Forever Evil: Arkham War #1

I review the first part of the DC Comics mini-series, Forever Evil: Arkham War, written by Peter J. Tomasi with art from Scot Eaton.

Forever Evil, Arkham War #1

Story: Peter J. Tomasi | Pencils: Scot Eaton | Inks: Jamie Mendoza, Norm Rapmund and Mick Gray | Cover: Jason Fabok and Blond | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99

As FOREVER EVIL hits the world, no corner of the DC Universe is in worse shape than Gotham City! Madness and mayhem hit the streets as both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison unleash their prisoners upon the helpless citizens of Gotham. And with no Dark Knight to protect the city, what horrors will follow?

Well then, with Villain’s Month out of the way and the first two issues of Forever Evil done and dusted, it’s time to get stuck into the Forever Evil tie-ins. Arkham War was the book that I was looking forward to the most from these tie-ins and its first issue doesn’t disappoint, setting the stage for what looks set to be a no holds-barred epic war between Batman’s Rogues Gallery and more importantly, a direct clash between Scarecrow’s forces and those under the command of Bane. The Villain’s Month issues (I only read the Bane one, so I only know half of the set-up story) of Bane and Scarecrow establish the setting for us as things look to get very interesting and awesome indeed in what appears to be a New 52 version of No Man’s Land, which I haven’t quite got around to reading yet but know the basic premise.

Peter J. Tomasi is a pretty solid writer with his Batman and Robin series impressing even following the events of Damian’s death. He sets up a solid storyline making use of some of Batman’s lesser known villains as well as the A-Listers, Professor Pyg is an example of some of the lesser known villains making an appearance here and whilst I am utterly clueless about the villain I understand he made a recent appearance in the animated TV show Beware the Batman recently. This issue however has its main focus on Bane, and Tomasi writes the character in such a way that I have to read his speaking parts in Tom Hardy’s voice, allowing for a lot of fun and it really enhances the scenes. The Scarecrow’s moments as well are pretty interesting, and whilst there is no direct conflict between Bane and Scarecrow in this issue I can’t wait to see how things unfold when/if they do meet in Gotham.

Jason Fabok is the current artist on Detective Comics and he’s doing a great job there – and whilst he may only be behind the cover on Forever Evil: Arkham War he still does manage to do a pretty impressive job, bringing a wide variety of villains to life – Man Bat, Scarecrow, Bane, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, all the way to the more recent creations in Batman’s rogue gallery like the Joker’s Daughter and the Court of Owls. The only thing that this cover is lacking is the Joker, but that’s probably given the events of the ending of Death of Family which had some role to play in this outcome. The interior from Scot Eaton is although not the best artwork that I’ve seen in the Batman books, still manages to be pretty strong and does a pretty good job of handling the various villains.

Arkham War #1 doesn’t really do a great job of continuing the ongoing plotline in the war for Arkham – if you’ve read Peter J. Tomasi’s Villain’s Month issues then you’ll pretty much know what’s going on here. However, it’s a nice recap for those who may not have been able to read all of them – and it comes with added cameos of popular villains as well as action on a larger scale than what we’ve seen before. This is the only downside of the issue, but on the whole, things look pretty positive and I can’t wait to see where Peter J. Tomasi and Scot Eaton take us with Arkham War. It’s certainly going to be a mini-series that I’ll be following, however whether I shall pick up the other Forever Evil tie-ins will depend on my budget and my interest in the characters and creative team involved.

VERDICT: 4/5

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