After a huge reveal at the end of Trinity War in bringing Earth-3's Crime Syndicate of America to Earth 1, Forever Evil kicks off with a huge punch in the gut as The Crime Syndicate not only batters and captures Nightwing, but unmasks him to the world and reveals his secret identity, including his name.
Dick Grayson has long been my favorite character in comic books, and this development has me conflicted. On the one hand, I'm scared of the upheaval that is going to result as a consequence of Dick's identity now being public, but the pragmatic side of me sees this as a good thing, because obviously Geoff Johns sees just how important Dick Grayson is in the DCU.
As many of you who know me personally have probably heard from me in discussion, I see Dick Grayson as the most important character in the DCU. He is the glue that binds the DCU together, the ultimate limiting factor in staging a counter attack against the Crime Syndicate. With pre-existing knowledge of their own earth, one in which they rule by force, the Crime Syndicate's revealing of Nightwing's identity can't be a coincidence. Certainly they targeted him because of his connections and leadership across numerous teams and relationships throughout the DCU, right? Has to be intentional, has to be.
If you were to kill off the Justice League, the most powerful and 'important' beings on the planet, who would that leave next in line? Dick Grayson. Nightwing apprenticed under Batman, knows all of the Batfamily, has relationships spanning the DCU from Superman all the way down to Pantha, has led the Teen Titans, The Outsiders and the Justice League (at least in old continuity) at various points in his career. He is a detective, a fighter and most importantly, a leader of heroes.
With Dick down for the count, and the Justice League (presumably...?) dead, who is left to rally the troops and stop the Crime Syndicate's domination of our planet?
Not that this is necessarily going to play out as it seems, heck, we don't even know what the state of things is at this point yet, but I can only speculate on the state of the DCU as it was left when the Crime Syndicate showed up, flaunting a dead Earth-3 Aquaman and purportedly killing off the Justice League.
I'm not sure where Dick Grayson's story goes from here, but make no mistake, I am immediately hooked. This story is going to be big, and it apparently revolves largely around my favorite character, so the excitement level is high for me personally.
All sorts of thoughts about this have been going through my head since reading this last night, and one more I'll throw out there is that it would seem as if John's is setting up a 'face-turn' (as they say in wrestling) for Lex Luthor, at least temporarily.
If Earth 1 is in grave danger, and everyone's collective butts are on the line with everything to lose, I would imagine that even the villains (some of them, at least) would see the benefit in working with the heroes in a temporary alliance for the good of all. Luthor being the shrewd conqueror that he is, I wouldn't put it past him to work with the Earth 1 heroes to ensure that the Crime Syndicate doesn't succeed in enslaving Earth 1. After all, Lex Luthor stands to lose a lot, and John's began this series by foreshadowing that.
I'll make an early call on this one, Nightwing and Lex Luthor could conceivably put their differences aside in order to save Earth 1, and that would be a sight to behold.
Will Johns give us that story? No idea, but I hope so.
What did you think, did this first issue live up to the hype for you as much as it did for me?
Let me know in the comments!