Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Forever Evil: Arkham War #1 of 6
Tomasi, Eaton & Mendoza
The mini-series that chronicles the war for Gotham among the bad guys starts off with a very ordinary and flat first issue. I wasn’t expecting the war to break out in this issue but I was expecting more character work and some definition around the purpose of the war. Instead I got a lot of villains pacing in their respective corners as they wait for the battle to begin. The book is going to need to pick things up in terms of plot, characterization and action if it’s going to stand out among the glut of crossovers that DC is publishing.
Basically the issue shows the beginning of the war from Bane’s side versus the inmates from Arkham’s side. Gotham’s been divided among the likes of the Penguin, Riddler and others, but Bane is bringing a force to take Gotham back.
When the book sticks with Bane it works best. His vision seems clear: he wants what he failed to take from Batman. It’s not clear what his beef is with Penguin and the likes but I’m not sure that matters. Bane finds a group to help him with the invasion and this is all decent stuff.
The book sort of falls apart when it deals with the other characters. The Scarecrow has a role but it isn’t too clear what that role is. The scenes that don’t deal with Bane are simply spread too thin and hold little value at this point.
The artwork is a highlight in the book. If the artwork stays at this high of quality then the mini-series might be worthwhile once the battle begins. The book looks and feels epic. There are some very specific pages that are eye-opening and help make the book read in an entertaining way. The visuals really trump the story in this opening issue.
I think this mini-series has potential. The opening issue doesn’t instill a lot of confidence to follow it for another five issues though. I like the characterization and motivation of Bane but not a whole lot else. Hopefully Tomasi will put it all together in the next issue. This one is a leap of faith.
2 out of 5 Geek Goggles