After seven spectacular issues, Geoff Johns and David Finch’s villainous Forever Evil saga has at last reached its fittingly hardcore conclusion. Within its forty pages, this week’s FOREVER EVIL #7 manages to bring the destructive events of the previous six issues—along with last year’s Trinity War—to a satisfying conclusion. Despite the book’s title, good triumphs over evil and does so in perhaps more ways than expected. The Crime Syndicate and the fearsome Alexander Luthor are defeated and order is restored.
Which doesn’t mean that the final issue answered all of our questions. In fact, you could argue that it raised as many of them as it answered, with a few of the unresolved threads possessing the potential to rock the DC Multiverse to its very core. But will they all come into play? If not, which ones will? Here’s a list of five key questions that were left unanswered by Forever Evil, and what they may mean for The New 52. Note that we’re about to get into heavy SPOILER territory, so if you haven’t yet read Forever Evil #7, you probably want to stop reading right here.
Still with us? Then here we go…
Is the Crime Syndicate truly defeated?
They may have had their keesters handed to them by Lex Luthor and his “Injustice League,” with many of them failing to survive the process (these ARE villains saving the day after all—their heroism really only extends so far). However, they didn’t all die. Ultraman seems to be in a pretty sorry state, but what about Superwoman? She may be incarcerated, but she’s still pregnant, and with that cryptic statement she made about her child bringing about a “new age of darkness,” it’s hard to imagine that her story is done.
But the real loose cannon is likely Owlman considering he’s still at large and has absolutely nothing to lose at this point. We’ll see if he tries to free his two former teammates, but based on what he said prior to disappearing, it’s more likely we’ll see him pursuing Dick Grayson. Something that will only be easier now that Grayson’s out in the open.
How was Batman able to connect with the imprisoned Wonder Woman?
To release the Justice League from Firestorm’s prison, someone with a close emotional tie to Diana had to connect with her using her Lasso of Truth. It was Steve Trevor who obtained the lasso, and it looked like he was going to be the guy to free the League, but in an unexpected turn of events, it was Batman who wound up making the connection. So how did he do it?
Bruce responded in his typical fashion, stating simply that they’ve “known each other a long time.” But as Catwoman asked, is that really all it is? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. This is Batman we’re talking about. But if there are any unrequited feelings—or even worse, any actual romantic history—between Batman and Wonder Woman that we don't yet know about, that’s sure going to make things awkward when it comes to dealing with Superman.
What can we expect from the newly introduced Ted Kord?
Near the end of the issue, we’re introduced to a brilliant young grad student named Ted Kord. If you recall, at the start of Forever Evil, Ted’s father attempted to prevent Lex Luthor from buying Kord Industries. It didn’t go very well, and now that ownership of the company has passed to Ted, you couldn’t be faulted for assuming that Ted would also inherit the responsibility of dealing with LexCorp’s hostile takeover.
However, that’s not how things went down. In what seems like a dramatic change of heart, Lex refused Ted’s offer to sell the company to him. Instead, he insisted Ted keep it and offered his professional guidance any time the young Kord might need it. It’s possible that the events of Forever Evil have led to a genuine change in the character of Lex Luthor—other events in the issue certainly support this idea—but you can’t be too sure. This is Lex Luthor we’re talking about, after all, and it’s entirely possible he’s playing a much less altruistic game. Plus, if you’re familiar with the character of Ted Kord, you know it’s very likely we’ll be seeing him again and soon. It seems almost certain that Ted has a destiny within the The New 52… but what is it?
And speaking of Lex Luthor…
What will Lex Luthor do now that he knows Bruce Wayne is Batman?
If there’s one character at the heart of Forever Evil, it's Lex Luthor. The series begins with him and he takes the central role in this final issue. As we mentioned above, it even seems like the events of Forever Evil have brought about a change in the character. He seems like he may be turning over a new leaf. But can a person like Luthor really change?
It’s an important question in light of the revelation that he knows Batman’s identity. Lex himself suggests that it’s “going to change everything.” Considering that he's now a part of the Justice League, you could accuse Lex of stating the obvious. But the question of how it’s going to change everything remains a very important and still unanswered one.
Finally, what does that last page mean for the Justice League and The New 52?
The question of what destroyed the Crime Syndicate’s world isn’t answered until the very final page of Forever Evil, and it’s actually answered in a pretty unusual way. We’re given the answer, but the Justice League isn’t. However, the Justice League thinks they have the answer. They believe Darkseid is returning. But it’s not Darkseid who destroyed Earth-3, it’s the Anti-Monitor.
But like with many characters when they're first introduced in The New 52, the Anti-Monitor seems to have different motivations than he has in the past. He seems like he’s pursuing Darkseid. But why? And who is he working with? Johns and Finch take great care to keep the Anti-Monitor's companion off camera. It seems like a certainty that we’ll see the Anti-Monitor again soon, but where remains a mystery? Will it be in Justice League? Green Lantern? Superman? The New 52: Futures End? We’ll have to wait and see.
Those are our questions, but there are plenty more. Which unanswered questions are you curious about coming out of Forever Evil? Which revelations are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below.