Forever Evil #7 came out last week ... finally ... ending a company-wide crossover that plodded along, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
There were many reasons why I didn't enjoy this book or feel invested in it.
Maybe it was the chronically delayed nature of the book. Maybe it was the overwhelmingly violent tone of the book. Maybe it was that it really felt like Geoff Johns fan fiction, a DC company wide crossover where the majority of the hero characters were stuffed into Firestorm. Maybe it is because there seemed to be no ramifications in any of the ongoing monthlies that for a period of time villains devastated the Earth. Maybe it is because ....AGAIN .... Batman seems to be invulnerable, having slipped through the grasp of the Crime Syndicate while immensely powerful heroes with planet-shaking skills are trapped.
But most of all, it is because this whole book was done to make villains and evil seem necessary, desired, or hip. The tagline was that 'Evil is Relative' and maybe that is true. But I don't think I want to cheer for Black Manta as we get a whole page of watching him stab someone to death.
And, the big player in this idea was Lex Luthor, a character that Geoff Johns early on described as a good man trying to help humanity. At the time it reminded me of Al Pacino's speech at the end of The Devil's Advocate. Playing Satan himself, Pacino gives a rambling speech that he is the ultimate humanist, only giving mankind what they deserve.
Lex Luthor ... the humanist?
Let's see what our new super-hero does in this last issue.
Amongst all the death and destruction he has wrought throughout the series, here was the final chapter.
Lex kills his evil doppelganger Alex Luthor by stabbing him in the chest with a mystic lightning rod and then literally rips out Alex's heart.
Oooohhhh .... soooooo cool.
And then a couple of pages later, he crushes Atomica, killing her.
This is the person that Geoff Johns and DC are promoting as their latest hero.
Perhaps recognizing that it would be hard to portray this cold-blooded murderer as a hero, Johns tries to soften Lex at the end. He performs life saving surgery on Superman. And he doesn't buy out and take over Kord Industries.
Wow ... isn't he grand?
And then he calls his estranged sister Lena. She isn't dead after all, just paralyzed from Lex's attempts to cure her.
And now look as he stares at his computer screen ...
Her want to grow and learn.
I don't know if I need to read a redemption story about Luthor. I don't think I am going to cheer for a guy who I have seen kill people, viciously, for the last year - throwing assistants of skyscraper roofs, ripping out hearts, blasting people, etc.
So not taking over a business and finally calling your ill sister isn't exactly going to erase all that. I just have to realize this isn't a DCU that I am going to be comfortable with.
It's funny. I didn't have this problem when Lex was named President way back when. Back then we knew he was still a villain, just one a position of power. And, of course, the heroes were brighter back then. By making the heroes darker and then painting the villains as heroes, all DC has done is made this whole place gray.
Hopefully this won't last too long or encompass the whole universe.