Jordan Lurie ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Injustice: Gods Among Us takes place in an alternate reality in which the Joker causes Superman to hallucinate that a pregnant Lois Lane is Doomsday. The Joker programmed a nuclear warhead to detonate after Lois’ heart stopped beating; because Superman believed Lois was Doomsday, he fought the hallucination and killed his wife, setting off the nuclear warhead and destroying Metropolis.
After that, Superman kills the Joker, grows a beard, has an epiphany, goes to the DC Universe’s equivalent of Iraq is and tries to stop all wars in the world. The next chapters are dedicated to the Justice League having an open dialogue on the nature of free will and whether or not Superman has the right to command authority over the human race for the greater good. Oh wait, no, I typed that wrong, I meant to say: The President sends Seal Team 6 to Smallville to capture Superman’s parents. The Justice League eventually saves the Kents and Batman threatens the President in case he ever sends people after the Kents again, telling him that no one would ever think to look for his body on Saturn, implying that Superman would deal with the President if he found out what really happened.
During each of these stories are fun little diversions including Green Arrow hiding Harley Quinn from Superman and Wonder Woman suggesting Ares, the God of War, could become the “God of Ponies” if there was no more war.
This comic is so ridiculous that it can’t be taken seriously. It’s the DC equivalent of a B-movie. The problem is that it isn’t supposed to be. No one should be asking for Watchmen when dealing with the tie-in of a game in which one character punches another until they fall down, but Injustice is grasping for themes and motifs that aren’t there. The readers are supposed to take Superman’s journey seriously yet it’s hard when everything feels so forced and trite. It isn’t easy to buy into Superman’s moral struggle when all the reader sees is that he looks sad and has grown a beard. Everything else, everything that needs to be said is spelled out with dialogue that has absolutely no subtext. This is a comic in which the President says “power corrupts…trust me, I know,” to himself.
It’s clear that writer Tom Taylor is a talented storyteller, but not for a story such as this. The interludes with Harley Quinn and Ares are hilarious and tons of fun but any issue that deals with the serious themes of the story ring false and hollow. The art, contributed by Jheremy Raapack and Mike S. Miller, among many others, looks rushed and inconsistent. Action sequences for the most part look awkward and the nonverbal expressions of the characters don’t resonate. The Justice League’s heavily armored costumes are among the worst designs they have worn on the printed page. David Yardin’s Wonder Woman chapter, however, looks phenomenal.
DC Comics shouldn’t rely solely on violence and death to convey themes. If they want to tell a story like this, subtlety and genuine human emotion need to be expressed. There are too many panels dedicated to melodramatic monologues and real world politics. Injustice would be a more enjoyable comic if it embraced the inherent ridiculousness of the plot. When it tries to say something meaningful about human nature it completely falls apart. I still had fun with this comic though, I just can’t tell if it was for the right reasons.