Injustice: Gods Among Us (Vol. 1) by Tom Taylor

details
Title: Injustice.
Story-Arc: Gods Among Us.
Volume: 1.
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.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: July 1st 2014 (first published January 15th 2013).
Pages: 192.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401248437.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.

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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.

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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.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!

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From the creators of  Mortal Kombat, NetherRealm Studios unveiled to the world DC’s ultimate fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.

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21 comments

  • Man, Supes just can’t catch a break, can he? It seems like he’s the icon of hope that every artist has to come along and graffiti on with their own little shit show. Sadly, it just shows how pathetic they are instead of actually defacing the great work of art.

    Not much else to say really…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welp. When you’ve seen him save the day way too many times, sometimes you got to get curious and see what it would be like if he turns into a tyrant. And voilà. This is what we get! 😛 I had a pretty good feeling that you would have vomited upon hearing of this one though hahahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  • Maybe you are conflicted but there are still many elements in your review that intrigue me and make me want to read this one! Because Superman behaving in a very unusual way that I want to see!
    When I was reading the artists who had contributed to this book my reaction was : so many graphic artists and colorists? Wow. But now that you mention it I can understand that it would sometimes seem “slightly off”. I always wonder if some draw only one characters while another draws buildings etc. I think it would be very interesting to have a look “backstage”, see the “making of” and how everyone collaborate with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah it is indeed worth discovering! An evil Superman who becomes a tyrant is a curious idea, and if this review made you curious, then I’m super happy! 😀

      Ohhh it’s a really good question. I think they wait upon each other to finish off pages and then send it between each other so that the other can continue the work with their own style and so on. It does seem pretty intense, but I’m sure there’s plenty of insightful videos out there that can enlighten us even more on how a comic book story is created! 😀

      Like

  • Shock! Even though I’m a passionate gamer and comics fan, I’ve never played Injustice – I certainly know of it but the overall premise I find off-putting (I want a Rocksteady Superman/Justice League game darn it!). I tend to be suspicious of tie-ins like this as well as they pretty much always turn out to be quick, cheap cash-ins.

    So, one to avoid for me – great to hear your take on things as always sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m totally with you. I’ll take a Warner Bros Batman or anything by Rocksteady any time of the day, month, year, decade, century! I’ve seen rumours of a Rocksteady Harry Potter game too a while back, but I hope it’s nothing but a rumour and that their next project will still be a superhero game hahah

      There are some iconic huge (and insane) moments in it, but so far, how some (most) of the characters were off-putting really didn’t make me want to love this series unfortunately.

      Like

  • Nice review! 🙂 This series was sooo conflicting for me and my boyfriend when we were reading through it. We constantly had complaints about it and yet we kept reading the next volume to see what was going to happen next. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!!! Oh my God!!! I’m actually pretty happy to know that you’ve read it though! No one who has had yet shared their thoughts with me on it hahahahah AND I totalllllllly sympathize with you two. It really was “WTF” a bit too often. When Wonder Woman started talking about ponies, I lost it. I do however plan on reading volume 2 just to finish this story arc and be done with it hahahah

      Liked by 1 person

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