The moment we've been waiting for is finally here: Black Canary vs. Superman. Dinah has every reason in the world to loathe the Kryptonian and Superman... well, no one can really fully understand what's going on his head nowadays, can we?
Writer Tom Taylor makes this conflict full of heated and gripping dialogue and we get a proper reaction from both of these characters in this tense encounter. This gives the writer a chance to finally show us that there's still a little bit of good left in Superman, but it's twisted beyond repair and there's just no going back for him. It's a fitting response given why Dinah hates him, too. You can tell he feels guilty about what happened but it's his messed up way of attempting to justify his actions without actually saying "sorry." While many of us will see the basics of the outcome coming a mile away, I can pretty much guaranteed none of you will anticipate how it occurs. Unfortunately, it isn't as compelling as it could have been, but it produces a very promising and exciting twist. It's sure to have you thinking about the possibilities.
The issue isn't all about Superman and Black Canary butting heads, of course. Taylor also jumps to the massive space conflict -- giving him a chance to hit us with some crazy spectacle and pure fun -- and chimes in on a few of Batman's allies. They're brief scenes but it successfully give us a good look at what's going on and it's paced well. The battle is still 100% spectacle, Harley Quinn's bit was twisted yet adorable, and Catwoman's remark to Damian had me smirking. Nothing here is necessarily significant, but it's a nice little update that gives us a bit of humor and we don't stray from the more substantial part of the story for too long.
The moment many of us have been expecting finally happens and honestly, it's quite abrupt. Now, swiftly hitting us with Black Canary's death is obviously intentional and intended to shock, but instead of giving us time to let this moment truly sink in, it's followed-up by something that's seriously cool and leaves us thinking about that development more than Canary's demise. It's one of those moments that'll make you want to exclaim "awesome!" instead of reflecting on the horrible incident that just went down. The way the double page spread is laid out attempts to balance these two developments, but seeing as so many of us expected Canary's death and didn't see the other one coming, the development with Supes overshadows her death, unfortunately.
I like a lot of Tom Derenick's work with the franchise, but some of the character work -- most notably facial expressions -- came off as a little too exaggerated. That said, the angles do a fine job keeping us immersed and Rex Lokus' coloring is consistently strong, but some of of the expressions were a bit distracting.
INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO #22 gives a satisfying and action-heavy look at Black Canary's story. While it isn't quite as emotional as it could have been, it's still a very well-written and totally absorbing experience. The tension has been building for quite some time between Canary and Kal-El and their confrontation was mostly worth the wait. And the end will most definitely leave you wanting more. Usually fans of the video game can predict deaths and some of the twists, but this is a completely unexpected treat and I'm really anxious to see how it's handled.