Justice League: Gods and Monsters

We all know the Justice League and its main member, Superman, and how he is the son of general Zod, was sent to earth, narrowly missing capture by Lex Luther, and raised by migrant farm workers. Okay, maybe you don't know this version, which has a much darker, bloodier group of superheroes, and now someone's trying to frame them for the murders of scientists (shockingly, murders they did not commit, this time). This was an enjoyable, animated film, but I think you'll enjoy it the most when you have a least some general idea how the DC universe is being turned upside down, otherwise it is just a bunch of meaningless names with much less impact. Definitely worth it if you're a DC comics fan, but otherwise probably not. See if you catch the references to drug use and sex.

Forever Evil - Geoff Johns

Maybe I should start with the positives. This is a story about the super villain Lex Luther, who has no superpower other than genius and egotism. After evil doppelgängers of the Justice League invade our world (the world of The New 52) and declared themselves masters of it, Luther and a small group of B level villains decide to fight back. I do like stories the focus on the bad guys' point of view, and especially those that involve second string characters. There's enough action and characterization here to keep me entertained and so I will recommend reading this. However, time to deal with the negatives. First of all, I thought The New 52 was supposed to be a kind of jumping on point for new readers. I'm pretty well-versed in DC mythology, yet there was a lot here where I have no idea what's going on, so for newcomers I can't think they'll be anything but lost. Additionally, there are really two directions to take a story like this in: Either you have it span over dozens of issues or more and allow the hundreds of characters that you pan over in the art and the first couple of issues to all have their say and matter in the overall story. Or, you accept the fact that the heart of the story really only involves a dozen characters and you immediately focus attention on them, so that you can work on character development and tell a good story. Johns try to play both ways, which accomplishes nothing more than wasting the first couple of issues. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Should it have been better? Definitely, and easily done. forever evil