Forever Evil: Arkham War 2
Peter J. Tomasi, Scot Eaton
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The second issue of what is looking to be the most interesting of the three Forever Evil spin-off miniseries continues full steam ahead as artist Scot Eaton beautifully portrays the characters doing what veteran comic writer Peter J. Tomasi excels at having them do: Interact in realistic and all-to believable ways. But don’t let the cover fool you: This is far from an all-out action-packed battle. In fact, it is a relatively quiet issue compared to what the cover would have you believe. But that is okay, because that’s exactly what makes it work. There’s just enough action to keep the plot moving forward, but when it comes right down to it, it’s all about the characterization.
We are immediately treated to a completely badass fight between the armies of Man-Bat and Bane over territory in Gotham. But then we get a glimpse into the Gotham City Police Department’s very own Commissioner James Gordon, dispensing not only advice, but telling stories of the glory days. We then get the most powerful scene in the issue, showing Bane meeting with the Penguin and discussing “how things are going to go down,” but really just posturing and not really getting a whole lot accomplished. These two “civilized” members of the Batman’s rogues gallery show their true colors, turning on one another and being willing to use the “crazy” villains to wage their wars. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the Talons (since they’re obviously going to play a crucial war in tipping the scales), but it’s going to be even more interesting to see if Penguin’s alliance with the Scarecrow and his crew outweighs Bane’s temporary one with Gotham’s finest.
The artwork is phenomenal. The script is top-notch. And when it comes right down to it, this is pretty much a book that any Batman (or villain) fan has been waiting for. I only wish this could somehow lead into an ongoing title. The Villains Month issues leading into this miniseries set the tone, but the actual event (and this event-within-an-event) have continued to hold up that standard. The Scarecrow is perfectly scripted. Bane is amazing. Man-Bat is great. And even the Penguin is treated with the dignity and grace befitting a villain so deeply rooted in Gotham City’s history. I’m glad to see that other characters will be showing up and picking sides, but even though the war hasn’t quite yet begun, the action is going to be nothing short of epic. I can’t wait for the next issue.
My Rating: 5/5