Saturday, May 27, 2017

Real quick on Injustice 2 #1

DC's four million-issue comic book prequel to the 2013 fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us is in the process of finally wrapping up, just as a sequel to the game is being released.

And you know what that means, right? It's time for a new comic book prequel series, Injustice 2. The story of the original game was crazy dark, and the first few chapters of the comic were even crazier dark, but there was a twist to it, as it turned out that the fallen world where Superman pulled a Parallax after the loss of his city and his wife and their unborn child and became Super-Hitler, forcing Batman and some of the less fascist heroes into deadly combat with him, was actually a parallel universe.

Overall, the series went on way, way too long--a recent ad for the Injustice 2 video game that ran in DC's comics had it clocking in at nine collections--and often seemed to devote really long arcs to really uninteresting stories, but it was also occasionally quite well-written. I read the first two trades worth, and then just kind of checked in now and then when something piqued my interest (Like the introduction of Plastic Man into the Injust-iverse, for example, or that annual where Harley Quinn, Green Arrow and Black Canary teamed up to take on Lobo).

I think I might have actually enjoyed an adaptation and slight expansion of the original game into comics form, as I like these characters and often have my curiosity piqued by DC's video games, though I don't play. DC doesn't do that, though, but seems to instead created prequels, sequels and bridges between their games, and they have a bad habit of constructing the comics very, very poorly, with the already drab and overly-realistic redesigns being rendered by whole battalions of artists, who seem to appear willy nilly (I'm thinking of the various Arkham games, the short-lived Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse* and, to a lesser extent, that DC Universe Online Legends series, as well as Injustice).

I've only read the first two issues of Injustice 2, by writer Tom Taylor, pencil artist Bruno Redondo and inker Juan Albarran, and they were pretty okay. The series seems off to a pretty good start (and hopefully won't ultimately clock in at like eight collections). According to Wikipedia, the plot involves Brainiac attacking Earth, necessitating a tense alliance between Batman and Superman and the world's heroes...that world being the fallen one of Injustice, by the way, rather than the other universe, the one closer to the DCU of DC Comics. I don't know why exactly, but I thought that was particularly interesting.

As for the contents of the first issues, it's not entirely clear that they will be jumping right into the Brainiac business. Batman visits an imprisoned Superman, hangs out with Harley Quinn (Confession: I think Taylor writes the very best Harley Quinn) and comes face-to-face with some sort of evil doppelganger with machine guns who is capable of kicking his ass pretty thoroughly.

Some of the best parts, as in the original Injustice, involve Green Arrow. As you can see in the image above, and and Black Canary have since had a son with a familiar name, who takes on Dr. Fate with toy sucker arrows. In the second issue, Ollie and Diana make an important decision regarding the nature of their relationship, which is cute, sweet and funny.

And, also in the first issue, Amanda Waller tries to forcibly recruit Harley into her Suicide Squad overwhelmingly full of Batman villains.
Look! It's Orca!

A mention in All-Star Batman, an appearance in Nightwing, a small role in the The Lego Batman Movie and now an appearance in the Injustice 2 comic book...Everything is coming up Orca, The Whale Woman...!

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