In Review: Forever Evil #2

The cover: The Main cover is by the interior artist, inker, and colorist, David Finch, Richard Friend, and Sonia Oback, respectively. Ultraman and Superwoman look indifferently at the work that Johnny Quick has done to the Teen Titans. I love the look on J.Q. and Superwoman’s faces, but Ultraman looks off–like something is wrong with his eyes. I’d like to have seen the Titans more clearly, but the coloring is so dark on them and the left side of the picture, the images just meld together in a deep blob. Lighter coloring would have made this image really stand out. Overall grade: B-

The story: The Justice League is dead. Only one man can save the world–his world–and Lex Luthor knows what he has to do. I love the fact that the greatest human villain could be the only salvation for the planet. Writer Geoff Johns opens this issue deep under Lexcorps Headquarters, Luthor looking to enter a specific room, encounters a lone security guard, Otis (last name Beatty?). In San Francisco, the Teen Titans realize they have to try to stop the Crime Syndicate. And what are these new rulers of Earth up to? Several things, though none of them seem united. Each has something they want to do, and nothing is going to get in their way of getting them done. Page 9 introduces a mystery hostage, 10 a major “WHOA!” in the final panel, 14 has a non-surprise, and Page 19 a nod to the upcoming Justice League 3000? But Page 24 has the real “WOW” moment with a welcome return. The issue has brief cameos and mentions of other famous baddies and where they are and what they’re up to, but the story falls solidly on the C.S. and Luthor. It’s good, but since this is only Issue #2, I feel like I’m getting set up for bigger events rather than have some delivered in this issue. For example, Pages 12 – 13, and 18 – 20 serve only to send these individuals away. Will their disappearance be important to the main story? I couldn’t tell you, but I’m feeling like I’m reading a lot of set ups that I have to buy cross-overs in other titles to get the whole story, and, Oh–Look! There’s a checklist at the end of this story to follow the 10 other titles to continue the saga. Can’t there be a mega-series that’s self-contained anymore? Overall grade: B

The art: Real nice work throughout from penciller David Finch and inker Richard Friend. Johnny Quick and Deathstorm are two fantastic looking characters and they steal scenes whenever they appear. Owlman also looks pretty sweet and he always takes stage, as well, when he appears. I thought the major fight of the issue was okay, but it was too quick. There were two storylines going on this issue and neither was providing many opportunities for this duo to show their stuff. Overall grade: A-

The colors: The two primary settings of this book are underground and an exterior at night. Sonia Oback does a good job keeping things dark but not murky. A good example is on Page 2, the splash page of Luthor in the dark. By all accounts this should be an incredibly dark page, but by making the computer screens a muted red pumps up the background, and by having Luthor’s clothes grey rather than black, he stands out against the dark setting. Page 5 has four settings showing the chaos going on across America. It’s night, but a deep blue is a good substitute for black to allow readers to see what’s going on. Overall grade: A

The letters: Good dialogue, scene setting, and sound effects from Carlos M. Mangual, though I’m still really disliking letterers who have exclamations that stretch beyond their dialogue balloons (Pages 15 – 18, 22, and 24). If it’s a small sound, use a small balloon; big yell, big dialogue balloon. Tiny balloons and big sounds just take me out of the book. Overall grade: A-

The final line: I really liked the art, but felt like I had a hook in my mouth pulling me to buy other books to get the whole story. Overall grade: B+

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

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