With INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO, writer Tom Taylor has placed quite a few plot pieces on the board and, in this week's chapter, he continues to move them all forward. The mind behind the series is juggling a handful of story threads in this new volume and never allows any of them to weigh down the series' pacing. He jumps from scene to scene, giving us a brief update on Batman, Oracle, Wonder Woman, Sinestro and Green Lantern(s). Each scene never overstays its welcome, delivering just enough to keep our intrigue strong and make us wonder what the next issue will have in store for us. I especially appreciate how he was able to give a few of these story elements an organic transition so we didn't have to teleport to yet another stage.
Even though the book's atmosphere is foreboding, Taylor's able to sprinkle some bits of levity here and there. You can't help but laugh at Batman's utility belt serving as a cell phone holder and the conversation about cell service which follows. A couple of the jabs at Congress won't make you burst into laughter, but they're wonderfully snarky. Meanwhile, the handling of the Congress scene made me wish Hal Jordan was real and could fly to Washington, D.C. today. Instead of bogging this scene down with potentially dull back-and-forth debating (which would limit page space for other characters), Taylor made sure Jordan's arguments were concise, effective and, at times, appropriately degrading.
For a book that comes out on such a frequent basis, it's impressive how much detail artist Bruno Redondo puts into each page. Redondo makes sure to establish an environment in each setting and, in spite of what must be tight deadlines, it never comes off as rushed. Each setting has more than enough life instilled in it to make it feel like a unique setting and help create a stronger illusion for us as we dive into this fictional world. For example, Earth's atmosphere looks gorgeous and the vastness of space is beautiful. This is something that could have easily been glossed over but instead it's right there and in full force. And speaking of force, wow, that slight nod to the comic (Zod's special!) was overflowing was energy. It's shot-lived yet quite full of awesome. Colorist Rex Lokus does a thorough job with each individual and location. His work really stands out when he illuminates the Lanterns' attire and how he handles the intense scene in space.
This chapter exists to give us a brief update on some characters while establishing a new direction for others. They're mandatory steps Taylor has to take to move the narrative forward, but when you're done with the issue, it's more likely you'll be thinking about what's to come instead of reflecting on what just went down.
INJUSTICE: YEAR ONE had one explosive event after the next in virtually every issue. With INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO, you can tell Taylor's moving all of the pieces into place and building up the tension before we're hit with something legitimately massive. Sure, there's shocking and thrilling moments here and there, but you can really feel the story inching closer and closer to something game-changing. At any rate, this series is still a real teat. It remains well-written and looks solid. This isn't just a must read series for fans of the game. It's a must read series if you enjoy great writing, and that's something everyone appreciates, right? Now comes the tough part: waiting two weeks for a new chapter!