[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencillers: Daniel Sampere (pgs. 1-10) & Bruno Redondo (pgs. 11-20)
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colors: Rex Lokus
In traditional super-hero comics there is a hero and a villain. Usually, the world is rarely that black and white. Sometimes the good guys do things that seem bad for a greater good. Sometimes, bad guys do bad things for a better world. The anti-hero is a popular motif that is often used to express these ideas. Injustice 2 is exploring these notions by pitting heroes against heroes and raising valid questions of right and wrong and the nature of morality. If you break the law for the right reason are you a good guy? Is it the motivation? Is it the intent? What makes right right and wrong wrong…
Alfred gets Damian and Bruce to stop fighting and take a moment to think about things. Ra’s al Ghul enters and Alfred insists that Ra’s and Bruce sit down and talk and figure out a solution together instead of fighting on opposite sides, despite the fact they both want what’s best for the world. And it seems like there is a chance, just a sliver of a chance until Blue Beetle, who’s been outside the enclosure, finds a way to break through.
Beetle’s entrance inadvertently causes the death of the last remaining individual of an animal species Vixen has been caring for. Of course, Batman did not intend for this to happen this way. But, Ra’s sees this as Bruce’s fault and that sliver of a chance is gone. Ra’s takes his faction elsewhere, leaving Bruce and his group in somewhat of a daze. Throughout, Bruce is strangely silent.
Back in D.C. at the inauguration, Steel continues to observe things from above as Aqualad stands vigilant on the ground. Natasha Irons doesn’t quite realize what’s about to happen when Jackson goes into the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The ensuing wave, however, which kills or injures nearly everyone on the Mall makes it clear to Natasha that Aqualad was working for Ra’s all along.
The strongest aspect of this issue is clearly the questions raised in the philosophical conflict between Batman and Ra’s al Ghul. What Ra’s wants is not wrong. It’s his methods that Batman takes issue with. While this may not be different from any previous conflict between the two, there’s something about this particular time which stands out. In context of the larger story in a world with a rogue Superman, it seems to loom bigger and hold more weight. The fact that Ra’s has added so many heroes to his side of things changes the paradigm in a way we usually don’t experience.
Let’s not forget to mention the work of Juan Albarran as he is able to ink two pencillers and maintain a seamless uniform look for the issue.
The only thing that raised an eyebrow was Bruce’s reticence after Blue Beetle’s tragic entry. At no point does he try to explain or attempt to get Ra’s to see it as an accident. Perhaps, he already knew Aqualad was under Ra’s control and any backing up Ra’s made in the moment was not going to alter what he’d already set in motion.
This was a very strong issue. Sometimes the freedom of an alternate continuity allows for better storytelling because it’s impermanent. This iteration of the DCU will not stand for decades, but there is a wealth of stories therein considering the unique circumstances of this world. The ambiguity of the moral right makes the reader think and produces a strong story with some excellent character work.