Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 – Review
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99 US
I read it and put it down.
A day later I picked it up and read it again.
It took some time to warm up to the story that unfolded between the pages of this book and finally I came to this conclusion:
I LOVE IT!
Not for what happens, but for HOW it happens (which I won’t spoil). For all the frustration fans have for monologuing villains or villains with giant egos that get in the way of them doing REAL dastardly deeds…this is the book that sets the clichés aside! There isn’t a lot of talk about doing something; it actually happens! There are no meddling kids to stop a plan from coming together…the villain uses a stroke of genius, tricks the good guys and then BOOM (literally) the plan finally succeeds!
This is a heart-wrenching story, but one that is well worth being told, because its not part of regular continuity. Characters lives and futures are destroyed as the Joker plays the role of puppet master to one of Earth’s greatest heroes. This is a story that could have been told years ago, but the fans would show up at DC’s office with torches and pitchforks. But because it’s an Elseworlds tale, there is no fury of a firestorm (pun intended) to follow. This is the death of a major character, with no fear of a retcon ruining it for us later.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Tom Taylor states: “Injustice” is “the most tragic thing I’ve ever written.” I’m not familiar with a lot of his work, but I would have to assume that this would be the most tragic thing anyone could write for DC. Sure there has been death in DC before but the New 52 ensured that everyone came back right as rain; curing both death and paralysis. With Injustice, we can rest assure that the problems are very real, the consequences are very high and there will be no Flashpoint or Superman reversing Earth’s rotation to give us back a world of sunshine and rainbows.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is more than just a comic book based on a video game, although that’s how it’s branded. This is a real story with real consequences. A story where bad buys don’t just make plans, they follow through with them. It’s not for the squeamish comic book fan that loves fluff and happy endings. This is a world where FINALLY anything and everything can happen if the heroes don’t react in time. I really enjoyed it and I’ll be picking up the rest of this series.
Now, if this were part of continuity, I would be tearing this story apart calling for arms to be taken up against DC. Not just because of the the severity, but in fear of a retcon already being planned. That’s not the case here. Tom Taylor took full advantage of the freedom an ‘Elseworlds’ story provides and ran with it like the Flash on super-amphetamines!
In conclusion my recommendation would be to buy this series, even if you have no desire to play the video game that follows. It’s a really good Elseworlds story and worth every penny whether you’re buying digital (once a week) or print (once a month). And let’s be honest, while some may hate events like this, any book that rouses any kind of real emotion is worth a read.
Stephen J. Mitchell has been reading comic books since the early 90’s and recently has introduced his own children to the world of comics. He longs for the day when comic books will be introduced in schools as classic literature and assigned as required reading.
Follow him on Twitter for random comic book commentary.
Cover image owned by DC Comics