Geoff Johns probably has a secret notebook where he’s written out how every character in the DCU should have been done. He probably secretly influenced the powers that be into rebooting all of DC comics so he could lay all of its glorious contents on us. Only a man so fiendish could craft a plot so good.
With a plot by Johns and script by Sterling Gates, the Secret Society one should could have easily been labeled a direct tie-in to Forever Evil. After the events of Trinity War and Forever Evil #1, we know the Crime Syndicate is here and evil Alfred (the Outsider) was behind it all along. In Secret Society #1 we learn more about Earth-3’s Owlman, more so than we do the actual Secret Society. Some questions are answered while other answers are merely hinted at. This flashback story all takes place in a noir feeling Gotham-3. Which, if you can believe, makes the Gotham we know look like Disneyland. The book focuses primarily on evil Alfred’s glimpse into the psyche of Owlman and their strange relationship while building a mystique around what happened to their Dick Grayson. One running theme in the book is a big secret hinted at almost every other page, which mentioned in Forever Evil’s first issue. The reverse nuances of Earth-3 are brilliantly executed making the backwards nature of Owlman’s universe an even more interesting place to learn about. Robbing people is the cops job, Joker is one of the only good guys and relatively sane compared to our Joker.
Where the issue stumbles severely is in the art. Kudranski does a solid job capturing the twisted nature of this hellish Gotham, but at times there are just too many freaking shadows on the pages. What makes it worse is they can sometimes be confusing when trying to decide if I’m looking at the Joker or Owlman. This is twenty something pages of unnecessarily playing in shadows where more story depth could be shown off. This was a pretty sweet splash though.
Overall, if you’re following Forever Evil closely you definitely don’t want to miss this issue. While it isn’t the strongest showing of Villain’s Month, it does a solid job of raising the anticipation for the next chapter of Forever Evil.
6.5 out of 10! Worth a look if you’re a Forever Evil fanatic.