by Jeremy DeFatta
My review for this week is Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s Injustice: Year Two #2 digital-first edition (released on Jan. 21), which is the middle third of the print copy of Injustice: Year Two #1, which was released in full on Jan. 15 if my sources are correct. Confused yet? Good!
This is a story meant to upset the status quo and send you reeling. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Injustice in its entirety is a tie-in to a video game by the creators of Mortal Kombat. The comic is intended to be a prequel of sorts to set up the world in which the game is set, and it is a terrifically unfamiliar version of the DC Universe. The basic premise is this: the Joker comes to Metropolis on a murder spree and pulls off his greatest atrocities ever. Superman, who is eternally at war within himself as to what his role among humans should be, finally snaps and kills the Joker in retaliation.
Fast forward a little and you have two factions, Superman’s side dedicated to ending crime and warfare through whatever means necessary, and Batman’s side dedicated to resisting and upholding the old ways. You eventually see Superman presented as a god pushing humanity in (what he sees as) the best direction possible and Batman as a hunted outlaw, always only a few steps ahead of his former friend.
With Year Two firmly under way, Taylor’s exploration of this non-continuity story remains strong. His purposeful character use and raw characterization are perhaps the most consistently pleasing aspects of the story—Taylor understands DC, its appeal, and how to turn this appeal on its head while still telling a powerful story.
Honestly, this is one of the best things DC is putting out right now. The bravery and audacity of shaping Superman into a story’s villain has paid off extremely well, despite Taylor’s own discomfort in doing so. This issue in particular is a step along the way to something greater and sees the shocking introduction of several fan-favorite characters to Injustice.
Go out and find the print copy of this comic at your local comic shop or follow it weekly online. Either way, you are in for one hell of a ride.
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images copyright DC Comics.