Sunday, 6 July 2014

Injustice Gods Among Us Vol:2

Metropolis has been destroyed by a nuclear device planted inside a pregnant Lois Lane by the Joker, a grieving Superman has taken the law into his own hands and killed the Joker and declared that no one else will suffer while he is still around. With the help of likeminded heroes they have set about policing the world to restore order, but not everyone agrees with Superman and a band of heroes led by Batman are determined to stop him at any cost.

Injustice Gods Among Us Vol:2

The gulf between the two factions of heroes led by a Superman who is now willing to kill, and Batman who isn’t becomes even wider in this second volume of the game tie-in. Superman and his team are now policing the planet with the aim to bring war, tyranny and injustice to an end, all admirable goals but when you’re willing to let people die, be killed or even kill to achieve those goals then questions will be asked. The main man doing the asking is Batman who is not only actively challenging Superman and his team, he is covertly trying to destroy them from within which begs the question who's way is right and who’s is wrong?

There are some interesting subplots also running through the book Damien Batman’s son has aligned himself with Superman against his farther, setting up farther and son issues that you would not want to have in your life. The Flash and Billy Batson (Shazam) are starting to question Superman’s and an increasingly out of control Wonder Woman’s methods, even Superman’s parents are concerned that their son is spiraling out of control and behaving like a petulant child. Their concern is so strong that they are willing to ask for help from Lex Luther in stopping him, Lex is a friend of Superman’s in this universe but as always with Lex his character runs much deeper than that of a mere friend.

Batman’s team is also coming apart with Huntress not totally disagreeing with some of the actions Superman is taking, and other heroes like Green Arrow not totally trusting Batman due to the fact he still won’t share his true identity, his plans or any intel he picks up.

Thrown into the mix are a story with Darkside and his son and a fantastic Harley Quinn and Lobo story, as bounty hunter Lobo is hired by Superman to track down Harley who he holds responsible for the death of Lois amongst others. Unfortunately for Lobo Harleys not the easy target he thought she would be, and things quickly come apart for him quite literally at one point.

The short story which is set 6 months prior to present events and features a young boy who is helped by Superman when his bike is damaged, cleverly shows the change Superman has undergone which is further underlined when the young man says ''I miss the Superman we had before he became all dark and angry''.

One thing this book does not do is pull any punches as both sides make choices that will make you question who is right and who is wrong, the death of an established hero and the climatic confrontation between Batman and Superman which ends with a twist on a classic Batman scene. Are both unexpected and shocking, with the Batman scene as shocking today as it was when it first came out.

This collected edition covers issues 7-12 of the series as well as the annual, the writer is Tom Taylor who also has the reins on DC’s Earth Two book which is another alternative take on the DC heroes. Tom for me is quickly becoming one of the must read writers in comics and I will certainly be checking out any of his future work, the art is patchy and ranges from superb to ok but this can happen with this type of book which was originally released as a digital weekly then a printed monthly. However the art does not detract you from the story which is the best game tie-in story I have ever read, it’s just that the changes in art style are more noticeable when it’s collected together in one volume as it is here.

After reading the first volume I resisted the temptation to start picking up the issues that now make up this volume, however after reading this one and the way it ended I don’t think my resolve will be that strong this time around.

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