A month from now, the villains of the DC Universe take center stage as the comics focus on them. Along with that is a new miniseries, Forever Evil, that will be taking place after the Trinity War event. As Geoff Johns states in a promotional video for Trinity War, “The villains win”. However, in a breaking announcement, Johns has revealed that it’s not the villains on the cover. Instead, it will be the fan favorite Criminal Syndicate of America, an evil analogue to the Justice League from Earth 3, a parallel Earth where our greatest heroes are our worst villains and vice versa. Instead, the featured villains who are the stars of Forever Evil join forces to stop an even worse bunch of scum from destroying the world.
The Crime Syndicate of America first appeared in Justice League of America #29 and #30 in 1964 (full disclosure, I actually have the issues in question since my dad gave me his old comics when I was a kid). The short summary is thus: Continuing the adventures on parallel Earths, the JLA and JSA come into conflict with the villainous Crime Syndicate of America, whose members include Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick. These villains trick and trap the two groups of heroes in various ways. In the end, the JLA take the fight to the CSA and win. They quickly free the JSA from a prison that could have destroyed Earths 1 and 2. The heroes place the villains in the cell instead and send the destructive force into the void. They place signs in various languages warning people to not release the villains and head home. Since then, the CSA has appeared in the JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel by Grant Morrison, Superman/Batman Annual #1, Trinity, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis, to name a few. They were also the villains of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. This will be their first appearance in the New 52. Ever since art from the upcoming Forever Evil #1 was released with what appears to be Superwoman breaking into Arkham, people have been wondering if the CSA would finally be making an appearance. It is now confirmed that the CSA are indeed the main villains here. They are joined by a new character named Deathstorm. Johns describes the new CSA as thus:
“It’s all about personality and individual story. With Power Ring, for instance, [David] has done an amazing job of illustrating how the ring affects the greatest coward the ring could find. And Deathstorm sees Power Ring as a fascinating experiment. Deathstorm is a scientist who’s been merged with the dead body of his lab assistant. It’s given him a cold demeanor and a clammy touch. He’s essentially a mad Nazi scientist with Atomic Power at his hand. Johnny Quick has his kills-for-thrills attitude is all over his face; he’s smiling, he’s excited. He’s finally found a place he can have some fun with again. And he’s been through hell. He wants to give that hell back to everyone he encounters. Owlman is searching for control, he knows the world can’t be plunged into chaos – it needs systems to function. And he wants to control those systems. He wants to control everything. Superwoman is probably the most manipulative of them all. She is the most frightening because of the secrets she has. We really wanted to twist our superheroes inside out.’”
As a result of the CSA causing more chaos then even THEY would go, the various villains of the DC Universe, along with Batman, group together to fight off the CSA. As the new promotional image says, “Evil is Relative”. However, Johns is not tipping his hat all the way:
“I’ve revealed a lot, but not everything. You can see Batman in this art. What’s that about? Why would Batman follow Luthor? Is that even Bruce Wayne?! There are many more surprises coming up. Because if there’s anything about villains you do know, it’s that they’re unpredictable.”
Personally, I hope that this will be an exciting adventure typical of these parallel Earth trips; and if it means an eventual meetup between Earth Prime and Earth 2, I’m all for it.
I also worry about where the Justice League is during this. Captured? Hamstrung? Busy with anything else? And what does the CSA possibly have planned for Nightwing (as he will be an important character in this arc and it has been hinted he might wish he was dead when this is all over). I also hope that the villains, especially Owlman, are devious. Here is a taste of Owlman’s villainy:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-rl0tfQO9E]
Who knows what this nefarious bunch of villains have planned for Earth. Needless to say, we should be rooting for the lesser of two evils; because right now, Lex Luthor and his bunch of murderers, psychopaths, would be tyrants, and thieves are what stands between the CSA and utter chaos.
After all, world conquering supervillains from another dimension is just bad business.