I think I’ve finally figured out why DC’s latest event crossover, Forever Evil, hasn’t really been working for me, despite the fact that I’ve got a soft spot for the Crime Syndicate going back to the original Crisis On Infinite Earths. The storytelling decisions that writer Geoff Johns has made have made this thing pretty one dimensional up until now.
Think about it: the Crime Syndicate in this series are pretty much just evil for the sake of being evil, and that’s not all that interesting. Sure, there are some little extra beats like Ultraman’s lust and hatred for Superwoman, and Owlman’s somewhat conflicted emotions about Nightwing, and Power Ring’s cowardice, but in general these characters are pricks for the sake of being pricks. They’ve got the raw power to knock the moon out of orbit, but they also need to recruit this universe’s super criminals for power, why exactly? Because shut up, that’s why!
Also, Johns’s decision to get the Justice League out of the way has made sense from the angle that it allows these characters to run riot across the Earth to show us how bad they are, but it has had the unfortunate side effect of accentuating what the bad guys are up to… and a lot of it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Like that whole moving the moon to block the sun. It’s a neat visual, but if you stop and think about it for more than ten seconds, you’d realize that changing the moon’s orbit would alter tides, cause massive crop failures and climate change, and generally cause devastation on a planetary scale. Not that anyone would know, since the eclipse would blind everyone in about 45 minutes or so. And combine that with the fact that every time I see Grid I’m reminded that he split away from Cyborg by the selfsame powers of “shut up,” and we’ve had a bunch of one dimensional characters doing awful and ridiculous things for about three months (or eight when you remember that Forever Evil is, for all intents and purposes, just a continuation of the Trinity War crossover).
Well, this week brings us Forever Evil #3, and the good news is that things are starting to improve and become a little more diverse than just “evil dicks are evil.” But to get there, we get one more big plot point that doesn’t really ring true, and another that relies on, well, evil dicks being evil.