Forever Evil: Arkham War 1
Peter J. Tomasi, Scott Eaton
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The most underrated writer in the industry has been given yet another chance to shine and Peter J. Tomasi (joined by artist Scot Eaton) takes full advantage of this opportunity. Much like past major DC events he has participated in, he gets to add the human element to the overall theme and story arc. Like his Requiem issue during Final Crisis (under the shadow of Grant Morrison) or in Batman and Robin (under the shadow of Scott Snyder), this Arkham War miniseries (under the shadow of Geoff Johns) is not only a great addition to the main story, but also a fantastic standalone tale on its own. And it’s just an added bonus that the artwork is fantastic. And the Villains Month issues, for the most part, actually meant something. They serve as a perfect preview of things to come and got this longtime Batman fan more excited for this miniseries than the main Forever Evil one. If that’s even possible.
The events of the first issue are pretty straight-forward, jumping right into the upcoming war between Bane and the escaped Arkham Asylum inmates, who have already divided Gotham City into a few divisions. We know from previous Villains Month issues that Two-Face, Scarecrow, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Poison Ivy have declared a truce with one another and that Bane wants the whole city to himself, planning to take over Blackgate Prison by force and then execute Scarecrow in front of the rest of the Arkhamites. But this issue just recaps those events (without being repetitive) and mostly spotlights Bane’s hostile takeover of the prison and the hospital, showing a brutal display of savagery and leaving Professor Pyg alive only as a message to Scarecrow and the rest. It’s going to be great to see the war begin and who will be on Scarecrow’s side and Bane’s side.
Overall, this was a great premiere issue. It makes me wonder why Tomasi and Eaton aren’t working on more DC books. They’re both at the top of their respective games and I honestly don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like this issue. It has enough cameos to satisfy longtime fans and it’s new reader-friendly enough to get the ball rolling for a lapsed or even reluctant Batman (or DC villains) aficionado. I can’t wait to see where this goes and who pops up out of the woodwork. Without Batman to protect the city, Gotham is a little bit crazier than usual. Which is awesome. I’m expecting a few shocks and twists by the end of the miniseries, but with a creative team like this, nothing will be done in vain. It’s an excellent bookend to the main Forever Evil series and an excellent story while we wait for Batman to make his return public.
My Rating: 5/5