Injustice: Year Two – A Review

Injustice_Year_Two_Vol_1_1

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.

supermankillsjoker

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.

Support your local comic shops! Tweet me @quaintjeremy. Let me know your thoughts below.

images copyright DC Comics.

Who exactly is Earth-2 Batman?

Injustice #6 - cover art by Mico Suayan

Injustice #6 – cover art by Mico Suayan

by Jeremy DeFatta

Today’s exploration of Batman will be somewhat short, given that this version is (officially) unknown. Today I want to briefly mention the Earth 2 Batman. Once we know more of him, we will return and discuss him in detail.

POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING: The internet seems convinced that the new Batman of Earth 2 is Thomas Wayne, and likely the version from Flashpoint (somehow). Given his behavior in Earth 2 #18, however, I’m going to just throw out there that I think he might be that world’s curmudgeonly Jason Todd. What do you guys who are reading this title think? END SPOILERS.

The real point of today’s posting is to draw attention to Tom Taylor, the current writer of Earth 2 and the Injustice: Gods Among Us tie-in comic, which is seriously one of the best things DC is putting out right now. An Australian powerhouse, Taylor is probably DC’s most under-appreciated asset, which is a shame. Few will contest that DC is losing horribly to Marvel and Image when it comes to the quality of their writers—in fact, if DC were to somehow lose Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder, Brian Azerello, and (sometimes) Jeff Lemire, they would be in trouble. That might not be entirely fair, but I want to illustrate the position DC has placed itself in by green-lighting poorly executed projects and alienating legitimate talent—they’ve all but lost Grant Morrison and J. H. Williams III at this point.

Taylor, on the other hand, may be DC’s salvation. They need only trust in him. His treatment of non-primary continuity realities has been fantastic and eye-opening, and I can’t wait to see not only future issues of the series he is currently writing, but also any other project he might take up. He is definitely worth a look, either through the weekly digital first versions of Injustice, or the monthly print copies of it and Earth 2, available at your local comic shop.

What do you, my faithful readers, think of Tom Taylor’s writing so far? Here is a link to his (sadly underpopulated) Facebook page.

My recommendations for this week:

Go digging for something by Tom Taylor. The entire the first year of Injustice is available on comiXology for 99 cents a pop.

Forever Evil #5
Hawkeye #16
East of West #9
Pretty Deadly #4

This last one is especially important, because Kelly Sue Deconnick is seriously one of the greatest comics writers currently working, no qualifiers like “best female” necessary. Check out her work, too, and expect future returns to her body of work!

As always, support your local comic shops! Discuss this week’s topics below, and feel free to shoot a tweet at me @quaintjeremy.

image: Injustice #6 cover by Mico Suayan via Comic Vine