A War For Oblivion Begins In Year Of The Villain: Hell Arisen #1
by Josh Davison
Mild Spoilers Ahead
We return to when Lex Luthor first found the Batman Who Laughs after the Dark Multiverse incursion. Luthor wanted the creature dead, for he knew it would stand in his way in days to come. However, the Batman Who Laughs talked his way into a stay of execution. Now, as the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3 enters its allegiance with Perpetua, the goddess commands Luthor to return to his home Earth. Perpetua fears the unruly powers of the Dark Multiverse wielded by the Batman Who Laughs. She orders Luthor to destroy this dark creature and Lex Luthor dutifully obeys.
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 finds two of the driving forces of “Year of the Villain” coming into collision at last. Perpetua needs the Batman Who Laughs dealt with and Luthor will be the one to slay this beast of the Dark Multiverse–or so Lex hopes.
This issue gives context for the conflict. We know now that Perpetua fears the Dark Multiverse’s powers and why she does so, and we know that Lex’s grand new powers won’t guarantee him an easy victory over the Batman Who Laughs. We also know that the animosity between Apex Lex and the Batman Who Laughs has been brewing for a while.
The Crime Syndicate appearance is pretty cool and it makes a fair amount of sense considering that their world has already embraced Doom.
The battle only just begins in this issue of course. Lex and the Batman Who Laughs don’t encounter one another again until the very end of the comic.
Steve Epting is the artist on this venture and that is a great boon to the comic. Epting is one of the modern greats and he shines as strongly as ever in this comic. His detail and texture work is impeccable and he makes the Batman Who Laughs look especially menacing. He’s backed up by colorist Nick Filardi, whose color work is shining and well-balanced as ever in this issue.
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 brings two titanic villains into bloody conflict. It brings a compelling start to what will hopefully be an exciting showdown between Apex Predator Lex Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs. Between a solid script and excellent artwork, this is surely a comic worth recommending. Check it out.
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 comes to us from writer James Tynion IV, artist and cover artist Steve Epting, color artist Nick Filardi, letterer Travis Lanham, and variant cover artist Riccardo Federici.
Final Score: 8/10