Can Batman save Nightwing from the Murder Machine when his only ally is Lex Luthor? Who is the hooded man? All this and more in this review!
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: David Finch
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 3.99
Previously in FOREVER EVIL: The Crime Syndicate from Earth 3 have taken over the world and destroyed the Justice League. Batman’s only hope to save Nightwing is to team with a bunch of villainous rogues including Deathstroke, Sinestro, and Lex Luthor!
THE MURDER MACHINE?
Everything comes to a head in this issue! It’s actually quite surprising that writer Geoff Johns would reveal a couple of his big mysteries in the issue before the finale. After Batman and his team of villains storm the Crime Syndicate’s headquarters, we finally learn the identity of the hooded man that the Syndicate had kept in chains. Also, the fate of Nightwing is revealed. He’s been strapped to a bomb that will only deactivate if his heart stops. And the bomb’s name is the “Murder Machine.”
Therein lies my big problem with this issue of Forever Evil. All the circumstances and scenes seem to have been created simply for fan service. Geoff Johns slices off a couple of characters limbs in this issue (something that he has never been afraid to do, see Infinite Crisis.) But in this issue, there’s no consequence to these actions. It seems to only happen just to fuel the fires of internet forums.
Next, let us discuss the two large elephants in the room. First, the identity of the Hooded Man should have been a cool moment. His reveal is an intriguing one, and in any other series would have been a cool move. (I will not spoil his identity.) Sadly in the pages of Forever Evil, this character’s introduction seems like the writer is just repeating his old storylines and even combining them! (You’ll understand that sentence a lot more once you read this issue. I promise.)
Secondly, let’s talk about Dick Grayson. You see Dick Grayson has had a target on his back since Dan Didio took his position with DC. Now, it seems like he has gotten his wish. Tying the hero up to something called “the Murder Machine,” screams of a wink to the fans, or it could be a name the co-opted from Super Friends. Thankfully, the issue does not end with Dick Grayson’s death. Although it certainly looks like he is a goner next issue.
It’s situations like these that push this into the fan fiction arena to me. While I appreciate fan fiction, I don’t prefer to read it in my DC Comics.
BIZARRO LOVES HIS STITCHES!
David Finch does a solid job here. He has a very defined style, and it shows. One character design that particularly stands out is how he draws the individual stitches on Bizarro’s shirt. It’s tiny details like this that shows he genuinely cares about the pages of the books he is involved with.
THE BOTTOM LINE: IT’S A GAME CHANGER, BUT DO I WANT TO WATCH THIS GAME?
This series will change the face of the DC Universe. There’s no going back after this. Lex Luthor seems to be priming himself for a big heroic role, and Dick Grayson will either be in hiding or deep in the ground. Who knows? But will it change the DC Universe for the better? If this issue is any indication, I would say no.
Characters and true emotion will always be the backbone of every strong story. DC shows this in some of its other books: Action Comics, Green Arrow, and Swamp Thing. Forever Evil #6 was a big explosion, gratuitous violence wrapped all in a big fan service bow. If you like your big event stories to have the same tropes of the previous event, then you will love Forever Evil. If not, you might want to read some other comics.