Injustice fans, the day has finally come (I'm trying so hard to be as spoiler-free as possible here) and man, it packs quite a wallop. The last issue was all about superhuman punches that could shatter mountains, but this issue is all about striking you right in the heart and making you want to scream "nooo" like Darth Vader. While I do have one key gripe with what goes down -- and what goes down absolutely must be read -- there's no denying writer Tom Taylor does a fantastic job making it an incredibly powerful turn of events and tops it off with a beyond touching final page.
The individual's captions are gripping and left me shattered. The decision to let this incident play out from a certain person's perspective was an excellent choice. There's no need to see what occurred (let's be honest, this comic has more than enough violence to be found elsewhere) and jumping in when all is said and done felt far more compelling and shocking. Yes, even though I knew the outcome (as will anyone else who played the game's story mode), I was still floored by how it plays out. Even with my complaint (we'll get to it in 'The Bad'), this course of events still shook me to the core and honestly left me speechless for a few moments. It's a brilliantly handled emotional scene and a thoroughly sentimental sendoff.
Last week, Jheremy Raapack worked with David Lopez and Santi Casas to make an awesome looking issue. This week, Bruno Redondo worked with the colorists, and while the visuals don't deliver anything as jaw-dropping as the splash page of Captain Atom slugging Supes in the face (seriously, it'll be hard to top that), they're still very solid. I particularly love the trio of panels on the opening page. Picking up after last issue's cliffhanger, we see Superman floating in space and there's some beautiful use coloring. The twisted hero is covered in darkness as the impressively bright sun emerges from beyond the well-detailed Earth. The light then reaches him, revealing the toll his fight with Captain Atom took on his body. Then the light awakens him, revealing a bloody eye. It's a great way to build the intensity. Also worth praising is the strong emphasis on shading and bold use of red when Superman makes some drastic decisions. When it comes to presenting us with a darker version of Kal, there's some panels here which truly deliver and then some.
Up until this point, I could understand Big Blue crossing the line. Joker wiped out an entire city, including the woman he loves and his unborn child. The Parademons? They were going to devastate heavily populated cities and he put an abrupt stop to that, saving countless lives. Martian Manhunter (allegedly!)? Saved Wonder Woman. But against Ollie, a human who is clearly by no means the one calling the shots with this latest plan? It's kind of tough to swallow for me and seems like a drastic and super abrupt mental change -- almost like a forced push to make this character more like the villain he becomes. I understand he's lashing out after everything he's just endured and that's totally understandable at first. The epic backhand was completely rational -- after all, Diana's hurt, he's upset they tried to kill him, and now poor ol' Pa Kent has an arrow in his shoulder. Seeing his father hurt is obviously what set him off (he was seemingly fine before that), but for him to then continue and literally pummel this defenseless person to death felt like too much to me, especially after seeing how humiliating and damaging a mere smack was. I understand he needs to become the terrible brat we know in the game and this was obviously some much needed venting, but considering all he's already endured and how he's handled it thus far, I couldn't help but feel like it was a massive leap in mentality and just a quick way of transforming him into the character we see in the fighting game.
There's no question I'd give this issue a 4.5 if I had the ability to give half-stars. Superman's decision to continue attacking Ollie feels a bit too drastic based on how we've seen him conduct himself. It almost seems like an abrupt push to turn him into the evil man we know in the game. But, despite that personal gripe, what follows is masterfully handled and delivers a wicked emotional punch. Overall, I did indeed love this issue and the sheer emotion it made me experience vastly outweighs my complaint over how we got there. Because of that, this is yet another chapter that'll earn 5-stars.