In this issue (Digital Firsts 25 & 26 “Beyond Kahndaq”) Tom Taylor reminds us that Superman’s cousin Kara has been crashing at Black Adam’s pad after literally crashing to Earth some decades after she was sent with Kal-El away from Krypton during their apocalypse.  It was Kara’s job to look after baby Kal-El and help raise him up right when they arrived on Earth, but she fell into a wormhole and only just recently made it out.

Acclimating to Earth, she’s been fed on the propaganda of an “evil” Batman and painted a grim picture of her cousin’s incarceration. Now she trains with Black Adam, learning about her powers on Earth as they prepare to counter-coup the Resistance.

This comic is basically Damian coming to Kahndaq to plead for Black Adam’s assistance following the debacle at Ras Al Ghul’s stronghold–and what happens with the subsequent meeting between these two plucky youngsters.

And as you might expect. Black Adam does not approve:

And this isn’t even date night!

Black Adam’s problem is that he doesn’t want to get personally involved in the battle between titans that’s been going on. He just wants to stay in Kahndaq and keep the peace in his little corner of the world. He’s also running his own agenda with Kara and Damian’s smug appearance threatens that. So while he’s hospitable enough with Damian, he doesn’t exactly want these two sharing any ideas or Damian even twigging to the fact that Kara’s got super-plus-sized powers even if she’s still figuring out how to use them.

The interactions between Damian and Kara are actually quite nice. Kara’s innocence in terrible ways of this world is refreshing and Damian’s self-awareness regarding the not-so-great things he’s done adds a much-needed (and until now much-missing) level of depth to the young Bat-scion who has pretty much been a raging insufferable nuisance up until this point. So much so that I was rather taken aback when Black Adam referred to him as Nightwing as he’s unfit (utterly!) to take that name so far as I’m concerned.

But maybe Damian’s done some growing up in the last few years. Certainly Alfred’s death affected him greatly, and it’s been clear for a while now that he’s not on the same boat with where his mother is steering things with grandpa Ras.

Let’s bond over our mutually tragic lives, shall we?

There are several interesting reveals in this issue about Black Adam’s plans, but nothing too shocking–just solid storytelling that feels like it’s ramping up for the crescendo finale. This has definitely been an uneven run for Injustice, but the highs still well outweigh the lows. Hopefully the conclusion will give us the payoff we’ve been working toward all this time.

Mike S. Miller takes the artist seat and does a particularly nice job with Damian and Kara’s goofy getting-to-know you expressions throughout. Black Adam feels a bit awkward (he’s got such an oval egg head–I found it quite distracting), but I enjoyed the change of scenery and Miller’s Middle East that’s not really the Middle East. His environments are especially good here: from a sumptuous bedroom in Black Adam’s “palace” to a grimy island cell in the final cliffhanger reveal. Also worth noting are J. Nanjan’s colors, which are more than somewhat striking: Black Adam’s gold trim positively shines!

On the cover we see Kara in her “super-suit” but that’s getting ahead of the game a bit. It will be interesting to see whether she actually dons the Kryptonian togs before all is said and done.

Recommended If…

  • You enjoy a good young adult romp–it’s not romance (yet), but it’s fun to watch the whippersnappers get their superhero mojo going.
  • You’re a big fan of Black Adam (though frankly he’s kinda a jerk in this).
  • You enjoy time away from overpopulated action sequences to do some more intimate character development. This, for me, is the best thing about this particular issue.

Overall

Injustice 2 finally shifts into a lower gear for a much-needed breather from all the insane infighting and intricacies of the battle between Batman’s Resistance and “Let’s Destroy the World” Ras Al Ghul. Here we get a much more intimate portrait of yet another level of selfish battling in which Damian comes out at the bright moral center of the universe (go figure!). Reintroducing Black Adam this late in the game feels like one more level of complexity this story really doesn’t need, but it will be interesting to see who cancels who out in the next clash (no doubt just on the horizon).

 

SCORE: 7.5/10