The Injustice Universe has returned strong both in video game and comic book form. The last few chapters of Injustice 2 has been spent building up the new opposition that Batman and his side have to face now following the defeat of Superman. That new threat has come in the form of Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins, which has increased in numbers with Ra’s recruiting a number of DC heroes and villains to his side. Now with Batman fully recovered it is time to see him answer to the new threat his forces must face. That answer may come in the form of fan-favorite character Ted Kord. Will Ted Kord be the hero that the Injustice Universe needs? Let’s find out with chapter 9 of Injustice 2.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Juan Albarran
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: Inside Kord Industries, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) is fighting several bug-inspired robots. Blue Beetle destroys one of the machines. The room is suddenly filled with smoke that covers Blue Beetle’s vision. Blue Beetle is stabbed from behind by an energy blade from one of the robots.
Ted Kord shuts down the training simulation and tells Jaime that if this was a real situation he would be dead. Jaime says that it is not like Ted never made mistakes. Ted admits he did make mistakes back in his day but he is mentoring Jaime to be better than him and have greater control of the Scarab.
Ted says that Jaime was supposed not destroy his robots, which Skeets mentions cost $345,000 each. Jaime says he only has two dollars. Ted quickly takes the money, saying that he didn’t become rich by turning down free money.
Before Jaime leaves, Ted tells Jaime that he is going to be better than him. Ted then tells Skeets to follow Jaime. Skeets cryptically says that this is how “it” happened and bids Ted farewell.
Later that night, Batman sneaks into Ted’s office. Ted tells Batman that he did not have to sneak into his office for them to meet. Batman says it was easier that way, especially as Bruce Wayne can’t be seen walking into Kord Industries.
Ted wonders how long Batman has been watching them. Batman says long enough. Ted tells Batman that Jaime is not ready as he is to inexperience to be a full-time superhero. He then reminds Batman that he would never send a Robin out to the world before he was ready.
After a short instance of silence Ted apologizes for the comment. Batman says he understands and knows Jaime isn’t ready. Batman then reveals the real reason he came to Kord Industries is to ask for Ted’s help, much to Ted’s surprise.
Ted reminds Batman that he put his superhero days behind him a long time ago. Batman says he want’s Ted’s mind and resource to help him rebuild the world that is still recovering from Superman’s reign as there are still loyal Superman followers. Batman and Ted then agree to meet the next day.
After Batman leaves, an older Booster Gold shows up. Ted and Booster Gold have some drinks together, with Ted asking his friend what brought him from the future. Booster Gold says he just wanted to say he’ll be there in the end. Ted quickly realizes that Booster Gold is talking about his death and wonders if he has any advice for him. Booster Gold says Ted should put on his suit and make a few of them regret fighting him.
Ted changes into his Blue Beetle costume and mentions that it doesn’t fit anymore. Booster Gold jokes that Ted never fit in his costume, even in his prime.
Ted asks Booster if he can’t interfere. Booster Gold says he already tried three times but failed each time. The two then hug and before Booster Gold goes into the future he says once again that he’ll be there for the end.
Not long after an explosion takes place at the top level of Kord Industries. Deadshot, Nightwing (Damian Wayne), Katana and League of Assassins ninjas swing into the destroyed level of Kord Industries. Ted mentions that Damian’s dad was there earlier and would be disappointed to see who he was hanging out with. Deadshot is surprised that Ted used to be Blue Beetle.
Ted uses this slight distraction to activate his bug robots to help him fight. Ted is able to get a good shot on Deadshot but his rally quickly ends when Katana slices his right hand off.
Now captured, Ted wonders what they want with him. Deadshot says that things are much bigger than Ted. End of issue.
The Good: Ted Kord is a DC Comics character that can not seem to catch a break when it comes to surviving to help save the day. That is the case yet again with Injustice 2 Chapter 9, which may upset some hardcore Ted Kord fans. Thankfully, Tom Taylor handles the lead up to Ted’s inevitable fate with great class as he builds it to be a big event within the Injustice Universe.
Even with the nature of Injustice 2 chapter structure Tom Taylor is able to maximize the time he does have to make each chapter feel like a full issue. Chapter 9 is the best example of this as Taylor is able to give us everything we need to know about the status quo of Ted Kord in the Injustice Universe, and by extension Jaime Reyes.
Taylor does a great job in painting Ted into the mentor any hero would want to have. Ted admitting to Jaime that he did make mistakes in the past and it’s for that reason he is being hard on Jaime’s Blue Beetle training that was one of the many great character moments in this issue. It showed that Ted is not messing around and is not beating around the bush with making sure Jaime is a better Blue Beetle than he ever was.
That mentor relationship helped elevate where we find Jaime Reyes at the moment. With the character playing a role in the Injustice 2 video game, this was a good way to introduce him into the comics. Though he wasn’t in much of this issue Taylor is clearly making Injustice 2 into a comic that will be about getting inside characters heads outside of the iconic Justice League members. Having Jaime be one of these characters that is highlighted will only help strengthen the world of Injustice as we see him find even greater motivation to be a better Blue Beetle to honor Ted Kord.
Ted’s short interaction with Batman furthered how important of a character Ted is to the DCU. As one of few characters that can match Bruce Wayne in wealth this interaction further reinforced that fact. Ted getting Batman to be honest with him highlighted how much respect Ted has earned within the DCU. The interaction was able to build on how Ted’s unavoidable fate will have long lasting ramifications to the Injustice Universe.
But as great as the scene with Batman was, Ted’s interaction with an older and wiser Booster Gold was by far the best scene of the issue. Taylor did a fantastic job playing up the friendship these two share as he hit everything that makes the pair so endearing to fans. From Ted and Booster Gold sharing a drink to Booster getting one final dig on Ted for his costume, it all made the final goodbye even more powerful. Taylor also built-in greater anticipation for Ted’s final fate with how Booster Gold continued to reiterate that he would be their in “the end.”
With how emotional heavy Injustice 2 Chapter 9 was Taylor did give Ted a good last stand. While it was short it did show that Ted isn’t someone that won’t go down without a fight, even when the odds are against him. That short burst where Ted was able to get a good hit on Deadshot was a very good moment.
At the same time, the short fight showed how Ra’s new team is not messing around. Even a hero like Katana is not hesitating to cut the hand of Ted without showing any sort of remorse. Deadshot mentioning that things are bigger than Ted builds an interesting mystery as to what Ra’s Al Ghul wants with Ted. Even though it is clear that Ted isn’t making out of things alive we still have more time with the character as he plays a role in the new war between Batman and Ra’s.
Bruno Redondo turned in yet another solid issue of Injustice 2. His consistency allows the story being told to be elevated even more. His art style is what you expect a comic book from the DC Universe to look as he captures the iconic look of each character. With how emotionally heavy Injustice 2 Chapter 9 was, Redondo delivered on the various emotions Ted and other characters had as we went from scene to scene.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Injustice 2 Chapter 9 was a fantastic introduction to this version of Blue Beetles’ Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes. Ted Kord was the star of the issue as Tom Taylor highlighted what makes the character so special even in light of his unavoidable fate. Ted’s fate was the driving force of Injustice 2 Chapter 9, which ended up delivering excellent scene with Batman and Booster Gold. If you are a DC Comics fan Injustice 2 is a comic you should definitely be reading, whether you played the video games or not.