Injustice 2 has quietly been one of the best comics that DC Comics is publishing. Tom Taylor has done a good job taking the events of the first Injustice game to build a DC Universe that is unlike the one fans are used to. Recent events have further set the stage for what we know the setting of Injustice 2 being, with Wonder Woman recently being released by Supergirl. After such a major development Taylor has been able to create even more obstacles for Batman’s forces to overcome on top of Ra’s Al Ghul. Now with all of that set-up what else can Taylor do to further develop the Injustice Universe? Let’s find out with Chapter 32 of Injustice 2.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Tom Derenick
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the longest straight road in Australia Barry Allen struggles to walk down the road since he is not allowed to use his Speed Force powers without serious punishment. As he walks down the road Barry thinks about how this road is Speedster nirvana but that it is not the case for him anymore.
Barry then thinks back to when Galaxor protected some protesters and stood up to Superman and Wonder Woman to defend them. This led to Superman and Wonder Woman crushing Galaxor within seconds. All the while Flash watched rather than stopping Superman and Wonder Woman. It was later that Barry learned Galaxor’s name was Mitchell, who was inspired by Flash to be a hero when he was younger.
In the present Barry sees a deliver truck suddenly lose control and overturn. Acting quickly Barry decides to tap into the Speed Force and save the driver from harm, while also setting off the alarm on his ankle bracelet monitoring his activity.
After making sure the driver is safe Barry gets a call from Batman, who asks Barry what he thinks he is doing. Batman reminds Barry of their agreement. Barry says he could not stand by and watch someone die.
Batman says that emergency crews are on their way and warns Barry to stay out of trouble. Barry says he won’t do anything as he is heading somewhere at the moment.
Sometime later Barry arrives at a house in Canberra. There he asks Laura Davies if he could see her son, Mitchell. Laura let’s Barry in.
While they walk to Mitchell’s room Laura explains how Mitchell does not go outside and that Superman and Wonder Woman did more than just break her son’s back that day.
Barry enters Mitchell’s room and reveals that he was the Flash. Mitchell wonders why Barry is in his house. Barry says that Mitchell was a hero as Galaxor. Barry then apologizes for his lack of bravery as Flash.
Barry then reveals that he has been studying a way to help Mitchell regain movement in his legs. Mitchell wonders if Barry has anything else to do. Barry says he is in no hurry to leave.
Sometime later Barry is at a hospital helping Mitchell through all of his physical therapy by being his motivational coach. End of issue.
The Good: As recent events have shown us, not everything has been as positive in the post-Superman Regime as all the remaining heroes would have hoped. Though Batman’s team has turned things around for the world; events involving Ra’s Al Ghul and Wonder Woman being freed aren’t exactly making things easy. With these darker events unfolding it was nice to take a step back to focus on a more positive story within the universe such as the one Tom Taylor presents us with in Injustice 2 Chapter 32.
Putting the spotlight on where Barry Allen is in his life post-Superman Regime was a great move by Taylor. In picking Barry, Taylor was able to put a focus on a character that is on the outside of all the conflicts that are currently going in the Injustice 2 comics. At the same time, Taylor is able to keep up the theme of where our current heroes and villains are after the events of the first Injustice video game.
In tapping Barry for a spotlight issue Taylor gets the opportunity to tell a completely different story than we are used to from Injustice 2. In this issue we get to see what the perspective of one of the iconic heroes, Flash, who chose Superman’s side initially but ended the Injustice story by siding with Batman. This was a major choice in the first game and it is good to see how even when he decided to choose redeem himself Barry still must deal with the consequences of his actions while working under Superman’s Regime.
Adding further weight to Barry’s emotional journey was the physical limitation Batman has placed on Barry with the ankle bracelet. Being forced to not use his powers without facing the same punishment that Superman and Wonder Woman faced, made Barry’s current state of mind come to the forefront even more. Throughout this chapter of Injustice 2 we see how Barry uses his lack of Speed Force powers to give him a reason to search for redemption. In a way it helps Barry slow down and really think of what he has done and what he needs to do to move forward.
In spotlighting the events of when Superman and Wonder Woman crippled a young, new superhero in Galaxor was a good way to show how much Barry regrets his choice to join Superman’s Regime. That was the event that help lead to Barry as the Flash siding with Superman. Given that, it was only right for Taylor to circle back to this event as a way for Barry to atone for what he has done in the past. Not only that, but it help to show that while not being allowed access to the Speed Force is hard for him Barry is using his newly gained life to do something positive.
Bringing in the events of Galaxor was also a good choice as it reminds readers how much time has really past in the Injustice Universe. Even though we do have the same recognizable heroes and villains running around they aren’t the same ones we know and love. Instead, as we see with Barry in this chapter, in the Injustice Universe everyone has been hardened by the events that took place during the Superman Regime-era. Now in a time after that era we are seeing how everyone fits into the current world status quo. Some are taking it better than others and Barry is a good example of that.
Tom Derenick delivered solid artwork throughout Injustice 2 Chapter 32. Though he didn’t get any big action sequences he did make Barry’s display of his Speed Force powers count. It showed us that while Barry has been not allowed to use his powers it does not mean he has lost a step. Derenick also helped to further emphasize how Injustice 2 Chapter 32 was a more hopeful issue as we see Barry actively going on a road to redemption.
The Bad: Though it did not bother me all that much some may take issue with how Mitchell Davies, aka Galaxor, did not react more harshly to Barry’s presence. Given how it is known that Barry sided with Superman, the man responsible for crippling Mitchell, when he was the Flash it would have added to the issue if we saw Mitchell’s anger manifest. This would’ve added to Barry’s own emotional journey as he looks for ways to redeem himself.
Overall: Injustice 2 Chapter 32 does an excellent job shining the spotlight on Barry Allen and where he is in his life post-Superman’s Regime. Tom Taylor gives weight to the limitations set on Barry and how they end up helping him get stronger as person on his road to redemption. The ending was a strong way to end this one-shot styled issue while also giving readers hope this isn’t the last time we see Barry Allen in Injustice 2.