Sunday, 14 June 2015

Justice League, Volume 5: Forever Heroes Review (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis)

Like the last volume, Justice League, Volume 5: Forever Heroes is a collection of bad filler issues. You also have to have read Forever Evil to understand what’s happening here as these issues are tie-ins to that event. 

Half the book is devoted to explaining the banal origins of each member of the Crime Syndicate: Ultraman, Owlman, Power Ring, Grid, Johnny Quick and Atomica (but not Superwoman for some reason…). Here’s a clue: they’re like their “good” counterparts’ origins but predictably “evil”. 

So we see evil Jor-Il and evil Lara sending evil Kal-Il to evil Earth even though, a) why would they be selfless if they’re so evil, and b) why send their son to a planet where the sun’s rays will harm him? See, the plan to “just do the opposite” of the origin is pretty stupid. 

Owlman’s origins are wholly unconvincing as to his intentions of winning over this Earth’s Dick Grayson, and the others are utterly boring to read. Johnny Quick and Atomica are like Bonnie and Clyde minus any personality until lightning strikes and yaaaaawwwn! they becomes superheroes and such. Grid wants to feel feelings, he wants to be a real boy - so basically Pinocchio! Real original thinking, Geoff Johns! 

So where are the Justice League in this book called Justice League, you ask? They’re not here. Yup. But wait, nobody’s favourite hero Cyborg is and he decides to go looking for Dr William Magnus who’s invented some androids called Metal Men. They’ll save the Justice League together! … yay?

I got a strong Michael Bay-Transformers vibe from the Metal Men which pretty much ensured a dislike of these chumps from the start. They’re chatty, they’re rude, they like to fight, they’re… annoying. Doom Patrol make an extremely brief cameo (maybe they feature more prominently in another Forever Evil tie-in) but I would’ve much preferred Cyborg team up with them than the Metal Men. 

The art’s not bad despite there being 13 - yes, 13! - artists on this book (not even counting colourists!). It’s the usual big, bombastic superhero-style art and, like Johns’ big, bombastic superhero-style writing, it’s tedious to see page after page of. 

Forever Heroes’ biggest problem is how boring it is. There’s so little imagination to this volume, my attention kept drifting away to other things - the Crime Syndicates origins really aren’t worth bothering with. It’s also a very unsatisfying read as it only has half a story, abruptly ending in the middle of Cyborg and the Metal Men’s fight. 

Will the Justice League appear in the next volume of Justice League? Maybe! Imagine that - not even banking on the title characters appearing in their own book! Well, given the quality of the series so far, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Forever Forgettable!

Justice League, Volume 5: Forever Heroes

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