Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 2 by Tom Taylor ( Author), Jheremy Raapack (Illustrations)

Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Twitter | Website | Goodreads

From the makers of Mortal Kombat comes the critically acclaimed prequel comic to the smash hit fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us!
From the ashes of Metropolis comes Superman and the JLA's newest ally: Lex Luthor! Against all odds, he's not only survived but now embraces Superman's goals. Of course, Lex has his own ideas for how to create a better world. The Man of Steel trusts him, but can the rest of his allies be so sure?

First...forget the blurb.
Nobody wants to read a comic book based off of a video game.
Especially one that's in the style of Mortal Kombat.
Seriously? No.
But this?
Tom Taylor lit my ass on fire with this story! I mean, Injustice: Gods Among Us volume 1 rocked. Really, it did, but somehow volume 2 is even better!
I was all prepared for my inner fangirl to be disappointed, because how long could this guy keep a story like this fresh and exciting? I was even prepared to pat him on his back a bit just for trying.
Turns out, that was not necessary.

Warning: Spoilers for previous volume ahead!

In the last volume, Superman is driven to the brink after Joker kills Lois. Righteous anger, avenging angel, whatever you want to call it...he loses it.

Bye-bye, Joker.
And, you know, nobody blames the guy. The Joker was a menace, and everybody knew it.
But what happens after is the meaty part of this thing. The Justice League basically splits into two camps.
Superman's: We're done monkeying around with bad guys. World Peace has been declared!
Batman's: Free will, dude! We're not killers. We won't force people to Be Good!

Volume 2 opens with Billy Batson trying to figure out who's right. He's on Team-Superman, but guilt is niggling around in the back of his head, telling him something is potentially wrong with the way things are starting to unfold.
Especially when the death toll starts mounting. And the carnage in this is spectacular!
Wait. Let me rephrase. This isn't another Ulitmatum, where the body count just gets racked up indiscriminately. When authors start thinning the herd just for the hell of it, it sucks. The shock value only lasts about two pages and/or a few major characters. After that, everyone starts yawning again, because they simply don't care who else gets taken out.
Did Jean Grey just explode?
Well, I'm sure it won't be the last time...
In this one, every death counted. And the thing is, Taylor could have gone hog wild with this since it's a What If? story. But he didn't. He managed to make it so that you never felt like anyone was safe, without mowing down the entire cast of characters.

So how does Luthor showing up affect things?
Not how I expected, that's for sure...
Lex comes into the story wearing his Superman Is My BFF t-shirt, which was weird. I'm not sure if their history is different in this, or if the two of them are just happy to see someone else from Metropolis? At any rate, once he's discovered in the wreckage, he  immediately starts helping Team-S put a good spin on their media coverage. Then he starts up with DC's version of the Super-Soldier serum. And Damien decides to test it out.
Obviously, since he accidentally killed Nightwing and then tossed his dad over in favor of his (now) mortal enemy, things have been a bit strained between Batman and Robin. Not even Alfred can get these two to calm down long enough to rebuild  a few bridges...before they start setting fire to more.
And with Damien's insider knowledge of the way Bruce thinks, it's not looking good for The B-Team.
Especially since most of the heavy-hitting superpowers have sided with Superman.

But you never count Batman out.
He's always got a contingency plan. And then a contingency plan for the contingency plan.
'Cause he's BATMAN.

Funny, smart, shocking, and a little sad sometimes. It was great! I hope they plan on keeping this title around for a little while, because it's quickly becoming THE thing I want to read from DC. If you haven't gotten around to this yet, I'm not sure what in the world you're waiting for?!


Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

I never read blurbs any more; they are a waste of time IMO. Lovely review, Anne!


Thanks, Carmel! And, yes, they are generally a waste of time.

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