Title: Justice League.
Story-arc: Forever Heroes.
Universe: The New 52.
Writer(s): Geoff Johns.
Artist(s): Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke, Joe Prado, Jesus Marino, Vicente Cifuentes, Scott Hanna, Oclair Albert, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Eber Ferreira, Rob Hunter, Mark Irwin & Andy Lanning.
Colourist(s): Rob Reis, Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina & Tomeu Morey.
Letterer(s): Nick J. Napolitano & Dezi Sienty.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: March 17th, 2015.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on the DC Universe New 52’s Justice League series:
Justice League (Vol. 1): Origin by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 2): The Villain’s Journey by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 3): Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 3.5): Trinity by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 4): The Grid by Geoff Johns
Forever Evil (Vol. 4.5) by Geoff Johns
Following crossover events, there’s usually an unavoidable amount of spin-offs, fillers, and tie-ins that are released to give readers the chance to get more insight into certain characters, subplots, and events. While the quality usually wavers immensely in comparison to the main story arc, these stories can sometimes surprise the savviest of readers. It’s in the effort put into seamlessly justifying their pertinence that makes these stories so appealing in the end. Writer Geoff Johns thus accomplishes the unexpected with this fifth volume in his New 52 Justice League run by exploring origin stories of the very villains at the heart of the chaos in one of the greatest crossover events at DC Comics while also focusing on the one hero that even brought the Justice League together in the first place.
What is Justice League: Forever Heroes about? Set during the Forever Evil event, this volume collects origin stories for the members of the deadly Crime Syndicate as well as a story arc unveiling the subplot around Cyborg’s rise from the dead and his quest to bring in the Metal Men to help him take down Grid. Collecting Justice League issues #24-29, New York Times best-selling writer Geoff Johns offers fans the chance to discover the motives behind the evil mirror images of the Justice League, from Owlman to Ultraman, while also introducing fresh and colourful heroes to the universe, right when it needs them most.
“Human. Tech. I don’t choose sides, Grid. I’m the bridge between them. I’m a cyborg.”
— Geoff Johns
As odd as it might be in terms of chronology, this volume follows up to Forever Evil with what could be described as a companion story arc with its exploration of the origin stories of all the members part of the Crime Syndicate. Creatively told, writer Geoff Johns utilizes interesting storytelling devices to unveil these backstories, such as utilizing villains to narrate the origin stories of other villains. Since the Crime Syndicate is constituted of alternate and evil versions of our heroes from another universe, it was also fascinating to see how their lives were different and inevitably turned them into broken individuals driven by evil desires.
This volume also explores a sub-plot that was loosely presented in Forever Evil regarding Cyborg’s character and his downfall. This time around, the story presents his endeavour which ultimately leads him to help the Justice League in their own complex little nuclear predicament. Throughout his adventure, writer Geoff Johns also introduces the Metal Men who draw a lot of similarities with his past creations but nevertheless remains entertaining, to say the least. With the explosive and sensational artwork, the story was able to remain as theatrical, if not predictable, as it is usually expected from the New 52 Justice League run.
Justice League: Forever Heroes is a thrilling exploration of brand-new villains’ origins while displaying the war between man and machine in the midst of the end of the world.