Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us #16 - A Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us #16 is a problematic book  At the very least it's problematic for me as a critic, as I can't discuss its' flaws without discussing certain details of this issue's ending and the plot of the video game.  So for those of you who have not completed the Story Mode of Injustice: Gods Among Us, let me say that while I enjoyed the story of this issue, I feel Mike S. Miller's artwork - while skillful - is not appropriate to Tom Taylor's script.    Do not venture past this next image if you wish to remain unspoiled. 

Continuing the story from last issue - as Batman and Nightwing have to contend with both their allies in The Justice League as well as the inmates of Arkham Asylum during a jail-break orchestrated by Harley Quinn - this issue reveals the "how" of one of the biggest and best plot-twists in the storyline of the Injustice video game - the death of Dick Grayson at the hands of Damian Wayne.  This creates an interesting paradox in that this issue runs the risk of spoiling the story of the game for those who haven't completed it, yet those who have completed the game will already know about this issue's "shocking twist" before it happens.  Even more interestingly, Tom Taylor foreshadowed the precise method of death several issues earlier! 

The larger problem with this issue is Mike S. Miller's artwork.  Now, I'll be the first to say that Mike S. Miller is a great artist.  His pencils are clear and his character designs good.  And for the earlier part of the comic, which is filled with a good deal of slapstick humor alongside Tom Taylor's perfect take on many characters, he is a good choice for depicting the action.  But Miller's style is far too cartoonish for some of the gorier moments Taylor's script describes at the end of the issue.  Remember the now infamous panel of Superman punching through Joker's chest?  There's another moment very much like that one.

In the end, your enjoyment of Injustice #16 is dependent upon your ability to appreciate the parts of a work over the whole.  Taken on its' own merits and ignoring the game, the story is a good one.  The artwork is good but the artist's style is at odds with the story the writer is telling at times.  I'd still recommend it but with those caveats firmly in mind. 

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