[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colors: Rex Lokus
How do you like your super heroes? Dark? Gritty? Hopeful? Well, as should be expected as the sequel to the “Superman as killer” storyline from the first video game and comic tie-in, Injustice 2 appears to move this concept over to Batman.
The issue opens with Batman having a final conversation of the incarcerated Superman. Supes hits a nerve with him as he turns to leave. Watching nearby is Harley Quinn. Harley is surprised to hear Bruce admit that what Supes said is right, Batman will have to try and control how the world rebuilds itself after the events of Injustice. Harley heads back to her hideout that used to be Green Arrow’s. She is disturbed by Amanda Waller and forcibly taken to join the Suicide Squad. While this is going on, Dr. Fate has gone to retrieve Green Arrow and Black Canary and bring them back from their alternate Earth exile to help save their own world.
Not surprisingly, Batman finds Harley at Suicide Squad HQ and makes it clear he’s not interested in niceties as he guns down two of Waller’s men.
Perhaps, the single best part of this issue is Harley Quinn’s monologue describing Batman’s prowess as the driven, world’s greatest detective and how severely Amanda Waller has underestimated his ability to track down and rescue her. The idea of Ollie and Dinah having a child is intriguing and could be fairly interesting, but the world they are going back to seems like it will not provide the opportunity to tell a thoughtful “super-heroes as parents” story.
While I usually enjoy alternate takes on classic DC characters, there’s not a lot of hope to latch on to. While the first Injustice did play off the notion of Superman losing Lois as was explored in Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come, Injustice 2 doesn’t seem to have the level of hope that was rooted in Waid and Ross’ world. Additionally, the focus on Harley Quinn is a distraction and her inclusion seems due to popularity rather than it serving the story particularly well.
Video gamers who are enjoying the game will most likely enjoy seeing how the story transitions to Injustice 2. As it stands on its own, Injustice 2 doesn’t have the strength of likable characters, or a completely novel approach to make it compelling. In terms of character development it is very superficial and mostly deals with the most basic aspects of character. While it has a long way to go and certainly could become something more, as a first issue, it feels very average and cliched, and doesn’t have enough to bring me back.