DC’s Injustice comic could have been a cheap cash-in on the success of the fighting video game, but instead it became one of the best Justice League stories of the decade. Writer Tom Taylor set the groundwork for this comic-book expansion in the first Injustice: Gods Among Us series, and when he came back for Injustice 2 after a two-year break, he had even more ambitious ideas that brought in more faces from across the DC Universe. Taylor writes blockbuster stories with complex emotional arcs, and the world of Injustice shatters the typical DC status quo to give him new conflicts to explore.
Even though Taylor has to stay within the restrictions of the video games, these comics have a free-wheeling, playful energy. No matter how grim the story gets, Taylor always finds space for fun because this is still a comic based on a fighting game. This exclusive preview of this week’s Injustice 2 Annual #2 begins by reinforcing the bleakness of the Injustice universe with a quick recap of Lois Lane’s death and the bombing of Metropolis, Superman murdering the Joker, and Batman and Superman’s falling out. This is a dark timeline, but it’s also one where Martha Kent talks to Batman like he’s a petulant child and all he can do is take it.
Artist Bruno Redondo and colorist Rex Lokus have been with Injustice for as long as Taylor, and they do sharp work replicating the style of the video game while still delivering dynamic and expressive visuals. The tone of this preview lightens up considerably after that first page, and what makes this issue so satisfying is how the creative team transitions between moments of sorrow and joy, lacing them together to heighten the tragedy at the core of the series. This annual is technically the final issue of Taylor, Redondo, and Lokus’ run on Injustice, but it can easily be picked up by any fans of Superman and Batman who want to read about the relationship between the World’s Finest. Even if you’ve never read an Injustice story before, you can jump right in with this annual and discover what makes this series so damn good.