From the beginning, Owlman has been positioned as a character of particular interest in the ‘Forever Evil’ crossover event.  He takes center stage in this issue as we learn not only of his origin, but that of his former partner the Richard Grayson of Earth 3, who eventually became Talon.  (Check out issue #23.1.)  As with that issue, this one presents a darkly twisted variation of Gotham City… and considering how the regular version is so corrupt and violent, that says something.

We also get a surprise New 52 debut!  No spoilers, though.

Treachery is the name of the game with the Crime Syndicate.  It’s already been revealed that Superwoman is ho-ing it up with both Ultraman and Owlman.  Owlman tries to persuade the Earth 1 Dick Grayson, Nightwing, to join forces with him in double crossing his teammates, but another member overhears their discussion and seems to have plans themselves.

Doug Mahnke’s art is fantastic as usual.  He thrives in epic stories with huge casts, but this is a quieter, more introspective tale and his work still shines.  Kudos to Gabe Eltabe, Tony Avina and Rod Reis for their amazing color work as well.  From start to finish this was a great looking book.

And writer Geoff Johns is clearly having a ball with this storyline, crafting these twisted, evil, alternate universe characters that are parallels to DC’s most famous heroes.  Nearly every member of the Crime Syndicate has gotten to shine at least a little, but there are still mysteries to be revealed.

Am I getting impatient for the heroes to return and set things right?  Sure, but in the meantime, Johns is crafting one for the ages.  I wasn’t sure how this was going to go, but by balancing huge super battles with clever in-depth character development like this, this is turning into one of the better crossover events in recent memory.



Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke
Cover by Ivan Reis