Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Injustice: Year Two #9 Review

Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Bruno Redondo
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 14, 2014

Road to War

Okay, I'm a huge fan of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo's Injustice.  In fact, I gave it my 2013 Book of the Year Award.  I believe that Year One of the series proved two things to DC and it's fans.  If done right, a video game adaptation can be awesome and digital first comics deserve attention.  It certainly got mine.

Year Two continued the story, but is a very different book.  Where Year One was so eager to please with shocks and twists, Year Two has settled into a slow burn story that is just as much about character development then crazy deaths.  Granted, Tom Taylor has used the "I don't know what the hell will happen next" shadow of Year One to build tension in this book to a fever pitch, but the strong characterizations only make it better.  It's not a question of if the shoe will drop, but when.  Well, the shoe just dropped.

Injustice is about sides.  Batman versus Superman.  Good versus Evil.  There are grey areas, but we know what's what.  Year Two has concentrated mainly on Superman's growing forces and the reaction to it. This issue continues that trend.  We get a peek at a bunch of characters; Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Lex Luthor, Shazam, Hawkgirl, Cyborg and the Green Lantern Corps.  Readers of the book will be able to tell me which one doesn't belong.  Hint: it's the Green Lantern Corps. They have imprisoned Hal and are heading towards Earth to bring Superman back to Oa to "talk" to the Guardians. 

Meanwhile, back in the Hall of Justice Watchtower, an imprisoned Sinestro tells Lex and Hawkgirl the Corps are coming and when they arrive, Superman will need his help.  Superman is already aware of that and goes to get Billy Batson from his Algebra class.  It's a funny scene that leads to one of my favorite Billy Batson/Shazam transformations I have seen in quite some time.

Back on Oa, a mysterious stranger breaks Hal (and Salaak's face) out of his cell.  I won't say who it is, but it really isn't much of a surprise.  It's still awesome, though.  Add another member to Team Superman.  This issue really makes up for some slower buildup issues, that's for sure.

Returning to Earth, the Lanterns arrive like green meteorites and it's a faceoff between the entire Corps and Superman, Shazam and Hawkgirl.  Those are pretty bad odds, but Superman has a card up his sleeve.  Then it happens.  Holy crap.  If it wasn't clear before, the War is on and Superman means business.  Your move, Detective.

This issue is what anyone complaining about the pace of Year Two has been waiting for.  I have gone on about character development and story, but this issue reminded me why I fell in love with Injustice in the first place.  Good story always comes first, but I likes me a bit of the old ultraviolence mixed in as well.

I also like Bruno Redondo's art.  Actually, I love it.  I mentioned the stellar Shazam transformation above, but everything else looks great too.  He always gives the best version of every character.  It's like a DC Comics greatest hits album.  Why isn't he working on more books?

Bits and Pieces:

Injustice: Year Two #9 takes the buildup of the past few issues and runs with it.  With Year Two, Tom Taylor has shown he's not a one-trick pony by upping the characterization and story, but it's great to get back to the explosive action.  Of course, Bruno Redondo is there to make everything look great.  This issue is titled "Road to War", but after this,  the road got a lot shorter.  The War is on.