Five years ago, The Joker embarked on a mad crusade to prove that one bad day could tarnish even the most sterling of souls. By the time he was done, a pregnant Lois Lane was dead and the city of Metropolis was burned in nuclear fire… all thanks to the actions of Superman!
The Joker’s victory was short-lived, however, and he died his last laugh as Superman plunged his fist through The Clown Price of Crime’s chest. Over the next five years Superman would lose himself, as the desire to prevent another Metropolis forged a tyrant who killed far more innocents than The Joker ever dreamed of.
While the good man who was Superman was the most visible casualty of The Joker’s last prank, other heroes were lost in the Metropolis disaster. One of them was John Henry Irons – a man of science who became the armored defender of the innocent known as Steel to honor Superman when he was believed dead. Five years later, his niece Natasha Irons honor’s her deceased uncle’s memory as the new Steel.
Nathasha has prove herself a capable heroine, earning Batman’s trust and a place in the new Justice League. Indeed, she is tasked with leading the superhero task force providing security for the newly-elected American President at his inauguration.
Simultaneously, the rest of the League launch an assault on Ra’s Al Ghul’s secret base in the depths of Amazon rain forest – a mission that will bring Batman face-to-face with his old enemy, Poison Ivy…
The only real flaw with this first chapter of Sanctuary is that it is not as immediately accessible as some of Tom Taylor’s earlier Injustice stories. Despite being labeled as a Part One, this issue starts in the thick of the action and any reader who hasn’t been reading the series to date will be hopelessly lost trying to follow the action.
Thankfully, those who have been enjoying Taylor’s work to date will find more of the same quality work they’ve come to expect. Taylor’s greatest strengths as a writer are his ear for dialogue and his ability to convey his love of the characters to the reader. It’s clear that Taylor has a fondness for Aqualad and Natasha Irons and the interplay between the two here, brief though it is, makes fine reading. So do the other varied subplots that come up in this issue.
Taylor is matched by the excellent art team on this issue. Bruno Redondo is one of the most underrated artists working in the industry and Juan Albarran’s inks complement his pencils perfectly. Finish their work up with Rex Lokus’ colors and Wes Abbott’s letters and you have one of the best looking books on the stands!