Setting the scene for DC's fighting game, Injustice, Gods Among Us starts off with the death of Lois and Superman killing the Joker. It follows Superman's slow decent into a tyrant and the High Counciller. Featuring Apokolips, the Green Lantern Corps, DC's cast of magic users as well as the Old Gods and the New Gods, this prequel series is large, epic and a satisfying read for all DC fans.
Personally, I have never played the fighting game. But the idea of Superman forcing peace on Earth is one that seems incredibly controversial and a well done story-line, if it is done right. And boy, is this done right. Superman's fall from human to tyrant is paced well. Batman's decent into sunken coward is equally done well. And the host of other DC characters stay true to their motives and their goals. Even for those who have no idea about the game's story, this is a comic series that is a must for all DC fans and a fantastic read for all comic readers.
DC does dark comics well. Very well. And there are many examples of this, Batman, John Constantine, and so on. Injustice, Gods Among Us, the comics, follows the story of what happens before the events of the fighting game. And it is wonderfully dark.
Year 1 sets the pace from the get go. Lois is pregnant with Superman's child. Jimmy Olsen is shot and killed by The Joker, who has stolen Kryptonite from S.T.A.R Labs as well as a submarine. When Superman learns of this, he scuttles it to land, tears a hole in it and is greeted by the Joker and Harley Quinn who appear to be operating on Lois. The Joker suddenly gases Superman who becomes horrified to see his nemesis, Doomsday, standing before him. Superman tackles the beast into out of space while Batman and the rest of the JLA interrogate The Joker. Batman learns that Doomsday is, in fact, Lois, just as Superman sees the dead body of his wife and unborn child in front of him. The Joker grins and sets off a nuclear bomb, leveling Metropolis.
This starts the ball rolling as Superman kills The Joker (Superman stabs his hand through his chest). Grieving, Superman vows “No More” and begins using his power to force a cease-fire all over the world. This causes a large split between DC's hero world, with those siding for Superman and those who can see the path he is slowly beginning to head down. Deception, death and betrayal mark the first of this series in a brilliant dystopian style future.
Injustice, Gods Among Us Year 1 starts off incredibly well. The artwork for the series compliments all of the characters as well as draws familiarity from the game. The authors use the notion of an all powerful government to send some of our most familiar heroes on the path of corruption, turning them into villains. Superman plays the part of all powerful dictator well. And the character development for him is fantastic. As is the characters for all the main 'Fallen' heroes. The other heroes, those who side with Batman, name the 'Insurgents', is not as strong since their role is mainly in the background in this story. And this first year sets the tempo for the other years to follow.
Injustice, Gods Among Us Year 1 is a dark read that plays with the idea of Peace vs. Freedom. A story that is complimented by its artwork, this is a sure hit for all fans of DC and those who enjoyed the game.
This picks up where the first year left off, at the funeral of one of their own. Superman continues to search for Batman, his search intercepting him with Gordon. We find out that Gordon has late stages of cancer. Batman wakes up, after having his back broken, greeted by Zatanna and Alfred. We learn that Superman has Raven looking for him through all possible magical dimensions.
One of the Earth's Green Lanterns, Kyle, begins his journey back to Earth after being away for a year. He is intercepted and captured by Sinestro, the leader of the Yellow Lantern Corps, who is watching the Earth and all that Superman is doing, saying that he is glad for what Superman is up to. Kyle tries to send a message through his ring, but has the ring, along with his finger, ripped off. Sinestro turns his back on Kyle as he is torn apart by the rest of the Yellow Lanterns.
The brutal death of Kyle sparks an all out war between the Green Lantern Corps. and Superman, fueled by Sinestro. As the debate between the Guardians and what Superman is doing grows larger and larger, an all out war between the Yellow Lanterns and the Green Lanterns occurs. Hal loses his Green Lantern ring and joins the Yellow Lantern Corps. The battle escalates and continues until Sinestro inducts Superman into the Yellow Lantern Corps. This drastically turns the tide and Superman quickly dispatches the Green Lanterns and the Guardians. This battle ends with Superman punching a large hole through the Green Lantern planet, Mogo. This Year ends with the entrance of Dr. Fate.
Year 2 is absolutely massive. The war between Superman and the Green Lantern Corps. is large, over the top and absolutely epic. The tension between each of Superman's followers and Sinestro adds a wonderful contrast to Year 1's Superman vs. Batman. It also subtly looks at the difference between a peace-keeping force (the Green Lantern Corps.) and a Regime's suppression force (Superman's enhanced army). A well drawn and solid follow up to the Year 1, Injustice - God's Among Us Year 2 continues to perform right through to the very end.