Forever Evil #30Introducing the new Justice League, led by Lex Luthor and including Shazam and Captain Cold.  And minus Superman and The Flash, both of whom presumably quit when their arch enemies were admitted to the team.

The new team debuts, but then the book jumps back four days.  Following the aftermath of ‘Forever Evil,’ Lex Luthor is being touted as the savior of the Earth, after he and his villain allies vanquished the Crime Syndicate.  (Most of the heroes were imprisoned inside of Firestorm and Batman and his small group of allies were busy freeing them, so the public wasn’t privy to that.)

Luthor’s new celebrity especially irritates Superman, who believes that the altruistic proclamations Luthor is making for the news cameras are all lies.

Then, Luthor diappears.

The League splits up and interrogates random villains in an effort to find him.  Wonder Woman’s brutal method of questioning causes The Flash concern.  (Also, why does Wonder Woman need to beat the crap out of someone to get answers when she’s HOLDING a lasso that forces anyone ensnared with it to tell the truth?  Seriously, right there IN HER HAND!)

The League gathers in the Batcave, when they are summoned to a new satellite headquarters, one built by Luthor and gifted to them on the basis that he is allowed to join.  Wonder Woman even questions him with her magic lasso.  (Oh yeah NOW she remembers she has that.)  The questioning process comes across pretty entertainingly, but ultimately he is turned away.

But he gets in somehow, right?

Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke split art duties and both are fantastic.  Their styles are very different, but the transition isn’t as jarring as one might expect.  And since both are great, I have no complaints.  One interesting note, it looks as though Batman has gotten a new more armored suit.  You only get to see it on the first double-splash page.

Overall, the story works well.  Luthor is one of the slimiest, most duplicitous villains in comics.  Yet, I mean Wonder Woman used her lasso on him… well, around his gauntlets.  Hmmmm.  All signs  point to him being on the up-and-up about becoming a hero.  But the way he seems to get on the team (it’s just alluded to here) also seem to indicate that he isn’t entirely above resorting to nasty tactics to get what he wants.  Then again, people say the same about Batman.  (Plus the title “Injustice League” kind of spoils that.)

This issue was solid and it’s nice to see the ‘Forever Evil’ storyline wrapped up (satisfactorily), but to continue to feel the ramifications.  This is indeed a new status quo for the Justice League and it will be interesting to see two villains on the team.  It should also be fun to see Captai… Shazam.  I didn’t really enjoy his backup features in earlier issues of this series, but since then he’s been handled pretty entertainingly.  And we see some glimpse of what’s left of the Crime Syndicate on Earth.  All in all, this was a solid issue and one that will prove essential in the coming months.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #30
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke
Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Rod Reis