Writer Tom Taylor takes a slight break from the cosmic chaos to focus on a more character-driven and emotional experience. But don't worry, action junkies, because Taylor opens the chapter with a little update on the massive battle (there's a glorious super-punch to a Lantern's face) and even the compelling sequence has some noteworthy displays of excitement.
When we do get to the core of the story, it very quickly becomes clear how this issue will end for a certain character. Despite becoming more than confident about their fate, we're still unsure how it'll happen. Thankfully, it's written in a way that still feels gripping and I'll admit I choked up a bit the first time I read the chapter. The final exchange really sinks in and there's an appropriately effective twist on a remark that's commonly used between Batman and Gordon.
Taylor's script offers quite a few tense and heartfelt scenes and, luckily for our eyes, Bruno Redondo (pencils), Rex Lokus (colors), Julien Hugonnard-Bert and Xermanico (inks) crafted a visual journey that does these moments justice. From the fitting expressions to the layouts, transitions and angles (best displayed during the bits with Cyborg), the visuals never took me out of the moment and kept my eyes consistently engaged. There's two hits that are loaded with energy and do a stunningly effective job showing just how impactful a fist -- especially from a superhuman -- can be. There's also one brutal incident where the team allowed Lokus to make the action far more striking.
The change in Gordon's physical well-being seems abrupt and the timing is a little too convenient for the story, but that's slightly countered when it is revealed that the pill accelerated the cancer. Still, to have it kick in at that point felt a little sudden and just for the sake of the story. Also, it was a little odd how Cyborg went from sympathetic to blasting Gordon when the ill man went on a stumbling offensive. You'd think a character that powerful would have a middle ground instead of immediately going for the kill, especially since it began as a more humanizing take on the character.
There's a small error on the 17th page: " secret is safe, Luthor."
INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO #20 brings a heavy dose of heart back to the bleak and violent universe. The plot device feels sudden and a little forced, but it doesn't take away all that much from the engrossing development and that's thanks to the way it's paced and the legitimately touching dialogue. This chapter successfully delivers a well-written and thoroughly satisfying spotlight on an important character and leaves me anxious to see how this will impact another key character's role. INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO once again has me excited to buy the next chapter. I understand some of you weren't a fan of how this volume focused on so much buildup, but these last few chapters have picked up the pace and produced events you really shouldn't miss. Here's hoping this chapter motivates Barbara to become Batgirl!