When I first heard about this book, I was thinking it was going to be a direct tie-in to the main Forever Evil story. However, it's been a pretty nice read all by itself. Yeah, it would be helpful to know what's going on in the DCU, but it isn't necessary if you want to pick this book up.
The comic opens up with a fight between a venom-hyped group of Bane's, against Kirk Langstrom and his army of Man-Bats. Then we catch up of Jim Gordon and Detective Pierce, who are hiding out in a mobile food vendor, getting a bite to eat. Meanwhile, outside, Bane is meeting with the Penguin, as the try to work out a partnership. Bane acknowledges that the Penguin will play both sides, in order to do what's best for himself. Oswald agrees to help Bane as well, as long as Bane kills Ogilvy. Penguin then tells Bane that Scarecrow and Langstrom's group of Man-Bats are already at Blackgate Prison, transporting the frozen Talons to Mr. Freeze for their own use. Bane quickly arrives, and ends up taking a Talon away from Langstrom.
While this is going on, Gordon and Pierce rescue the warden (Agatha) from Blackgate while the villains are fighting each other. Agatha keeps asking if they can go back to help her assistant, but Gordon can't risk it, as they make their escape in an older 60's model police car, and tells them they will try to get him tomorrow. Bane then stops them, as he has Agatha's assistant in his arms. He sets his body down on the hood of the car, and walks away saying, "We want the same thing… For the moment. I too can play the angles."
The first half of this issue seemed drawn out to me. The conversation between Bane and Penguin… I liked it, but it seemed to last for a long time. This series (I know it's only the second issue, but including the villians month books), has felt like its been creeping along. So when the last eight pages started picking up, it was a warm welcome. I felt like there was a few references that I missed. For example, when Gordon is talking to Pierce, he mentions Gotham being taken over by the Green, which is a Swamp Thing reference. Earthquakes, which is a reference to No Man's Land. And then by plagues, which is the one I missed. Also, when they are escaping Blackgate in Gordon's old car, I felt like that was supposed to be an Easter egg to something, but I'm not sure what from.
Hopefully Peter Tomasi's slow building story is about to pay off. I'm not just hoping that, but I have a feeling things are about to start happening quickly. Scott Eaton's artwork has been a nice surprise for me. I haven't recognized his work before, and I've enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Something about it reminds me of Brett Booth, so if you like his stuff, you should feel right at home reading this.
Forever Evil: Arkham War #2:
Reviewed by Corbin Pool