In the world of Injustice, Batman has lost much in the three years since The Joker died and Superman made the decision to force peace upon the world. He has lost two sons – one to violence and the other to his own darker impulses. He has lost many allies – both teammates from The Justice League and good cops from the GCPD, including Jim Gordon. He lost his home when Superman made Gotham City the first place to benefit from the instillation of one of his super-soldier teams. And he lost his secret identity when Superman revealed to the world that Bruce Wayne was Batman!
With a literal hand-full of allies left and no other options, Batman agreed to an alliance with Ares, the Ancient Greek God of War. For a world with peace forced upon it is not a world from which Ares can draw power. To that end, Ares manipulated events so that Zeus, King of The Gods, would turn his champions upon Superman and his regime, for the crime of daring to subvert the gods and declare themselves masters of the Earth.
It was a bold plan. And it backfired horribly. For the almighty Zeus is no longer content to let superhuman fight god, nor for a trial by combat to settle the matter. Not when further battle risks bringing about the deaths of more of his divine family.
Now Zeus has taken the field of battle himself! More, he has removed the divine gifts that empowered such heroes as Shazam and delivered an ultimatum to the world – thou shalt have no gods besides Me and Mine or thou shalt perish!
The only respect in which Injustice has floundered under Brian Buccellato’s pen is that most of his run has been devoted towards epic battles. And make no mistake – they have been truly epic battles with astounding action sequences! But there has been nothing to equal any of the revolutionary, brilliant in retrospect ideas that seemed so commonplace during Tom Taylor’s run on this series… until now.
Despite most comic superheroes existing in a world where there is tangible proof of the existence of divine beings, the ramifications of this fact are rarely explored in detail. Indeed, the minds behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have gone out of their way to avoid such discussion, taking the position that Thor and the rest of the Asgardians are merely extra-planar aliens rather than true deities. And while a few story-lines have explored just how the world would react to The Justice League having an honest-to-goodness angel among their ranks or how Wonder Woman’s revealing herself to the world inspired a new wave of neo-paganism, such stories are few and far between.
By turning Zeus into an active participant in the battle for the Earth, Brian Buccellato has taken a bold and potentially controversial step. We only get to see the reactions of the ordinary people of Earth in passing but we do still get to see them amid Hermes giving a press conference and the United Nations meeting to discuss just what they will do… and what CAN they do? And a quick headline indicates that The Pope – unsurprisingly – is not too happy about Zeus’ proclamation either. It is ideas such as this and the willingness to truly explore them that have made this series such a surprising treat.
This amazing script is well-matched by some equally amazing artwork. Bruno Redondo gives every moment of this issue the gravity it deserves, with his characters looking particularly powerful in this outing. His pencils are perfectly enhanced by the inks of Juan Albarran and the colors by J. Nanjan are appropriately bold. Even the letters by Wes Abbott convey an extra little oomph!