Injustice 2 #36 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Bruno Redondo, Pencillers; Juan Albarran, Inker; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s the final regular issue of Injustice 2 (with an oversized annual still to come in November) and Tom Taylor has a tricky task this issue – balancing the poignant, quiet moments of a series finale with the setup for a big dramatic next act that plays out in a video game. The issue opens with an odd segment involving Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Black Lightning involved in an elaborate plot to save the world from evil shapeshifters. But it’s actually just a game being played by the children of those heroes and Harley Quinn in the Oval Office until Jefferson Pierce wants it back. This charming opening scene highlights the stakes in this series – while the world has endured unimaginable tragedy, there’s still a new generation of heroes and potential heroes to inherit it, and the remaining heroes are determined to hold the line against evil to ensure they get that chance.
The villains get some plot development too, As Gorilla City descends into civil war and Gorilla Grodd takes control from Solovar, Jefferson Pierce has to decide whether to authorize a pre-emptive military strike on the hidden citadel. As Grodd attacks and the Suicide Squad turns on each other, Man-Bat falls due to Grodd’s control over the brain bombs – an inauspicious end after his brief breakout moment last issue – and Ra’s Al Ghul’s quest to control the world comes to a humiliating and degrading end at Grodd’s hands.
But the best moments of the issue involve Alfred, as Bruce’s butler and father figure, who never quite recovered from his resurrection, decides to retire. He checks in with the Kents to make sure they’ll look after Bruce, and then heads off to parts unknown after one powerful last scene with Bruce. And like that, Bruce is left without his one remaining anchor, making for an uncertain future. Tom Taylor has done something incredible here – weaving a compelling and human tale out of a video game tie-in.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.