Issue #3 of this series reigns things in quite a bit and isn’t as shocking as the previous two issues but let’s face it, those two copies are hard to top. We saw major character deaths, the leveling of entire cities, and heroic characters lose control. So now what?
Now that the DC Universe as we all know it has been torn down by the first two issues, part three is here to start the world building process for what the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game will ultimately be. Superman is furious and he’s finally stepping up to whip the planet into shape. I’ve always felt that Superman could do more and it’s an aspect of his character that’s always frustrated me… but I get it. I understand that what people have always loved about him is that he’s wholly good and believes that it’s not up to him to shepherd this planet. He has the power to do so but chooses instead to believe in people to do what is right and find enlightenment at their own pace. So I can see many Superman fans being upset by Kal-El essentially being cast as a sympathetic villain in this series but for me I both enjoy this portrayal and think it makes sense. Some might not think Superman could ever be pushed this far, but I feel like the reasons given are good enough. Being manipulated into killing Lois by a villain who is being permitted to live only so he can repeat his crimes again and again? Being responsible for the death of his unborn child? The loss of Metropolis? And of course there are some things in this particular issue with the Kents that definitely didn’t help matters. What I’m saying is that hardcore Superman fans are going to have disagreements with this, but I think the rest of us will think it’s pretty kick-ass.
Another character who gets a lot of attention here (it’s mostly a Superman and Wonder Woman issue) is Wonder Woman and while I think Tom Taylor is doing a fine job of characterizing her as a tough as nails Greek warrior she also comes across as too cold and calculating for my liking. Also, it was odd to see bullets bounce off her face. It makes sense, I mean if she can take hits from the likes of Darkseid or blasts from laser canons an power rings then surely a bullet could bounce off her perfect cheekbones, right? I suppose it’s just that the image of her deflecting every shot with those bracelets, the iconic Wonder Woman action we see in every cartoon and TV show, that’s kept me from ever really considering what would happen if a bullet actually did hit.
But basically you’re getting a heavy focus on Wonder Woman and Superman and watching the framework get laid for what the game will be. The line is drawn here and it’s quickly becoming apparent who will be on which side. The artwork by Jheremy Raapack and David Yardin also looks better than what we’ve seen in previous issues. The two artists complement one another well and neither of their illustrations came off quite as hurried as the work from previous installments. The arts still not the main draw here though. It’s fine but none of the panels really stick with you. And I must say that Flash’s design for the game, at least in this comic, doesn’t look very sleek for a speedster. The armor plating may work well for a character like Batman (although even that looks too busy) but with Flash it comes off as clunky and I imagine he would make quite the racket as he races from place to place.
Part three of this gaming tie-in is still quite good but it’s not going to leave you with goosebumps the way parts one and two did. Superman and Wonder Woman fans might have some disagreements with the portrayals here, but overall I think most DC fans will find this series to be a very refreshing break from the norm of the other New 52 titles.