Review: Injustice Gods Among Us #1
Since the first Mortal Kombat game came out in arcades in the early 1990s, I’ve been a huge fan. The series had its bad moments, but in my opinion has redeemed itself and more with its last installment “Mortal Kombat (9)”. Though I enjoyed Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe a few years ago, I found it lacking that true darkness that this particular fighting franchise has had. Needless to say, when they announced the upcoming Injustice Gods Among Us game, I was ecstatic.
I did have questions however. What was going to make hero characters such as Superman become downright violent and in some cases evil? Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait until the April release of the game to discover this partially. DC comics and Midway teamed up and released a prequel comic, that had me grinning like a true fan of both DC comics and Mortal Kombatverse.
I am going to review the comic here, and it will have SPOILERS. Regardless of whether you actually read the spoilers or not, I recommend picking up the issue just for the fact that the cover art is downright amazing. I also won’t touch on some minor details in the issue, which are worth seeing. That being said, let’s begin.
The first page begins in Gotham City. Batman is watching this now crimeless town, but not how he had wanted it to be. This city is villain free because it is ruled by a regime created by Superman. To explain this better, the scene cuts to five years ago, where our issue truly begins. Clark and Lois discover that she is pregnant with his super child. There is some classic Lois and Clark banter here, which makes it feel “right.”
Parting ways, Lois goes to investigate a story, while Superman finds Batman in Metropolis. As the two meet on the rooftop, Batman being the world’s greatest detective figures out that Lois is pregnant. Superman also asks Batman something from the bottom of his heart that makes even the Dark Knight smile. This interaction was done perfectly. It truly showed the human sides of these characters, and that although they disagree at times, they are truly friends.
Switch scenes to where Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are following a supposed contact. The contact turns out to be the Joker (along with Harley Quinn). Joker pulls a gun out and literally puts a bullet in Jimmy Olsen’s head. Yes, that’s right. In this alternate universe, Joker kills Jimmy, and when Superman arrives, he is distraught. The blood and Jimmy’s body are enough to make him upset, but finding out that Lois has been kidnapped by the clown prince of crime and his sociopath girlfriend drives him into a panic. He begs Batman to help him find Lois.
Bats, realizing that this is not a situation checks out Star Labs, and discovers that a small trace of Kryptonite has been stolen. He then calls in the Justice League: Green Arrow, Cyborg, Wonderwoman, Green Lantern and Flash. Flash finds the body of Jonathan Crane (aka Scarecrow) with Joker’s grin on his face.
Superman and Wonderwoman find a submarine where Joker and Harley are holding Lois. As Superman enters, her sees that Doomsday is there as well. As he begins to struggle with the massive monster, Joker and Harley escape to the docks. The League stops the nefarious couple, and while Superman is in epic battle with Doomsday, Joker explains to Batman. He operated on Lois, and the nuclear warhead from the sub is now linked to her heartbeat. Oh, he also grins and says, “Did you know she was pregnant?” Batman punches him in the face and realizes the horror of what he said.
The fear serum from Scarecrow and Kryptonite combined could…. Yes, that’s right, Superman thinks he is fighting Doomsday. As he flies the creature in to outer space, Doomsday’s heart stops, and a nuke goes off. In that final second, Superman realizes he was beating Lois, and that Doomsday was never there. The issue ends with Joker smiling, the league distraught, Superman emotionally and mentally scarred for life, and a nuclear explosion.
End SPOILERS. My thoughts on this issue. 1) the artwork, though lacking in many areas is acceptable because of the redesigned characters. 2) dialogue and script for the pages are probably the best that they could be, and this is a good thing. 3) we now know why there would be a fighting game based on this story, and why superman would be a threat in the future. 4) It set the tone for the game, and though there are unanswered questions, I am now anticipating the game even more.
Sure, this is a different story altogether from the comics that we know, but that is what makes it interesting. No one is coming back from the dead here. People die and stay dead, so the stakes are raised. I give the comic 8 out of 10 stars. The only reason that I don’t give it 10 is because of the artwork. It isn’t bad art, but for some reason it screams too cartoony for me for such a dark issue. Call me “sold.”
So far, the list of characters released in game for Injustice Gods Among us includes: Aquaman, Bane, Batman, Catwoman, Cyborg, Deathstroke, Doomsday, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Joker, Nightwing, Shazam, Solomon Grundy, Superman, and Wonderwoman. There will also be more characters released as it comes closer, as well as 3 already announced DLC packs that will give new outfits and extra missions.
What are your thoughts on this franchise? I’d love to hear your input.