When we last visited the DC Universe in the wake of Forever Evil, it was a dark, grim and gritty place -- well, darker, grimmer and grittier than usual, anyway. Most of the members of the Justice League of America, Justice League Dark and Justice League Vanilla mysteriously disappeared after encountering the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, the evil doppelgangers of Earth-New 52's greatest heroes.
Rallying an army of supervillains behind them, the Syndicate announced the death of the Justice Leagues, outted Nightwing as Dick Grayson, moved the moon to eclipse the sun, and exiled the Teen Titans into the time stream. With the world pretty much conquered, the Syndicate went about the business of ruling it -- you know, establishing a currency and economic system, redrawing maps, writing up a constitution, designing a flag, developing a body of laws, intervening in disputes between countries and the meetings! Oh, the many meetings they'll have to have!
Is that what we're in for with the remaining issues of the seven-part series? Perhaps we would be, were it not for a handful of villains unwilling to sign up with the Crime Syndicate. Villains with home-world pride. Bad guys who are bad, to be sure, but not that bad. They're just almost always evil, not forever evil, and this issue, they start to get organized.
Greg Capullo, Forever Evil, Batman: Arkham City and George Pérez are some of the key draws in the DC Collectibles solicitations for January, with a number of the items serving as the first chance fans have had to pick them up since they appeared as San Diego Comic-Con exclusives this past summer. New Batman, Talon, Riddler and Nightwing action figures based on Capullo's artwork are slated to roll out in April and May as part of DCC's 6.75" Designer Action Figures line. Those aren't the only 6.75" scale action figures, though, with contemporary versions of Deathstorm and Bizarro coming as part of the Forever Evil line, an Arkham City Two-Face, and an Arrow Oliver Queen/Deathstroke two-pack all set to arrive in April. On the statue front, fans will be able to pick up an 8.5" Wonder Woman statue based on Pérez's iconic take on the Amazon, plus a 10" Riddler statue based on the character's Arkham City appearance. Click through to see DCC's full solicitation info and images for January.
Last month was a pretty rough one for the heroes of the DC Universe. The Justice Leagues—all three of 'em—apparently fell before the onslaught of the Earth-3's Crime Syndicate, somewhere between the end of Trinity War and the first issue of Forever Evil #1. The Syndicate then proceeded to take over the world, opening all of the super-prisons, assembling all the super-villains into an army, destroying all communications for some annoying "This World Is Ours" spam and a brief infotainment segment where they revealed Nightwing's secret identity as Richard Grayson on television. Also they pushed the moon between Earth and the sun, plunging the world into darkness.
To add insult to injury, the villains booted the heroes off all of their comic books in September, writing their own names over the heroes' logos and starring in the books themselves!
Well, it's a new month and there's a new issue ofForever Evil, so we can find out if there's any hope at all for our heroes. Or at the very least, which of those Villains Month issues we really needed to read.
If you missed it, the first issue of Forever Evil-- the latest big crossover event taking place across the DC Universe -- started off with a big reveal, one that will have consequences for many of the characters throughout DC Comics. But there's more to it than just that. Forever Evil represents the extreme end of villainous characters; for the Crime Syndicate, there's seemingly no tragic back story to identify, nothing for the reader to relate to or sympathize with. And according to writer Geoff Johns, that gives him an opportunity to explore the depths of other characters, particularly Lex Luthor, while also using this story as a vehicle to make a kind of commentary on social issues he sees as currently prevalent in society.
ComicsAlliance spoke to Geoff Johns about Forever Evil, including what readers can expect going forward, Lex Luthor as the central figure of the story, and villains as metaphor.
Remember Trinity War? The six-part,154-page, 24-dollar DC Comics crossover story that ended with a cliffhanger where the super-villains from inside Pandora's Box rushing towards all three Justice Leagues with the words "To Be Continued in Forever Evil #1" at the bottom of the last page? Remember how you were frustrated that the climactic battle of the weeks-long story was being saved for the start of another story entirely, but you took some small comfort in knowing you only had to wait one week to finally see it in Forever Evil #1?
In the weeks since the release of the teaser graphic above there have been all kinds of rumors and guesses as to the fate of Nightwing in Forever Evil, the latest DC Comics event series in which the villains succeed in taking over the world. Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by David Finchand on sale now, issue #1 reveals at least one significant part of Nightwing's fate in the crossover and presumably in the broader narrative of the DC Universe going forward.
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for both Forever Evil and Trinity War.
DC Comics began its week-ish slate of Comic-Con programming with an "All Access" panel which mainly spotlighted previously announced publishing plans including the recently launched Trinity War and forthcoming Forever Evil and gave readers an opportunity to get some questions answered by: VP of Sales Bob Wayne, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Justice League Dark/Animal Man/Green Arrow writer Jeff Lemire, The Flash co-writer and colorist Brian Buccellato, Batgirl and The Movement writer Gail Simone, Fables artist Mark Buckingham, Fairest cover artist Adam Hughes, Li'l Gotham co-writer Derek Fridolfs and Injustice: Gods Among Us writer Tom Taylor.
It seems DC Comics is keen to spotlight the darker side of its publishing library at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, as the publisher's transmitted a number of distinctly evil-themed materials in support of future releases Forever Evil -- the forthcoming DC Comics publishing event focusing on villains -- and Necessary Evil, a DC Entertainment documentary about the history of DC's rogues' gallery.
Last year, DC Comics celebrated the anniversary of its New 52 launch with a month full of zero issues. On its second anniversary in September, the publisher is handing its books over to the bad guys. "Villains Month" will spin out of this summer's "Trinity War" crossover, according a DC press release. Each book in the line will replace the title hero's name with a villain's name and be a #1 issue of sorts. Also: Lenticular 3D covers, no joke.
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