Art by: Xermanico, Rex Lokus and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: September 29, 2015
There are only a couple of issue left in this Year Four of Injustice which means this book is going to get crammed full of crazy action. We already have Superman fighting Darkseid, Zeus ready to topple all the world's religions, the U.N about to fire nukes at Themyscira and Batman off trying to get some help. If that's not enough, Ares is still somewhere ready to stab someone in the back and Harley is...well, Harley is just being Harley. I'm sure I'm missing something and there will be more to get fired up about soon enough. Even though I haven't been the biggest fan of this Year of the Gods, I am a fan of Brian Buccellato and I know he's a finisher. I also know that I read this issue already and it's pretty damn good. It's certainly setup heavy, but still...pretty damn good. So, without further ado, let's talk about Injustice: Year Four #22, shall we?
The issue opens up on Apokolips and having Desaad as the narrator kicks ass. You can only imagine the things he's seen and had happen to him so when he tells you he's worried about what's happening, it carries a ton of wait. It is only a brief glance, however, as we head off to New Genesis and catch up with Orion and Highfather. Okay, now THIS is what I wanted in the Year of the Gods!
Orion has arrived to tell Highfather what is happening on Apokolips, but there is no need for a spoiler warning because he's already been told by the Source. Highfather is not concerned with the big battle going on, just what could happen to Apokolips as a result.
As Batman enters to talk to Highfather, we shift back to Apokolips and Darkseid gives the reader a "Oh no he didn't" moment...he mentions Lois. He actually does it as a kind of compliment...he's impressed that this "new" Superman is cutting loose. In fact, he sees a little Darkseid in Superman. You can imagine how that makes the Man of Steel feel. Yea, he's pretty damn pissed off.
After Desaad opens his stupid mouth and goes and gets himself killed, we are back on New Genesis and surprise, High Father doesn't care about the plight of the human population of Earth. What is with these highfalutin gods, anyway?!? He seems to change his tune a bit when he finds out that Ares is working with Darkseid, but we'll have to wait for next week's issue to see what gives there.
This issue is a whole bunch of wait until next week and it continues with Harley and Billy Batson. When Harley drops Billy off at his house (on Lobo's motorcycle!), she promises to get his Shazam powers back. It's just a tiny little scene, but this may be the best Harley Buccellato has given us. It's all about her heart and it's here is spades.
This is my favorite issue of Year Four by far. It's a combination of getting the New Gods involved (it's about time!), but also the spot-on characterizations. I already mentioned Harley, but Superman, Darkseid, Highfather, Orion and everyone else in this issue is great. My faith in Buccellato is paying off and I hope this trend continues as this year ends and into the next one.
Xermanico's art is another reason I loved this issue. He makes everything and everyone look great and in a book with this many characters running around, that's a big feat. The highlight for me was Orion, but that may be because I love the character so much...no, it's because Xermanico kicks ass.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue is a lot of setup for the last couple of issues of Year Four and it's also my favorite issue of the Year of the Gods. Getting the New Gods involved was a welcome addition and I can only wonder what took so long. It doesn't matter now, because they are in the house and with a strong story and great art, I loved this issue and have high, high hopes with how this Year will end.