If you can never get enough of Batman against Batman (or even faux-Batman), welcome to Injustice’s latest grudge-match between the caped crusader and that evil guy pretending to be him–yeah, you know the one: with all the guns and the killing and glowing red eyes.
That guy who just blithely did away with Amanda Waller in order to appropriate the Suicide Squad, who then commences thinning out the ranks in a hilariously horrifying way. But there’s no time for eulogies for our third-tier baddies. Let’s just see if somehow Calendar Man doesn’t come back to haunt him down the road.
In Injustice 2’s “Things Go Boom” (Digital Firsts 3 & 4) many things do, indeed, go boom, but Taylor also takes a few pages to remind us why he was so masterful at making this world great: the contrast between the world of superheroics (and supervillainy), and the ordinary lives of people trying to get on with it in spite of the chaos around them.
But first, let’s finish talking about all the things that go boom.
Like the confrontation between Batman and BadBat:
Love the little comedic touch of gore on the tablet there
Don’t freak out now, but this fight doesn’t go the way you think it might–and while the outcome leaves a few questions, it’s pretty dang exciting no matter how you feel about who wins. These two are not just fighting about taking the Suicide Squad, they’re fighting about what it means to be Batman: who has the right and what the Batman represents.
I suppose I could quibble about how Batman got from here to there in the aftermath of the fight–details omitted in the dialogue which follows, which, in true Injustice style, leaps right into the next thing without scarcely a breath because there’s just so much going on in this world. Taylor takes a moment to give Lex Luthor some wrap up, which was lacking in Injustice: Ground Zero, though I kind of feel like for people who didn’t pick up that interlude, there feels like a strange lacuna here in which we can assume what happened, but it’s never quite explained.
But back to Batman: now, of course we all know Bruce (the real Bruce) is right and Batman will never be too old or too weak or give into the temptation to take the easy road with the guns and the killing. Batman would never sacrifice his integrity. But I have to say, it’s still thrilling to watch him be challenged about it–to know that the very integrity of everything he represents is at stake in this world.
I mean, let’s face it: Batman isn’t going to die. But if his Resistance fails, his legacy will.
“People with Their Hearts in the Right Places”–exactly!
The inclusion of the more personal drama between Dina and Ollie in this issue really does highlight Taylor’s ability to humanize even the most god-like of heroes. In this case, they’re both pretty mortal, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve come back to this world to help Batman even at the risk of losing their family and in a moment of pure joyful optimism, Dina decides to pop the question (on bended knee even).
Not only is this a great moment for how charming it is to have the proposal role-reversal going on, but it’s played with such earnestness and such humor that you can’t help but root for these characters to make it. Taylor: don’t you break our hearts, I’m still stifling a bit of a sob over the Polka-Dot Man!
Bruno Redondo (pencils) and Juan Albarran (inks) deliver another superb book: the Batmanx2 fight is full of amazing action against the backdrop of a rainy night, and ends on a lovely high-angle transition that’s pure cinema. Also, as a fiend of the carnage, I especially loved BadBat’s weeding technique–wasted a lot of character who could have been kinda of fun to play with in this world, but boy did they go out in style!
It was great to see Lucius Fox make an appearance here at last, but Barbara Gordon looked strangely off-model to me for some reason. Her costume seems weird and her hair is oddly flat. Maybe it’s just because we see her in the suit but without the cowl.
- You want to see a Batman who is being a very bad Bat.
- Bat vs. Bat epic fight sounds like a definite need in your life.
- You love Green Arrow and Black Canary as a romantic couple.
Lex Luthor speaks from beyond the grave, Lucius Fox speaks in person, Batman gets the bad end of a fight with himself, and Green Arrow and Black Canary make plans for the future even as the present crumbles all around them. It wouldn’t be Injustice without all this varied and sundry drama and Tom Taylor delivers it with a cherry on top! As always, a great alternative to that Justice League comic you always wanted….