Rating: 4/5 – A Great Alternative if Mainstream DC Isn’t Working For You.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas
It’s been a while since the first volume of Injustice: Gods Among Us was released. In 2013 the game came out for most major video game platforms, and since then the comic series continues to be published. DC is currently on the eleventh issue of Year Four so there’s quite a bit of story for me to catch up on, but I’m glad I finally got around to starting it as this first volume is an entertaining and much different read from the characters we’re used to in the main DC Universe.
Although DC has portrayed their characters as “gods” before, Injustice really embraces this concept of all powerful heroes attempting to make their world perfect. Injustice was a game released by the same creators of Mortal Kombat, but using the DC characters instead. The game’s timeline takes place after the events of this first volume which tells the story of why the heroes are divided, and what caused Superman to take the violent and controlling turn that he did. Writer Tom Taylor does a great job of humanizing these gods, and he does a great job of making Superman and Wonder Woman especially, feel real. After the Joker pulls off a horrific crime, Superman decides that enough is enough and takes the law into his own hands not just at home, but across the entire world. Wonder Woman follows him, believing that they can make a positive change by instilling their own beliefs. Taylor never gets too preachy with the opposing viewpoints, and his portrayal of all the different characters in this first volume is different, yet still fits within their personalities.
Where this first volume misses is in the art. Eight different artists are credited in this first volume and although artists Jheremy Raapack and Mike S. Miller get the headline, there’s plenty more artists and colorists contributing. Reading the first volume in one sitting gives the whole package a very inconsistent feel. There’s clean lines. There’s heavy pencils. There’s a wide range of inking styles… The art is never poor, but there’s little consistency and not knowing all the artist listed, I couldn’t pick out who’s who since the credits page doesn’t identify which artist worked on what issue. Not only that, but the costume designs were obviously influenced by the game which didn’t look great on the page. Batman in particular looks bulky and his mask always looks off.
Despite the inconsistencies in the art, I really enjoyed this alternate take on the Justice League and I’m excited that there’s so much more story for me to devour. Because of the somewhat limited nature of this series and it taking place in an alternate universe, it feels as though it truly has consequences and we see just a few of them in this first volume. If DC’s current direction isn’t working for you, I’d encourage you to give this series a try. It’s a really different take on what may happen if gods were truly among us.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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