Monday, October 7, 2013

Villains' Month And Forever Evil - One Last Look

Villains' Month is now officially behind us but there were a couple of small things which I wanted to cover here. Now one thing I very much like. The other I am cringing at a bit. Both warrant some coverage. And I thought I would bullet cover the other issues I bought that month.

Forever Evil as a whole is what I thought it would be. It is vicious with the usual amount of blood and gore. While there are some mysteries (who is the hooded figure, what invaded Earth-3 forcing these guys to come here, where is the Justice League), overall the story hasn't grabbed me. And as I thought, since 'evil is relative', Lex Luthor is viewed as the hero here despite releasing Bizarro and having him tear an innocent security guard apart.

Will Forever Evil end with a brighter more optimistic DCU when the heroes return? Who knows.

I suppose it is my own idiosyncrasies that this panel was my favorite one from Forever Evil #1. And the reason why I love it is because with this Lex Luthor memory, Geoff Johns has put Lena Thorul back into continuity.

Lena has always had a strong connection to Supergirl and so I hope that this isn't a throwaway line. If Lena is mentioned, she should be used.

Lena first appeared in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #23 but became a recurring Supergirl character in Action Comics #295.

In this issue, Lena shows her patented telepathy obtained by her interaction with a space brain. She doesn't even know she is a Luthor here.

Of course, Lena played a huge role in the classic Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade.

I have covered Lena before on this blog here and there. She is an interesting character with some potential outside of the Silver Age.

I hope that Tony Bedard or whoever is the new long term Supergirl writer picks up on Lena being in continuity and uses her as a supporting character. It would be a nice nod to Supergirl's history.

As for the other moment worth some coverage, it was in Justice League #23.1, Darkseid written by Greg Pak and drawn by Netho Diaz and Paolo Siqueira.

I will say I didn't like this issue too much with Darkseid not being 'created' with the explosion that created New Genesis and Apokolips. Instead, Darkseid is a god-killer on his world, destroying the 'titans' of that planet and gaining their power.

The issue ends on a down note for me and here is the moment I felt I needed to cover.

We see Darkseid in a room of dead Supermen. I guess he has traveled throughout universes killing other Supermen. And then we see this abomination of Superman, stitched up and attached to machines. I can only assume that this is the Superman of Earth 2 who wasn't killed in battle but kept alive and perverted. One thing I liked about Earth 2 and Worlds' Finest was that the Trinity on that planet seemed purer than the New 52 versions and that they sacrificed themselves as heroes should. Now, I suppose, DC is going to make the Superman of Earth 2 a villain, a dupe of Darkseid.

And that just seems wrong.

A few other comments on books I bought in Villains' Month. I will list the books by their villain as I don't know which 23-point-what the issues are off hand.

First the good:

Rogues - I have shied away from Flash in the New 52 but this issue was pretty good, making me think I am going to get the Rogues mini-series.

Killer Frost - great issue by Sterling Gates showcasing a sympathetic villain. Well worth reading.

Riddler - solid stuff by Scott Snyder, showing a psychopathic Riddler

Ra's Al Ghul - a very good story telling Ra's origin, riffing on classic O'Neil/Adams stories, and showing Ra's has a different long-term view about the Earth. He could not care less about the CSA.

First Born - this issue read like another issue of Wonder Woman, working the story into the longstanding arc in the main book. I liked that.

Mongul - fun book recreating a completely ruthless dictator

And the not so good -

Harley Quinn - I want to root for Harley, I want to think she is just misguided. But she kills thousands of people with booby trapped gaming system which seems wrong. Also, in this issue it appears the Joker threw her into an Ace Chemical vat, recreating his origin. Seems needless.

Deadshot - I like his old-school 'rich boy who is psychotic' much more than this 'poor kid witnessing his family's murder'.

Poison Ivy - forgettable

Cheetah - not really a Cheetah book although the inclusion of a Mark Shaw (Manhunter) almost raised this.

Any Villains' month book I miss that I should go out and get?


Count Drunkula said...

If you enjoyed GREEN ARROW #24, you really should pick up 23.1 "Count Vertigo". Same creative team and a great little origin for the villain.

I haven't been reading SWAMP THING since the start of "Rotworld" but the ARCANE issue was good. I don't think it'll make me pick up the series regularly, but it was a solid standalone story with great writing and art.

Anonymous said...

The Superman who was kind, noble, well-adjusted and honest and married to Lois Lane is now a dupe for Darkseid. His entire life peverted and stolen. Ok, DC. Whatever. We get it. You hate the mature, kind Superman married to Lois. Le sigh.


Supertorresmo said...

About what happens with the Superman of Earth 2, if you're curious you should pick up the last Earth 2 issue.

Jay said...

I'm not a fan of the Earth 2 Superman development but for different reasons. I think its a detriment to the original spirit of the Earth 2 title, which was a new era for Earth in which their Trinity died. Them coming back (Superman being Brutal, and Batman returning albeit not Bruce), I think betrays that spirit. But, Robinson's leaving so its not too surprising, but it remains a bit disappointing. My only hope is that Superman eventually does genuinely die a hero.

Anj said...

I agree completely with those lamenting this Superman plot twist.

It is sad to see him sullied this way. I don't want to see him as someone named Brutal.

AndNowInStereo said...

I agree with you about Harley Quinn. I didn't read this issue but I got the gist of it very quickly, because a lot of people were talking about it online. Not only did it come out shortly after the art contest debacle (and the Batwoman controversy) but hardly anyone who likes the character and sees her as not really a true villain responded very well to seeing a comic in which she blows up hundreds or thousands of children in cold blood.

I mean, I kind of like Harley too. I might be new to comics but Batman The Animated Series was my favourite cartoon as a kid. It's not something I could see her doing - yeah, maybe the Joker, but not Harley on her own initiative. It's also a weirdly dark way to precede that new Harley Quinn book that's coming out, given that the new book is supposed to be light-hearted, campy and self-aware. I am fully aware that it's not the same creative team (Palmiotti and Conner had nothing to do with the Harley Villains' month issue) but it seems like a lack of joined-up thinking at DC editorial. It made me less enthusiastic about adding it to my pull-list, that's for sure.

Martin Gray said...

Oh Anj, Anj, I still wish you'd read the Joker's Daughter? It's pants, but I'd love your thoughts.

Nice round up, and I agree entirely about Superman of New Earth 2. It's not so surprising, after what Geoff Johns did to the original Superman of Earth 2 - DC has no respect for any Superman that isn't the current holder of the title. Still, we know that neither of these guys was the original Superman, he's still in Metropolis in the Forties, working for George Taylor's successor Perry White, and being dumped on by Lois.

Jay said...

I don't think its about a lack of respect, but I do think its displaying an ill-timed idea, considering Injustice is already dealing with the already oft-used idea of a Superman gone bad.

Although, I have been wondering if its not possible that this isn't Kal-L at all, rather Darkseid's own personal Superman, created via the studying he did on the various Supermen he killed throughout the multiverse.