Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 Reviewed

comic books, comics, culture, writing

I’m late to this party, but it gives me some perspective.  There are spoilers below, and I don’t mean Stephanie Brown.

If you’re reading this post, you likely already know that the Injustice comics run was a digital-first release by DC in 2013 and a prequel to the eponymous game.  I’ve never played the game, so this won’t be about that.

Issue #1 itself.

The strongest thing in this book was the interaction between Clark and Bruce on the rooftop when Clark tries to tell Bruce that Lois is pregnant and of course, ball buster that he is, Bruce beats him to the punch.  When Clark asks how he knows, you’ve already been down this Batman always knows road so many times  you sort of just want Bruce to mess with him.  The interaction ends beautifully, though, and perfectly.

As for the conceits that get Jimmy and Lois to the docks, I’m not buying.  Do reporters risk their lives to uncover the buying and selling of elected officials?  Have they ever?  Should they?  And if the journalist in question happens to be married to Superman, is it really a step back for feminism to maybe have him ride along on things like this?  Maybe, except for the fact that “I’ll have Jimmy with me.  Because I need a picture,” is offered as reason enough for Superman to go ahead and hang out with Bats instead.  Shoehorning aside, the message seems to be “I don’t need Superman to come with me.  Any man will do.”  So, that’s really a net loss for the cause.  If you hated The Killing Joke for all of the reasons we shouldn’t have read it as 4th graders, what goes down at the docks is hard to take.  Maybe its the Joker’s get up or his evil snark, but the death of Jimmy Olson, shocking as it is, also feels like a cameo from that book.

The biggest take away from this issue, for me, is how awful Superman’s New 52 costume really is.  All of the embellishments take so much away from the sheer grandeur of Superman as an icon.  In a book like this, that’s fine, telegraphing all kinds of complexities.  But as the default visual markings of he most iconic superhero ever, it’s a needless story-telling hurdle.  Two-and-a-half years into the design, I’m convinced it needs to go.   It’s too distracting, too busy, too much.  It gets in the visceral way.

If we’re going to embrace flying men anyway, embrace this.  There’s no reason not to.

Speaking of better versions of Superman costumes, have you seen Val-Zod?

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