I received a copy of this graphic novel from Net Galley for a honest review. Which those of you who have followed my comic reviews and book reviews on Books And Lesser Evils know I really don’t know how to do any other kind of review but a honest one. That is the luxury of writing for yourself and not a paycheck or readership. Nobody pays me and nobody has to read it. This is totally selfish and in its own way; totally freaking cool.
So onto the review. I had misgivings about this storyline because it was for all intents and purposes an adaptation. Injustice began as a video game. Albeit a very popular and successful video game but a game nonetheless and not as part of the continuity of any DC universe storyline. The story from year one is as follows, Joker leaves Gotham and invades Metropolis. He unleashes an atomic explosion which kills Lois Lane and Superman and Lois’ unborn child. Superman in his anger and grief decides that he must rid Earth of all evil and becomes judge, jury and executioner. Batman argues against this must power in the hands of one but for the most part the Justice League follows along. What happens then is a battle for freedom by Batman and his allies and the grab for power by Superman and the remaining Justice Leaguers. This results in the death of the Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and others and the breaking of the Batman.
Year two picks up from there with Superman in power and the Earth and all its nations falling under a police state. Superman is convinced that what he is doing is for the greater good of mankind and the Justice League is following him but many have their doubts. The Green Lantern corps begins to see this level interference as wrong and begins to move against him. Hal Jordan argues on Superman’s behalf but is taken prisoner by the Green Lanterns. Sinestro sieges the opportunity and convinces Superman that he is his ally. On Earth the search for Batman continues as Superman begins a process of intimidation to bring Batman in. Commissioner Gordon sees in Superman what he has always feared in Batman, that the desire to do good would turn to evil. Gordon aligns with his daughter Barbara (Oracle) and looks for ways to protect the populace from a police state. Jack booted, enhanced powered military thugs are put in charge as Gotham is under martial law. The Green Lantern attempt to move against Superman in and take him to trial but with the aid of Sinestro, he defeats the Green Lanterns.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, year two, vol 1 ends with Gordon gathering up the remains of the Gotham Police Department. He takes a pill and asks Bullock to place a gun against his head and pull the trigger. The bullet bounces off Gordon’s head and falls harmlessly to the ground. “This is a game changer.” Gordon says.
Injustice is a Greek tragedy. Epic in every way. It borrows from the DC universe and yet stands on its own. Gods, petty and cruel, battling amongst themselves while the humans fall prey to their whims. It is also a reflection of our world today and we lose more and more of our freedoms to people in power under the guise of it being done for our own good. What we eat, what we say and even what we are allowed to think, governed and monitored under the politically correct status of what is acceptable. Less we offend someone. Injustice is a strong lesson in what happens when a select few consider themselves smarter than everyone else and believe that they must make the decisions for our lives because we simply cannot.
A reminder that no greater evil in the world is ever done; that does not begin as someone else’s good intentions.
A very good book.