Of the three Forever Evil mini-series running alongside the main story, Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. seems to have the most frustrating misnomer. Sure, Arkham War and Rogues Rebellion are each a little different than most readers believed they would be, but A.R.G.U.S. doesn’t seem to be much about Advanced Research Group Uniting Superheroes.
This series gives readers a look at the world controlled by the Crime Syndicate through the lens of a normal, non-superpowered person. Without the ability to move mountains or fly to safety, these A.R.G.U.S. agents have to rely on themselves and each other without electricity, running water, or ay support of any kind.
This series should really be called Forever Evil: The Steve Trevor Show because A.R.G.U.S. is barely a concern for writer Sterling Gates. Trevor is the focus from beginning to end, with actual other A.R.G.U.S. agents only popping up for a brief interlude mid-issue to figure out what to do the President of the United States through this entire Crime Syndicate ordeal. Oh, and Trevor’s epic battle with Deathstroke advertised on the cover? That’s only about 2½ panels.
Though Gates has done well writing a series with A.R.G.U.S. as the setting in Justice League of America’s Vibe, this Forever Evil tie-in has none of the same grace and fun anticipation that Vibe delivers each and every month. In fact, it basically clunks through the story, relying on thin ‘surprises’ to keep readers interested.
Blockbuster smashing through a wall, Shadow Thief threatening the President, Killer Frost’s mental breakdown, the introduction then death of The Hotness (all on one page), the revelation that A.R.G.U.S. has a multidimensional safe house for the POTUS, and Steve Trevor’s creepy room full of Wonder Woman stuff are all just flimsy ways to keep an ailing series plodding on. Gates makes it seem like these are big reveals and important moments when in reality, they’re distractions from the fact that Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. just isn’t that interesting of a series.
At this point in the New 52, Steve Trevor is somewhat synonymous with A.R.G.U.S. because he was the original liaison to the Justice League, and the organization was created with his leadership in mind. Unfortunately, this is not an excuse to make a series supposedly about A.R.G.U.S. focus solely on one man. The problem is that most of what happens in Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #2 either isn’t important, or could be conveyed in the main series.