Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: Injustice #13

I am not collecting the Injustice 2 comic on a regular basis but I wonder if ultimately I will regret it. I wonder if at some point in the future I'll be trawling $1 boxes at conventions to fill in issues. Because what I have read has been excellent. I just don't know if I want to dedicate three dollars a month on a comic built on the foundation of a fascist Superman. My guess is any time Supergirl is mentioned prominently in the solicit or a major part of the cover, I'll be intrigued enough to grab the book.

Injustice 2 #13 came out last week and had what is the ultimate bait for me as a Supergirl fan. It showed Supergirl with a member of the Bat-family with the words World's Finest displayed. I love second generation World's Finest team-ups.

As in Injustice 2 #6, Supergirl really shines in this issue. It seems like writer Tom Taylor really has a solid hold of the Kara character. She has lived through tragedy. She wants to spare anyone and everyone from a similar fate. She is optimistic, faithful, and even a bit shy at times. But when she sees injustice, she becomes fierce. That need to protect others is primary. So, albeit in the two issues of this book I have read, Supergirl really comes of great. It could be enough to lure me into this title ... maybe.

And her team-up with Nightwing, here Damian Wayne, is also intriguing. Like many 'Robins', Damian acts like someone who has been in an abusive relationship. He is trying to do what is right but he is stuck in the orbit of two huge personalities - Superman and Batman. And I love that it is Supergirl that encourages to him to forge his own path. In fact, there is this great scene at the end between the two that is powerful.

Mike Miller does the art here and does a great job showing a Supergirl who hasn't quite embraced heroic poses and iconic stares. She very much is a young, inexperienced kid here, learning the ropes and seeming sort of ordinary in some places.

On to the book.

The book starts with Supergirl at the top of a tower in Kahndaq hoping to learn how to fly. It is a leap of faith, so similar to her religious leap we saw her take on Krypton back in Injustice 2 #6. It is a very nice callback. Even Kara says she has been there before. She is trying to reach for something grander.

She hasn't quite got the flight stuff under control. She basically floats/falls onto the ground, creating a crater. It isn't pretty. But she is getting there.

The session is cut short when a wounded Nightwing shows up.

Now I will admit that I know nothing about Nightwing in this continuity. It sounds like he has sided with Superman, hoping for complete law and order for safety. He has been imprisoned by Batman in the past. He is struggling with the things he sees. And basically he wants the war to end.

He pleads with Black Adam to join the fray and help bring the conflict to an end. Remember, Khandaq is sort of neutral. Black Adam hasn't allowed the war to cross his borders. But Nightwing knows that eventually the war will come to this place (like Sauron eventually heading to the Shire?).

What I like about this is that Nightwing isn't trying to convince Adam to follow Superman's ideas. He just wants the war to end.

Kara has been hiding in the periphery. She is a secret that Adam hasn't revealed yet. But when she hears that Batman is Nightwing's father, she makes a noise, loud enough for a detective like Damian to pick up on.

You can see how Kara is still shy and unsure of herself. She cowers when she thinks Damian has heard her. She isn't really ready to literally step into the light.

 Later that night, she talks to Black Adam about Nightwing's plea.

Again, her viewpoint is clear. She saw her world die. She won't see another world die. She can't believe that Black Adam would sit back and watch his world be slowly destroyed.

That stance, that unwavering position of not wanting to see more people suffer, is just brilliant. It is Supergirl.

 Nightwing ends up sneaking into Kara's room to find out just who or what she is. Black Adam discovers Damian in the room and carries him out of Kara's tower and threatens to drop him.

This spurs Supergirl into action. She doesn't want to see anyone die. She flies out to talk Adam down and thus reveals her Kryptonian heritage.

Isn't it almost Grimm how Adam keeps Kara locked up in a high tower like some imprisoned princess. Like the best fairy tales, it is time for Kara to be freed.

 That night Damian sneaks back into her room and prods her to leave the tower and to see the world outside Khandaq.

Again, we see how Kara is still trying to figure out her place in this world. She contemplates putting on the domino mask and joining Damian. But she also wants to obey Adam and stay in the tower. There is this Silver Age feel of Supergirl hiding herself as Superman's emergency secret weapon.

But Damian points out how ridiculous it is. And to spur her into action he pitches himself out the tower window. It is like a reversal of the Silver Age trope of women throwing themselves off buildings to get superheroes to reveal their secret identities.

Remember that she can't really fly yet! She barely saves him.

 Once out of the tower, Nightwing has Supergirl slowly, carefully fly to Biayla. The place is a war torn mess. The militia is shooting up a town. And Kara can't just sit back and watch.

In a great sequence, she dives down, superspeed catches all the bullets, and blows the army away.

But it is her indignation that struck me. The shock on her face as she wonders aloud how these people could be destroying each other. Her planet is dead! Why would these living people kill each other!!

This is Supergirl.

And then that fierce Supergirl I love seeing comes out.

Clutching a gunman, floating above, she says that village is under her protection. Any transgressor will answer to her.

Now that is fantastic.

And Miller's art adds to that punch here. The angle. The sky. The scared man in the foreground. All works.

Back in the tower, there is this great interaction between Damian and Kara. He realizes he has been a pawn in this world game. He has done terrible things for the greater good. Is he just 'following orders'? There is this total self-loathing happening.

And there is Kara, reminding him how he has risked his life to save others. No 'bad person' does that. And besides, Damian doesn't have to listen to anyone other than himself.

Wow. Who would expect such a powerful little scene in a comic based on a fighting video game.

So Injustice 2 is now two for two with good issues I have read. Should I pick this up moving forward??

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

"I am not collecting the Injustice 2 comic on a regular basis but I wonder if ultimately I will regret it. I wonder if at some point in the future I'll be trawling $1 boxes at conventions to fill in issues."

I don't know what to tell you. Sometimes I see something that intrigues me or I like... and then we go back to Superman and Wonder Woman being absolutely terrible people.

Supergirl's portrayal has been spot-on so far, that's right.

"Isn't it almost Grimm how Adam keeps Kara locked up in a high tower like some imprisoned princess. Like the best fairy tales, it is time for Kara to be freed."

Rapunzel also came to my mind when I saw that panel.

... which would mean Damian Wayne of all people is the prince.


"This is Supergirl."

Great action scenes. That bullet-catching sequence is possibly my favorite.

Given her regular book, "DC Super Hero Girls", "Injustice 2" and "Gotham City Garage" I dare hope DC has finally figured out how to write Kara Zor-El?



I pity Damian. Even if Batman is the "good guy" in this universe, he's a downright awful father. So, who has Damian left? His mother and grandfather? It's not a wonder he thinks Superman is a better father figure in comparision or he's struggling to choose the lesser evil.

"So Injustice 2 is now two for two with good issues I have read. Should I pick this up moving forward??"

Good question. For what it's worth, the next issue also features Kara... but it's hard to see Wonder Woman chained and the Amazons saying she isn't their sister anymore.

I think this is because I can live with Batman being Lex Luthor's chief enforcer in "Gotham City Garage". I don't like, but since Superman and Wonder Woman have been dragged through the mud in "Injustice" and other alternate worlds, Batman can take it for once.

It helps Supergirl is being very well-written in that series, too.

Anj said...

Thanks for comment.

I have shied away from 'Garage' as I just don't think I'm the audience. I may look for the issues/trades if I see them on sale.

Anonymous said...

Well, being a 80's kid I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic settings (provided they're well made, of course). I was worried about it being so agenda-driven as "Bombshells", but so far it's been good.

Off-topic, I have heard the news about Brainiac. On the one hand, shipping wars are about to get REAL nasty. On the another and more important hand, OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD...

Anonymous said...

> So Injustice 2 is now two for two with good issues I have read. Should I pick this up moving forward??

I don't know if you've picked up the game, and/or watched the story mode playthrough, but speaking from an overall Injustice 2 perspective,
THE WAY THEY PORTRAY SUPERGIRL IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!! And from what you've shown in the Injustice 2 comics, this carries over with
the respect and portrayal of Supergirl they've done.

Just from that, I'd continue the comic, if only to see how they bridge between Supergirl's arrival on Earth to her first intro scene in
Injustice 2.

With that, I should really unbox my Injustice 2 issues and start reading them :)


Anonymous said...

Personally I think Tom Taylor is writing the best comic arc ever written with the Injustice line. But yes, you will need to be able to accept the inner darkness in some characters to enjoy it at all. This is not your main continuity characters, this what they become when the charming revolving doors of Arkham shows their true price. If someone who hasn't read comics before ask me where to start, the Injustice line is what I point to and they always read it to the end amazed.

My personal recommendation would be to read Injustice from year one, and read everything. But only if you are able to enjoy a darker story. This line only has one weak part imo - Ground Zero.