Story-Arc: Gods Among Us.
Writer(s): Tom Taylor.
Illustrator(s): Jhremey Raapack, Mile S. Miller, Bruno Redondo, Axel Gimenez, David Yardin, Tom Derenick, Marc Deering & Diana Egea.
Colourist(s): Andrew Elder, Alejandro Sanchez, David Yardin, David López & Santi Casas.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: July 1st 2014 (first published January 15th 2013).
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.
Based on the hit video game developed by NetherRealm Studios, creators of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a series that has quickly garnered the attention of a lot of fans with the tantalizing opportunity to play as your favourite hero or villain in a 2.5D environment. With epic combat sequences and snappy dialogues to embellish every little instant, the game proves to be a wonderful alternative to the developer’s more bloodier franchise, while giving fans a brand new alternate DC story to discover. To accompany the launch of this video game, a comic book series was announced to serve as a prequel to the video game and further detail the events that lead to the chaos within this universe. With Tom Taylor leading the front on this project, several artists had a hand in developing this story that ultimately led fans to discover a much darker side in their favourite heroes, but also a much more brutal one that will undoubtedly shock them forever.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is not a story that will please many. Although the universe seems reminiscent of those known by many with their heroes being blissful in their personal lives while staying alert for any evil that needs stopping in their neighbourhood, this is a universe where Superman, the Earth’s greatest hero, lives through one of the most heart-breaking and cruel tragedy that will lead him to reevaluate his way of life. Concocted by a Joker who believed that Superman would be the perfect target for his most devastating final performance, the events that follows will lead Superman onto a dark path where rehabilitation is believed to be a myth that he will strike down from mankind’s consciousness. As the story progresses, heroes are brought to take sides and state their position in what will be the greatest war on crime in the DC universe.
Although I knew about this story’s particular nature to be both controversial but iconic among readers, I did not expect to feel so conflicted in my enjoyment for this title’s direction. If you ever wondered what it would be like if most of DC’s heroes were to embrace angst in all of its shape and form, this is the story to pick up. So many heroes are butchered to the core for this particular storyline and it is shocking in ways that you would not expect from these heroes who have always proved to represent some of humanity’s most virtuous beliefs. Being a story based on a fighting video game where characters are brought to go up against each other in a brutal one-versus-one battle, I convinced myself that Tom Taylor didn’t have much of a choice but to acknowledge the premise and to build upon it here. However, characterization is still poor for so many of these heroes, and sometimes failed in even making sense at all. In fact, Wonder Woman was my biggest disappointment as she flirted with evil and bad dialogue in the most disgusting way possible.
The artwork is far from being bad, but with the number of artists that have worked on each issue, it still felt like it was slightly off sometimes. There are however some very impressive panels, especially those that were meant to shock the reader. Most of the time, those panels feature Superman doing things that you would never believe he’d even mentally contemplate. Since the story in itself is action-packed, it is not surprising that every page feels a lot more explosive and dynamic, especially with the thicker and brighter colouring that come accentuate the intensity of certain key moments. I still found that the poor writing, for the most part, never really helped convince me of the more barbarous moments displayed. Nonetheless, there is something about this darker story that draws me into exploring it, although I would still qualify it as something close to a travesty to some of these heroes’ personality and lore.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a ruthless, alternate and frivolous look at a world plunged in repression and eradication rather than prevention and rehabilitation.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!
From the creators of Mortal Kombat, NetherRealm Studios unveiled to the world DC’s ultimate fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.