This week’s Injustice proves that Brian Buccellato has some tricks yet to play up his sleeve. Last go-round it seemed like he was setting up a particular path for Batman and his weary band of supporters, but this week we find out he has multiple plans in the works.
And of course he does! He’s Batman!
“Thrones” and “Commitments” (Digital Firsts No. 29 & 30) combine to tell a tale of unification and disintegration.
When we left off, things were pretty dire in the Batcamp, but Batman was slowly bringing Flash around to his way of thinking–and seriously considering doing some fancy time-bending to try to set things back on track. But this issue we find out that there are multiple plans being hatched and at least the Resistance is holding together despite the death of Alfred and their failure to put down Superman in the last issue.
And even though the members of Batman’s camp are not privy to all of the particulars of Batman’s myriad schemes, the important thing is that they trust him.
Those grim eyes are ironically a beacon of hope
Meanwhile, trust is not the order of the day in Superman’s camp, where things are going from bad to worse.
Superman takes a tour of the realms to wring out affirmations of allegiance from various corners. Naturally he does this without any diplomacy or finesse, making lots of new friends of old estranged allies (emphatically not).
I have to admit I am entertained by the fact that Superman is alienating so many of the people who started off Justice Leaguers and strong supporters. The way he’s throwing his power around will just make it all that more gratifying when he falls.
Among the people he spectacularly annoys in this issue are Black Adam (whom we haven’t seen since he was exiled during Year One), Aquaman, who likewise has been staying out of the fray in the interest of keeping Atlantis neutral, and Cyborg, whose loyalty has been beyond question throughout the series (and even now!) and yet Superman, in his supreme stupidity, decides he needs to make threats against him anyway.
Smooth move, Clark.
Adding to the tension on this side is an exchange between Hal Jordan and Sinestro that is mostly teeth and very little talk. Hal still wants to know who set Victor Zsasz free to kill Alfred Pennyworth, and Sinestro refuses to satisfy him with an answer. His refusal, however, is answer enough for Yellow Lantern and while their fight is just as quickly diffused as it began, I expect we’ll see Hal coming to blows with the Man of Steel sooner than later.
And speaking of coming to blows, what do you all think of Hawkman’s 30-second beat-down with Mongul?
Rocky vs. Apollo?
I confess I don’t know enough about Mongul to know whether this was silly business, but even if it is, I kind of like the idea of the Thanagarian going off into this outer realm and bartering for a kryptonite ring with his own blood (and I love that image of him flying back to Earth all battered to hell). I felt like it should have somehow been tougher or more of a sacrifice for Katar-Hol to get that ring, but it was still a fun fight. Now if I only didn’t hate the characterization of the character in this alternate universe as much as I hate Superman!
We’ll just have to see how this plays out and what Hawkman can bring to the team (above and beyond the ring itself, which is an intriguing development all its own).
Xermanico does art for the full issue and it looks fabulous! His moody Bruce/Batman is well-cast in shadows and his Batgirl is stunning. I also love the rendering of Sinestro’s prison throne and Sinestro’s smug face itself: he absolutely lords over that scene with genuine panache. Part of that is Buccellato’s scripting, but a considerable debt goes to Xermanico’s wonderfully twisted facial expressions: Sinestro looks condescending and amused throughout and you can feel Hal’s rage building with each panel’s progression.
- You like comics that are heavy on the intrigue.
- You want to hate on Hawkman some more–even if he is on Batman’s side now.
- You just can’t get enough of SuperDouche!
- Cameos from Black Adam! Aquaman! Mongul! Fresh blood, people!
This book has been on point again and again: the consistency of the art, the tightness of the writing, and the dramatic turns in each new issue continue to make Injustice, hands down, the best digital offering DC has on the line–and well worth the cost of a physical floppy. Even with the added storytelling of all these extra issues in Year Five, it’s going to be hard to see this one end come October. Enjoy it while it lasts!