The first Injustice was a fun fighting game that delivered an engrossing alternate version of the DC Universe. That fascinating DCU that Injustice created was further explored in great detail by Tom Taylor’s digital first tie-in comic. While a tie-in to the video game, Taylor was able to fill the gap between the events that led to Batman leading a rebellion against Superman’s Regime in a way that made the comic book stand out on its own. Now Taylor is back on the Injustice franchise just in time for the sequel of the video game to come out next month. With the world of Injustice 2 now being a different place, where Superman’s Regime was taken down, how will Taylor explore the world? Let’s find out with Injustice 2 #1.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While sitting in his cell Superman tells blames Batman for not being a friend to him as the reason so many people died in a war that did not have to happen. Batman tells Superman that he only has himself to blame. Superman punches his cell and asks Batman why he doesn’t give a human response.
Superman sits down and says while he regrets a lot of what happened he does not regret trying to do what he thought was best for the people of Earth. He goes on to say that even after losing Lois and his child Batman still turned his back on him and proceeded to judge him. Superman then “congratulates” Batman on winning the war and says the world is his.
Batman states he only wants to help repair the world Superman tore apart. Superman fires back by asking if Batman is just trying to bring things back to the old status quo of petty squabbles over land, religion and money.
He continues to say that he believes Batman could shape the world the way he wants it. Superman then states that with Alfred, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd and Damian Wayne not by his side there is no one to help guide Batman.
Batman walks away with Superman screaming to Batman to not turn his back on him. Batman continues to walk away as Superman yells about how Batman will always seek ultimate control of the situation since he is nothing more than scared child.
In another part of the prison Harley Quinn heard everything Superman said and tells Batman how cold it was.
Harley offers Batman a cupcake but Batman has no time to mess around. Harley states that Superman snapped a long time ago. Batman interrupts Harley and says Superman was right about how they have to help reshape the world or leave it for forces out of their control. Batman says they will have to work world leaders while also establishing their own council.
As Harley gets on her bike Batman wants to say something else. Harley tells Batman that she knows what Batman is going to say but she won’t be changing her look or be his sidekick, rather they will have to work as equals. Harley rides away to make some calls while deciding if Batman can call her Robin.
At the Quiver, formerly the Arrow Cave, Harley is on the phone with her sister to wish her daughter Lucy happy birthday. When Harley’s sister asks if she wants to talk to Lucy, Harley thinks it’s a bad idea.
Suddenly the Quiver’s alarm goes off a large explosion takes out the door, knocking Harley to the ground.
Amanda Waller and her team walk in to go over Harley’s crime. Harley can’t hear Amanda since her ears are still ringing after the explosion. Amanda tells Rick Flag to arrest Harley. Harley says she has been working on her archery skills and if Amanda and her security give her some time she can show everyone her skills.
Amanda takes out her gun and tells Harley to put her hands behind her back. Harley moves quickly to get on her bike and starts to drive off while trying to call Batman about what is going on. Before she can tell Batman everything she is shot off her bike by Deadshot.
Sometime laker Harley is taken to the Pentagon where she is woken up strapped to a bed. Amanda tells Harley that they’ve implanted a explosive device in her brain. She then states that while Batman may have forgiven Harley for her past the United States government has not.
Amanda then welcomes Harley to the new Suicide Squad, made up of Calendar Man, Orca, Ambush Bug, Clock King, Man-Bat, Captain Cold, El Diablo, Deadshot, Polka-Dot Man, Magpie, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and Katana. End of issue.
The Good: Injustice 2 #1 kicked off the new ongoing series with all the right character beats. Opening things up with Batman and Superman set the stage for how much tension still exist even after Superman’s Regime lost the war. From there Tom Taylor is now able to branch off to explore everything else that is going on in this DC Universe, as shown with the establishment of a new Suicide Squad.
The opening discussion between Batman and Superman is a good reminder of the outcome of the war that took place in the Injustice video game. Taylor does an especially good job showing us where Superman stands following his loss of power. There is a great remorse that comes from Superman’s words as he understands in retrospect that he did not handle everything correctly.
At the same time Taylor does not paint Superman as someone who is looking for redemption. Rather, Superman, now reflecting on how things turned out, sees Batman as having a greater responsibility in what occurred as they did not try to understand each other as they should have.
This shift in character gave us some of the best dialogue in this issue as Superman reminds us how the majority of the Batman Family is either dead or not on Bruce’s side. And without a true close ally that can lead Batman away from being consumed by darkness it’ll be interesting to see where Taylor goes with this idea. Setting the seeds for Batman to establish an inner council that helps guides where the world post-Superman’s Regime goes is an interesting idea, especially with how we saw the government back in power.
Speaking of the government, Taylor does a good job using the state of the world to bring in an expanded version of the Suicide Squad. With how the war the world just went through, it is even more understandable that the government would look to regain their control by using the Suicide Squad. With Amanda Waller in charge of the Suicide Squad once again it’ll be interesting to see where Taylor takes the team in parallel to Batman is doing to work with the government and create his own inner council.
With Injustice 2 #1 Taylor is able to use Harley Quinn’s popularity and give us a slightly different take than what we are seeing in the main universe. While Harley maintains her playful manner, Taylor is able to ground the character a bit more through her interactions with Batman and her sister. It’s these scenes where we see how Taylor will deviate with Harley as an anchor to the series. I especially like how Taylor is laying the groundwork for Batman and Harley’s partnership while also immediately having her be part of the Suicide Squad. That makes the inevitable clash between the two sides even more intriguing to see develop.
Bruno Redondo does a great job bringing in the dark elements of the Injustice world while maintaining the classic designs of the comic books. The blend between the two make the series standout as something unique to this series. Redondo is able to get out all of the emotion that oozes out of Superman’s dialogue as he gets angrier and angrier the longer he talks to Batman. At the same time, he is able to add a bit of silliness to the issue with Harley Quinn’s scenes with Amanda Waller. That all leads to a great splash page ending that has Redondo draw the Injustice version of the Suicide Squad.
The Bad: As much as I enjoyed Injustice 2 #1’s story it would’ve been nice to see a quick look at what Wonder Woman and other characters are doing at the moment. Even if it was just one or two quick panels during Superman’s rant, seeing where the other characters involved in the Injustice war would added to the world building of this issue. But since we didn’t get it there isn’t much to go on with the state of the world except for what Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller tell us.
Overall: Injustice 2 #1 does exactly what it needed to do to re-establish the world that the video game and comics brought to life. Tom Taylor does not miss a beat in his return to the series, as he delivers great character work throughout the issue for Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller. Bruno Redondo further adds to the world building with great artwork that blends the video game and comic book versions of the DC Universe. All that combines for a reading experience DC Comics fans will not want to miss out on.