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Injustice: Gods Among Us #16 - Chapter 16 Review

5

Chaos breaks out at Arkham Asylum and we're hit with a beyond powerful ending.

The Good

Wow. Just... wow. I've completed the story mode in Injustice: Gods Among Us, so I knew the shocker that was heading our way, but that really didn't prepare me for this. Honestly, manly tears were almost shed with this one. It's a scene that revitalizes earlier memories of what made me grow so fond of this book in the first place. Yes, there's plenty of laughs along the way in this alternate universe, but ultimately, this is a place where it eventually hits the fan real hard and it's all because of the terrible series of events we're reading in this digital run. Thankfully for us, writer Tom Taylor goes above and beyond when it comes to hitting us with the impact of these horrible tragedies... and this one is truly gut-wrenching.

This issue isn't all heartbreak, though. Everything leading up to the cliffhanger is brilliant fun. Witnessing Superman going all out against Solomon Grundy was a real treat and there's a moment that just makes you want to throw some confetti in the air. Batman has a moment to show off as well, and it's a real jaw-dropper. This short yet oh so sweet segment is easily his most cinematic and badass feat in this series. Awesome action aside, the script remains sharp as usual, with Harley delivering brief yet smile-inducing quips, and seeing Nightwing humor Damian's arrogance was all kinds of cute. Oh, and you may or may not see the return of Ollie's most infamous arrow.

Mike S. Miller (complimented by Alejandro Sanchez's colors) is in top form with this issue. When it comes to visuals, this book tends to fluctuate and unfortunately feels rushed at times. The polar opposite holds true here. There's so much raw emotion brought to life in each panel, allowing these exceptional moments to jump off the page and feel fluid. It's a fantastic looking issue and there are some tremendous panels. I'd love to rave about them in detail, but we do our best to keep things spoiler-free here.

The Bad

It's a little hard to believe all of the fighting would stop when we're hit with the twist, but that's an incredibly minor complaint which is massively outweighed by the emotional pull of the scene.

The Verdict

Tom Taylor and Mike S. Miller have raised the bar with #16. It's a true sign of brilliance when a predictable outcome still manages to tug at your heartstrings and leave you speechless. Not only does the latest effort pack one helluva cliffhanger, but it's sporting great visuals and, up until the end, is a huge amount of fun. If I could, I'd give this issue 6 out of 5 stars. But I can't, so 5 out of 5 will have to suffice. This is a must read issue, friends. And, if you're inspired to jump onboard, I highly recommend reading #15 first.

67 Comments
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Posted by TommytheHitman

...Farewell my friend.

Edited by Nightw BR
I'm guessing this is the one where my favorite character Dick/Nightwing dies.

I've haven't read it yet though it wont be til next week that I read it.

Posted by Delphic

OMG THE FEELS!!!! T___T

Posted by ME24601

Nightwing trips and breaks his neck.\

I, for one, thought that it was hilarious.

Posted by zeyepawdz

Well, this at least explains some aesthetic choices for Nightwing in story mode.

Great issue. Once again, Injustice makes me wish DC cared for a book as much as the team involved clearly cares about this one.


Posted by ccraft

sad issue...

Edited by AltyAce

Does anybody know if / when this will be collected in trade?

Posted by Ravager4

Am I the only one who thought that that was a real b*tch way to die? I mean... trips onto a rock? Really?

Edited by KnightRise

Nope.

Posted by drgnx

WOW!

Edited by drgnx

@ravager4 said:

Am I the only one who thought that that was a real b*tch way to die? I mean... trips onto a rock? Really?

I thought D***** would D**!

But it was kind of a cheap way of doing it...

Posted by k4tzm4n

@altyace said:

Does anybody know if / when this will be collected in trade?

They're releasing physical copies 3 chapters at a time. Not sure if there's plans for a larger collection, but I really hope so!

@me24601 said:

Nightwing trips and breaks his neck.\

I, for one, thought that it was hilarious.

@ravager4 said:

Am I the only one who thought that that was a real b*tch way to die? I mean... trips onto a rock? Really?

@drgnx said:

@ravager4 said:

Am I the only one who thought that that was a real b*tch way to die? I mean... trips onto a rock? Really?

I thought D***** would D**!

But it was kind of a cheap way of doing it...

I don't believe he tripped. I think the baton to the temple nearly knocked him out and he collapsed backwards from the strike. As you can see, there isn't rubble by his feet in the below image.

Staff
Posted by Vitacura

It wasn't heartbreaking it was ridiculous, the only way that this deserve 5 stars is if it was supposed to be funny.

It's even more dumb as a reason for Batman casting Damian away.

Posted by danhimself

THE FEELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and he didn't trip....he was knocked out by the the escrima stick and he fell just right on that rock and broke his neck

Posted by manwithoutshame

I find it hard to believe anything in this awful series is worthy of 5 stars.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@manwithoutshame said:

I find it hard to believe anything in this awful series is worthy of 5 stars.

You really find it hard to believe that some people love a subjective product?

Staff
Posted by drgnx
Posted by SmashBrawler

I thought the issue and the death scene were good. The problem was the art, which made Dick's death look sillier than it actually was.

Posted by manwithoutshame

This is just a mean spirited Elseworld tale for me. They just kill off main characters for shock value, reminds me of Ultimates 3.

Posted by Saren

Million Dollar Baby wants its shocking twist back.

Moderator
Posted by DarkShadows

It was funny.

Yeah, it's sad that Dick died but by a freaking rock? I'm crying because I can't stop laughing!

Posted by RoastedRay

Batman driven mad by the death of his son changes his name to rock man. Swearing vengeance to destroy all small pointy rocks he sees. Tim Drake joins him and they become Rockman and Pebble

Edited by Eternelle

To each their own, but I thought this issue was garbage. That death was so utterly ridiculous it was laughable. The last couple pages were feels-inducing a bit, sure but what happened in order to bring on those feels...seriously? I'm supposed to buy that Dick Grayson can't dodge or block a freaking escrima stick? Like seriously? And to boot, tripping over the rock and breaking his neck? That two page sequence...I LOLed because it was just so absurd.

Between this and what they did with Lois, I'm beyond happy that I opted not to read this series.

Posted by GunGunW

I feel bad for Damian, that's going to mess him up big time.

Posted by Birthright

Silly kids. Rock kills them all. Just ask the Uchihas.

Posted by comicace3

So nightwing dies from the escrima stick to the head? or tripping over a rock? and did Damian do it?

Posted by k4tzm4n

@gadai said:

To each their own, but I thought this issue was garbage. That death was so utterly ridiculous it was laughable. The last couple pages were feels-inducing a bit, sure but what happened in order to bring on those feels...seriously? I'm supposed to buy that Dick Grayson can't dodge or block a freaking escrima stick? Like seriously? And to boot, tripping over the rock and breaking his neck? That two page sequence...I LOLed because it was just so absurd.

Between this and what they did with Lois, I'm beyond happy that I opted not to read this series.

Regarding the spoiler:

He can, seeing as he did that during their training and Damian claims he always does. Clearly, this was an example where he was distracted at the wrong time. It's not like he should have expected Damian to lash out like that, anyway.

So nightwing dies from the escrima stick to the head? or tripping over a rock? and did Damian do it?

Damian hits him in the temple with a baton toss. He falls over, but the back of his neck crashes against some rigid debris.

Staff
Posted by Omega-Man

Beyond powerful ending? more like anti-climatic. That was completely stupid how a certain someone died.

Edited by Nazab

This is a reminder that even the great ones can fall in the easiest ways.

Posted by Gorbash007

Awesome story! Its unfortunate that people forget how human Nightwing is and the rest of the non-powered superheroes out there. A simple accident can kill! I can't wait for the next issue. I bet Bruce will go ballistic! It happened before during the supposed "death" of Jason. But this time- Its his favorite and first son, his successor- Dick, who's in his arms.Powerful!

Posted by New_World_Order

Technically he didn't trip. He was knocked out by the stick, in-which he fell on the rock. Which broke his neck.

Edited by lifeboy

Stop torturing me with these wonderful reviews K4tzm4n. I don't have a tablet to get these on.

Posted by SandMan_

This is becoming a new trend for Batman. First parents, now sons..

This is getting ridicules.

@roastedray:LOL

Posted by k4tzm4n

@lifeboy said:

Stop torturing me with these wonderful reviews K4tzm4n. I don't have a tablet to get these on.

You don't need a tablet! You can read them from your PC/laptop on comiXology.

Staff
Posted by Mercy_

@k4tzm4n said:

@gadai said:

To each their own, but I thought this issue was garbage. That death was so utterly ridiculous it was laughable. The last couple pages were feels-inducing a bit, sure but what happened in order to bring on those feels...seriously? I'm supposed to buy that Dick Grayson can't dodge or block a freaking escrima stick? Like seriously? And to boot, tripping over the rock and breaking his neck? That two page sequence...I LOLed because it was just so absurd.

Between this and what they did with Lois, I'm beyond happy that I opted not to read this series.

Regarding the spoiler:

He can, seeing as he did that during their training and Damian claims he always does. Clearly, this was an example where he was distracted at the wrong time. It's not like he should have expected Damian to lash out like that, anyway.

I don't want to get into a debate on how Dick could have (and should have) easily avoided that. We've got two very different opinions on this issue and the series in general. You have a love for it and I really don't. Nothing wrong with that, I'm glad that there are people enjoying it out there, it'd suck for DC to put this effort into something and everybody to be as dissatisfied with it as I and others are. Comics should be enjoyed. So I'll just take solace in the fact that this isn't taking place in main canon and nothing that happens here will have any bearing on what happens to characters in the DC books that I am reading. Unlike Marvel, where I have to actively pretend that Avengers Arena & Uncanny Avengers aren't canon ;)

Moderator
Posted by Alak
Posted by studawg1

Not my favorite issue but I actually like the way Dick was killed off. What I don't understand is why people are so shocked by his death? You go head to head with Damian in the game and Batman pretty much tells you why he's fighting with the Regime and that he killed Dick.

Posted by akbogert

@mercy_ said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@gadai said:

To each their own, but I thought this issue was garbage. That death was so utterly ridiculous it was laughable. The last couple pages were feels-inducing a bit, sure but what happened in order to bring on those feels...seriously? I'm supposed to buy that Dick Grayson can't dodge or block a freaking escrima stick? Like seriously? And to boot, tripping over the rock and breaking his neck? That two page sequence...I LOLed because it was just so absurd.

Between this and what they did with Lois, I'm beyond happy that I opted not to read this series.

Regarding the spoiler:

He can, seeing as he did that during their training and Damian claims he always does. Clearly, this was an example where he was distracted at the wrong time. It's not like he should have expected Damian to lash out like that, anyway.

I don't want to get into a debate on how Dick could have (and should have) easily avoided that. We've got two very different opinions on this issue and the series in general. You have a love for it and I really don't. Nothing wrong with that, I'm glad that there are people enjoying it out there, it'd suck for DC to put this effort into something and everybody to be as dissatisfied with it as I and others are. Comics should be enjoyed. So I'll just take solace in the fact that this isn't taking place in main canon and nothing that happens here will have any bearing on what happens to characters in the DC books that I am reading. Unlike Marvel, where I have to actively pretend that Avengers Arena & Uncanny Avengers aren't canon ;)

I don't really think this particular series of events strains credulity. It was foreshadowed pretty directly a few issues back and made clear that this was one area where Damian had the upper-hand on Dick. I think the implications of Damian having, for all intents and purposes, just murdered his friend and brother -- none of which would have happened had he not chosen to defy Bruce -- are very powerful, and I thought the solemnity of what followed did the death more than justice.

Obviously disliking the series or its tone is quite your prerogative. You know based on my Arena opinions that I can fully understand disliking a grim story (and yes, cheers to this not being real continuity). I just think that people are giving this issue an unfair reaction, especially those who clearly weren't paying attention and thought he tripped.

Posted by Mercy_

@akbogert: This is the second issue of this series that I've read, as I'm really not inclined to dole out the money for it and I read it only after hearing about what happened in it to form my own opinion. I haven't played the game, so I'm afraid that any foreshadowing or subtleties in the series, or even this issue, as I pretty much skimmed it, were lost on me.

Now, there may very well be more gravity to it than was written in the panels in which it happened, but I don't think that makes it any less full of PIS or any less ridiculous and outlandish. By no means do I buy Dick 'Circus Kid' Grayson, who has been shown time and time again to be an amazing acrobat (hell, his acrobatics were showcased earlier in this issue) being unable to dodge something that large, travelling that slow. That's what really gets me. Not that he died, but the manner in which he died.

I don't mind grim stories (Y: The Last Man is one of the best things I've ever read and Kyle/Yost's X-Force is another). I don't like grim stories that are grim for shock value (the fridging of Lois, as earlier mentioned).

Moderator
Posted by akbogert

@mercy_: Well I haven't played the game either :P

But I'm just saying it's unreasonable to criticize a narrative choice without proper context for it. So in the case of what happened here, I think it's unfair (and that's not just you -- that'd be anyone who wasn't taking into account the fact that the feasibility had been established earlier on in the story). You may still be valid in calling it PIS, but then it was vastly more PIS when it happened with just the two boys in the cave alone; for it to have already happened in that situation, having it happen again in the middle of such a large melee doesn't really seem ridiculous, comparatively.

As far as Lois, while agreeably terrible -- and I'm not really trying to excuse fridging -- I think it's fair to say that something needed to happen to motivate Clark into becoming the character the game needed to be, and given that constraint as a writer -- you must make Clark turn into a global dictator -- I am hard-pressed to come up with a motivator that doesn't involve him losing her. Which is why I've said all along, most folks' issues with the book are more issues with the plausibility of the entire game premise than with Taylor's writing decisions, per se.

(side note: yay for Kyle/Yost's X-Force. Quite agreed that it's fantastic)

Posted by k4tzm4n

@mercy_ said:

@akbogert: This is the second issue of this series that I've read, as I'm really not inclined to dole out the money for it and I read it only after hearing about what happened in it to form my own opinion. I haven't played the game, so I'm afraid that any foreshadowing or subtleties in the series, or even this issue, as I pretty much skimmed it, were lost on me.

Now, there may very well be more gravity to it than was written in the panels in which it happened, but I don't think that makes it any less full of PIS or any less ridiculous and outlandish. By no means do I buy Dick 'Circus Kid' Grayson, who has been shown time and time again to be an amazing acrobat (hell, his acrobatics were showcased earlier in this issue) being unable to dodge something that large, travelling that slow. That's what really gets me. Not that he died, but the manner in which he died.

I don't mind grim stories (Y: The Last Man is one of the best things I've ever read and Kyle/Yost's X-Force is another). I don't like grim stories that are grim for shock value (the fridging of Lois, as earlier mentioned).

Don't say I never did anything for you!

Staff
Posted by Mercy_

@akbogert said:

@mercy_: Well I haven't played the game either :P

But I'm just saying it's unreasonable to criticize a narrative choice without proper context for it. So in the case of what happened here, I think it's unfair (and that's not just you -- that'd be anyone who wasn't taking into account the fact that the feasibility had been established earlier on in the story).

I'd disagree with that on the basis that there are a multitude of showings that prove otherwise. Do you happen to know which issue this took place in? I'd like to give it a read (not doubting what you're saying, just want to form my own opinion on it).

You may still be valid in calling it PIS, but then it was vastly more PIS when it happened with just the two boys in the cave alone; for it to have already happened in that situation, having it happen again in the middle of such a large melee doesn't really seem ridiculous, comparatively.

This I would definitely agree with ;)

As far as Lois, while agreeably terrible -- and I'm not really trying to excuse fridging -- I think it's fair to say that something needed to happen to motivate Clark into becoming the character the game needed to be, and given that constraint as a writer -- you must make Clark turn into a global dictator -- I am hard-pressed to come up with a motivator that doesn't involve him losing her.

I think there are plenty of motivators for writers clever enough.

I'm all for Elseworlds where characters take wildly different turns, but it's SUPPOSED to be hard to destroy Clark's...goodness, for lack of a better word. Because that is the very core of the character. He has these godlike powers and this unbreakable moral center that is the very epitome of the character and what he has come to mean not only to readers, but to his fellow heroes. Bruce is dark and grey and he knows this and he knows that it's a damn good thing that Clark isn't, because the moment he starts going down a slippery slope is the moment something like what's going on in Injustice happens.

So in short...people should be hard-pressed to find a motivator and it's never an excuse to fridge somebody. Which is what this was the epitome of. The death (maiming/torture etc) of a female character for the pure purpose of motivating the plot/characterization of a male in their lives. It makes Lois nothing more than a chess piece and does a huge disservice to the character and to the female readers (regardless of whether or not it's an Elseworlds)

Which is why I've said all along, most folks' issues with the book are more issues with the plausibility of the entire game premise than with Taylor's writing decisions, per se.

I'd agree with that in the wide scope, but not in this particular instance (Dick's death). Otherwise, yes.

(side note: yay for Kyle/Yost's X-Force. Quite agreed that it's fantastic)

I need them back on an X-book ASAP

Moderator
Posted by Mercy_

@k4tzm4n: Okay...is Dick's hair color there bothering anybody else <__<

On topic, I'd say that supports my PIS claim.

Moderator
Posted by k4tzm4n

@mercy_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Okay...is Dick's hair color there bothering anybody else <__<

On topic, I'd say that supports my PIS claim.

It was noticeable, as was Hal's hair in another issue (it actually made people believe it was Kyle).

I'll have to agree to disagree. While training in the bat-cave, his focus is solely on Damian and, as implied, he's come to expect the cheap tactic from him. But, in the middle of a clash with a bunch of Arkham inmates? I can't blame him for assuming that side was safe since Damian had it covered. Instead, the Boy Wonder let his temper take over at a terrible, terrible moment. Now, I'm sure you think Grayson's so agile that he would have been able to react in time anyway, but I think given the scenario, it's a cheap shot that he would have never expected from an ally.

Staff
Posted by Mercy_

@k4tzm4n said:

@mercy_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Okay...is Dick's hair color there bothering anybody else <__<

On topic, I'd say that supports my PIS claim.

It was noticeable, as was Hal's hair in another issue (it actually made people believe it was Kyle).

I'll have to agree to disagree. While training in the bat-cave, his focus is solely on Damian and, as implied, he's come to expect the cheap tactic from him. But, in the middle of a clash with a bunch of Arkham inmates? I can't blame him for assuming that side was safe since Damian had it covered. Instead, the Boy Wonder let his temper take over at a terrible, terrible moment. Now, I'm sure you think Grayson's so agile that he would have been able to react in time anyway, but I think given the scenario, it's a cheap shot that he would have never expected from an ally.

I agree with the bolded and it's the only way that this would make even a little sense to me. But in the end, I still think what he has exhibited time and time again feats-wise is enough to be able to dodge it. Maybe the shock slowed his reaction or whatever, but still, it seems unfeasible to me.

And this is a question that you could probably answer - but is this an entirely different timeline from the current DCU or is it the same up the point of something climactic - which in this case, I'd assume would be Lois' death?

Just trying to get a handle on how they're characterized and exactly how out of character this would be for Damian...who would NEVER do this in the current universe.

Moderator
Edited by k4tzm4n

@mercy_ said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@mercy_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Okay...is Dick's hair color there bothering anybody else <__<

On topic, I'd say that supports my PIS claim.

It was noticeable, as was Hal's hair in another issue (it actually made people believe it was Kyle).

I'll have to agree to disagree. While training in the bat-cave, his focus is solely on Damian and, as implied, he's come to expect the cheap tactic from him. But, in the middle of a clash with a bunch of Arkham inmates? I can't blame him for assuming that side was safe since Damian had it covered. Instead, the Boy Wonder let his temper take over at a terrible, terrible moment. Now, I'm sure you think Grayson's so agile that he would have been able to react in time anyway, but I think given the scenario, it's a cheap shot that he would have never expected from an ally.

I agree with the bolded and it's the only way that this would make even a little sense to me. But in the end, I still think what he has exhibited time and time again feats-wise is enough to be able to dodge it. Maybe the shock slowed his reaction or whatever, but still, it seems unfeasible to me.

And this is a question that you could probably answer - but is this an entirely different timeline from the current DCU or is it the same up the point of something climactic - which in this case, I'd assume would be Lois' death?

Just trying to get a handle on how they're characterized and exactly how out of character this would be for Damian...who would NEVER do this in the current universe.

Yes, it's my understanding that it is technically an entirely new timeline.

Staff
Posted by Mercy_
Moderator
Posted by akbogert

@mercy_: Well it's all well and good to say there are other motivators, but I've not thought of any. And it's worth remembering that it wasn't just her death that motivated Clark's actions -- it was also the death of their unborn child and the correlated decimation of the entire city. I'm not sure whether all three of those were necessary, but it's hard to imagine him going off the deep end with Lois still there to fight for and keep him grounded. So, again, I'm hard-pressed to come up with these "plenty" of other motivators. I get the problem with fridging, but I think when a woman really is the most important thing in a man's life, the one thing he really can't live without... well if there's ever been a time where it makes sense to kill a woman as part of motivating someone, I think this was it.

You said there's never an excuse to fridge and I guess what I'm ultimately saying is, yes there is, and this was it. And to be fair, the fact that this is an elseworlds story, and they're not actually taking a character out of continuity this way, is what makes it acceptable to me.

As for Dick and the injury, you've seen the scans. I did indeed concede that you can still call it PIS -- just not as PIS as it could have been without the prior issue's set-up.

(and on the very short list of things that would make me reconsider reading a Marvel book, having Laura back in the hands of her creators is one of them)

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