Justice League 25
Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
I made two discoveries this week, reading all five (that’s right, five, in one week) crossovers for Forever Evil… First and foremost is I am in the middle of what I am officially going to call a love/hate relationship with this event as a whole. I have always been a firm believer that events can either make or break a company, but always remain positive (and loyal) until the very end, even sometimes giving it a final sit-down/re-read. And, most importantly, I actually buy and read the whole thing. So when I say a crossover makes or breaks a company, it’s really just a code for it makes or breaks my heart. And my wallet. The second discovery with this love/hate relationship is that in more ways than one, Geoff Johns is starting to resemble Brian Michael Bendis as the behind-the-scenes event man. I mean, isn’t Forever Evil essentially DC’s version of Secret Invasion? And instead of the Avengers titles being super-important (with a few miniseries thrown in to round it out and a few other underrated and not-so-very-good-sellers to grab a few quick extra bucks) it’s the Justice League books? And, along with this love/hate Bendis/Johns discovery, I have further defined my thoughts, hopes, and fears for this event and the future of the DC Universe as a whole and myself as a collector: I am absolutely, one hundred percent, fully and completely on board. Geoff Johns has proven time and again that he knows how to end a series with the highest quality writing available in superhero event comics history. And his respect for the characters that inhabit the universe of his controlling is unrivaled. And unlike other writers who have written similar events for other companies, my love (world-building, characterization, epic scope, great writing, and wonderful artwork) is far outweighing my hate (expensive, drawn-out, not enough immediate focus, too many writers who haven’t earned their stripes to deserve event team status).
This issue has it all. And, thankfully, artist Doug Mahnke has fixed whatever wasn’t working with his last few issues on this title. He’s back at the top of his game yet again. And what a relief, because this issue was narrated by my favorite of the Crime Syndicate’s roster: Owlman. We get his origin. We get the first appearance of the New 52’s incarnation of Plastic Man. We are treated to Owlman single-handedly taking over the mob in Gotham City (and mention of the Bertinelli crime family as a nice little teaser for a potential story to come). We also see that Owlman doesn’t trust Grid (or anyone on his own team, for that matter, excluding the Outsider) and wants to recruit Nightwing to his cause of taking over the world from Ultraman and the rest of the Syndicate. After all, Alfred controls the Secret Society. And Ultraman’s a) bat-shit crazy and b) growing weaker by the second on this Earth.
But this leaves us with a few questions still left unanswered… What exactly did Superwoman hear when she was listening in on his chat with Nightwing? What will she do with this information? And, of course, the big one: Are we going to see Owlman’s true colors in the end? More specifically, will he end up being a hero in spite of himself? Or will he end up being an even bigger threat than the rest of the Syndicate combined? Either way, I’m excited to see more and more of this story. This issue totally sold me on Johns’ epic tale. The only negative of this issue is the sad fact that Johns isn’t writing the entire crossover. But I’m sure that he’s playing a pretty pivotal role in the outcome, so I’m okay with picking up a few other issues to pad the story. Plus, a lot of the other creators involved are certainly more than pulling their weight. I mean, are you reading the other books on the shelves right now? Even the “bad” ones are still leagues (terrible but unavoidable pun) above the rest of the superhero titles coming out right now. Especially ones without DC Comics on the cover.
My Rating: 5/5