Justice League of America: Survivors of Evil

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While the Crime Syndicate was busily taking over the Earth, the question was raised: Where was the Justice League?

The heroes of the world had been imprisoned, uniquely, within the Firestorm matrix, each in a world that capitalized on their psychological weaknesses, trapped in scenarios that prevent them from realizing they're in a fiction. Only the Martian Manhunter and Stargirl understand what is happening, as they probe deeper into the prison. But are they in the process of rescuing the heroes, or are they in a prison themselves?

This tangent arc from the Forever Evil story is written by Matt Kindt and features artwork from Tom Derenick, Eddy Barrows, and Dough Mahnke. It's really a character study on Stargirl and Martian Manhunter, and so long as it sticks to that focus, it succeeds. It's only when it attempts to reference the overarching plot where it gets shaky, as the scenes conflict with what we know happened in Forever Evil. And even then, most of those conflicting points happen because of the intentional misdirection of the environment in which the heroes find themselves embroiled.

The reasons I was mostly let down by the story had to do with Kindt not being allowed to finish it. We have our two protagonists get the information about how the escape will happen, and we know they have to get to Wonder Woman to pull it off. And then we're jumping into the epilogue, because the actual escape occurs within Forever Evil. And the epilogue itself? That's just a filler issue setting things up for the new Justice League United series, filled with its own logical inconsistencies. Why is Martian Manhunter having to fight his way to Courtney, when the want him to meet with her? To fill pages, of course.

As a way to dig deeper into the origins of the two main characters, "Survivors of Evil" succeeds. However, it's the weakest of the Forever Evil tie-ins, and an even weaker Launchpad for a new series. Get into this one for the good parts, and try to forgive the anticlimax.

3.5 / 5.0