By Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Keith Champagne & Rod Reis
Forever Evil is inching to its conclusion as Cyborg and the Metal Men prepare their counterattack. The first mark is the Crime Syndicate’s Grid which leads to a fairly intense psychological, or rather digital, battle
Leave it to Mr. Johns to humanize a villainous android. His characterization of Grid is a dark twist on the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. In a broader perspective, Geoff writes for several non-human characters in this issue and makes them relatable. The Metal Men want only to help and better the world, something most comic book readers probably empathize with. What is a brilliant move is having the final confrontation between Cyborg and Grid not be an all-out physical brawl, but rather a battle of the cybernetic mind. Johns really delivers on what it means to be human and knowing one’s true self.
Doug Mahnke’s work was a bit of a culture shock considering Ivan Reis did the past couple issues. The style is noticeably darker, which would match the tone of the impending battle and the unknown outcomes. The collaboration of inker Keith Champagne and colorist Rod Reis really delivers on this theme. The majority of the battles take place in the rain; very atmospheric and ominous. Contrasting that with the brightness of the Metallic characters makes for some visually arresting pages in the last third of the book.
If you’re already in this deep in the Forever Evil storyline, then there is no reason not to continue reading. The plot continues to develop new and old characters alike, even as the end approaches…Gotta love the Geoff Johns approach!