Hobby Hole: Dec. 24, 2013 Comic Reviews

Forever Evil no. 4 by Geoff Johns and David Finch | DC | $3.99

I noted in my review of Forever Evil's last issue that the story's strong momentum had taken a beating as the book shifted focus toward serving only the Rogues, with a spattering of Luthor thrown in for good measure. 

Thankfully, we gain some solid ground this issue as the story builds toward its eventual throwdown conclusion, not the least of which was a return to full-blown action. But the most welcome was undoubtedly Batman finally getting to use all his fun toys originally purposed for the Justice League against the Crime Syndicate. That was a plot device that's been around for some time now and it was nice to get some payoff, even if it wasn't exactly how I would have liked. There was also some phenomenal characterization, particularly between Catwoman and Batman, and Luthor and Bizarro (who receives an interesting twist on the naming convention that made me outright giggle).

Finch delivers some amazing visuals this issue, from the grand overview of the batcave at the start to a psychotic Green Lantern to a black lantern Batman and, of course, that last page reveal. The layouts were rather varied as well, shifting perception and narration on every page as he changed style from splashes to tight panels lining every edge that merged classic storytelling with the more modern techniques.

Hobby Hole score: 9.2/Fantastic
Previous issue's score: 7.9/Alright

Justice League no. 26 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis | DC | $3.99

It's hard to tell for certain when this issue takes place, though I'm confident it's before the above issue of Forever Evil. The events within this issue aren't necessary for the ongoing conflict, as they provide mostly just additional background information on the members of the Crime Syndicate that have yet to be fully fleshed out. The results are mixed, as we spend little time and gain only marginal  information on each one's origin compared to the few issues we've already had dedicated to Owlman and Ultraman.

The framing device focusing on Grid was, unfortunately, not effective nor original, the monologue delivered so over-the-top it came off as amateur. However, the Crime Syndicate tidbits were intriguing, if not too brief, particularly Green Lantern's, which is so different from what I know of the character that I would love to read more. Such disappointment occurred a few times throughout the book, and I never truly felt satisfied. Thankfully, Reis' art maintained its strength throughout the issue, though the plethora of inkers and colorists stole the visual show outright.

Hobby Hole score: 7.7/Alright
Previous issue's score: 8.8/Great