Holy buildup, Batman! Remember when Madame Xanadu teased what the future has in store for this messed up world? Those developments are beginning to unfold and the situation is getting more and more exciting. While this chapter may not have any staggering action as the tension grows, it makes up for that and then some with some excellent writing. Tom Taylor is creating a tense atmosphere and things are getting epic -- you can feel the sense of urgency and the uneasiness behind a number of the scenes. You can appreciate the weight that's piling on these characters' shoulders and, by the time you finish this chapter, you're going to be seriously excited for the next one.
John Constantine (and Batman because he's Batman and wants to know everything) finally meets Swamp Thing and I loved the dialogue during the encounter, as well as everything that was leading up to it. Taylor continues to make Constantine a delightful and humorous lead. Even though they're in such a rough spot and the overall picture is depressing, his attitude really lightens the mood and makes the depressing ride more enjoyable. In fact, he's so entertaining that it kind of takes away from Batman. Instead of seeing like this super intelligent and resourceful human, he's kind of... well, a bit of a bummer. That's probably the point, though. Despite being knowledgeable and a genius, this scene isn't exactly his forte.
Okay, spoiler tabs are required to discuss the biggest moment. If you don't want to spoil it, skip to the next paragraph. Seriously, go. When Deadman was told he could select a successor, my mind started racing. Would it be a new character or someone we've seen? Dick Grayson didn't cross my mind, but once we saw the shoulder and then the hand, it's safe to say most us of became very thrilled and knew who it would be. The really cool thing about this universe is Taylor can get away with so many changes. As long as it doesn't interfere with the video game's story (or finds a way to revert back when the video game begins), the possibilities feel endless. I'm sure no one can say they saw this development coming and I'm so pumped to see how it'll be handled. Part of me is wondering whether the mixed reactions to Grayson's death played a role in bringing him back or if this was the plan all along. Many felt like it wasn't a good death; that it sold the agile guy short. I liked it, though. He was caught off-guard and had atrocious luck with the landing. He'd have no idea Damian would do that in the middle of combat! During training? Sure. When they're fighting for their lives? Didn't seem likely. Not every death needs to be epic or over-the-top, but I'm going off-topic and we can all just agree to disagree, yeah? Anyway, the point is this was a completely unexpected and very exciting development!
Mike S. Miller and J. Nanjan made Swamp Thing's debut (not including his appearance in Xanadu's foreshadowing!) well worth the wait. The amount of work that went into constructing the character's crowded body and his vivid environment was really impressive and surprisingly polished. The bits with him definitely outshine the rest of the visuals and immediately left a strong impression. They also did a solid job with the handling of Deadman's expressions, something that was absolutely critical to hit us with the weight of what's going on with him.
This is one of those chapters that's pure buildup, so it'll probably work better when you read it in a collection. It's has a terrific cliffhanger and is consistently well-written, but it's all about generating the hype for what's to come. As you can tell by this review, it obviously does that very well, but because it's focused on establishing new plot points, it saves its real jaw-dropper until the very end, obviously making for an exceptional cliffhanger, but never making the rest of the chapter really go above and beyond. It's not really a "bad" thing, but I believe that prevents it from getting 5-stars. Great stuff, but it looks like the really great stuff is just around the corner!
Minor gripe: I don't know why I haven't noticed this before -- especially since Miller's been with the series for so long -- but I thought Wayne's eyes were a little distracting when the area around them wasn't heavily shaded.
The best word to describe INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE #10 is "exciting." Not only does it have a cliffhanger that might make you jump for joy and anxiously await the next issue, but it's also overflowing with tension as it takes steps towards some very, very promising conflicts. Just because INJUSTICE is a video game prequel it doesn't mean we know the whole picture and it can't surprise us. We may know who's in the video game's story, but the road getting there and seeing how it impacts everyone along the way continues to be a total blast. This issue is proof of that and I'm very curious to see what'll go down in the next chapter. INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE is doing an awesome job balancing all of the death, darkness, and chaos with some legitimate laughs and cheerworthy surprises. It's a great read and fans of the video game need to check it out.