Unfortunately, the image on the cover would indicate that this scene takes place directly after ‘Forever Evil’ #4, with Sinestro confronting Power Ring… unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this issue at all. Other than Power Ring, these other characters don’t even appear.
The issue is largely narrated by Grid, the robotic parts of Cyborg, now operating independently, as he seeks to understand emotion. As part of his journey, he downloads the origins of the various Crime Syndicate members which are wacky takes on those of the Justice League.
Like Green Lantern, Power Ring is Hal Jordan and he is given his ring by Abin Sur, but this time, it’s because he’s a weak willed coward.
In this world, Johnny Quick isn’t a police detective, he’s a serial killer and sadist, partnered with his equally demented girlfriend Rhonda Pineda.
There’s one member whose past has been concealed, Superwoman. This causes Grid to feel something… suspicion.
There are some references to the Crime Syndicate’s mystery prisoner, but I still haven’t figured that mystery out. If it’s just their Lex Luthor, I’m going to be disappointed.
There’s also a small focus on Cyborg, hinting that he’s about to become the new and improved Cyborg.
One flaw I had with this issue is that the Crime Syndicate has supposedly taken over the world’s communications and computers. In ‘Forever Evil’ #4, Batman makes a point of stating that’s why he can’t utilize his Batmobiles. Yet a (non-Crime Syndicate) character is clearly shown using a computer in this issue. If this issue hadn’t been written by Geoff Johns who also wrote ‘Forever Evil’ I could chalk that up to an editorial mistake, but since the same writer wrote both, that’s just a mistake.
Johns is really going dark with this storyline. The Johnny/Atomica sequence is particularly disturbing. And the art by Ivan Reis is fantastic as usual, mixing things up a bit and adding some new artistic touches.
Overall, this was another solid issue. The Crime Syndicate are some nasty customers and this captures that well. And the art just elevates that.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #26
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Cover by Ivan Reis