Story: Brian Buccellato
Art: Mike s. Miller
What They Say:
A distraught Renee Montoya decides to escalate the battle against Superman. Meanwhile, Harley pays a visit to Billy Batson’s school.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the first couple of issues of Injustice for this year, we’ve gotten some welcome changes from the previous years, as each one basically takes on its own overall goal, and while I definitely liked the magical/supernatural side of year three with Constantine leading things, year four is definitely working well so far by showing off a couple of different sides of things. Giving focus to Renee and the fallout from events of the finale of the previous year doesn’t hurt either, as there’s a greater emotional punch and a sense of loss about it that pushes characters to do drastic things. We’ve seen that in the mainline books to be sure, but eventually things always tend to “work out” in the end. Here, the end usually means the end of a character.
Renee’s journey is one that’s decently told here as it steps back from where we left off to fill in a blank or two, but mostly just to make it clear that this is her endgame to try and bring things to a close, or at least go out fighting rather than being passive after the death of Helena. Her conversation with Maggie works well, even if it does have that element of her wanting Maggie to intervene and stop her, though she knows she can’t. Sneaking off to Gotham is almost comical, but knowing where she ends up takes a lot of that away. But it at least explains how she got there from the secret base in Alaska. Her fight with Superman doesn’t get far here, but at least it’s something that’s well set up to show how committed she is by the pills she’s taken, which Superman scoffs at when he first realizes she’s taken one, but then realizes it may not be quite so simple as they get to trading blows.
Superman himself has some good material here that does make for a good read as he makes his way back to Smallville to visit his parents. It’s a well done bit of tense material as they’re both worried about him in different ways, but he sees their worry more as fear of him and can’t understand why they’d be afraid of him. And it’s true, they’re not afraid of him, they’re afraid for him and fearful of what he’s become after all they did to raise him. The dialogue is a little back and forth in a way that plays with meanings, but it’s mostly because Superman’s gone in there with an agenda, one to ensure that they’re on his side, and they’re being proper parents in trying to carefully explain to him why they’re not. Both parents handle this well and it’s the kind of quiet moment overall that lends itself to some solid gravity of the situation.
This issue also has a brief segment with Harley going to get Billy out of school to go play hooky for a bit, where she pretends to be his mom and get him out of there. It’s got some cute dialogue and Harley looks fantastic here, but I just love the bluntness of her jokes in that she’s riding a Harley and has painted the name Lobo on it. I’m curious to see where this arc goes simply because Harley’s such a curious character in this form that it’s hard to pin her down.
Injustice does some of the foundation work to get things in place for the Renee and Superman fight, which was skimmed over to make a dramatic scene the last time around. But it also works to use that time to establish a bit more of Renee’s frame of mind at this point of time while letting Superman show where his mind is when he essentially passively confronts his parents about their stance with what he’s doing. The world is certainly complicated when you have superheroes in the picture and the scale of events, but when you have someone like Superman changing the course of the world by his actions like he has here, seeing the fallout and impact on friends, family and normal people is really interesting to watch.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 19th, 2015