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Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One: The Complete Collection Paperback – March 8, 2016
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"One of the best DC comics to not only come out this week, but since the start of 2013."--AIN'T IT COOL NEWS
About the Author
Currently writing DCEASED and SUICIDE SQUAD for DC Comics and FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN for Marvel, Taylor is well known for DC's hit series, INJUSTICE and Marvel's X-MEN: RED and ALL-NEW WOLVERINE as well as his many STAR WARS works, which include the recent AGE OF RESISTANCE series, set before Episode IX.
Taylor is the co-creator, executive producer and lead writer of the Animated series, THE DEEP, on Netflix and BBC, based on his graphic novels of the same name.
- Publisher : DC Comics; Illustrated edition (March 8, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 424 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401262791
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401262792
- Item Weight : 1.59 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.7 x 0.59 x 10.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #23,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The premise is simple enough--the Joker pushes Superman to a breaking point by, without spoiling anything, taking away everything Superman cares about. Superman, in response, does the unthinkable and murders the Joker. But one step leads to another, and Superman realizes he can no longer let the world order exist as it does, without uniformly-enforced peace. Batman, always seeing a few moves ahead, knows this is headed nowhere good and begins gathering allies to prepare against Superman's budding regime.
What makes this series work is not just the plot, but Tom Taylor's deep understanding of a huge cast of DC characters. Each plot development is a shocking combination of "I can't believe that happened" and at the same time, given the characters' personalities and histories, "That totally makes sense that this would happen." It's not just good world building, it's insightful writing and on the level of some of DC's greatest writers. I don't know what Tom Taylor's future holds but he's certainly won me over, and I can't wait to see how his writing career unfolds. I'd highly recommend this to any DC comics fan as one its best series, destined to become a classic!
I initially blew this series off because I figured it was nothing but advertising for the video game. I bought and played both games when they came out, and immensely enjoyed them, but eventually became curious about the backstory because a lot of the banter and trash-talk between the characters in the game referred to past events not seen in the game. So, I decided to check this series out to fill in some of the gaps ...
Wow. Glad I did. Tom Taylor understands these characters in a way that the moviemakers at Warner Bros. clearly don't. This story works on so many levels, too. The conflicts that ensue herein are so intimately tied to these characters' psyches and mythos that their clashes and divisions seem fated and inevitable after the initial tragedy that catalyzes what follows. At the same time, this story deals with universal questions about collective security weighed against individual liberty, about the proper role of government, the proper use of force and power, and about what should be valued most. It's a beautiful, tragic story about good people trying to do what's right, but being corrupted by grief and by ideological differences, with lifelong friendships shattering and an epic struggle ensuing.
The main problem that stops this book from being a five-star effort in my opinion is that some of the heroes don't get enough time to explore their psyches. We see enough of why Batman wants to oppose Superman and even why Superman embarks upon his path, but other characters don't get as much time to ruminate on their positions. If you've played the game you know that both Flash and Shazam join with Superman's regime only to stand up to him and question his choices during the game's campaign. However, this book takes place five years before that and while we do see both characters questioning their leader's new direction neither one does much about it and essentially just stop asking questions after awhile (the writers can't beat the game's own plot to the punch after all).
Even worse is Wonder Woman. In the game, Diana is unquestioningly loyal to Clark's cause. I was interested to see what drives her to become his willing lieutenant and right-hand woman, but in the comics Wonder Woman is the closest we have to an outright antagonist (at least here in year one). Later on the role of the devil in Clark's ear is filled by Sinestro, but in this book it is Diana who eagerly pushes Superman to pursue his goals, knowing full well what it means for the world. If you're a huge fan of Wonder Woman you might not like her characterization in this book.
That said, Year One is a great book overall and definitely worth reading for highlight moments such as Harley Quinn giving Lobo therapy, Green Arrow's standoff with Clark, and my favorite moment of a momentarily super-powered Alfred saving Batman from Clark. Injustice is broken up into five arcs aka the titular years. This is year one and this book collects all of that first arc.
Top reviews from other countries
Storywise the Injustice is most of the time a good fun. Some parts are awesome but there are many 'meh' moments, as well. Story tries to be grounded but is failing every now and then. Not going into spoilers - motivations seem unclear and contradictory. The number of side characters is too high sometimes and they seem to be there just to push the plot forward. Trying to make some of the JL members grounded is (unintentionally) hilarious.
Although I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by nice touches of humour in some parts of the story. Overall - it is a good read but I expected a bit more from 'cult alternate gritty superheroes version'.
The power of Superman in this collection is the best demonstration I have seen in any story (I'd include examples, but spoilers!). You believe how terrifying it is to be up against him when he lets go of his limits. At one point, Bruce runs into Clark's parents, and he instantly decides to retreat - if Clark thinks Bruce is coming for his parents, Bruce is dead.
This is definitely a story of "the ends justify the means, until they don't", and he never sees that. There are moments where Clark betrays his friends in the worst possible ways, and you'll find yourself wondering several times if he's crossed The Line yet, or if something bigger is coming. Something bigger is always coming. And the ending... Ouch.
Because it's all telling one story, you don't feel left behind, whereas if you were reading a mainline comic book there would be references to other series and events that you haven't read. For example, I'm reading the New 52 Batman line, but I haven't read Batman: Eternal and that's left me very confused in places. With the Injustice comics, there's just the one story, so it's much easier to understand. Occasionally, there's a break from the supers (one story explores a young boy's relationship with Superman before and after he killed the Joker), but it doesn't last long. You don't need this comic to fully understand the game (plot points from this are brought up there), and you don't need the game to fully understand this comic (this is five years before the events of the first game).
The last thing I'd like to share isn't a compliment or a criticism, it's just an interesting thing I noticed when I held the collection for the first time. Every comic book I've ever held has had a paperback cover with a slightly glossy feel to it, like a magazine. The covers for this were also paperback, but they had a dryer texture, closer to actual paper.
As far as stories go, this well exceeds my expectations. Not only does this do a good job of explaining the universe of the game and explaining the character motivations of the Regime members but it also had me moved several times. I was more or less introduced to most of these characters upon buying this book and I seriously found myself invested in them by the end of it. I've been thumbing through these volumes like crazy since I got this one. If you like the games or even just DC stuff, I'd highly recommend this one!