Friday, October 10, 2014

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two, Volume 1

Once again, writer Tom Taylor knocks it out of the park, providing one of the few readable books that DC is publishing these days.
 First off, big kudos to DC for doing something that I've been clamoring for in all collected editions for years: They included a "Story so far" page. I read a lot of comics, and I'm steeped in all kinds of esoteric and obscure knowledge, and I still have trouble keeping track of storylines from one volume to another, so I can imagine how hard a new reader, or (Gasp!) someone who has never read a comic but may have been lured in by the video-game tie-in may find it to join a massive story like this already in progress. I hope DC keeps this up across the board, and I hope that other publishers get on board as well. I read the last volume about four months ago, and I still found the text recap extremely helpful.

 Writer Tom Taylor has proven to be one hell of a surprise, taking what could have been a dopey, short-lived video-game tie-in comic, and making it into an honest-to-goodness old-school DC epic that seems designed to appeal to those that feel alienated by DC's "New 52" reboot. Taylor's "Superman conquers the world" extravaganza gets the characters right, the voices right, the continuity right. INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR TWO, VOLUME 1 hits all of the sweet spots for disgruntled old coots like yours truly, weaving in bits and pieces of old storylines and well-loved characters, and setting them through their paces in service of a story that is truly epic in scope.

 This volume is far more focused than the previous one; It seems like Taylor has finally mastered the bi-weekly online format that made the volumes prior to this one seem choppy and episodic at times. INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR TWO, VOLUME 1 collects, depending on who you believe, issues 1-5 or issues 1-6 of the series. (The indicia says 1-6, the back cover says 1-5.....It wouldn't be a DC collected edition without some kind of screw-up, I guess. The digital review copy that DC provided has issues 1-6, so hopefully the hardcover will, as well.) Batman, crippled by Superman, is recuperating in The Tower of Fate, Superman is solidifying his iron grip over Earth, and he's finally drawn the attention of The Guardians of Oa and their Green Lantern Corps. Trouble is a'brewin'.....

 I can't say enough good things about Tom Taylor...between this series and EARTH 2, which he completely turned around, the guy is on fire. The art, by Bruno Redondo, Julien Hugonnard-Bert, Mike S. Miller, and Saleem Crawford, works wonderfully, and reminds me of the pre-reboot glory days, although the video-game costumes that some characters sport are fugly.

 I've been enjoying this series immensely, and as long as Taylor is calling the shots, I'll be on board. Great old-school super-hero fun.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.