Trying to get back to regularly scheduled blogging, but it’s been a slow couple of weeks in comics… what with Christmas and New Years. But just shy of 2014: Forever Evil #4 hit shelves.
I’m slightly less than lukewarm for this series. I know many people who like it, I keep holding out and thinking that I will come around…
As I see a tattered Batman and Catwoman on the first pages: I’m interested.
Batman takes Mz Selina Kyle to the Batcave. She looks over his wares. Displays of his old costumes, a steampowered Batcycle, a giant dinosaur. Batman is all business. Catwoman says that they “are practically the last man and woman on earth and all you can talk about is the plan.” Wowzers. I assumed they would be “talking” when they weren’t front and center, since they are humanity’s last hope. Actually… the cover says Lex and Batman are humanity’s last hope… so… I get Catwoman just wants to talk. Errrr…. Anyway, Batman keeps her at arms length because way back in October, Nightwing was unmasked and now it is common knowledge that Nightwing is Richard Grayson. Batman feels responsible for this, since Batman trained him to be Robin and then drove him away where he became Nightwing… but ZZZzzz… because we all already knew that.
More interestingly, Batman has been hoarding artifacts as a contingency plan against the Justice League. A Kryptonite ring (which won’t work against Ultraman. But they don’t seem to know that), a ring recovered from Sinestro corps, a lightning rod from the future -you know, typical stuff.
Meanwhile Lex Luthor is resurrecting Black Adam as Black Manta, Bizarro and Cold look on. Luthor explains that Ultraman’s biology is opposite of Superman’s -specifically that Ultraman has been consuming kryptonite and hiding from sunlight while Superman’s weakness is kryptonite and his power is enhanced by the sun.
Speaking of Ultraman… he’s huffing kryptonite out of Metallo’s suit while Superwoman taunts him. Ultraman finds out that Superwoman is pregnant (with Owlman’s baby which he doesn’t know) Superwoman says that Owlman is plotting against them and that they need to prepare. Elsewhere, Power Ring is having a meltdown, Deathstorm is summoned back to unlock Firestorm’s ability to change matter into kryptonite leaving Power Ring to go after Captain Cold alone.
Luthor has a heart to heart with Bizarro (whose name originated as B-Zero? cool!) and then they bust in to Wayne enterprises where they find Catwoman and Batman. And then Power Ring, Deathstroke and that lot bust in and find everyone. Batman tries to wield the Yellow Ring to defeat this bad dudes, but it is easily taken from him. Power Ring is victorious! But then Sinestro shows up! Next issue is Sinestro vs. Power Ring…
There is so much going on here. And for some reason minor quarrels dominate the majority of action and dialogue. The women in this series are FEW so FEW and the portrayals are shallow and heinous. Superwoman was in fear of Ultraman and he was clearly abusive towards her, but Geoff Johns was sure to include that she was really sneaking around with Owlman (AKA “she deserves it”) and now another layer of conniving is being added. And the taunts? Calling him weak when in the first 2 issues she was terrified of him and fearful that he would find out she was with child… and now in this issue she taunts him and threatens him (while “needing his support against Owlman”). Uh, huh. This is not how a woman who has been victimized would behave. That Geoff Johns feels the need to make women either helpless or devious is insanely creepy. Catwoman being treated as if she’s new, can’t handle herself and wants to stop and talk about their feelings? Batman has always been chivalrous and reserved so I can forgive some of it, but Catwoman not understanding the urgency… and hiding from Black Manta and Luthor. I’m unamused.
David Finch’s art didn’t help in that regard:
Why can you see her whole buttcrack!?
Why am I reading this series?!
Are you reading it? Pipe up with it’s redeeming qualities, or let me know if there is something I am missing.
ComicSpectrum: who has issues with the art for other reasons but likes the story and also referenced the Lex/Bizarro interaction as one of the highlights in this issue.
Sciencefiction.com: Just loved it.