Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Three Annual #1 - A Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Three Annual #1 is a perfect coda for Year Three of this series. Ironic really given that the second story in this collection is set during Year One. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The opening chapter - A Proper Mage - is set just before the beginning of Year Three and reveals that John Constantine was not the first magician to whom Batman turned for help after Zatanna. That honor went to the team of Rose Psychic and Doctor Occult, whom quickly piqued John Constantine's interest and inspired him to offer his assistance... whether they wanted it or not.

Written by Constantine writer Ray Fawkes, this tale is a fine look at the parts of the supernatural side of the DC Comics Universe that we didn't see during Year Three.  This story also offers a good explanation for just how the usually neutral John Constantine became so hell-bent on getting involved in the fight against Superman as well as how he got such wonderful toys with endless possibilities, such as a bag of "nameless sand".

The second story - Fall of The Titans - answers a question that many Teen Titans fans had regarding the Injustice Universe - where the heck are Beast Boy, Starfire, Kid Flash and all the other sidekicks? The only Titans we saw in the game and the comics until now were Cyborg, Raven and Nightwing. That's a good chunk of the team missing in action!

While this story by Brian Buccellato won't satisfy all of the Titans fans (there's no sign of Donna Troy or Roy Harper, for instance) it is good for what it is. The subplot involving Connor Kent's reaction to his mentor taking a life is an interesting mirror to the feelings of many Superman fans regarding the core conceit of Injustice and there's some interesting interplay between Starfire and Nightwing, who recently left The Titans to join The Justice League in this reality.

As per usual for this series, the artwork is top notch.  Xermanic and Alejandro Sanchez do their usual sterling job on the first chapter. Sergio Davila, Juan Albarran and Rex Lokus ace it on the second chapter. And Wes Abbott does an amazing job lettering both chapters.  All in all this issue is well worth the $4.99 price tag.

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