cyclonus_the_warrior's Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two #1 - Volume 1 review

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The war comes to the Man of Steel

The heroes gather to pay their final respects to a mutual friend whom was viciously killed, with Black Canary and Hal Jordan parting on bitter terms due to their chosen allegiances. Meanwhile, due to Superman’s all out war against evil on Earth, another group are displeased with his quest for world peace through force. The Man of Steel has earned new enemies and he must now prepare for the coming war. -summary

Based on the hit fighting game of the same name. Injustice is a DC limited series taking place outside of main continuity in an alternate world. The first two volumes of the series followed Superman as he put down a notorious villain in violent fashion, and due to that villain’s actions, Superman whom is flanked by the Justice League, embarks on a crusade to bring world peace through a totalitarian rule which angers many governments and even other heroes. Batman openly opposes Superman by putting together a resistance. The previous volume ended on a rather shocking cliffhanger leaving the story open for many possibilities. This third volume of the series Injustice – Gods Among Us: Year Two, sees writer Tom Taylor moving forward with the story introducing more twist and story elements that appears to be promising. This volume collects Injustice Year Two issues 1 – 5.

The plot begins when Superman is greeted by one of the Guardians of the Universe named Ganthet; they happen to be the rulers and commanders of the Green Lantern Corp. The meeting between the two ends on a fiery note, that leads to Ganthet taking action and from here things only get worse.

This volume is more of a world builder using its characters to mainly drive the plot in setting up for something larger; it’s all about the build up in which Taylor does a well enough job with it and the level of suspense is pretty high. The Green Lantern Corp gets involved, and to counter them, their eternal enemy Sinestro makes his way to Superman in hopes of forming an alliance. I like how Taylor introduced Sinestro to this storyline by drawing a connection between the two as though they’re some how kindred spirits. Taylor not only develops Sinestro as a master manipulator, but he also plays on Superman’s downward spiral to ally with him even at a time like this. Superman is still the star here with him being sure of what he wants to do and even feeling remorseful about some of his actions; but he still believes in his heart that he’s right.

Taylor continues further build up by planting the seeds of a possible betrayal and even focusing on Gotham’s neck of the woods. Everything looks promising for later and that seems to be some of the issue here. Taylor focuses a lot on later, and as a result his narrative suffers in some areas. The character interactions aren’t as strong as the previous volumes because steps are being retraced, and we’re constantly being told that Superman means well although his steps are drastic. Taylor is a very good writer when he wants to be, but he still hasn’t mastered engaging dialog over the long term if he’s compared to let’s say, Brian Azzarello in his Wonder Woman run. His writing isn’t boring by any stretch, yet we already experienced his best discussions between the characters already. Perhaps I was expecting way too much.

I’ll give him more credit though by taking advantage of this alternate world concept by continuing with his shocking ways on getting rid of characters. Once again, he pulled out something I didn’t see coming despite the foreshadowing. I can’t wait to see the consequences.

Once again there’s a team of artist providing the illustrations, and this time things are looking quite better. The character designs feel more fine tuned and well defined. There’s a nice detailed finish that wasn’t seen in the last two volumes enough. There is a level of inconsistency but the art flows well enough in unison with the narrative, and the facial designs feel emotional at times. The little bit of action that is found has more of a shocking impact than actually delivering serious goods. The level of brutality can be well captured and again, it brings out more in Taylor’s writing.

The book’s opening features an introduction and a rather long summary to bring folks up to speed should they come into this book first. I highly recommend against that though; if this storyline catches an interested reader’s eye, then it’s best to start from the beginning. Despite a recap there’s nothing better than following these events closely. Recommended if you enjoyed the first two volumes, and also recommended to those looking for an alternate take on long time characters and even if you so much as got into Kingdom Come.

Pros: Solid enough world building and characters are still strong

Cons: Not Taylor's best writing in this series

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