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Aeternus Malum.

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Finally the real plan behind Geoff Johns madness, teased since the first issues of the New 52, takes the main stage in Forever Evil #1. Geoff Johns and David Finch have beginnings of something truly spectacular here. Not since the first issue of Marvel’s Civil War has there been an opening shot of an event with so much impact.

Forever Evil #1 picks up shortly after the conclusion of Trinity War, but not directly after Justice League #23’s cliffhanger. Rather than showcasing the fate of the Justice Leagues, Johns merely alludes to the outcome of their battle with the Crime Syndicate. Going down this route really opens up the series to readers who skipped Trinity War by centralizing the conflict away from the Justice League.

There’s so much to keep up with in this story but Johns does an amazing job of making every line of dialogue count. You can clearly see Johns is having a blast giving readers a grand tour of DC’s villain community. In addition to all this; he even puts his own spin that’s so simple but encapsulating of what the Earth-3 incarnations of our heroes should be. Particularly the scene where Ultraman snorts kryptonite best explains that –opposite of the character we know–logic.

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While I’m sure David Finch’s art will land the emotion of some key moments, here it feels a bit rushed. Faces in particular feel like they’re void of any kind of emotion, which is only a flaw because this issue is all about triumph.

Where the issue really strikes the emotional cord is in what happens to fan favorite character, Nightwing. We won’t spoil it for you, but having the characters status quo changed so drastically outside of his own title seems like a huge risk that will be intriguing to see if Johns can set it up by the end of the series to make it pay off for Dick Grayson writer’s in the future.

Ultimately this book is a fantastic jumping back on point if you’ve become disenchanted with the New 52 lately. It’s almost certain evil won’t rule forever but Forver Evil #1 makes you wish it did.

8.5 out of 10! A few art missteps and a missing Justice League didn’t outweigh what works here.