[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colors: Rex Lokus
Even Harley Quinn can’t ruin this issue of Injustice 2. Heroic sacrifice and banding together for a good cause are always “rah rah” moments, and this issue even manages to work in a few surprises.
Batman’s team has penetrated Ra’s outer defenses to find themselves up against a domed underground city with little in the way of vulnerabilities. Luckily, Plastic Man and son are already deployed inside. Disguised as a mixing bowl, Plas has gained quite a bit of intelligence on the location of the kidnapped children.
The scene shifts to the kids as Lucy learns about the Holt’s powers. Ra’s is aware of the breach by Batman’s team and heads down to retrieve the children whilst sending another group led by Killer Croc to find Batman and stop him. When Ra’s enters the room, Jennifer Holt lights him up with her lightning powers. Ra’s’ exclamation gives him away it’s Plas’s son in disguise and the cutlass is Plas himself. Shortly, Harley arrives and pledges to help the kids get free. She knows where a teleporter is in the complex.
Batman and Wildcat have been fighting their own band of ninjas, to little success as Poison Ivy has entered the fray and divided the two allies and trapped the Bat in the process, all with her plant control powers. Plas and Harley are quickly met by ninjas and Plas and son stay to fight to give Harley and the kids a chance to escape. But, they run into the evil Batman. He’s ready to end Harley by detonating the bomb in her head, but a last minute save from the Atom, who’s been inside her head for a while, has cut the proper wire to the bomb.
Wildcat shows up in time to fight the would-be-Batman and give Harley another shot at leading the kids to safety. Ted is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the kids as he seems to fall at the hands of the evil Batman. But, Connor Queen can’t bring himself to abandon a friend of his mom’s. Begrudgingly, Harley takes him back just at the moment the evil Batman is about to finish him, and then Connor does something that leads to Harley’s best line in the issue, “Oh, snap! The Green Canary!”
The heroic sacrifice by Ted Grant is a well played and executed moment, as his grittiness and determination are displayed in what seem to be an unwinnable situation. His reproving remarks to Batman earlier in the issue are subtle indicators of the relationship they’ve developed over the years and lend a humanizing element to the Dark Knight.
Why Plastic Man doesn’t have an ongoing series right now, I don’t know. Plastic Man is in his glory as he appears as a mixing bowl and sword all while expounding on his sense of right and wrong as he contemplates Lucy’s predicament and if she a hostage. Because if he takes her away and she’s not been kidnapped, he would then be kidnapping her!
Sampere gets Plastic Man right in his facial expressions and posture. This goes a long way in selling a character that can easily be misinterpreted.
The two big surprises were well utilized to not only move the story forward, but create more emotional connection to the story. The Atom’s appearance is another nostalgia moment for older readers as Ray Palmer appears in classic costume and MO. Who else would cut the wire to the bomb in Harley’s brain? Connor’s revelation came out of nowhere and was truly startling. But, it makes sense – Green Canary, indeed!
What a great issue!
This alternate future of the pre-Flashpoint DCU is a real treat as it continues to utilize older and under used characters for purposes that fit their characters. That’s really the key. The characterization feels right. The relationships and familial connections make it easy to relate to these individuals with powers and abilities. It doesn’t matter that it’s not part of the regular DCU, it’s developed into a great story with characters that seem real and are relatable.