Earth 3’s Crime Syndicate, twisted evil versions of the Justice League, have arrived on Earth 1 and quickly sets out to conquer it.  (No word on what happened to the three Justice Leagues.)  As part of their attack, they wipe out all power in major cities, starting with Metropolis… which is unfortunate for Lex Luthor who happens to be in a helicopter at the time.  He survives, but makes a startling discovery about Ultraman.

Meanwhile, in Gotham, Nightwing has an unfortunate run in with Owlman and Super Woman, while in Central City, the Rogues encounter Johnny Quick and Atomica (formerly the JL member The Atom).

The Crime Syndicate unleashes every super villain they can and invite them to join them at the ruins of the Justice League’s Watchtower which crashed in Happy Harbor, RI.  Batman’s villains debate on whether to attend or not.  Once assembled, Ultraman lays out their plan to conquer the world and to hunt down everyone dear to Dick Grayson.

The Crime Syndicate have a long history in the DC Universe, but writer Geoff Johns manages to spin them in interesting new ways, the main example being Ultraman and both his source of power and his weakness.

Dick Grayson’s role is also interesting as clearly Owlman at one time had a sidekick as well, which is only vaguely referred to here.

But perhaps the biggest curve ball is that since the Justice League is gone, it falls into someone else’s lap to face these super conquerors… Lex Luthor.  In the coming issues, look for Superman’s arch enemy to assemble his own super group to combat these villains from a parallel dimension.

The art is provided by the always excellent David Finch, whose slightly gritty style is perfectly befitting a book starring the worst of the worst!

In all, this was a solid launch for DC’s latest big event.  Johns adds interesting twists to the classic Crime Syndicate and it should be entertaining to see Luthor take center stage and lead the resistance.  Plus, what the heck happened to the Justice League, anyway?



Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by David Finch