DC continues to divide critics and fans with their Forever Evil event. Regardless of whether you love or hate it, DC have made some strong creative decisions that will have long standing ramifications throughout the rest of their universe. Attitudes are shifting towards some of their more notorious villains; Lex Luthor looks set to become a member of the Justice League, Captain Cold and the Rogues have proven their worth as the saviours of Keystone City and Bane has taken on a completely unexpected role as Gotham’s latest costumed vigilante – the new Batman.
When the superheroes inevitably take back their place from the Crime Syndicate, they will definitely have some interesting decisions to make regarding these adversaries. Luthor has been incredibly humanized and seems all the more devious and manipulative for it. Oliver Queen has a similar dilemma – as the Outsiders War hits its stride, the players have been revealed and his world has been turned on its head.
The DC Universe continues to shape itself in new and interesting ways. While we may not always agree on the changes, we can be sure of one thing – the New 52 is here to stay and none of us were prepared for where this would take us.
The Diabolic Duo
Forever Evil: Arkham War #4
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Scot Eaton
Colours by: Andrew Dalhouse with Wes Hartman and Wil Quintana
Letters by: Taylor Esposito
From: DC Comics
The Scarecrows forces clash with Bane’s as the streets of Gotham become even more of a warzone in this issue. All manner of Bat-villains can be seen smashing the crap out of each other while Bane – regaled in his own version of the Bat-suit – takes William Cobb, great-grandfather of Dick Grayson and Talon, on a guided tour of the city, revealing his plans for Gotham along the way.
I’ll be honest, Arkham War seems to have hit the ground running but slowly staggered to a halt. Bane and Cobb seem to do perform some increasingly odd behaviour in this issue. Cobb seems a little too compliant with Bane’s requests – this is a master Talon, one of the Court of Owl’s best and baddest but he seems all too eager to bow down before Bane. Speaking of the Bat-Breaker, the fact that he dons the cape and cowl seems a little unusual and almost against everything he stands for – that being said, when you think about the imagery and what the Bat stands for, Bane is being at his most calculating in putting on the uniform; he’s using the symbol to his own advantage.
Eaton’s art was effective and I enjoyed the brutality and action that was portrayed. Bat-Bane is particularly evocative but clashes somewhat against some cartoony looking villains that are thrown into the mix. Jason Fabok’s cover is outstanding and was one that drew many to the issue.
As the Talon’s march on Gotham to the beat of the Scarecrow’s drum, can the Diabolic Duo take on the masses? I sincerely hope so because I want this series to regain the promise and momentum it initially had and that is hinted at throughout this issue.
5 out of 10 Mega Bytes
Hitting the Target
Green Arrow #27
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Andrea Sorrentino
Colours by: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by: Rob Leigh
From: DC Comics
Green Arrow has quickly become the go-to book for me every month. The exploration into Oliver Queen’s origins through the Outsiders War is ingenious and the spirit of the adventure is purely that – this is not a superhero story; it’s an epic quest and one that looks set to redefine the character.
Lemire’s script is a master class in story writing. Each beat is hit tangibly and with an almost audible thud as the elements slot into place. The Arrow totem, Oliver’s reasons for being on the island and THAT reveal at the end of the issue all make for a riveting issue. The cliff hanger is one that will make you want to read more – as every good storyteller should.
Sorrentino’s art is beautiful as always. This is far from mere panels on a page though – you are guided through the issue by the way an arrow flies or a spread unfolds. The two-page spread where a volley of arrows is unleashed is one of the most dynamic and kinetic series of images I’ve seen on the printed page. This is artwork to an award winning standard and Green Arrow flies the flag high for DC Comics at the moment.
The pairing of Lemire and Sorrentino is one that will shape the history of Oliver Queen and will be remembered as one of the highlights of the New 52.
9 out of 10 Mega Bytes
The ROBotiX Network Ordnance
Forever Evil: Arkham War #4: 5
Green Arrow #27: 9