The past few issues have been packed with crazy action. From Superman slaughtering Parademons and smacking around Kalibak to Batman's rebellion beating up cultists, its pages have been filled with plenty of exciting brawls. Despite being based on a fighting game, it's not the super-powered punches or immense blasts of heat vision which makes INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US special. It's appreciated, sure, but what makes this book truly standout from the rest is the drastic change in character relationships and the massive weight of the moral dilemmas these characters are facing on a daily basis. The 26th chapter let's the dust settle from all of the physical conflict we've seen over the last couple of issues and puts a strong focus on a few key characters and where they want to go from here.
While some on the right found Catwoman's political stance in a previous issue to be a bit too polarizing, I'm sure the same will apply here when it comes to Superman's chat with Flash. Clark has successfully protected mankind from an outside invasion, but now he feels the need to focus on protecting humanity from itself. To him, the first order of business is guns. Kal-El realizes he and Flash could remove most of the world's guns in well under a week, but his super-speeding ally points out it'll come at a cost: many will resent him for it. What comes next is a solid example of the character Clark is becoming. He has a "for the greater good" mentality, and he doesn't care what the consequences will be as long as it saves lives in the end. It's a terrific insight into the change writer Tom Taylor is implementing with these characters and the gradual changes they undergo.
While the weight of the subject they're chatting about is quite heavy, Taylor balances this by having them discuss the matter while playing super-speed chess. It's a nice touch of levity thrown on to a sharp yet powerful scene. Taylor diving deep into the characters holds particularly true in the book's other big scene: Lex Luthor creating kryptonian pills while chatting with the Kents in the Fortress of Solitude. Taylor does a topnotch job reminding us why we're seeing such a drastically different version of Superman and does an able job laying the groundwork for Lex's eventual decision to switch sides.
The debate between Flash and Superman is superb and I totally understand the significance behind everything going on (especially how the scene with the Kents/Luthor connects to it), but I wish Clark put up more of a defense when it came to his latest proposal. Once again, I understand Taylor is working with very limited space due to this being a $0.99 weekly comic and it definitely was a strong scene, but I'd really like to see a reminder that despite being strongly impacted by so many terrible events, Clark does indeed still have a gifted mind.
A fighting game's story with a chapter that can thrive without action of any kind? Such a thought is madness, right? Well, this issue proves otherwise. INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US may revolve around one savage event and how it changes everything, but this issue proves the book can thrive and remain gripping without even the lightest amount of physical conflict. Taylor continues to show he has a respectable understanding of these characters and can always be counted on to produce thoroughly entertaining plot progression and dialogue. INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US delivers yet again.