The sweeping romance of Killer Croc and the Killer Whale continues in Tom Taylor’s tale of bestia–no wait, this is Injustice 2. Well, actually I guess the statement stands. It’s little details like this oddball, slightly comedic relationship that can keep a reader on their toes in this book. You can never get too comfortable when you have no idea what might pop out of left field, right field, or just straight down the middle in a pitch so straight you’ve over-thought it and swung too low.
Digital Firsts 43 & 44: “Gorilla Rebellion” sets us up for what feels like the shortest of the short-lived rebellions as Grodd attempts to throw over Solovar in the gorilla kingdom. Unfortunately for Grodd, Solovar has Ra’s in his pocket (or is Solovar in Ra’s pocket–can’t be too sure yet). The end result, however you want to slice it, is that Ra’s puts in a quick call to Amazo, and Amazo puts Grodd down with a quick frontal lobotomy that gives me a headache just looking at it.
But don’t worry: Grodd isn’t dead yet, so I doubt this rebellion is over–not by a long shot.
The ol’ spike in the forehead trick: works every time!
Amazo is then sent off to carry out Plan B after the practice run in Arizona: targeting a much larger city with a much denser population. The callousness of Ra’s objectives are shocking and terrible. Things are not going to end well for him at this rate, I suspect!
This issue of Injustice 2 is a nice balance of a lot of minor progressions; a lot if happening simultaneously, but Taylor, with the keen eye of an editor who really knows how to juxtapose competing action, keeps it rolling smoothly along, with tantalizing endstops for each and every set of characters. This is the genius of his work and part of what makes Injustice overall so successful; where most comics rely on an end-of book cliffhanger to keep the reader coming back, Injustice 2 provides mini-hangers all along the route.
The Grodd situation feels vaguely “resolved” at the moment, but deeper troubles seem to be stirring. Meanwhile Wonder Woman in on the cusp of declaring Supergirl ready to join the club, but rejects her at the last moment. Batman sends out an all-points-bulletin to anyone and everyone about Amazo’s assault on Delhi. And despite having just undergone a heart transplant (compliments of Zod), Superboy is about to join the action.
Batman bathed in blood-red is always striking!
Able vet Bruno Redondo shepherds most of this book, with Mike S. Miller covering only the brief sequence in Kahndaq between Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Black Adam. Some particular stand-out moments include the destruction of Delhi, and I love how the colorist (Rex Lokus in this case) bathes Batman’s scene in red light: both highlighting the danger of the situation, and also just setting it so far apart in time and space from the people he’s reaching out to.
Likewise, Redondo does an amazing job with that little family scene with Oliver and Dinah. Taylor could have played that moment pretty flat: they get the call and suit up to go, but he imbued it with Injustice’s signature humanity. The whole reason they are fighting is to protect families and lives just like their own. Redondo could have just made the family gathered around watching TV, but instead we get a very sweet and convincing picture of father and son rough-housing, which is so much more evocative.
- You particularly enjoy the back-and-forth power struggle and how the control shifts dynamically throughout the series.
- You can’t wait for Supergirl to start kicking butt and taking names (she’s on the cusp!).
- You have really missed seeing superman throughout the action and are willing to except Superboy in his place (complete with red trunks!).
This isn’t the most epic installment of Injustice 2, but it’s an incredibly solid all-around entry for a story that has gotten increasingly complex since Tom Taylor retook the reins following Injustice: Underground. This team just flat-out puts together amazing work: the art, the dialogue, the palette, and the movement of the action makes this book feel ten pages shorter than you want it to be. With the tendency of so many other books to sprawl and pad, reading such a tight comic like this one is always a major treat. Taylor wastes no words here, and Redondo and Miller bring every moment to life with cinema-quality clarity.