Issue #7 breaks new ground that was untouched by the video game. It also illustrates a few distinct differences between the two universes that collide so that the idea of many of our heroes acting so out of character is more forgivable because these aren’t the heroes we know after all.
At first it just seemed as though one universe existed in which the Joker’s bomb detonated and then there was another universe in which it didn’t, but issue #7 hints at it being a bit more complicated than that. This surprising element was one of the best things about this issue for me and it leaves me wondering what else was different about this timeline that sets it apart from the world we know?
Another great thing is that writer Tom Taylor once again devotes time to a character who isn’t Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman. Seeing their perspective alone in big DC-wide epics gets a little stale after a while. I know I’m getting pretty tired of it in the current Trinity War event and wish that guys like The Flash would step up and carry the story for a little while. Today’s issue of Injustice focuses very heavily on Shazam, a character who really got the short end of the stick in the video game
It’s overall a much slower paced issue than those that came before, but I like that. The other issues were all very fast-paced and hectic and it’s good to slow things down now that we’re out of the turf that the video game covered. The real prequel story is of Batman’s 5 year rebellion against Superman’s expanding empire and I’m actually really fascinated by the idea of seeing this pivotal plot point fleshed. In fact, by digging into this portion of the Injustice story that was glossed over in the game, the Injustice comic is feeling less and less like a tie-in and more like a story in its own right. It actually feels necessary, like it has a point. The Arkham Unhinged series never once felt like it was enhancing its corresponding game’s plot and I hope that Adam Beechen, who is writing the upcoming Arkham Origins comic, takes note of how Tom Taylor is approaching the video game tie-in.
The big problem with the Injustice series still remains, however. The series needs a consistent artist, inker, and colorist. The writing has been really enjoyable but rarely do we ever get consecutive pages of quality artwork. Some panels look really great, like the shots of Hawkgirl in flight or the page layout that showed each panel as the screen of a smartphone (this actually reminded me a bit of something I would expect to see in a book like Locke & Key– that’s a good thing), but then there are pages like this…
That just look awful due to some odd positioning and a potato-like face.
Surprisingly, despite that image of Cyborg’s robotic arm getting ripped off, this issue really toned down the ultra-violence and instead featured a more suspenseful plot that didn’t rely on an “Oh my God! This guy just killed that guy and there’s blood everywhere!” moment to make it interesting. I did find that stuff to be pretty fun and exciting in the beginning because it was so out of the ordinary but now I want to see that the creators can present characters that are capable of carrying a book without resorting to shock value. Issue #7 shows that they’re on the right track and the final page definitely has me looking forward to what’s to come next month.