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Tuesday May 27, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday May 27, 2014 MYT 9:01:44 AM
By MICHAEL CHEANG
DC’s Forever Evil event ended with a bang last week, as the status quo was changed and new heroes were born.
THE DC New 52 universe ushered in a new era last week with the release of Forever Evil #7, which concluded arguably the most ambitious and most impressive crossover event of the New 52 so far.
Just to recap what Forever Evil is all about, it is a universe-wide crossover that featured the Crime Syndicate (evil doppelgangers of the Justice League from Earth 3) taking over the world with the help of all the supervillains on Earth Prime.
With all the superheroes either captured or killed, it was up to a group of supervillains led by Lex Luthor to form the resistance.
In Forever Evil #6, the odds finally swung ever so slightly in the heroes’ favour when Cyborg defeated Grid with the help of the Metal Men. Lex Luthor and Batman infiltrated the Crime Syndicate’s lair with a team consisting of Catwoman, Black Manta, Sinestro, Captain Cold, Black Adam and Bizarro, in an attempt to rescue Dick Grayson from Owlman, as well as free the Justice League from their prison WITHIN Firestorm.
Thus, the stage was set for a final battle between the supervillains of Prime Earth and Earth 3 that will determine the fate of the world.
However, if the Crime Syndicate wasn’t bad enough to deal with, Luthor also inadvertently released an even more dangerous adversary – his own Earth 3 doppelganger, Alexander Luthor, wielder of the power of Mazahs (read that backwards), which grants him the powers of every superhero he has ever KILLED.
Now, in past stories that involved the Crime Syndicate, the Earth 3 version of Lex Luthor was always the hero of the day. Here, Geoff Johns turns that idea on its head, making Alexander Luthor THE biggest threat in Forever Evil, overshadowing even the Crime Syndicate themselves.
So where does that leave OUR Lex Luthor then? Well, if his doppelganger is the greatest supervillain of Earth 3, that should mean that our Lex Luthor is the greatest hero on the planet, right? It’s been known for a while now that Luthor joins and leads the Justice League in the aftermath of Forever Evil, but the payoff here is how he gets there. Luthor takes the fight to Ultraman and Alexander Luthor, and manages to defeat them almost single-handedly.
Luthor has always been an enigmatic character. He’s Superman’s greatest foe, and though he has suited up to boost his physicality several times over the years, his main weapon has always been his intellect, which he uses to great effect in the fights here against Alexander Luthor and Ultraman.
Though he is victorious in the end, there is an element of cold-bloodedness in each of his victories that keeps us on our toes, with the almost nonchalant, chilling way he deals with Atomica reminding us that this is still the cold-blooded genius megalomaniac Lex Luthor we’re dealing with, no matter how heroic he seems to be.
The end of Forever Evil also brings about numerous changes in the New 52, some of which have already been revealed via DC’s future solicitations (Dick Grayson’s shedding of the Nightwing persona, for instance), and some that came as a bit of a surprise (such as the introduction of Ted Kord, better known to long-time DC fans as the original Blue Beetle).
The main gripe I’ve had with Forever Evil was how long it took to unfold, which meant that a lot of the “aftermath” of the event was actually revealed in other comics BEFORE this final issue was even published. As such, the impact of certain “twists” (like Dick Grayson surviving) had much less impact than it would have.
Still, the event does leave a lot of intriguing questions unanswered, many of which would undoubtedly have a major impact on the New 52 universe in the near future.
After three years, the DC New 52 had been heading in a rather uninspiring and banal direction. Forever Evil(the main event, not the countless subplots and the terribly executed Villain’s Month issues it spawned) is the shake-up this relatively new DC Universe needed.
With a new status quo for major players like Lex Luthor, Dick Grayson, the Justice Leagues, and the revelation of an even bigger threat than Darkseid at the end of Forever Evil #7, here’s hoping this shot in the arm can lead to much better things for the New 52.
Tags / Keywords:
Forever Evil 7 finale, Geoff Johns, David Finch, DC Comics
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