BOOK REVIEW: FOREVER EVIL / AUTHOR: GEOFF JOHNS / ARTIST: DAVID FINCH / PUBLISHER: DC / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16TH
Forever Evil is the latest DC ‘event book’ by Geoff Johns. Comic book events are storylines that affect the entire range; in theory the events of Forever Evil will trickle down into every DC book that is unlucky enough to be part of the most recent in-universe reboot, DC52.
It introduces a new version of The Crime Syndicate, the villainous, alternate universe version of the Justice League. Their arrival in the new DC52 universe was meant to be one of the big surprises of the recent JLA storyline. Sadly because this was a fairly obvious twist (which long-time fans had seen before) and it actually made the whole thing a bit of a disappointment, the book continues both the storyline and the disappointment.
The core idea is sound; evil versions of the Justice League arrive, all with subtly different names and backstories, and they proceed to wreak havoc on mankind. Thanks to the events of the previous storyline, the actual Justice League is out of action and it’s up to Lex Luthor to assemble a team of villains and rescue the Earth from this tyranny of evil. Despite the potential twists and turns here, nothing is new. Fans of Geoff Johns will recognise the sprawling plot lines and sketchy characterisation; on some level it feels like the writer knows that the audience knows much of the story already and Johns is taking the role of DJ rather than writer. This is a remix, rather than anything original.
David Finch’s art is unremarkable, which reflects the plot perfectly. As with much of the DC52 range, the artist is seemingly kept on a tight leash, producing good quality work. The action scenes are well conveyed, the storytelling is competent and well done, but there is no distinctive spark here, no stand out panel. It does the job (and does it well) but no more than you’d expect from a major comic book title. Yet again, DC have delivered a book for the ageing fanbase, rather than something that new readers might enjoy.