Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two Annual #1

Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two Annual #1

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Plot: Marguerite Bennett and Tom Taylor
Artists: David Yardin, Daniel Hdr, Vigente Cifuentes, Mike S. Miller and Jheremy Raapack
Colorists: Rex Lokus, David Lopez and Santi Casas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Cover Artist: Jheremy Raapack and Mark Roberts

Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two Annual #1 is a bit of a departure as it’s written by a different writer, Marguerite Bennett. After reading 25 issues of Injustice: Gods Among Us, it’s interesting that when there’s a change in writers, you can pick up on it. This annual is split into two stories, the first focusing on Clayface and Barbara, the second focusing on Sinestro and Hal Jordan. Neither story is essential to the main series, but they both add to the characters by showing off some side adventures. It’s a fun break.

The first story is “Closing Time”. It’s set before the events of Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two #8 and centers on Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. The story explores a bit of their relationship, Barbara’s concerns about her father take the super power pills, and the ghosts from the past that still haunt them. A story thread pops up that leads Gordon to think his wife is still alive and sends him off on a wild chase to find her. Alas, she turns out to be Clayface. That in turn becomes a ploy for Superman to infiltrate and turn the heroes against themselves, but Clayface is found out and dealt with. All in all it was a good idea, but it was somewhat wasted by it all happening in one issue. Clayface didn’t have enough time to cement himself with the readers’ trust, thus making his betrayal sting. By everything being crammed into one short story, it dulled the emotional impact. That said, the story did do a good job at touching on the emotional strings between Barbara and Gordon.

The second story is “The Ur-Forge”. Superman has found the location of the Ur-Forge and sends Sinestro and Hal Jordan to go get it. Their trip leads them to a planet filled with machine like beasts. Together, Hal and Sinestro work together as they fight the beasts and search for the forge. Through the story, their relationship is explored and tested. The two have a long, rocky history. Sinestro is rather reflective with his dialog, commenting on how it’s hard to see where choices change a person’s path to make them who they are. He strikes at Hal with truths. He’s open about his mistakes. He brings to light Hal’s concerns for Superman and whether the man of steel is making the right decisions. By acknowledging the lack of trust between them, Sinestro slowly builds trust. Through this mission, Sinestro worms his way into Hal’s good graces, all building toward the moment when Hal will eventually break down and accept the ring of fear. I loved the exploration of Sinestro and the relationship between him and Hal. As such, I enjoyed this story a lot more than the first one.

With five different artists depicting this issue, and each with different styles, the art is varied. It can be a little jarring as they styles shift, but overall they look good and do a good job of bringing the panels to life. Some of the panels really shine like the image of Superman holding the Ur-Forge, the close up shots of Sinestro’s eyes, even some of the portrait shots of Barbara. But there are some misses. One panel that really threw me was when Clayface changes from Gordon’s wife to some bald guy with a goatee and a woman’s body, to his ugly clay form. I didn’t understand who the bald guy was suppose to be. The progression of the panels made it hard to tell that this was Clayface transforming. It was sudden, jarring, and just odd. It could definitely have been done better. That said, the artwork was still overall good.

While I didn’t enjoy “Closing Time” as much, I thought “The Ur-Forge” was a great way to end it. It started off a bit slow and shaky but ended on a high note. With good artwork backing it up, Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two Annual #1 is definitely worth checking out. While I’d give the second half of this issue a five out of five, this first half was more of a three out of five. Thus, overall, I’d give this one a four out five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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