Before we get started, does the cover look like Henry Cavill and Billy Zane to anyone else or is it just me? And NO Billy Zane would not make a good Lex Luthor. Can we stop that? I’m sick of seeing his name in every fan casting discussion. It’s as bad as every time we would have a talk about the next Mr. Freeze and everyone would go “Patrick Stewart!” or “Ben Kingsley!” It’s like we as fanboys can’t think of actors to play bald characters who aren’t actually bald themselves. By the way, the correct answer to the Mr. Freeze question is Jason Isaacs. He’s a great actor and if you shaved him and painted him pale he’d look exactly like the Animated Series incarnation.

Now, on to the comic book!

Issue #8 is the point of no return for this alternate universe’s Superman. We have seen him kill in the aftermath of losing both Metropolis and Lois, but he has struggled in the days since because he knows he is abandoning everything he once stood for. He’s torn. He’s clearly getting results with this new, far more brash approach. Wonder Woman, his best friend Lex Luthor, and the general public are all behind this darker Superman but his conscience is screaming that this is wrong and friends like Shazam, The Flash, and Batman are concerned as well. This is a weaker willed Superman who needs the approval of another good-hearted individual. He needs to see someone else with a no kill code say “Yes, we need to change.” so he feels better about himself. It’s the sort of behavior we wouldn’t see from our Earth’s Superman, but this isn’t our Earth. Issue #8 gives us a moment unseen in the video game that pushes Superman and all the other heroes to the edge. The death of Metropolis and Lois raised the question of “Do we kill for the greater good and take the world fully into our hands?” and issue #8 underlines that question and forces everyone to answer it.

Firstly, it’s awesome to see the other heroes stand up for what’s right in the comic’s opening scene. It’s something that the video game sorely lacked but the comic is doing well (among other things). Yes, in the game there were little moments where Shazam or Flash questioned Superman but after 5 years of seeing Superman as a dictator their actions don’t mean a whole lot. So in Tom Taylor’s prequel it’s good to know that they’ve had their doubts from the start and that these supporting characters aren’t as one dimensional as they were presented in the game. How they’ve managed to stick with this regime for half a decade is something else that’ll need to be addressed. When the grey area they’ve entered is so apparent right from the start I can’t help but feel that there’s no way many of these heroes would’ve stood beside Superman for so long.

This comic is a major turning point for the entire series and while the first 1/3 of the book may make it look like this will be a slower, more chatty installment of Injustice that all changes pretty quickly and we end up with an all out war on our hands. And while it’s all quite heavy, Taylor still manages to add some humor into the mix with great lines from both Catwoman and Green Arrow, which I’ll put in spoiler tags (among other points)

Spoiler

I loved these lines and got a good chuckle out of them. When the alien invasion begins and Batman shows the non-typical cities that are being attacked The Green Lantern says “Don’t they know alien invasions always start near famous monuments?” and Catwoman remarks “I steal things. Repelling alien invasions, not so much.” Which is the sort of quote that would’ve worked great in the recent Trinity War, too.

Speaking of the alien invasion, I would definitely like to see Kalibak be a playable character in the game. I loved the scene on Apokolips (described as a “giant ball of hell spinning in the darkness”) especially the color choice used. I’ve never thought “purple” when I pictured Darkseid’s home world but this looked great and really worked to make the setting look alien from the rest of the book.

Many characters have fantastic moments in this from Flash to Damian and even Black Canary (who should be a pretty easy character to add to the game. Just take the moves from MK’s Sindel minus the hair-toss).

The artwork by Mike S. Miller (who did pages 1-10 and 21-30) was very sharp, very vivid and detailed and boy did it need to be! This is such an important chapter in the Injustice Story that wasn’t touched upon in the video game that the art definitely couldn’t disappoint and it didn’t. Even with a fill-in artist stepping in for pages 11-20 it all looked quite consistent. Tom Derenick’s lines were much denser but the change-over was otherwise unnoticeable. Both artists did a fine job on this issue with dynamic imagery for the chaotic battle scenes and they gave the characters plenty of life to express the more pensive segments as well.

Recommended If…

  • You’re a fan of the video game. If you’ve played the game then you should be able to pick up any issue of this series and put the pieces together
  • You’re okay with this being an alternate world’s Superman and can accept the less than inspiring things he’s doing. I’ve grown more fond of the “real” Superman character ever since I did that Superman Break From Batman Special a few months ago so it’s sad to see Supes act like this even though he isn’t OUR Superman. I keep reminding myself “This isn’t our guy, this isn’t the Superman we know.”
  • The idea of multiple BOOM TUBES opening excites you
  • You like big ansemble action scenes with all your favorite heroes much like Trinity War or Justice League: Origin
  • You miss seeing Ollie and Black Canary together in the New 52
  • You miss Damian Wayne in the New 52

Overall

Nice artwork, big action, a few laughs, and it manages to fill in some very important gaps in the video game’s story.

SCORE: 8.5/10