrivaled brain. Also, we get to see his more vindictive side which is an absolute treat. To see the hate filled gaze of Luthor as he kills an adversary is like watching Hitler pummeled to death, John Lennon come back to life, and lightsabers get invented all rolled into one. That’s something we don’t get to see when a super hero wins, they don’t revel in their victory by snubbing a cigarette on their slain opponent. It’s too bad DC is simply copying this from the end of “Secret Invasion” when Norman Osborn saves the world but maybe I’ll be wrong and they won’t turn out exactly the same.
The unfortunate thing about this issue is that it’s going to spin off a lot of terrible consequences—what I mean by that is not repercussions for the characters involved. No, I mean DC is going to make a host of terrible decisions that muddle the universe even more. Firstly, Dick Grayson is now a super-secret agent—a development that forces a steady stream of vomit from me. Also, they introduced the Anti-Monitor. Remember how before the New 52 the Anti-Monitor was a daunting God-like creature? Now he looks like someone dropped bits of air duct in a melted salt water taffy. And why introduce him in the first place? DC still hasn’t done anything with Darkseid, finish one before pawning another off on us.
“Forever Evil” isn’t bad. What it is is forgettable, mediocre, run of the mill. The few bits that mean much of anything are buried within a rubbish heap of bad ideas. At least when “Invincible” brought in alternate versions of Mark Grayson, he saw odd reflections of himself in these duplicates. Often times he saw aspects that he didn’t like, things that he buried deep inside himself but he still knew were there. DC took the route that these alternates were just evil and there was no sympathizing with them. Mark Grayson actually had to wrestle with the fact that most of his alternate selves were unabashedly megalomaniacal and murderous. The evil universe doesn’t mean much of anything if you can cut it off like a wart. This issue does have great fighting action and superb Lex Luthor action but digging it out from the mess is a chore.