Assessor Evil 5: OMG They Cut **Another** Guy’s Arm Off
The latest issue of DC Comics' Forever Evil opens as the previous four did, with Lex Luthor sharing a little anecdote about his childhood that somehow relates to the current state of affairs. In this issue, it ends with Luthor telling readers that "48 hours ago, a group of beings called the Crime Syndicate came to our world and declared it theirs."
Forty-eight hours! That's only two days! But man, this story seems like it's been going on for months now. Like, at least five months.
So let's refresh our memories. The Crime Syndicate of Earth-3? Ascendant. The heroes of all three Justice Leagues? MIA. The Society? Running rampant. Dick "Nightwing" Grayson? Publicly outted and held captive by the Syndicate. Earth's only hope? Batman, Catwoman, Lex Luthor and a small band of disaffected villains, who were just about to get in a big fight at the end of Forever Evil #4. But then Power Ring appeared with a group of Society members crashed through one wall, and Sinestro crashed through the other.
And that can only mean one thing: A big fight. Wait, two things: There are only two walls left in the big, empty Wayne Enterprises room everyone is convening in. It is now a structurally unsound, and likely quite drafty, building.
Forever Evil #5
Written by Geoff Johns
Penciled by David Finch
Inked by Richard Friend
Colored by Sonia Oback
Edited by Brian Cunningham and Kate Durré
The battle lines are drawn. Green Lantern's evil Earth-3 doppleganger Power Ring, who is as fearful as GL is fearless, has sprinted away from Sinestro at full speed. His forces include Deathstroke, the Terminator, (who has the silliest codename-to-badass reputation ratio in the DC Universe), Copperhead (a snake man), Blockbuster (the Hulk, but not green), Shadow Thief (a lady with vaguely-defined shadow powers) and Giganta (who can grow gigantic). They attack Batman, Catwoman and the default good guys: Luthor, Black Adam, Bizarro, Captain Cold and Black Manta.
Giganta knocks Black Adam around a bit before Catwoman is able to motivate him with insults to his manhood and stupid cat jokes, at which point Black Adam gets so mad he throws the giant Giganta through the wall (only one wall left!)
Meanwhile, master strategist Deathstroke sneaks up behind Lex Luthor, points a comically large pistol at him, makes a "KA-CHAK" noise, and calls him "cueball" (As a bald-American, I'm offended).
Is this the end of Superman's archenemy of some 75 years? Is this how Luthor finally dies, shot in the head by the guy who used to fight the Teen Titans all the time?
No. No it is not. Luthor is able to flip Deathstroke rather easily, pointing out that if Deathstroke kills him and the last remaining rebels and turns Earth over to the Crime Syndicate, there won't be anyone left for Deathstroke to hunt, and he'll be out of a job. Perhaps realizing he's too young to retire and/or doesn't have any hobbies to indulge in, 'Stroke signs up with Luthor. He re-cocks his already cocked gun -- CHAK --and kills Copperhead with a shot to the head. A Copperheadshot, if you will.
The Society folds quickly, with Black Manta eye-beaming Shadow Thief out of the fight, and Bizarro punching out Blockbuster, bellowing his signature battle cry, and the only syllable he knows, "RRRR!!"
In the sewers below, Sinestro makes short work of Power Ring, cutting off his arm -- it wouldn't be a Geoff Johns-written crossover story if no one lost their arm! -- and then incinerating him.
Power Ring's, er, power ring flees, seeking a new host. If Power Ring is the opposite of Green Lantern, than the ring is no doubt searching for someone greatly incapable of overcoming fear. If Hal Jordan is the most fearless man in the world, I'm not sure who the most afraid man in the world is. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Rogers do appear in DC Comics, but Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo Team-Up are both presumably beyond the New 52 continuity, so they should be safe from this crossover.
With the Society turned or vanquished, Luthor quickly convinces Sinestro to join their cause (His pitch? Imagine how much it will annoy Green Lantern if you save Earth instead of him) and then tries to convince Batman to join them as well.
One problem: Luthor and his crew want to destroy the Syndicate utterly, while Batman wants to first rescue Nightwing and then take the Syndicate alive.
When Batman mentions a rescue mission, Luthor asks about Richard Grayson and is nice enough not to let on that he knows that if Grayson is Nightwing then Batman must totally be Bruce Wayne. Luthor is one of the smartest men in the world, right? It can't be that hard to put two and two together for him. Also? It may be circumstantial evidence, but he did find Batman in the basement of a Wayne Enterprises building.
And what is the rest of the Crime Syndicate up to while all this was going on? Well, when Power Ring's ring rest itself, it released "a pulse of energy...one that could be sensed across the Multiverse."
That pulse apparently drew the attention of whatever it is that destroyed Earth-3, and it or some evidence of it appeared in the sky off the coast of Maine. There's no way of telling what exactly it's supposed to be from Finch's drawing of it and the way it's colored. It's simply a huge, red, lightning-like bolt of energy on the horizon.
Ultraman refers to is as "the creature," and Deathstorm draws attention to it with the words "Look. Up in the sky," which generally signals the appearance of Superman.
But in this case? It's a mystery we'll have to wait a month to learn more about, as that's the last two pages of Forever Evil #5, save for the blurb, "Next: The Secret of the Crime Syndicate."