[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colors: Rex Lokus
Batman assumes control of the Suicide Squad, including eliminating those Squad members he deems “useless” by utilizing the explosive implanted in their heads. Exploding heads, literally. Harley is clearly concerned and suspicious. As they leave, Batman has a team of mercenaries providing cover as he leads his new recruits out of the Pentagon. It is at this point that the entire tone of the series completely changes. Batman is suddenly, but not unexpectedly confronted by Batman. In a series that has already shown a parallel Earth, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of these Batmen is from such a place. But, which Earth?
“Batman” takes down Batman very quickly and heaps a ton of verbal abuse on him in the process, why he lets him live I’m not sure. After “Batman” escapes with his Suicide Squad, Batman is collected by Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and Lucius Fox. He wakes up in a hospital bed and recounts his encounter with “Batman” to Barbara and Lucius. Lucius shows him part of Lex Luthor’s will that leaves all his resources to Bruce which should help him rebuild. Dinah (Black Canary) is soon ushered into the room for a reunion with Batman. She’s brought along with her an alternate Earth Oliver Queen and a quick plan is made so that this “Oliver Queen” can take over the life and assets of this Earth’s deceased Oliver Queen. And it’s none too soon, as they learn that Superman’s cell is failing and his escape is imminent.
With the reveal that the Batman from the end of last issue is from an alternate Earth, this issue took on a completely different color and outlook. There have been a number of different takes on alternate Batmen in the past few years, but none this brutal. It appears that this Batman and the imprisoned Superman may be due for a team-up against this world’s Batman and his team.
Lex Luthor’s offer to Bruce, the appearance of Barbara Gordon and the proposal of Dinah to the “other” Oliver Queen added the spirit of hope that was so missed last issue. Harley was barely visible, so it was nice not to have to deal with her this issue. I should also mention that Bruno Redondo and Juan Albarran make this book look good. It’s a clean look that clearly illustrates what’s going on.
As easily as Bruce was taken down by his doppelganger, one wonders how formidable he will be. Batman vs. Batman is usually a stalemate. A little surprised that it was such a quick confrontation. This points to the major negative in the issue which is a lack of reason or explanation. I know Taylor has to move the plot a long, but there isn’t time spent on “why’s.” Surprisingly, we got it with the “Oliver Queen is no longer dead” plot point, but not so much with “Batman” vs. Batman.
This issue really sets this series in the right direction. After a dismal and annoying first issue, Injustice 2 #2 has added back in a sense of hope and goodness to this world with a rogue Superman. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but it seems that it will be possible to pull for the good guys again. While there’s nothing exceptional here yet, this issue does show the promise that it will be an exciting series with perhaps some potential for character moments if the pace of the plot slows down enough to breathe.