Things haven’t gotten easier for the Justice League even after defeating their greatest threat in Amazo. Instead things became even more complicated with Wonder Woman’s forces making their presence known during the fight with Amazo. On top of that we just saw Batman have one of his most emotional meetings as his previously unknown daughter with Talia Al Ghul almost killed him and Alfred. Now after all of the big events on Earth we are going to see how the rest of the DC Universe is dealing with the aftermath of Superman’s Regime being defeated. And what better way to explore that than seeing what the status quo of Hal Jordan is? Let’s find that out right now with chapter 53 of Injustice 2.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Colorist: J. Nanjan
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: On Oa the Guardians go over all of Hal Jordan’s transgressions, including Hal’s role in the death of 200 Green Lanterns. Hal pleads guilty to all of his crimes. Two of the Guardians mention that the only thing that is keeping from Hal being executed is all the good he previously did when he was a Green Lantern and the other Guardians believing he still can play a role in protecting the Universe. The Guardians then sentence Hal to serve time at the prison colony to prepare the planet for recolonization.
Sometime later Hal is digging holes at the prison planet. While he does that Guy Gardner makes fun of Hal’s punishment being uncreative and makes jokes at what the Guardians could of done. When Hal laughs at Guy’s jokes Soranik smacks Hal down. When Hal tells Soranik that wasn’t something a Green Lantern should do. Soranik does not want to hear what a Green Lantern should do from Hal.
Soranik talks about how when she first became a Green Lantern she spent time living with all the species on Mogo, which were then wiped out when Hal did nothing to stop Superman from destroying the planet.
Other Green Lanterns suddenly show up with a new prisoner. Soranik orders all the prisoners to gather. The new inmate steps out of his confinement and he is revealed to be Sinestro.
Sinestro greets Hal and Soranik. Soranik tells Sinestro that he is nothing more than a prisoner.
Guy goads Hal to do something. Hal does just that as he knocks Sinestro down and starts clobbering him.
This earns Hal time in solitary confinement. While there Hal apologizes to Guy. Guy tells Hal that apologizing won’t bring him back to life. It is then shown Hal is alone and has just been talking to a ghost.
Elsewhere, the Green Lanterns tell Tomar-Re that it is time for them to return to Oa.
Tomar-Re says he has to investigate something. When he does Red Lantern Dex-Starr slits Tomar-Re’s throat. End of issue.
The Good: Injustice 2 Chapter 53 was a good change of pace issue. With how crazy things got recently on Earth with Amazo and Ra’s Al Ghul seeing what the Green Lantern Corps are doing was refreshing. This gave Tom Taylor a chance to further flesh out the DC Injustice Universe and give Hal Jordan some time in the spotlight.
With Injustice 2 Chapter 53 Taylor continued to show how those who worked on Superman’s Regime are still being punished for their actions. Given that Hal was part of Superman’s Regime, joined the Sinestro Corps and helped almost decimated the Green Lantern Corps there was no way he needed to get off easily. Even though the Guardians still clearly held Hal in high regard there still needed to be face consequences for his actions.
Though the Guardians did technically let Hal off easy it was good to see that the rest of the Green Lanterns do not hold him in high regard. Hal’s actions completely ruined his image as being the greatest Green Lantern in history. Using Soranik to get this point across was an effective use of her character. Taylor added even more emotional impact to Soranik’s speech by showing how connected she was to Mogo before its destruction. This was clearly something all Green Lanterns felt and Hal not stopping Superman in destroying the planet was the worst of his crimes.
Adding to Soranik’s position as prison warden was the introduction of Sinestro as one of the prisoners on the planet. This gives even more room for Taylor to explore the relationship between different characters in this part of the universe, especially Sinestro, Soranik and Hal. The brief scene with Hal just demolishing Sinestro with punches shows that this won’t be an easy time for anyone. What that means for how Hal’s character will develop during this arc will be very interesting.
While all of that was great the true standout in Injustice 2 Chapter 53 was Guy Gardner’s role in the story. For those that don’t remember Hal was the one that killed Guy after Sinestro goaded him into doing so. Now with his thoughts clear Hal is able to think of everything he did while on the dark side. Guy’s ghost being a constant presence for Hal was a great manifestation of all the guilt he feels. Guy telling Hal it is too late to apologize further emphasized how Hal has hit rock bottom and will need to do a lot to regain some of his former heroic form.
Taylor added to how guilty Hal feels by using Guy’s ghost as a way to joke about the situation. Those jokes showed that it was the only way Hal could do to keep himself from going off the deep end. This made when he did release his anger on Sinestro even more effective with Guy goading him to do so.
The appearance of Dex-Starr gave this story a solid mystery to follow. This opens the door for Hal to possibly have a path to redemption if the Red Lantern Corps become an even bigger threat. With Atrocitus being a main character in the Injustice 2 video game we could see how his role is expanded on here. And him being the main force to launch Hal’s redemption story is a good way to elevate both characters for where we find them in the Injustice 2 video game.
Xermanico delivered some good artwork for Injustice 2 Chapter 53. Xermanico artwork did not start strong but you could see how as the issue progress he got more comfortable with drawing all of the characters in this issue. His art was most effective with how he portrayed ghost Guy Gardner as we see him go from jokester to someone who does not accept Hal’s apology. The ripped off arm look Guy had was something that was straight out of a horror comic in appearance.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Injustice 2 Chapter 53 does a great job in expanding the story of the series as we explore the consequences Hal Jordan faces after betraying the Green Lantern Corps. Tom Taylor effectively got across how heavy the weight of Hal’s actions were as various Green Lantern members reminded him of what he did. Guy Gardner’s surprising role in this chapter made Taylor’s story added depth to what Hal’s redemption arc will be. All of that combined with the mystery of what the Red Lantern Corps create a lot of interest in where Taylor will take this story arc in Injustice 2.