Art by: Bruno Redondo, and Xermanico
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Tower of Hate
Since taking over Injustice, Brian Buccellato has done a pretty good job. Sure, the story feels a little bit rushed, but it still feels like Injustice and I'm glad for that. Last week ended with the Spectre taking Team Superman to the Tower of Fate for a head-on confrontation with Batman and his crew and I couldn't wait. Not only because it promised some kick-ass action, but also because it would give readers a chance to see Buccellato work with all the characters they've come to fear, hate and love since the book began. He does a pretty good job even if something seems to be missing.
The issue opens up with a character that I admit I forgot about, but love so much. Deadman is flying towards Arkham Asylum and while phasing through walls, floor and people is cool, it's who Deadman is that's so great. You see, Boston Brand was killed by the Spectre issues ago and the new Deadman is...Dick Grayson. Awesome. He takes over the body of a guard and then visits a very interesting inmate. This part of the story has me very excited.
While I should have also been pumped for the Superhero Battle Royal, I really wasn't. It's hard for me to explain, but having everyone faceoff here didn't feel right. When Team Batman takes the "super pill" together before the fight, it just fell flat. I actually assumed they took it already. I did smile when Constantine and Doctor Fate said no to any enhancements, but that's really the only smile I had during the whole fight. That's a big problem.
I know that it's unfair to compare Brian Buccellato to Tom Taylor, but unfortunately it is inevitable. Tom Taylor's Injustice was so great not only because of the shocking deaths and action, but also for it's sense of humor. I'd even argue that the humor is what set it apart. Brian Buccellato hasn't been able to capture that aspect just yet.
Harley Quinn is in this issue and Buccellato does try to get some laughs from her, but again, it feels off. It's more in-your-face and generic than the clever bits under Taylor. Again, Buccellato is still getting his feet wet and I'm hoping his characterizations will develop a little with each issue. As of now, however, they are a tad disappointing.
Doctor Fate and Constantine step up to the plate this issue and this is the first Buccellato issue that reminds the reader that Year Three is the "magical" Year. The book ends with an awesome character joining the fray, but it would have had a bit more impact if it wasn't spoiled by the cover art.
Speaking of art, Xermanico and Bruno Redondo nail the issue and that really helps Buccellato's story fit into the series seamlessly. As long as these two are providing the visuals, I will always love Injustice.
Bits and Pieces:
Injustice: Year Three continues to be a good book, but this is the first Buccellato penned issue that has me a little worried. He has all the pieces for a great Injustice issue, but when they are all on the page, something just feels off. I'll give him a little time to work on getting the voices of the cast heavy book and I hope he can capture the humor that Tom Taylor threw in among the crazy deaths and action. For the most part, it's missing from this issue and while Xermanico and Bruno Redondo make everything look just right, the story and dialogue need a little spark to get up to par.