February 09, 2016

DC's Injustice: Old material, no new vision

A friend of mine recently lent me the first two trades of the "critically acclaimed" series which began over two years ago. It chronicles Superman and assorted super-pals assuming control of the planet.

It's based on the hit video game of the same name.

(SPOILERS)

The story takes place on an alternate Earth, and the Joker has apparently grown tired of dealing with Batman. As such, he travels to Metropolis where he kidnaps Lois Lane, and then surgically attaches a device to her heart. If Lane's heart ceases to beat, a nuclear device will explode, obliterating Metropolis.

Joker uses a Kryptonite-laden form of Scarecrow's hallucinogenic gas on Supes, and as a result believes Lois to be a bad-guy. He skyrockets Lois into space, killing her. Joker's nuke explodes, leveling Metropolis. Superman promptly kills the Joker.

From there we see little that we haven't read already in Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme, Mark Waid's Kingdom Come, and numerous issues of The Authority. Not to mention, Mark Millar's superb Superman: Red Son.

Writer Tom Taylor is an amateur compared to those who've come before. Superman comes across like an angry middle schooler ... you can never quite grasp the protagonist, nor feel his grief at the loss of Lois.

Taylor injects the typical stuff we've all seen elsewhere in contemporary fare: Catwoman lecturing the president (and Batman) about "doing better" and giving him (them) a hard time with the usual litany of liberal gripes, including gun control. (Y'know, an issue way down on the list of voters' concerns.)

Perhaps the most laughable scene regarding this issue is Superman playing chess with the Flash and out of the blue saying "I want to ban guns."

Flash counters with "Do you think people will let you?" (as if they could do anything about it) and to be sure, the issue is debated, along with other matters. It's just done rather clumsily.

A la Squadron Supreme, two teams of heroes form -- Superman, Wonder Woman and Shazam lead those who want to exercise their (super)power to alleviate the ills of the world; Batman leads those in opposition. (In Gruenwald's SS, ironically it was the Batman analogue Nighthawk who formed the opposition team against Superman/Wonder Woman analogues Hyperion/Power Princess and co.)

Superman, once the notion of killing is out of his system, proceeds to off Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow in the process of establishing his "better world." And both deaths don't seem to mean much. Superman and Wonder Woman's attitudes were like "Meh, had to be done." The Soviet Superman in Red Son had a higher moral plane.

The second trade features essentially worthless battles with Apokolips acolytes and Lobo, and furthers the battles between the two superhero armies. I started to get bored. But I guess I'll continue reading ... since I ain't paying for it.

Posted by Hube at February 9, 2016 05:54 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

It sounds like a really half-assed version of that "A Better World" two-parter the Justice League cartoon did like 13 years ago--right down to an alternate version of Superman killing a major villain (albeit the Joker instead of Luthor).

Posted by: SpideyTerry at February 10, 2016 07:40 PM

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