Injustice 2 continues to roll along on it’s own as this alternate DC Universe gets expanded upon. The war between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul has grown even more personal as the entire DCU has been dragged into the iconic conflict. After a string of recent losses it looks like Batman and his allies are finally going to turn things around against Ra’s. Before that can happen Batman will need to go through his son, Damian Wayne, in order to make sure his father-figure, Alfred Pennyworth, is safe. How violent will the clash between father and son be? Let’s find out with chapter twenty-two of Injustice 2.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Inauguration Day, Aqualad and Steel continue to patrol the site of the Presidential event. During her patrol Steel makes her distaste for the new President of the United States known. Aqualad reminds Steel to keep her focus on the mission they’ve been given.
At Ra’s Al Ghul’s Underground Sanctuary in Brazil it is shown that Captain Boomerang, Poison Ivy, Orca and Killer Croc have been swiftly taken out by Batman.
Meanwhile Harley Quinn quietly leads Batgirl, Plastic Man and Luke through the sanctuary.
Athanasia Al Ghul tells Nightwing (Damian Wayne) and Animal Man about the Suicide Squad are not answering. Nightwing already knows Batman is responsible and is probably already in the room they are in. Nightwing tells Animal Man and Athanasia to guard Alfred. He then quickly sneaks into the shadows.
Back in the hallway Harley finds Poison Ivy on the ground. Harley gives Poison Ivy some water to brings some life into her. Poison Ivy says Batman defeated her. Harley kisses Poison Ivy and says that they’ll find each other once this is all over.
Back in the room Alfred is being kept Batman knocks out Animal Man with a batarang from the shadows. Batman approaches Alfred but is stopped by Nightwing.
Nightwing tells Batman he has done what his father wouldn’t. Nightwing goes on to say that Batman likes death to happen around him since that helps give motivation for his crusade.
Batman punches Nightwing in the face. Batman says he is taking Alfred with him but Nightwing says Alfred is not going anywhere.
Batman and Nightwing begin their fight just as Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Plastic Man and Luke show up. Batman and Nightwing continue to go back and forth. Batman is eventually able to grab and break Nightwing’s arm.
Before Batman can knock Nightwing out Alfred stands up and stops Batman. Alfred turns Batman around and hugs him while saying “It’s all right, son.” End of issue.
The Good: Chapter 22 of Injustice 2 delivered the consistency that this series has been known for. Tom Taylor used all the build up to the meeting of Batman and Damian Wayne to create an exciting clash between father and son.
Seeing the aftermath of Batman wrecking shop on all the members of the Ra’s Suicide Squad was a great way to establish how much of a badass the character is. With Taylor emphasizing Batman’s age in previous issues we got to see that no matter how old he may be Bruce is still the Dark Knight. The methodical way he took each member of the Suicide Squad showed that Batman is not holding back. The sense of violence helped to build on the anticipation for Batman’s clash with his son.
And Taylor did not disappoint once we got to the meeting between Batman and Nightwing. Having Nightwing verbally run his father down for letting everyone around him die was an excellent character moment. The shoot-style promo highlighted how Batman can’t help but define himself by the tragedy around him. It brings to question if being Batman is what causes the tragedy or the other way around.
Nightwing’s verbal assault on Batman also helped to serve as a good way to kick off the the big fight between the two. Batman being the one to start it with a punch to Nightwing’s face showed how personal things got. The fight did not disappoint with how it was choreographed. Batman mercilessly breaking his son’s arm put a stamp on where the relationship between the two characters is at this point.
Alfred finally waking up was a poignant way to end this chapter of Injustice 2. Taylor created enough mystery as to how Alfred will react to what is going on to make this a good hook ending. Because right now we don’t know what actual mental state Alfred will be in given how long he was dead and the Lazarus Pit process he was brought back with.
Though Batman’s clash with his son took up the majority of the issue Taylor was able to further develop Harley Quinn’s rise as a hero in this story. Taylor has done a good job making this version a much more stable version from the main universe. Even though there is clearly some of the classic Harley craziness in her we have seen how this version is actually getting more mature as she has gotten older. Her relationship with Poison Ivy will be an intriguing sub-plot to follow once this story with Ra’s is over.
Bruno Redondo’s continues to deliver the high quality artwork that we have come to expect from Injustice 2. Redondo does a great job creating a classic look to these characters while making adjustments that show the harsher world that is the Injustice Universe. The battle between Batman and Nightwing was appropriately brutal. Redondo got across how personal things got between father and son through his artwork.
The Bad: The Inauguration Day sub-plot has been the weakest part of this current story arc and Injustice 2 Chapter 22 did it no favors. Steel voicing her displeasure over the new President didn’t help add any sort of depth to the story since we already know that the new President doesn’t have a lot fans. A chapter dedicated to the Inauguration Day sub-plot may to this part of the story wonders since it just feels like an afterthought with everything going on in Brazil.
Overall: Injustice 2 Chapter 22 was another strong entry in one of the best comics DC is publishing. Tom Taylor treats fans with a fantastic clash between Batman and Nightwing as things got even more personal between the two. With how things ended there are still a lot of things up in the air for this story arc that can still go multiple ways as Ra’s Al Ghul’s shadow looms over everyone.