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"Forever Evil"
Forever Evil Vol 1 1.jpg
Cover of Forever Evil #1 (September 2013 DC Comics). Art by David Finch.
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date September 2013 – March 2014
Genre
Crossover
Main character(s)
Creative team
Writer(s) Geoff Johns, Brian Buccellato, Sterling Gates, Peter Tomasi
Artist(s) David Finch, Richard Friend, Scot Eaton, Neil Edwards, Manuel Garcia, Scott Hepburn, Mick Gray, Jay Leisten, Jaime Mendoza, Jason Paz, Javier Pina, Norm Rapmund, Philip Tan, Patrick Zircher

"Forever Evil" is a 2013–2014 crossover event published by DC Comics that began in September 2013, consisting of an eponymous, central miniseries written by Geoff Johns and art by David Finch. It is the first line wide crossover since The New 52 reboot of their shared fictional universe, and focuses on all the villains of the DC Universe. The miniseries will spin out of the events in "Trinity War".[1] Johns revealed in August 2013, that the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the Justice League from Earth-3 in the Multiverse, are the true villains of the event and not the previously thought Secret Society.[2][3]

Premise

With the three Justice League teams, the Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, "dead," the Crime Syndicate come from Earth-3 to take over this world, where they recruit villains to their cause. Other villains that resist the Crime Syndicate follow Lex Luthor forms the Injustice League to take down the Crime Syndicate.[2][4][5]

Synopsis

Lead-up

Main article: Trinity War

In the final issue of the "Trinity War" event, the leader of the Secret Society, revealed to be Alfred Pennyworth of Earth-3, uses Pandora's Box to open a gateway from Prime Earth to Earth-3, which allows Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Deathstorm to arrive while their teammate Sea King doesn't survive the trip. In addition, Superwoman brings a hooded prisoner through the gateway with them. Atom is revealed to be the mole in the Leagues and is actually Atomica from Earth-3. Cyborg's prosthetics, which have separated from Victor's body, form into a cyborg named Grid, who is a sentient computer virus. The Crime Syndicate attack the three Justice Leagues and claim Prime Earth now belongs to them.[6]

Main plot

Lex Luthor is released from prison, and learns that Superman has not been spotted for 24 hours. He launches a plan, where he sends astronauts up in space and kills the shuttle's engines. In doing so, he hopes to draw out Superman to save the crashing shuttle. However, Superman does not come, and Luthor chooses not to save them with his suit, making the incident look like Superman's failure.[7] Lex Luthor then meets with Thomas Kord, in an attempt to purchase Kord Industries, when his helicopter loses power and falls from the sky. Getting up from the wreckage, he witnesses Ultraman entering a LexCorp building for Kryptonite. Lex witnesses him inhaling smoke from crushed Kryptonite to gain strength. Ultraman requests Grid to find other locations of it, all while Grid is cutting power from all majors cities, and orchestrating the release of all prisoners from the world's superhuman prisons. Nightwing returns to Gotham City from Chicago to return Victor Zsasz to Arkham Asylum. At the Asylum, he is abducted by Superwoman and Owlman. In Central City, the Rogues attempt to break into Iron Heights Penitentiary to free Trickster, only to be interrupted by Johnny Quick, who succeeds in freeing all the inmates. At Belle Reve, Amanda Waller approaches Black Manta to join the Suicide Squad, who declines as Deathstorm and Power Ring infiltrate the prison. Scarecrow tries to recruit multiple Batman rogues to the Secret Society, and they, along with many other villains, accept and gather at the Justice League's fallen Watchtower. There, the Crime Syndicate present Aquaman's trident, Wonder Woman's lasso and Superman's cape as proof that the Justice League is dead. During the Crime Syndicate's broadcast to the world, Monocle feels that the Crime Syndicate is the Justice League in disguise, to trick the villains, only to be killed by Ultraman's heat vision. Superwoman then proceeds to reveal Nightwing and his true identity on the broadcast. After the villains disperse, Ultraman is affected by the rising sun, and moves the moon in front of it to create an eclipse on Earth. Seeing this, Lex Luthor realizes that this is a job for Superman, and questions where he is.[8]

While in the bowels of LexCorp, Lex Luthor meets up with his security guard Otis. They proceed to where Lex Luthor has kept subject B-0̸, an experiment to try to clone a purely Kryptonian body after a first attempt resulted in the test subject becoming a hulking white-skinned monster five years before.[9] Knowing it needs an additional five years to complete the cloning process, Lex Luthor sees no other choice given the current state, and decides to release his subject. Lex Luthor introduces himself to the creature as his master, and tests his control by ordering it to kill Otis. It refuses and is resistant to Otis' gunfire. Otis then attempts to harm Lex Luthor for using him as bait, which triggers the creature to attack and kill Otis. Satisfied, Lex Luthor proceeds to his armor chamber and gives the creature a Superman costume, which it puts on inside out, reversing the shield. At the Justice League Watchtower, the Crime Syndicate argue on how to proceed. Owlman wants an infrastructure in place, like he had in Gotham City on Earth-3, Johnny Quick wants to go have fun on the new world, and Power Ring wants to stay inside. Power Ring's ring is having adverse effects on this body, and has Deathstrom examine it. Grid informs Ultraman that there is an uprising in Kahndaq requiring his attention and that the Rogues refuse to join the Crime Syndicate. Ultraman tells Grid to send Deathstorm and Power Ring to take care of it, and before leaving, checks in on the prisoner they brought with them from Earth-3. Owlman and Superwoman believe he should be killed, but Ultraman keeps him alive, saying they might need him. Owlman then requests that Nightwing stay alive, but Ultraman and The Outsider say he is nothing, knowing he is not the Dick Grayson they knew from Earth-3. After Ultraman leaves, Superwoman, who is having an affair with Owlman, reveals to him that she is pregnant with his child. As a group of Happy Harbor SWAT members attempt to attack the Crime Syndicate, the Teen Titans arrive at the Justice League Watchtower to do the same. When they arrive, they are greeted by Johnny Quick and Atomica. Johnny Quick uses his powers on Kid Flash, which creates a hole in time that pulls the Teen Titans through. Elsewhere, at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Silas Stone and Dr. Thomas Morrow remain in the Red Room to protect all of its technology and research. Batman and Catwoman appear, with the critically injured Cyborg. When Dr. Morrow ask Batman where the rest of the Justice League is, Batman merely states that "they didn't make it."[10]

Batman goes on to explain that, after the Crime Syndicate arrived, Deathstorm attacked Firestorm, exposing the matrix that binds Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, causing everyone except Batman, Catwoman and Cyborg to be trapped within the matrix. While Dr. Stone and Dr. Morrow prepare to stabilize Cyborg, Batman learns of Nightwing's unmasking, and goes to find him. Elsewhere, Lex Luthor connects to one of his personal satellites to locate the Crime Syndicate. He locates Ultraman who is in battle with Black Adam. Ultraman is able to defeat him before going to locate Metallo, with Lex Luthor noting that Ultraman is avoiding direct sunlight. In Central City, Deathstorm and Power Ring confront the Rogues for failing to level the rest of the city. Standing their ground, Power Ring attacks before Captain Cold freezes his hand. Deathstorm attacks Captain Cold and is able to extract his freezing powers from his DNA. Mirror Master attempts to get the Rogues out through the mirror world, but Power Ring destroys the mirror causing the Rouges to be separated. Captain Cold ends up at Lex Luthor and his clone's location. There, they are also joined by Black Manta, who has retrieved Black Adam from the ocean.[11] Black Manta states that since the Crime Syndicate took the chance to kill Aquaman from him, and, by creating the eclipse, washed his father's grave away, he is looking to take everything from them.[12] Lex Luthor realizes that, with the help of his clone, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Captain Cold, he may be able to stop the Crime Syndicate.[11]

Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S.

Col. Steve Trevor awakes at the remains of the A.R.G.U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C. He remembers being with the Justice Leagues and seeing the Crime Syndicate appear through the portal, only for Madame Xanadu to instruct Zatanna to send him away, as the world depends on him. Trevor learns from his secretary, Etta Candy, that the destruction was caused by a massive spike in energy around Dr. Light's body and that A.R.G.U.S. and its agents have been completely exposed. After seeing the Crime Syndicate's broadcast, Trevor learns that the president is in danger, who has a back up key that would assist in A.R.G.U.S. gaining their assets back. At the White House, Trevor encounters Shadow Thief, Deathstroke and Copperhead. Back at the destroyed headquarters, Candy is approached by an energy manifestation of Dr. Light. In a flashback, it is shown how Trevor landed on Paradise Island and met Wonder Woman and how the president approached him to be the founder and initial acting director of A.R.G.U.S.[13]

Forever Evil: Arkham War

With the heroes gone, the Penguin becomes mayor of Gotham City, and divides the city up to different Arkham inmates. Scarecrow goes to see Mr. Freeze, The Riddler, Killer Croc and Poison Ivy to let them know that a war with Blackgate Prison is coming and learns where each of their allegiances lie. Through his conversations with each, Scarecrow learns that Bane may be the cause of the Blackgate uprising, and will be their leader in the impending war, and that Talons were stored at Blackgate on ice. Later, looking over the divided city, Scarecrow claims that once the war is over and the last obstacle has fallen, Gotham City would be his.[14] Bane, having escaped Peña Dura Prison in Santa Prisca, ships his Venom to Gotham City to be there for when he arrives. As he is traveling to Gotham, he orchestrates the release of Blackgate's prisoners during the Crime Syndicate's broadcast to the world. Later, on board his ship, he prepares his men for the impending war with Scarecrow, and with Gotham in the distant, claims it will be his.[15]

Bane enters Blackgate through the sewers to join the prisoners there. While there, he comes across where the Talons are stored, hoping to make them in to his weapons. Scarecrow approaches Professor Pyg at Gotham Memorial Hospital to see if he will give his supplies and Doll-O-Trons to Scarecrow's followers. Scarecrow goes to Penguin next, who has already planned for the impending war, by blowing up the bridges giving access to Gotham City. While the attack on the city begins between Bane's men and the GCPD, Bane also approaches Professor Pyg, forcing him to join his cause, and spread word that everything in Gotham is now controlled by Bane.[16]

Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion

After freeing the Trickster and attending the meeting at the Justice League Watchtower, the Rogues return to Central and Keystone City, only to see that both have been destroyed by Gorilla Grodd.[17] Grodd returns to Central City during the eclipse, while a ceremony commemorating The Flash between the humans and gorillas is occurring. Grodd proceeds to take control of Central City as its king and renames it Gorilla City.[18] Captain Cold sees the city's cops tied up from Grodd, and proceeds to free them. He then asks Mirror Master to help him get to the hospital where his sister is being held in order to check on her. While there, the Crime Syndicate send Black Bison, Hyena, Multiplex, Plastique and Typhoon to finish Grodd's work and destroy the hospital. The Rogues are able to hold them off, only to be interrupted by Deathstorm and Power Ring, who were sent by Ultraman to deal with the Rogues for resisting the Crime Syndicate.[19]

Tie-in plots

"Forever Evil: Blight"

Constantine awakes in the House of Mystery, unsure how he got there. He slowly begins to remember gaining control of Pandora's Box, and then the Crime Syndicate defeating the three Justice Leagues. He attempts to conjure an enchantment to find Zatanna and the other members of the Justice League Dark. It does not work, but the House begins to transport Constantine around, and at each stop, he sees the shadow of evil grow into a blight on humanity. He is returned to the House were he sees a conjured Zatanna from his conscious, who reveals that Pandora's Box is still having an adverse effect on him. The conjuring is revealed to be Nightmare Nurse, who sought out Constantine to remove the remnants of the Box from him. She also reveals that she has grown her own Swamp Thing to help in Constantine's mission to find his team.[20]

Pandora is seen traveling to Earth-3, after the Outsider opens the portal with her box, and encounters the Martian Manhunter's counterpart. Back on Prime Earth, she attempts to reconstruct her box, and seeks answers from the Outsider at the Justice League's Watchtower.[21]

Justice League

Revolutionaries in Kahndaq use an ancient scroll to attempt to revive Black Adam so he will be their champion once again to save them from their oppressive ruler. A man named Amon begins to read the ancient spell, but before he can complete it, the military attacks them. An injured Amon makes his sister Adrianna complete the spell which revives Black Adam. He proceeds to defeat the military forces and kills the Kahndaqi ruler. Acting as Kahndaq's ruler again, Black Adam sees the Crime Syndicate's message, "The World is Ours", and gets angered, saying "this world belongs to no one!"[22]

On his way to deal with the situation in Kahndaq, Ultraman makes a detour to stop at the Daily Planet. There, Ultraman begins to interrogate Jimmy Olsen. He asks him if he has every taken pictures of Lois Lane, in exchange for "services". Not liking his answer, Ultraman crushes Jimmy's camera in his hand. Lois attempts to come to Jimmy's aid, but is held back by Ultraman. Ultraman comments how Lois shares the same name as Superwoman, but is not her physical equal. Meanwhile, Jimmy's watch sends out a distress signal, which is heard by Black Adam, who arrives at the Daily Planet and engages in battle with Ultraman.[23]

Justice League of America

Martian Manhunter and Stargirl awake in the outer part of the Firestorm matrix, where they encounter someone who appears to be Jason Rusch, half of the duo that is Firestorm. Jason proceeds to informs them that he believes they are in a prison constructed by the Crime Syndicate, and offers to bring Martian Manhunter through the inner parts. There, Martian Manhunter realizes that the "prison" seems to react to each of its inmates, creating a different experience for each. He sees the different prisons of Wonder Woman, Shazam, The Flash, Superman and Green Lantern. After losing Jason and realizing he is being pursued by an unknown person, J'onn is contacted by Stargirl, who stayed behind. She tells him she found a way out, and steps into the Crime Syndicate-led world.[24]

Suicide Squad

Following the prison break at Belle Reve, Amanda Waller contacts Deadshot and asks him to get the Suicide Squad back together.[25] After Amanda Waller transfers Deadshot his money, he heads to Gotham City to recruit Harley Quinn back to the team.[26] Amanda Waller gets to a secret area in Belle Reve, where she instructs Deadshot and Harley to take the team to the Rocky Mountains to intercept a weapon. Before doing so, Deadshot and Harley are able to recruit Captain Boomerang back to the team. Back at Belle Reve, James Gordon learns that the Thinker is building a satellite to control something and it is seen that King Shark is working with him. In a flashback, it is shown that Amanda Waller has recruited Warrant, Steel and Unknown Soldier, on the basis that the former Suicide Squad betrayed her by joining the Crime Syndicate and are using her intel to get the weapon in the Rockies for the Syndicate. In the Rockies, Power Girl arrives to assist the new recruits. When the new recruits arrive at the weapon, which turns out to be OMAC, they see that Deadshot, Harley and Captain Boomerang are already there. Unknown Soldier contacts Amanda Waller, letting her know there is a problem, and she instructs him and the rest of the new recruits, to kill the reformed Suicide Squad. However, it is revealed that Unknown Soldier is actually talking to the Thinker, while the actual Amanda Waller is attempting to contact Deadshot to not bring OMAC back to Belle Reve, as the Thinker has placed an explosive collar around her neck.[27]

"Villains Month" plots

After hearing Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad, Black Manta retrieves his equipment during Belle Reve's prison break as well as accepts the Secret Society's coin. At the Justice League Watchtower after claiming Aquaman's trident, Black Manta tosses the coin in the ocean. Black Manta takes the trident to his father's grave stating his quest to kill Aquaman is over. Looking up, he sees Ultraman moving the moon in front of the sun which creates massive tidal waves. The waves washes the grave of Black Manta's father away which gives him a new purpose: to destroy the Crime Syndicate.[12]

U.S. Marshall Mark Shaw is assigned to capture the Cheetah after she escapes during the Belle Reve prison break. He travels to Idaho where Barbara Minerva grew up to warn her unnamed aunt that she may be in danger. However, he learns that the Cheetah's aunt runs a school called Amazonia where they train girls in the ways of the Amazons and the Goddess of the Hunt. The aunt tells Shaw to leave only to proceed afterwards to hunt him. When she is about to kill him, Cheetah appears and kills her aunt. Cheetah claims that her aunt was the last piece of Barbara Minevra's past and with her death, Minerva would die as well. Shaw attempts to arrest the Cheetah, but she is summoned by the Secret Society before he is able to. As she leaves, she tells him she looks forward to the hunt they will have, while Shaw is then seen holding the God-Slayer knife, which gave Minerva her powers.[28]

Titles

Main titles

  • Forever Evil - A 7-issue miniseries by Geoff Johns and David Finch, focusing on the villains of the DC Universe,[1] and the Crime Syndicate taking over Prime Earth.

In October 2013, three, six-issue main tie-in books launched:[29]

  • Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. by Sterling Gates, Philip Tan, Neil Edwards, Javier Pena, Jason Paz, and Jay Leisten, focuses on Steve Trevor and a select group of A.R.G.U.S. agents as they search for the Justice Leagues and hunt Society members.[5][30]
  • Forever Evil: Arkham War by Peter Tomasi, Scot Eaton and Jaime Mendoza, focuses on Batman's villains.[31]
  • Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion by Brian Buccellato, Patrick Zircher and Scott Hepburn, focuses on The Rogues.[31]

Tie-ins

In addition, several of DC's ongoing comic series tie into Forever Evil starting in October. These titles are:[5][29][32][33]

As well, Constantine, Justice League Dark, Trinity of Sin: Pandora and Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger, will be part the storyline, "Forever Evil: Blight". The 18-part storyline will tell the story of John Constantine, the new Justice League Dark and the Trinity of Sin, as they attempt to defeat Blight, who is the manifestation of evil itself, and rescue the missing members of the Justice Leagues. The storyline includes the following titles:[29][32][33][34]

  • Constantine #9-12 by Ray Fawkes and Aco
  • Justice League Dark #24-29 by J. M. DeMatteis and Mikel Janin, focusing on the supernatural corner of the DC Universe with Constantine, who's escaped the fate of the Justice League.[31]
  • Trinity of Sin: Pandora #6-9 by Ray Fawkes and Francis Portela
  • Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #14-17 by J. M. DeMatteis and Fernando Blanco

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #4 and Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #12-13 featured the "Forever Evil" banner on their covers. The issues pick up after "Trinity War" and features elements that act as a prelude to "Forever Evil: Blight".[35][36][37]

"Villains Month" titles

"Villains Month"
Batman Vol 2 23.1.jpg
An example of the "Villains Month" 3D lenticular covers, with the cover of Batman #23.1 or Joker #1 (September 2013 DC Comics). Art by Jason Fabok.
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date September 2013
Genre One-shots
Creative team
Writer(s) Multiple
Artist(s) Multiple

For the month of September, in conjunction with Forever Evil, approximately one third of the books will publish multiple "Villains Month" issues, while the rest will skip publication. All books will use the "point" system, replacing the current number system, which will resume in October 2013. Titles will be known by both their normal publication title, as well as their "Villains Month" title. Each book will feature 3D lenticular motion covers on the front and back of the title.[38] DC will also release 2D versions of the covers as well.[39] As the 3D covers had to be printed months in advance than normal, neither the 3D or the 2D covers features creator credits. This drew critizism from Yanick Paquette, who later clarified his complaints, saying he was unaware of the additional production needed for the covers and understood this was a decision DC was forced to make, in order to get the covers out on time.[40]

The DC villains that are receiving their own titles and will be a part of Forever Evil have brought comparison to the Legion of Doom, because many of the villains are members of the different incarnations of the Legion of Doom.[41] Many of the titles explore the background of the titular villain, with some being a straight one-shot, and others tying into Forever Evil.

Continuity

Dan DiDio stated that all story lines with all the heroes will be published through August 2013. Forever Evil will begin in September and will continue to March 2014, at which point the rest of the universe catches up. DiDio added that there will be major shake ups with the teams, such as the Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Teen Titans, and that "nobody is safe".[59] Geoff Johns added that this event would change the status quo of the DCU in a major way saying, “There are some major events that happen to some of our heroes and villains, and those are all reflected in the monthly books at the end of [the series], except for the ones that tie-in directly like the [three] Justice League titles, Suicide Squad, and Teen Titans. Those books will be up-to-speed monthly."[2] The announcement for "Forever Evil: Blight" promised changes to the status quo for the titles involved, with each having major changes.[34]

In August 2013, it was announced that at the conclusion of Forever Evil, the Justice League of America "goes through a dramatic change" and will relocate to Canada and recruit a Canadian superhero. The Justice League of America series will thus be retitled Justice League Canada.[60]


Reception

Forever Evil
Forever Evil
CBR IGN Newsarama
Issue Rating
1 Star full.svgStar half.svg.png[61] 8.0/10[62] 7/10[63]
2 Star full.svgStar half.svg.png[64] 9.0/10[65] 8/10[66]
3 Star full.svg[67] 8.3/10[68] 8/10[69]

Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the first issue an 8.0 out of 10, saying "Regardless of your thoughts on "Trinity War", Forever Evil #1 is a solid start to DC's first real event comic of the New 52. It sees [Geoff] Johns diving headlong into a realm that he's succeeded in so often in the past." Schedeen wished that the Crime Syndicate had been featured more "to establish what makes this new take on the Crime Syndicate unique and why they're a greater threat now than they were the many times the Justice League clashed with them in decades past."[62] Newsarama's Richard Gray was more critical, giving the issue a 7 out of 10. Gray felt that Johns treaded a very thin line of overloading the story with too many villains and felt it was "immediately evident that reading this book in isolation of what has come before is almost impossible." He concluded that this event "has a familiar feeling to it, and it’s almost like starting over after coming so close to something that felt like a conclusion to two years worth of questions."[63] Meagan Demore of Comic Book Resources gave the issue 3.5 stars out of 5, saying, "In its chilling first issue, Forever Evil delivers a solid story rife with Geoff Johns' effective character use and David Finch's stunning artwork. Although the book suffers from confusing timelines and episodic material, its debut shows promise through some exceptionally notable moments and strong visual command. Forever Evil #1 paves the way for an interesting new epoch at DC Comics with a concept that will hopefully be just as effective in the tie-ins as it was here."[61]

The second issue received mostly positive reviews. IGN's Jesse Schedeen gave the issue a 9.0 out of 10, saying the issue "manages to resurrect that feeling of excitement and sense of the unknown that event comics used to offer back when they were still a novelty." Schedeen felt though, that the Teen Titans inclusion was underused, and appeared to just be a set up for their tie-in issues.[65] David Pepose of Newsarama gave the issue an 8 out of 10, feeling that Johns give just enough new material to keep readers interested, but would like to see the story "really cut loose".[66] Comic Book Resources' Doug Zawisza was more critical, giving the issue 2.5 stars out of 5. He felt Forever Evil #2 was "filled with cool little moments that play nicely in a collection, but the story itself needs to get some traction soon or this series might simply be a collection of cool little moments without any strong significance."[64]

Forever Evil #3 received positive reviews. Comic Book Resources' Jim Johnson gave the issue 4 stars out of 5, saying, "Johns makes sure that "Forever Evil" #3 gives readers their money's worth in the form of an intriguing idea with unexpected surprises amidst a foreboding but darkly fascinating environment. Finch and Friend do their part by making sure that the bad guys look good, and the true villains look threatening on a convincingly ruined and darkened world. Anyone who likes what Johns has done at DC and wants to see a modern-day DC multiverse done right will not want to miss this."[67] Richard Grey of Newsarama gave the issue an 8 out of 10, saying, "After three issues and several tie-ins, Geoff Johns finally starts answering a few questions after leaving us hanging since August. With Forever Evil #3, Johns begins to bring together a number of the mini-series and satellite events, including Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, that have been setting up narrative pins without any corresponding force to knock them down."[69] Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the issue an 8.3 out of 10, saying the issue was "another entertaining installment of this series, though the overall momentum of the event is starting to feel sluggish."[68]

Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S.

Newsarama's Richard Gray gave the first issue a 7 out of 10, saying, "While this may have been better off as a Steve Trevor one-shot, with little evidence so far that there’s enough material here to sustain an entire mini-series, it is one of the first main “Forever Evil” tie-ins to give some glimmer of hope that there’s a plan to get out of this thing."[70] Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the issue a 6.9 out of 10, saying, "It speaks to how well Forever Evil is unfolding that DC is launching a third tie-in mini-series and I still look forward to it with some anticipation." However, he felt the use of three different pencillers hurt the book.[71] Comic Book Resources' Doug Zawisza gave the issue 2 out of 5 stars, saying, "Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #1 succeeds in the spots where it doesn't focus on the acronym, the organization or the crossover with Forever Evil. Essentially, if this comic were called The Adventures of Steve Trevor, it would be a lot more on-target. The cover makes this seem as though it is a book about a team of warriors, but the story inside narrows the focus to Steve Trevor and Etta Candy, with a few cyphers dropped in for padding. This isn't the greatest tie-in story ever, but it's also not the worst."[72]

Forever Evil: Arkham War

Doug Zawisza of Comic Book Resources gave issue #1 2.5 stars out of 5. He stated, "The concept of Gotham split among villains is an entertaining concept and Bane's assault on the city will certainly be an interesting read, but Forever Evil: Arkham War #1 needs just a little more personality to really hook readers [because] right now this story is a trainwreck."[73] IGN's Jesse Schedeen gave the issue a 7.1 out of 10, saying "Arkham War isn't a bad event tie-in, but if it's going to stick to a predictable formula of Bane battling one Arkham-ite after another, it could grow very stale very quickly."[74] Richard Gray of Newsarama said, "This series has the potential to create a major power shift in Gotham or simply be a curious distraction," giving the issue a 6 out of 10.[75]

Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion

Newsarama's Richard Gray gave the first issue an 8 out of 10. He felt Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion "is a welcome shift away from the main event with a focus on a smaller group of villains who just don’t want to play ball with the big bad" and "has instantly become one of the most engaging aspects of the “Forever Evil” event."[76] IGN's Melissa Grey gave the issue an 8.7 out of 10, saying, "writer Brian Buccellato has hit precisely the tone he needed to in order to emphasize the moral shades of gray the Rogues occupy."[77] Doug Zawisza of Comic Book Resources gave the issue 3 stars out of 5, saying, "tied into the main Forever Evil series, this story is strong enough to stand on its own, but would have benefited from consistent art," a sentiment seen from all.[78]

Justice League

Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave Justice League #24 an 8.5 out of 10. He felt, "If you've enjoyed the scenes of Ultraman snorting Kryptonite and generally being as un-Superman-like as possible, you'll like Johns' origin story here." As well, "Johns is able to push the ongoing Forever Evil threads forward a bit more, hinting at the tension among the Crime Syndicate, the identity of their mysterious prisoner, and the threat that drove them away from Earth-3 in the first place."[79] Comic Book Resources' Doug Zawisza enjoyed the issue, giving it 3.5 stars out of 5. He enjoyed the panel and shout out to the Doom Patrol, but was disappointed that it appeared the battle between Ultraman and Black Adam would be concluded in Forever Evil #3, and not in Justice League.[80] Richard Gray of Newsarama gave the issue a 7 out of 10, saying, "The basic building blocks are all here for an interesting introduction to a new world, but this is still ultimately the fundamental dilemma of "Forever Evil". It’s a beginning of something when it should be the dramatic apex following an already cataclysmic change. With the main story continuing in the pages of the seven-part Forever Evil mini-series, it’s just hard to escape the feeling that DC’s flagship title is being used here as a sideshow to the main event.[81]

Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark #24 received a 7.2 out of 10 from IGN's Jesse Schedeen. He felt writer "DeMatteis has a reasonably engaging debut on the book. This issue excels as it uses Constantine as a mouthpiece to explore the nature of evil, deconstructing the claims in "Trinity War" that evil is a tangible thing that be loosed on the world or contained in a box. But DeMatteis' writing is often too wordy, especially when it comes to the narration [and his] Constantine is a bit mixed in his execution. In a general sense he reads very much like the shifty, conflicted magician we know, but his British accent and mannerisms are even more downplayed than they have been of late."[82] Doug Zawisza of Comic Book Resources, gave the issue 4.5 stars out of 5, saying, "While Justice League Dark #24 is short on panel appearances by Deadman, Frankenstein, Madame Xanadu, Black Orchid and Zatanna, the comic book doesn't suffer for it. John Constantine is given a chance to re-familiarize himself with readers as the House of Mystery is explored throughout the issue. By the end, Constantine has settled on a mission and begins to assemble a team. The decisions he makes along the way and influential forces provide a strong issue and continue to make "Justice League Dark" an enjoyable read," while praising the creative team for their work.[83] Rob McMonigal of Newsarama gave the issue a 9 out 10, saying, "Constantine’s worst foe - himself - is on display in this psychological tie-in to the events of Forever Evil that shows off the best of J.M. DeMatteis’ writing abilities. [Mikel] Janin does everything right here, from the Chibi Constantines to visualizing the concept of evil as a steadily growing cloud. This is how to do a crossover issue right."[84]

Justice League of America

IGN's Jesse Schedeen and Comic Book Resources' Doug Zawisza both gave Justice League of America #8 favorable reviews, with an 8.6 out of 10 and 3.5 stars out of 5, respectively. Both enjoyed new series writer Matt Kindt's use of Martian Manhunter, and Doug Mahnke's art as a consistent factor from Geoff John's run on the title. Schedeen added that the series is "a vital addition to "Forever Evil", but it neither punishes readers who only want to read that series nor those who just want to keep up with the JLA characters."[85][86]

Suicide Squad

Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave issue #24 a 7.4 out of 10, saying, "Even with [Ales] Kot gone and the series tying into Forever Evil, this is still the slick, deadly version of the Squad from the past few months."[87] Greg McElhatton of Comic Book Resources echoed Schedeen, added "Kindt's first issue on the series feels rather fitting, since it's essentially about a new creative team trying to take over the Suicide Squad during the chaos of "Forever Evil"," and that Kindt's script "sticks firm with what readers have seen up until now." McElhatton gave the issue 3 stars out of 5.[88] Newsarama's Rob Mcmonigal gave the issue an 8 out 10, saying, "Writer Matt Kindt doesn't disappoint here [with] full of action from start to finish."[75]

"Villains Month"

The "Villains Month" event and issues were met with mixed reviews. Some of the month's highlights include: Count Vertigo #1,[89][90][91] Deadshot #1,[91][92][93] Black Manta #1,[94][95][96] The Riddler #1,[96][97][98] Arcane #1,[99][100][101] Cheetah #1,[102][103] Man-Bat #1[104][105][106] and Parasite #1.[106][107][108] Conversely, Joker's Daughter #1 was universally criticized, with IGN saying "It does almost nothing to justify its existence. The story is less than engaging and the main character is probably the least interesting villain of all time. Joker's Daughter is a mess from start to finish and certainly not a comic that can be recommended to fans of Batman or the Joker. This is rock bottom for "Villains Month", no doubt."[109] Newsarama stated that the issue "bounces all over the place and never once finds any kind of voice, for character or story" and reviewer Aaron Duran had no idea what was going on.[106] Greg McElhatton of Comic Book Resources added, "this is a comic that you shouldn't be rushing to the store in order to snag a copy" and "within six months, most readers will be trying to forget all about the new Joker's Daughter."[110]

Sales

For September 2013, Diamond Comic Distributors announced that Forever Evil #1 was the best selling title of the month. In addition, the four Batman "Villains Month" titles were in the top ten, with Joker #1 placing fifth, Riddler #1 sixth, Bane #1 eighth, and Penguin #1 coming in tenth,[111] while all "Villains Month" titles with a 3D cover ranked in the top 125 in sales. "Villains Month" titles with a 2D cover placed between 49 and 211 on the chart.[112] In October 2013, Forever Evil #2 was fourth best selling title of the month, with Justice League #24 coming in sixth.[113]

References

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