[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Colors: Rex Lokus
Plastic Man finds the Teen Titans in the Phantom Zone – Tim Drake, Robin; Conner Kent, Superboy; Cassandra Sandsmark, Wonder Girl; and Starfire. Plas is ready to lead them all out when Conner reveals that his wound from Clark leaves him unable to leave the Phantom Zone without dying. The other three reluctantly leave with Plas with the caveat that they will return with a solution.
Upon leaving the Zone, Tim and Batman have an emotional reunion. However, it is short lived as two read beam of light shoot out through the Zone and kill Tim. Zod has struck! There is a quick skirmish between Superman’s robots and Zod as they protect the Kent’s. This gives Batman enough time to commence and Endgame program with Brother Eye. Batman has finally been pushed over the edge watching Tim’s assassination before his eyes. He hits Zod with a mixture of Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin and Kryptonite Gas and he’s ready to “F” Zod up.
One of the hallmarks of the DC Comics Universe has been the concept of parallel worlds. It all started in The Flash #123 with the story “The Flash of Two Worlds.” As hard as DC tried in the ’80’s to condense their fictional universe to one Earth with the mega-crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, both fans and creators immediately had ideas for stories that didn’t fit neatly into the post-Crisis DC Universe. It didn’t take long for non-canonical stories to start appearing, initially as Elseworlds stories. Injustice 2 is a great argument for the parallel worlds concept. The stories told here are never going to fit into the main DCU timeline. However, like so many story set on parallel Earths, Injustice 2 takes the familiar characters of the DCU and puts them through different situations with different results. Injustice 2 #19 finally gets to the meat of this book- “What’s it going to take to finally push Batman over the edge?” This is not a story we want to see in the main DC Universe, but it is an interesting and psychologically challenging notion that deserves exploration. Bruce has held it together so far, but this issue takes his pain to another level.
The strength of this issue lies with the idea that Batman can be pushed over the edge. To this point he’s held himself in check while constantly trying to play by his traditional rules. With Zod’s attack, Bruce is pushed to a different level. This series has done a great job issue after issue with characterization and drawing from that characterization to push the characters in directions guided by traditional portrayal. However, all along the way there’s been a question unasked- “What will it take to push one of these heroes over the line?”
This issue finally seems to answer this question. As much as one might respect or admire Batman’s code against killing, what happens when one’s child is taken from them in such a manner? Everyone should ask his or herself that question. No one wants to think about it, but in the given situation, is Batman not justified? Is there anything that he can do to Zod that isn’t justified?
This book has a nice classic look courtesy of Daniel Sampere and Rex Lokus. And it’s great to see the Tim, Conner and Cassie together again!
This is not an issue for the shallow minded.
Injustice 2 continues to challenge readers with a psychological and emotional depth uncommon even in today’s super-hero comics. Prepare to be challenged as you question your own morality as Batman is pushed over the edge. What would push you, the reader over the edge? Can you blame him?