Art by: Bruno Redondo and Juan Albarran
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: February 17, 2015
I got a little flack last for my Injustice review last week. I know that on the surface, complaining that a comic book based on a fighting game has too much fighting sounds pretty ridiculous, but let me explain. It's not the fighting itself I'm against, but the lack of tension surrounding it. Most readers know who is going to live so if they are in a fight...no tension. When you get a whole issue of that, I'm going to get upset. Last week, I was upset. Guess what? This issue has a whole bunch of fighting in it and I was not upset. What gives? Let's discuss, shall we?
This week begins with a couple of pages that get us up to speed on where we are in the book, but also a little philosophy according to Constantine. It's heavy on the Batman is great vibe and is also pretty darn awesome. This book is on it's third year and second writer and this is the best explanation of why half of the heroes are following Batman and why his is the side of right. We then get to one of my favorite (and until now, sadly underused) characters...Deadwing.
Dick Grayson has "hijacked" Poison Ivy and brought her to the fight as a counter to Swamp Thing. I am a huge fan of both characters and always like seeing them together. It just makes so much sense. I was left wanting more, but the little we got was promising. Speaking of promising, having Dick as the new Deadman was a stroke of genius, but up until this issue, he seemed more like a gimmick than a true character. That all changed big time this week.
When Dick enters Shazam, it seemed like a way to get him out of the fray. It was so much more. He reverts to Billy Batson and tells Bruce who he really is and it's time to grab the tissues. He finally gets to tell Bruce how much he meant to him as a mentor and a Father. It's such a great scene, but when Dick tells Bruce to forgive Damian, it was one of the better scenes in a long, long time. Then Batman knocks out Billy. Poor little guy.
Of course, it's not Injustice without fights (especially lately) and we get a doozy here. Wonder Woman is throwing down with Batwoman and Huntress and having the typical chatter about who's right when Buccellato reminds me that not everyone survives every fight. It's a powerful scene because of the reaction from all those involved. The book ends with Trigon turning the battlefield into a living Hell, literally.
This is what I'm talking about. We get the bash-em up fighting everyone loves, the shocking death we've come to expect and the character moments that elevated this book above a mere video game tie-in. If this is a sneak peak at what we should expect from the ending of Year Three and into Year Four, I'm all in.
While I wish Bruno Redondo was involved in more than layouts this issue, Juan Albarran does a good job on finishes. This book may get buzz from horrendous deaths, but the stellar art has been the backbone to everything.
Bits and Pieces:
While we get more fighting this week, the great character moments are a reminder of what really makes this book a must read. Brian Buccellato pulls at the heart strings a couple of times this week and the stage is set for an explosive end to Year Three. Year Three is back to being magical, just in a different way.