Comic Review: INJUSTICE – GODS AMONG US: YEAR THREE #18

INJUSTICE - GODS AMONG US: YEAR THREE #18/ Script by BRIAN BUCCELLATO/ Layouts & Pencils by BRUNO REDONDO/ Finishes & Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN / Colors by REX LOCUS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS
INJUSTICE – GODS AMONG US: YEAR THREE #18/ Script by BRIAN BUCCELLATO/ Layouts & Pencils by BRUNO REDONDO/ Finishes & Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN / Colors by REX LOCUS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

It has been one month since Tom Taylor left Injustice: Gods Among Us and Brian Buccellato took over the writing duties on the series.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that Buccellato had a big pair of shoes to fill, following in Taylor’s footsteps.  What Tom Taylor accomplished with this series – turning what might have been a simple tie-in comic for a popular video game into one of DC Comics’ highest-selling and most critically acclaimed books – was nothing short of a miracle.

Still, fans of Injustice were worried despite Buccellato’s stellar work on The Flash and Rogues’ Rebellion. True, Buccellato has experience writing similar morally conflicted characters and portraying them in a sympathetic manner.  But that didn’t necessarily mean he’d adopt the same unique blend of humor and action that made Injustice such a treat.

The question still remained – could Brian Buccellato maintain the high standard set by Tom Taylor?

After one month of analysis we have our answer. And that answer is a resounding “Yes!”  To paraphrase Shakespeare, “the quality of writing is not strained”. Buccellato’s take on these characters is true to form and the script for this issue is as simultaneously funny, touching and surprising as any that Tom Taylor delivered during his run.

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The action of the issue centers upon Batman, John Constantine and the rest of The Resistance attempting to flee The Tower of Fate – just recently breached by Superman and his allies. The good news is that John Constantine’s desperate gamble has worked and Trigon is providing them with one hell of a distraction. The bad news is that Trigon is looking for the people responsible for kidnapping his daughter, Raven, and that if they don’t get out of Dodge City soon, Trigon may figure out that he’s looking for Constantine and not Superman.

Buccellato delivers a number of magical moments in this issue.  From Harley Quinn’s mistaking Trigon for another familiar figure and becoming obsessed with non-existent unicorns (it’s a long story) to Batman’s discovery of the identity of the new Deadman, there is a lot about this comic to admire comedically and dramatically.  And then there’s the surprising revelation on the final page about just who has been impersonating The Spectre for the better part of the last year…

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The art team for this issue also does a fine job of balancing all the right elements. The action of the issue is well displayed and there’s a number of poster-worthy splashes throughout. But there are also a number of subtle, funny moments such as John Constantine’s desperately pulling on Batman’s cape like Daffy Duck trying to shift an oblivious Bugs Bunny.

If you’ve given up on Injustice, for whatever reason, now is the perfect time to come back. Nothing has changed except for the writer.  This remains one of DC Comics best books.

Rating 5

About Matt Morrison

Matt has been writing about comics on-line since before the word "blogging" was coined. When he's not busy being the World's Finest Teen Librarian, he enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. He also writes for NoFlyingNoTights.com and MyGeekyGeekyWays.com. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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