We start out on the planet of Krypton 25 years ago, in what we'll call the Earth 3 universe. The people of Krypton are frantically scrambling, trying to escape from the planet. Meanwhile, while looking for an escape pod for their son, Jor-il and Laura are blasting the competition away with some sort of ray gun, all while having the "Only the strongest will survive" mentality. Jor mentions that their son is their only chance at revenge on the being who is destroying Krypton, giving us a hint at his motivation for what he is doing. Once they find a pod they approve of, they place their son, Kal-il, in and launch him away. If you have a twisted since of humor, like me, you literally laughed out loud when you get the banter from Laura, and she blames her husband for what's happening, and Jor responds "Shut up and die, Laura." We then get to ride in the pod with Kal, as he's making his trip to Earth. With his father's voice-over is telling his son what is expected of him, and how he knows that he will fail. Calling him a disappointment.
Then we get to catch up with the Kent family, who, other than the names, are unrecognizable. They are abusive to each other, to drugs, and are about to loose the farm, when Kal's pod crashes right through the middle of their house. As 'Pa and Ma Kent' approach Kal's pod, they see a baby sitting outside the ship, crunching on a piece of Kryptonite like its a cookie. Then, without warning, Kal blasts Jonathan's hand off, and this sweet baby speaks his first words… "You two… You will be my parents now." This lovely family only lasts until Kal turns seven years old, when he decides he doesn't need the Kent's anymore. He kills them, and destroys what was left of the farm.
We then see how Ultraman came into power by killing President Lee Harvey Oswald (for those of you who don't know, the man charged with the assassination JFK. Strange turn of events there) and the formation of the Crime Syndicate. The last panel on page 8 gives us a familiar scene taken from Justice League #22, the first installment of the Trinity War series, where it is now explained that the being who destroyed Krypton, has now destroyed the planet of Earth 3. The only difference in this scene, is that Owlman no longer has bat-ears. We then get Ultraman's perspective on things as he begins to compare how Earth 3 was ran compared to the Earth he is currently on. He goes on saying that it's not about good vs. evil. It's about strength vs. weakness. How his Earth embraced strength, while this one helps the weak. We get to see what the rest of the Crime Syndicate is up to. The most interesting, being that Owlman asks Alfred to see Nightwing, and Superwoman guarding their hooded prisoner.
Next, we see Grid telling Ultraman that he needs to go to Kahndaq to stop the Doom Patrol. Ultraman, though, is so curious to see how 'weak' this world is, goes to visit the Daily Planet. Jimmy Olsen and Lois seem to be the only two holding out hope that Superman is still alive. Things go south when Ultraman shows up, and roughs up everyone at the Daily Planet. But they are saved by Black Adam, who apparently has a problem with how Ultraman and his allies like to run things. To be continued in Forever Evil #3…
This issue did a good job of giving us a backstory of Ultraman, while not spending too much time there. The majority of this comic still progresses the story of Forever Evil. So far, this has been the most relevant 'Forever Evil' tie-in of the series. Johns does good having his titles intertwine so that they don't have to last so long, but I could see how that would leave a reader frustrated that they have to buy more than one book to get a story. Some plot points that I found interesting were 1) Owlman wanting to speak with Dick Grayson, 2) the still mysterious hooded prisoner, and 3) the reveal that Superwoman is Lois Lane, the Amazon. I keep wondering who the hooded prisoner is, and my bet is that is is Earth 3 Bruce Wayne… But that's probably wrong. The Reis brothers, along with Joe Prado do a great job on the art. Where as Finch's art in Forever Evil tends to struggle (most notably in the faces), Reis' art is consistently good throughout. The colors pop where they should, and are muted when things should be looking bleak. While this issue does what it needs to do adding to the Forever Evil storyline and giving us information, I didn't come away with that 'wow' factor that I got when I read Forever Evil #2.
Justice League #24:
Reviewed by Corbin Pool