Injustice 2 #1 Review

Posted May 3, 2017 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written by: Tom Taylor

Art by: Bruno Redondo

Published by: DC Comics

Injustice 2 #1 has a lot of expectations to grapple with, as the original series was critically acclaimed and featured some great and harrowing moments. What’s more is that the original Injustice series wasn’t shy about killing off beloved and not so beloved DC characters. The original run showed the demise of: Green Arrow, Joker, Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Scarecrow, Martian Manhunter, Shazam, Lois Lane, Bizzaro,  Detective Chimp, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, James Gordon, Captain Atom and many more including Ch’p the squirrel and the greatest character of them all, Alfred Pennyworth.

Their deaths gave the series a feeling that no character was safe, and seeing these well known characters die was very emotional. As a result, I was worried that this series may lack some of the emotional depth that the original had, simply because it has fewer living characters to work with. Thankfully, writer Tom Taylor manages to push forward and this issue mostly succeeds in capturing the feel of the original series, despite its current lack of characters.

Before I get to the words on the page, it’s such a joy to have Bruno Redondo leading off this series, as his art really set the tone for the gritty, character driven first run. His use of shadows is striking and more importantly not overused, as they creep up only in moments where they feel needed. The second thing that makes Redondo a perfect fit for the series is his mastery of facial structure and expressions, as he not only gives each character their own distinct mannerisms, but also manages to have them feed off each other when interacting. Keep it up!

On the written side, this issue is split into three parts, as it is a digital first series and the three chapters were originally released one at a time. The first chapter deals with the fallout from the death heavy, friendship ruining first series as Superman and Batman are face to face, and no closer to agreeing with one another then when we left off. It very much reads as a recap chapter for new and old readers alike, but is emotionally charged nonetheless and forces the reader to relive some of the saddest moments from the previous series. Taylor manages to make both Batman and Superman’s perspectives seem viable even though they couldn’t be further apart. And that’s really where Taylor shines in all the chapters, and most of his previous run on the series, as he manages to find the voices of the characters he’s writing and makes them not only believable, but oftentimes relatable too. Harley Quinn is back and as much as I’ve had issues with how she’s been written in the last couple years, she continues to be integral, and one of the most interesting characters in the Injustice world. Her presence is one that brings some much needed levity to the dark and dour DC Universe. Plus, her humor is top class.

As for the other two chapters, one features the return of two well known characters from the first series in an engaging, and totally superhero logic kind of way. The other moves the main story forward a bit more. The ending is a curious one, as it potentially flips the switch on the Batman/Superman dynamic as it seems to show Batman crossing a seemingly unthinkable line, but if this series has shown anything over its 5 year run it’s that anything is possible.

This issue does leave a lot more questions then it does answers. It’s inconclusive whether this series will recapture the grandiose feel of the last character driven series, but it’s a great start. Even if you haven’t read the original Injustice run, I urge you to give this issue a chance as it’s a great start to a promising series.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.