Friday, December 11, 2015

Tales From The $3.99 Bin! - Justice League #25

Today, I think it’s time to look at one of the few villains that are similar to Batman. This one is pretty obvious: Owlman. He’s Batman’s opposite from Earth-3. Back in the 1960’s, Owlman first appeared along with the Crime Syndicate of America back in Justice League of America #29. In modern times, the character was made to actually be the older brother of Bruce Wayne, Thomas Wayne Jr. He’s pretty much Batman only evil and sporting an owl fascination. Now, there is another Owlman who’s actually a part of Scott Snyder’s run on Batman, but I’m not talking about that one. I just wanted to make that clear.

Today’s issue is Justice League #25 from 2013. This is another tie-in to the event, Forever Evil. Back in September, I looked at the tie-in that revolved around Ultraman. I know I’ll have to talk about that event one day. Geoff Johns (DC’s Lord and Overseer) is the writer. Pencils are actually handled by Doug Mahnke this time around. The inks are handled by a multitude. Mahnke’s pencils usually get a lot of inkers for some reason. DC probably wanted to get this out on time I guess.They are Christian Almany, Mark Irwin, Keith Champange, and Doug Mahkne.

Justice League #25
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne and Doug Mahnke
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina, and Rod Reis
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editors: Kate Durre and Brad Cunningham

"Forever Lost"
We start the issue on Earth-3 about 30 years. The Waynes have left Monarch Theatre with their two sons, Thomas Jr. and Bruce. While Bruce is being really whiny, Thomas Sr. and Martha are being mere douches. Remember, this is Earth-3 where good people are douches. Suddenly, Thomas Jr. pulls a gun on his parents. Apparently, he and Bruce want to do them in and get their money.  Bruce gains a conscious and tries to stop his brother. Still, the Waynes die on this Earth from another assailant: Alfred Pennyworth, their butler. Alfred even shoots Bruce and leaves Thomas Jr. to finish his little brother off. After their deaths, Thomas spots an owl and this inspires him.
Oh man, it ends like one of those intros to Arrow and The Flash! Next, he'll go on how he needs to be someone else... something else.

We then cut to present day on the main Earth. Owlman has decided to go to Chicago in order to take control of the remaining mobs in the city. He pretty much kills anyone there like the mob bosses and some flunkies. One of the flunkies was a guy named Eel O’Brian and he gets accidentally doused with chemicals that deform him. On the roof, Owlman takes the surviving gangsters and basically forces one of them to work under him while the other falls to his death. The survivor is Frank Bertinelli and Owlman seals the deal by branding Beterinelli with the shape of an owl.

Owlman then heads to the Syndicate’s headquarters where he, Grid (Cyborg’s opposite), and the Outsider (Earth-3 Alfred) converse. They mention how others have stopped heroes like the Teen Titans from fighting against them. They’ve used a captured Nightwing for bait. Owlman then leaves and tells Grid to deactivate all of the cameras to Dick’s cell. Owlman wants to see if he can turn Nightwing to his side. Aflred agrees even though it may not work. We eventually find out that Thomas Jr. wants Dick by his side because he lost his original Robin on Earth-3. We also find out that it was he who caused Earth-3 Robin’s parents’ death.

In Nightwing’s cell, Owlman lets Dick know who he is and tries to be civil with him. Dick breaks his cuffs and tries to fight him. Owlman then tells Dick his plan for taking down the Syndicate and ruling the world on his own. Owlman wants to actually help rid the world of crime since he’s already lost one world to destruction. Realizing he has nothing left (his identity was leaked to the world), Dick decides to help Owlman in stopping the Syndicate. The issue ends with Superwoman standing outside the cell listening to their conversation in secret.
At least things turned out well for Dick in the end...


I thought this was another nice tie-in to that event. We get to see what really drives Owlman: a twisted sense of family. He and Batman do share things to a point. Thomas is much more manipulative and cruel than Bruce could ever be. We also see that the Syndicate may be together but most of them have their own agendas. This gets rockier on down the line with other members of the team. I liked the twisted flashback to Owlman’s past. The artwork was good overall. Mahnke isn’t one of my favorite current artists, but he always does a good job when it comes to doing this stuff.

As for my qualms, I did think it was weird that Johns essentially wrote an origin in for the Plastic Man. It was something that felt shoehorned in for little reason. I guess Johns is going to eventually pick it up in the book someday. I know he currently hasn’t come back to it yet. The main cover is also pretty misleading. When matching this issue up with the event, it can seem a bit slow. While I liked a lot of the artwork, some of it did feel a little flat. I think it may have been one of the many inkers and colorists that did it. Other than that stuff, this was good.

Overall, this was a nice tie-in. I keep coming back to this event, so I know I’ll have to look at it here one day. I have all the main series as well as the JL tie-ins, so I could probably do it. The character has had some appearances outside of the comics. He was in the animated movie, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, and he also appeared on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. He’s also still around in the comics somewhere, so Forever Evil isn’t the last you may see of him. Well, I’m done for today. Next time is going to be different and one of the few surprises I have for this month. Until then, Peace and God Bless.


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