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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Comics Explained: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two (Part 3)

War with the Green Lanterns
Last time Superman's oppressive regime on Earth allied itself with Sinestro and the Sinestro Corps. The Green Lanterns in retaliation have sent a huge squadron to bring Superman to heel. Seeing this as a chance to do away with the Regime Batman and the Resistance have allied themselves with the Green Lanterns. Now Regime and Resistance wait for the arrival of the Lanterns...

Regime against Lanterns
A paralyzed Batman and Oracle give out a message to the Resistance from Green Lantern Guy Gardner to inform them of the Green Lantern Corps arriving on Earth. That message is: When the sky goes green. Oracle's insider in the Justice League has managed to get her a chance to track the League's communications which she then uses to locate the positions of each Justice League member. She also informs Batman where each of the Resistance's forces are but Batman is unhappy with Harley Quinn's presence in the Resistance; Quinn was inducted thanks to the assistance of Black Canary. Suddenly the world is shrouded in darkness: the Lanterns have arrived. The other Earth-based Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart, are bewildered that Guy Gardner has brought such a vast amount of Lanterns to Earth, including their largest member (Mogo the Living Planet). Guy happily greets his fellow Guardians but is dismayed when he sees Superman and Sinestro (with members of the Sinestro Corps) flying to him as well. Hal forms a bubble around the three Lanterns and Superman to allow for last minute diplomacy. Guy begs Superman to help the Green Lanterns to take out the Sinestro Corps, and to turn himself in saying that the Guardians of the Universe will leave his friends alone as well as giving him a fair trial. Clark retaliates by saying that if the Green Lanterns leave no one needs to die. Guy threatens that Clark cannot win against the Lanterns while Superman calls Guy an embarrassment to the Justice League and Earth. Angry Guy tries to punch Superman but his Kryptonian reflexes allows him to easily dodge the punch. Superman breaks Guy's arm and hurls him from the light bubble.
Parley failed
Concerned for his friend John goes to see to Guy as the Green Lantern Salaak orders the attack on the Sinestro Corps and Superman. Suddenly Guy yells for Hal to get out of the way. He tells John that his antagonizing of Superman was a feint: it was to get Superman and Sinestro in Mogo's line of fire. Before John can warn his friend Hal, Superman, Sinestro and several Yellow Lanterns are caught in Mogo's blast.
Mogo's Attack 
On Earth Oracle says that this is the sign which the Resistance was waiting for (with Harley saying 'Naww, pretty'). Batman communicates with Black Canary in the Batcave who is being given a custom made pistol by Alfred. This gun has kryptonite tipped bullets. Batman asks Dinah to shoot to incapacitate Clark but she says 'the guy with the best aim is dead'. Elsewhere the League find out that they have lost contact with Superman. Suddenly, in space, Superman bursts from Mogo's rays with Hal under one arm and Sinestro under the other. Hal forms a bubble around Clark so he can talk to Cyborg (after all space is a vacuum). Superman tells Cyborg that a quarter of the Sinestro Corps have been killed and that the remaining ones should go to the upper atmosphere knowing that the Lanterns won't repeat that attack with them there. Superman has now descended to using Earth as a shield. With the League distracted and Sinestro Corps scattered the Resistance decides to make its move...by attacking the Hall of Justice. Commissioner Gordon's group gets ready to lay siege to the Hall and he warns Harley not to go off task: if she doesn't take out the Flash their operation could be done for. Harley uses a bomb strapped to herself to blow up outside the Hall next to a guard (thanks to the nanotech pills though she is unharmed). The Flash quickly goes to rescue the guard which turns out to be Catwoman in disguise who uses small device to incapacitate Flash. Suddenly, she comes under attack from Robin.
Robin attacks Catwoman
Outside Gordon leads the assault on the Hall of Justice. The GCPD quickly breaks in and Cyborg is forced to hold them off with an arm cannon. Lex Luthor orders Cyborg to take the teleporter to the Watchtower; if he gets captured the Regime would have lost their most key individual. However, when Cyborg reaches the teleporter he realizes that their communications have been hacked. Cyborg refuses to follow Lex's orders to turn off communications as he argued that it would leave the League blind. Just as Cyborg teleports away Lex is overran. We then cut to Catwoman and Robin. Selina has lost all patience with the child saying 'Your father is much better off without you. You're just this joyless, entitled, moody, whining little **** and you hurt Bruce. I'm going to punish you for that.' Luthor surrenders to Gordon (with Harley asking if she can rub his shiny bald head for luck), but Luthor tells Gordon that he knows his daughter is Oracle and he wants to talk. We find out that Luthor is Oracle's insider and that Cyborg is going to trace the hacked communications to her. Lex takes Gordon to the teleporter so he can deal with Cyborg, although Lex asks for his secret to be kept. A mole is useless if everyone knows who the mole is. Gordon asks Lex if he knows how far along his cancer is. When Lex says that he does Gordon says 'dead men don't tell secrets'.

Soon after the duo teleport away Catwoman informs Oracle that they've captured the Hall of Justice. This prompts a force under Batwoman and Huntress to attack the Ferris Airfield. This prompts Carol to get Hal to break off from the fight who is unknowingly followed by Guy and Sinestro. As Huntress tries to pilot a jet a green hand construct grabs hold of the plane. However, Guy soon arrives ordering Hal to let go of the jet. Just as a fight is about to break out between the two Lanterns (despite Guy cradling a broken arm) Guy is blasted with a yellow light construct. He is shocked. He had tried with all his might to convince the Guardians that Hal wasn't allied to Sinestro. Angry he yells 'You were supposed to be the best of us...You're not supposed to be Superman's puppet'. Just as Sinestro goes to kill Guy a green construct blocks the blast and suddenly leader of the Green Lanterns Ganthet appears...
Ganthet comes to save Guy
Sinestro starts to battle Ganthet and Guy quickly saves Carol from the flaming debris from a jet thrown by Sinestro at Ganthet. Seeing this enrages Hal who attacks Guy ignoring the safety of Carol. Ganthet sees this and declares Hal an oathbreaker stripping him of his ring. In order to save Carol, (now falling from the sky), Hal accepts a Yellow Ring from Sinestro. Hal has now become a Yellow Lantern.
Hal Jordan, Sinestro Corps member
Gordon
Batman and Oracle realize that Sinestro is purposefully stretching the Green Lantern forces thin. The Yellow Lanterns are purposefully locating themselves in large cities so they can use civilians as human shields. As Batman tells Oracle to give the Lanterns new orders she finds out that someone is tracing them. On the Watchtower Cyborg hears the teleporter and assumes that it is Lex Luthor. He says that he has found out their hacker is someone called Oracle, and that he should find them soon. However, he then hears the click of a gun's safety. Gordon now is standing over the 'unconscious' body of Luthor. Cyborg calls Gordon's bluff believing that Gordon wouldn't dare shoot inside a space station only for Gordon to shoot the metallic side of his face. He threatens to shoot the human side if Cyborg doesn't end the scan. Cyborg refuses saying that Gordon would never kill in cold blood and that he just has to wait. Upon scanning Gordon's vitals he has found out that the GCPD commissioner only has moments to live. The nanotech pills have put a strain on Gordon's body. Cyborg asks if there is anything which he can do to comfort Gordon in his final moments, but is surprised when Gordon attacks him. In his final moments he renders Cyborg unconscious which ends the trace. Gordon tells Batman and Oracle how beautiful the Earth looks, and for Oracle to stay strong.
Gordon's last words
Canary v. Kryptonian
We now return to the Ferris Airfield. Upon seeing Hal as a Yellow Lantern standing next to Sinestro Ganthet declares both them a mistake. With Hal distracted Batwoman and Huntress take this as an opportunity to commandeer another jet. Black Canary, meanwhile, has gotten into the Batplane to do her part in the mission. Batman warns her though that the Batplane is lined with lead; thanks to this Superman won't be able to see her and may think that she is Batman. At the airfield Ganthet orders Guy to leave enraging Sinestro who's egomania causes him to overstate his own power. Ganthet easily kills the other Yellow Lanterns and leaves Sinestro declaring him to be insignificant. In the skies just as Superman is about to kill Salaak Ganthet creates a light construct preventing it. The Guardian renders Kal-El unconscious and he is narrowly saved by two Yellow Lanterns, (who are in turn driven off by Batwoman in a jet). As he wakes up Superman sees the Batplane and in a fit of fury destroys it with his heat vision. However, he is immediately flawed by a sonic cry. Black Canary releases another Canary Cry and the two meet one another on the ground. In the crater created by Superman's crash he tries to tell Dinah that he never meant to hurt anyone. She spits back: 'You want me to feel sorry for you? You're the most powerful thing on Earth. Stop pretending that someone else is to blame. It's pathetic. You have super-vision. You're telling me that you can't see the evil, murdering dictator that you've become? I'm just glad that Lois died before she could see you like this.' This enrages Superman who grabs her by the throat. This gives her the opportunity to shoot Superman with the kryptonite bullet. She says that the only reason why she missed vitals was because of a promise to Batman. As she comments about his reign being over Ganthet starts annihilating the Yellow Lanterns and incapacitates Shazam. Cyborg, who was teleported back to the Hall of Justice by Luthor, is also rounded up by the GCPD as Catwoman looks over a captured Robin, and Harley tries to 'reprogram' Flash with electroshock therapy,..and a Superman puppet.
Electroshock therapy and puppets
Just as Dinah calls for Guy to take Clark away a Yellow Lantern ring goes to Superman: Kal-El of the planet Krypton. You have the ability to instill Great Fear. Dinah tries to stop him from getting the ring but he shoots her through her torso with his heat vision. Superman stands over Black Canary as a member of the Sinestro Corps...
Kal-El, Yellow Lantern
End of the War
As Superman towers over her a dying Dinah reveals her last trick card: she was wearing contacts which just streamed Superman's murder of her across the world. Enraged Superman leaves her to die in a pool of blood and begins killing Green Lanterns. He confronts Ganthet demanding to know if this is what he wanted. Meanwhile, John Stewart has been trying to call for peace. Sinestro feigns concern and tries to convince John that the Guardians don't care for Earth. When he refuses to believe that Sinestro stabs John through the heart. 
Sinestro murders John
Sinestro flies a dying John to Hal who dies in his arms before he can reveal the truth. He tells Hal that Guy did this; in fact, this entire war was a plot by Guy to become the sole Lantern for the Sector. John was very close to Hal. Losing John and seeing himself betrayed by the Guardians of the Universe he stops thinking straight. Hal now only wants the blood of Guy Gardner. Hal finds Guy and attacks him, but his former friend refuses to fight back. He begs Hal saying that he could still be the greatest Lantern, but Sinestro just goads Hal further. Hal tears off Guy's ring arm letting a shocked and betrayed Guy fall to his death.
Guy's death
Upon hearing of Guy's murder Batman calls for a retreat. With Hal fully turned and Superman now a Yellow Lantern the Green Lanterns are doomed. Also, their streaming of Black Canary's death just boosted Superman's power. Sinestro Corps members utilize fear and the more fear they can instill the more powerful they become. By streaming Superman's rampage the Insurgency just made billions scared of Superman...giving him the fear of billions to use. Ganthet in the heat of battle decides to use his omnipotent power to personally execute Superman. However, the fear of billions allows Superman to be unscathed. Superman grabs Ganthet and throws him against Mogo forcing the Guardian to the planet's core. Declaring that the Earth doesn't need protection from the Guardians anymore he throws them into the sun.
Superman triumphant
In an epilogue Dr Fate looks over the body of Black Canary. He says two words: **** fate. Dinah soon wakes up in a cabin somewhere. Dr Fate informs her that she was destined to die but he intervened and took her to another reality with her infant son, Connor. Oliver Queen walks in and Fate tells her that the Dinah Lance of this reality died years ago. He leaves them as Oliver is introduced to his son.

That is it for Injustice: Year Two. In Year Three a new front opens in the war between the Insurgency and the Regime as both sides court the use of magic...

Sunday, 14 May 2017

History in Focus: The Black Death

The Dance of Death
In the mid-fourteenth century an epidemic spread across Eurasia. This epidemic obliterated populations and costed the lives of of between 75 and 200 million people. In Europe it is estimated that 60% of the population were wiped out by this epidemic. For this it has been remembered as the Black Death. Strangely, despite the huge ramifications of the Black Death it has often been sidelined by historians; in The Penguin History of the World John Roberts devotes less than a page to the Black Plague in a 1,188 page book. The Black Plague shaped the world and shows us how the most primitive form of life can fundamentally alter human history.

Origins and Early Plagues
Yersina pestis
The Black Death was not the first epidemic to decimate the planet's population. As we saw when we looked at the Byzantine Empire a plague outbreak in the mid-sixth century wiped out 25 million people, and was nicknamed 'Justinian's Plague' after the Byzantine emperor. Today we now know that the bacteria which caused the plague is Yersina pestis; this bacteria is named after its discoverer Alexandre Yersin. This bacteria produces three types of plague: bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic. The bubonic form causes the lymph glands to swell creating painful, pus-filled swellings called 'buboes'. Compared to pneumonic and septicemic forms it was possible to recover from this strain, and it is likely that Byzantine Emperor Justinian caught this strain over the over strains. Pneumonic forms creates an effect like pneumonia; the lungs (pneuma) fill with fluid which can be spread to healthy people via coughing and sneezing. Finally, septicaemiac causes dark discoloration of the skin caused by toxins produced by the pathogen. In a pre-antibiotic and pre-modern medicine world pneumonic and septicaemiac strains were far more fatal than the bubonic variety. Due to the dark buboes and skin caused by the disease William Chester Jordan has suggested that this is the reason for it being called 'the Black Death'; the first recorded usage of this term was in 1555 in Sweden calling it svarta doden. It is a common misconception that rats carried the plague. Instead it was the fleas living on rats which carried the disease. Fleas would jump from rat to human, and as they bit their new host they would transmit the disease. Black rats lived alongside humans so as infected rats died fleas jumped to humans.

For years it was believed that the plague originated in China. After all, in 1911 there was a small outbreak in Manchuria. However, graves dating from 1338 at Lake Issyk Kul in Kazakhstan have inscriptions saying that the dead had died of the plague. Historians now believe the steppes of Central Asia to be the origins of the Black Death outbreak. Geneticists have stated still that northern China could still be the origin. Whether it originated in China or Central Asia it was the perfect position to spread across Eurasia for two reasons: the Silk Road and the Mongols. The Silk Road created a momentous trade route which stretched from Korea to the western Mediterranean. Merchants traded goods across Eurasia and with them came rats. Merchants took rodents with their fleas through India to the Middle East where rats would hop aboard ships. There they would infect the crews as they made landfall in Europe. The Mongols also helped. Not only did they allow the Silk Road to be reborn their conquests spread the disease. Infected soldiers and horses took the plague from Central Asia and China across Eurasia. Not only that the Mongols used biological warfare. It was not uncommon for Mongol armies to catapult plague-infected corpses across city walls further spreading the disease. By 1353 the plague had infected China, Korea, India, the Middle East and Europe.

The Plague in the Middle East
The Plague spreading to the Middle East
The Black Death arrived in the Middle East through two routes: one via the Indian Ocean and one via a land route. In the fourteenth century the Middle East was one of the most prosperous regions in the entire world. Baghdad and Cairo had a population of over a million by 1300 as Aleppo, Damascus and Tunis had populations between 50 to 100,000. The cities of the Middle East attracted merchants from across India, Europe and China. However, it had started to decline. The Mongol invasions had devastated the region (although it still remained lucrative), and irrigation systems had started to fail. Traders from Constantinople inadvertently brought the plague to Alexandria and by 1347 it had spread north into Gaza, Jerusalem, Damascus and Acre to name but a few cities. In 1349 there was a huge outbreak in Mecca. This was serious as it could then spread to Muslim pilgrims. The sultan of Yemen returning from captivity in Cairo accidentally brought the plague with his party in 1351 infecting the region.

The Plague in Europe
The Plague in Europe
Traders brought the plague to Constantinople in 1347. Constantinople had one of the most lucrative markets in the world so merchants spread it to the rest of Europe. Europe had been going through crisis at the time. A generation prior to the epidemic famines had swept Europe. Thousands had died through starvation or had moved to urban areas to escape the impoverished rural areas. Paradoxically, Europe faced overpopulation. The famines were exacerbated by too many mouths working too little land. The feudal system was constricting on the rural population meaning that they could not adapt too much. Centuries later Malthus would cite this as why overpopulation could wreck society. The Black Plague hit Europe at a time of weakness. There seems to be several points of entry of the plague into Europe but one of the main ones was Sicily. Writing ten years after the outbreak a Franciscan friar wrote that twelve Genoese galleys brought the infection to Messina, possibly from Crimea. It is believed that they then took the disease to Genoa and Venice. Within a year outbreaks were recorded across Italy, France, Spain, and Greece, and had even spread to southern England. The plague devastated Europe's peasantry and even rat population. In the Burgundian village of Givry deaths per year before the plague ranged from 14 to 43; in 1348 it was at 649. On the Taunton estate of the Bishop of Winchester there were 23 deaths in 1346, 34 in 1347, and then shot up to 707 in 1349. What is important to note is how the plague infected countries at different points. For example, the plague entered England through Bristol in the south and Grimsby in the north. Only a few regions remained relatively unaffected like the Kingdom of Poland, Alpine regions and some areas in the Basque. This was due to a lack of trade which prevented the spread of the plague. By 1353 almost all of Europe was infected.

Reactions to the Plague
The Grim Reaper visits
The Black Death had a profound affect on primarily Europe and the Middle East. As we have seen entire communities were decimated by the plague. It was during this period that we see more of the icons that we associate with death appearing. The Grim Reaper is one such example. With so many people dying death became personified. Doctors across Europe and the Middle East tried to ascertain what exactly caused the plague. Here we see a divergence between religion and other aspects of society. Egyptian chronicler Maqrizi managed to identify how long it took people to die from the disease and tried to find its origin. He successfully identified that it affected the animal world as well, and even managed to say that it came from Uzbekistan. He said that onagers, boars, lions, camels, hares, and wolves 'all lay dead in fields afflicted with the boil'. In contrast, others turned to more supernatural ideas. A Flemish cleric wrote:
in the East, hard by Greater India, in a certain province, horrors and unheard of tempests overwhelmed the whole province for the space of three days. On the first day there was a rain of frogs, serpents, lizards, scorpions, and many other venemous beasts of that sort...On the third day there fell fire from the heaven and stinging smoke, which slew all that were left of men and beasts, and burned up all the cities and towns in those parts. By these tempests the whole province was infected...
Similar to how the Christian world viewed the Viking raids the plague was often seen as a punishment from God. It was widely believed that the plague was punishment for the sins of Europe. One chronicler wrote:
This plague on these accursed galleys was a punishment from God, since these same galleys helped the Turks and Saracens to take the city of Romanais which belonged to the Christians and broke down the walls and slew the Christians as though they were cattle or worse; and the Genoese wrought far more slaughter and cruelty on the Christian than even the Saracens had done.
Here it is clear that European merchants who traded with Muslim states, or acted as mercenaries for Muslims, were to blame for the plague. At a local level we see this as well. General calls of impiety and sin of the populace were blamed. Unfortunately, those rejected and marginalized by society were blamed for the plague. Romani, lepers, pilgrims, foreigners, and Jews to name a few groups were targeted by populations. Muslims and Jews were comparatively less affected by the Black Death due to the emphasis on cleanliness in their religions. This helped reduce the chance of infection. In Europe Jews were often confined to ghettos which segregated them from the rest of the population reducing their chances of infection. As a result they were accused of causing the plague (although they too were infected). Jews were wrongly accused of poisoning wells and pogroms began. In 1349 on Valentine's Day in Strasbourg 900 Jews were burnt alive despite the plague not affecting the city yet. Across Europe pogroms caused the deaths of hundreds to thousands of Jews. It was also promoted by authorities. Murdering Jews was seen as social cleansing to get rid of sin in the local community. 

Consequences
Seventeenth Century Plague Doctor
The Black Death changed world history. With a maximum of 200 million people being killed by the epidemic the world's population sharply dropped. Europe's population dropped by 30-60% and a third of China's population died. Strangely, the Black Death aided in Europe's rise to power. As mentioned earlier Europe was facing a crisis with overpopulation. It is morbid but the plague fixed this issue. With labor being in shorter supply laborers became more valuable and they knew it. Italian chroniclers recorded how nurses and artisans in the cities called for higher wages, and rural laborers for better land. This helped kickstart the European economy which would later dominate the world. Specifically in western Europe feudalism and serfdom went into decline, and in England serfdom disappeared within a century. The social upheavals and shifting economy facilitated Europe's transition away from the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, in China the plague was one factor which contributed to the fall of the Yuan Dynasty. The plague reaffirmed to many people that the dynasty had lost the Mandate of Heaven. 

The Black Death was not the last plague outbreak. There were a series of outbreaks in Italy in 1361-2, 1381-4, 1400, 1422-25, 1436-9, 1447-51 and 1485-7. In England there were eleven outbreaks until the 1490s. Outbreaks would continue through the years with a major one in 1665 striking London. In Yunnan Province in 1855 there was another pandemic which spread to every continent where 12 million died in China and India. Even more frightening in 1994 a smallscale outbreak in Surat, India killed 52.

Conclusion
Studying the Black Death shows how not everything in history can be controlled by humans. Although we aided the spread we could do nothing to prevent it to start with. The Black Death also helps paint a light on future outbreaks. Smallpox in the Americas caused the Great Dying resulting in the deaths of 90% of the Native American population. The spread of smallpox initially started like the Black Death with it being spread by unknowing populations. It then paralleled the Black Plague again as it began being used as a way to decimate populations the same way that the Mongols used the plague. Knowing about the Black Death also helps us today. We live in an increasingly globalized world with connections everywhere. Over the last century we have faced huge epidemics including the Spanish Influenza pandemic. In recent years we have faced AIDs, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, ebola and Zika. A pandemic could potentially wipe out humanity. By looking at the past we can possibly save ourselves. Thank you for reading and, next time we shall compare and contrast the worlds of the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean to see how trade shaped the societies there.

The sources I have used are as follows:
-The Black Death by Philip Ziegler
-The Black Death Transformed: Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe by Samuel Cohn Jr.
-The Penguin History of the World by John Roberts
-A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani
-Europe in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries by Denys Hay
-The Black Death and the Transformation of the West by David Herlihy
-Europe in the High Middle Ages by William Chester Jordan

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Comics Explained: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two (Part 2)

Injustice Year 2
Last time on Injustice the Guardians of the Universe, the leaders of the Green Lanterns, decided to intervene in Earth's affairs as Superman's rule becomes more and more tyrannical. Hal Jordan is divided: should he continue his support for Superman or aid his fellow Lanterns. Leader of the Yellow Lanterns, Sinestro, has tried to make an alliance with Superman against the Green Lanterns. As all this is happening Batman, now paralyzed, and the Resistance are hiding in the tower of Dr Fate. The Guardians send a team under Kilowog to apprehend Superman as Hal Jordan is incarcerated to prevent him from assisting Superman. This is where we pick up...

Kilowog vs. the Justice League
On Oa Hal is frustrated that the Lanterns that he has been locked in a cell. Believing that the Guardians have made a mistake he wants to show them the error of their ways by aiding Superman. However, his guard is Salaak who sides with the Guardians. Salaak is an intensely loyal member of the Lanterns who believes in the orders of the Guardians, right or wrong. Meanwhile, back on Earth Hal's former mentor Sinestro is in a cell after voluntarily handing over his power ring. Hawkgirl is in belief that he would do this willingly as Lex Luthor agrees believing that Sinestro has an ulterior motive. Sinestro merely reiterates what he has been saying: Superman will soon require his help. Back on Oa another Lantern informs Salaak that the Guardians have asked for him to take over guard duty. When Salaak replies that he's received no such orders a green light construct soon grabs hold of the alien's head and smashes him into the wall rendering him unconscious. Hal's rescuer turns out to be John Stewart who refuses to believe that the Man of Steel has turned into an autocrat. After locking up Salaak the two head off to Earth. We then shift scene to Fawcett City where Superman interrupts the class of Shazam's alter ego Billy Batson (some readers may know Shazam as Captain Marvel). Superman informs the teacher that he needs to talk to Billy and because it's Superman asking the teacher accepts. Superman flies off with Billy saying that the Watchtower has picked up several objects flying at high speed towards Earth and that he'll need Billy's help. Billy agrees and after shouting 'SHAZAM' he turns into the hero Shazam. When in his superpower form he asks Superman who or what the objects are for Superman to reply that they're likely Green Lanterns. Soon the Lanterns led by Kilowog arrive on Earth greeting Kal-el. Kilowog explains that he has to accompany him to Oa where the Guardians want to talk. Hawkgirl (who arrived to meet the other heroes) asks where Hal Jordan is but the Lantern remains silent. Superman gives the order to Cyborg on the Watchtower who fires a red beam of energy which engulfs the Lanterns.
The Lanterns under attack
On the Watchtower Cyborg asks for confirmation that the Lanterns are down. However, the League were overconfident. Green Lantern energy constructs are as powerful as the willpower of the users which allowed Kilowog's squadron to easily protect themselves from the energy blast. The Lanterns fly directly towards the three heroes. When Kal-el easily avoids Kilowog's light constructs the alien resorts to more direct action and goes directly for the Kryptonian. Being far stronger Superman gets Kilowog in a headlock. To Shazam's and Hawkgirl's horror Superman suddenly collapses. Kilowog laughs 'They always underestimate the squirrel'. Turns out my personal favorite Lantern took down Superman: Ch'p.
Ch'p beats Superman
So far in Injustice Superman has been beaten by Alfred and a squirrel. As Ch'p's light constructs are so small he was able to send them into the Kryptonian's brain making his synapses go haywire. In his cell at the Hall of Justice Sinestro calls for Luthor to release him. When he refuses the Yellow Lantern asks if Luthor's great ambition is to see Superman fall for his own personal gain, and that without his aid Superman will be taken by the Green Lanterns. Reluctantly Luthor hands him his ring. Meanwhile, in Starling City Dinah Lance, (Black Canary), returns home to see her apartment door partially open. After quickly contacting Oracle that Superman could be behind it she goes inside to see Guy Gardner (albeit after smashing him into the wall). Gardner wanted to give her his condolences for Oliver Queen's death but also ask how she got so strong. She explains that she's been taking pills that Batman gave to the Insurgency copied from Superman's pills which gave the taker superpowers. He informs her that Kyle Rayner has gone missing and asks if Superman was capable of killing him. When she replies yes he is destroyed. How could Superman fall so low? As this is happening the Lanterns have subdued Hawkgirl and Shazam but Ch'p is suddenly shot through the head by a yellow light construct. Kilowog looks up to see Sinestro gloating.
Ch'p's death
As Hal and John arrive on Earth to their horror they see Ch'p's ring flying back to Oa which informs them of his death. To their horror they soon see Superman, Hawkgirl, Shazam and Sinestro battling Kilowog and the Green Lanterns. Stewart moves to contain Sinestro as Hal comes between Superman and Kilowog to prevent more fighting. Suddenly Sinestro announces the arrival of his Corps who are here to help Superman win this war. In Gotham GCPD detective Harvey Bullock sees a Regime soldier harassing a couple for being out after curfew (implemented to possibly stifle Gotham's high crime rate), but when he intervenes the soldier backhands him through a window. The soldier brutally beats Harvey ignoring the detective's badge. Later he is recovering in Gotham General where he is met by Commissioner Gordon and fellow detective Renee Montoya. Bullock starts ranting about the Regime and when he is finished Gordon orders him to get up (despite Montoya saying that he should have rest). He tells Bullock to leave his badge as they're going to police Gotham...Batman style.

With the Lanterns Kilowog suddenly orders a ceasefire. Kilowog surrenders for them to return to Oa with their dead and injured. As Sinestro opposes this arguing that they'll just return with more Lanterns Jordan rebukes this saying it is not his call. Superman, however, has become tired of clemency. He agrees with Sinestro whose forces surround the Lanterns.

Gotham and Lanterns
In Gotham there is a protest demanding that the Regime cease their occupation of the city. Throughout history occupiers are always heavy-handed and the Regime is no exception. The leader of the soldiers ends up grabbing an old woman by her neck as she desperately hits him with her walking cane. At the GCPD station Gordon with Montoya, Bullock and the Birds of Prey declare a resistance. Superman's Regime does not understand Gotham and how using brute force to enforce new draconian laws won't help. As of now all officers have their jobs back but it will be harder and bigger than before. The GCPD will now protect Gotham from its current 'protectors'. In South Dakota the Sinestro Corps has captured all of Kilowog's squadron. Sinestro calls for Superman to execute them but Hal and Shazam rebuke this saying that as heroes they cannot condone execution. Angered Kilowog spits that he can't ever remember real heroes standing next to the 'scum' of the Sinestro Corps. In response Yellow Lantern Arkillo wraps Kilowog tightly in a yellow construct making the Lantern contort in pain so Hal forms a vise around Arkillo's head. Hal demands the release of Kilowog but Arkillo reminds him that even if Hal kills him the Green Lanterns are still outnumbered. As tensions mount Superman orders Arkillo to release Kilowog. Superman asks for Kilowog and his Lanterns to hand over their rings so they can be humanely detained. However, Arkillo in the background tries to provoke Kilowog so he can have an excuse to kill the Lanterns. Kilowog decides to begrudgingly comply but promises that the Guardians 'are going to kick your ass'.
Kilowog surrenders
Superman tells Sinestro that the Sinestro Corps must now leave Earth. As Sinestro tries to complain Hal and John reiterate the order but with more threats. Unexpectedly Superman says that although his Corps is unwelcome Sinestro personally is. He accepts this but tells Arkillo to be ready as the war has just begun. In space Guy Gardner sees the Sinestro Corps leave. He informs Dinah (still at the Gotham rally) and says that the situation is worse than previously thought: there may be an Earth/Korugar alliance. Guy heads off into deep space to inform the Guardians. At the GCPD Gordon informs the officers that a private benefactor will be funding them (guess who) so they won't lose out of pay for defecting from the force. One officer questions how they can resist. After all, how can regular humans last against someone like Superman? Gordon offers the pill stating that this will be their new badge. To demonstrate Bullock shoots Gordon only for the bullet to fall harmlessly off of him. Gordon tells them, 'This is a game changer'.

Dinah vs. Harley
Dinah against Harley
Oracle tries to get Black Canary back to Gotham to train the resistance as the hero has returned to Starling City. Dinah jokes that the only reason why she wants her back is because she's easier to boss around than her father. She informs Oracle that she has to go to the Arrow Cave to sort out some of Ollie's affairs. As she enters the Cave she jokes that when they had Harley captured there following Superman's execution of Joker Quinn had suggested the name the Quiver was a better name for the hideout. Both admit that Quiver is a far better name. Suddenly, Dinah sees that Harley is in the Cave with a bow and slippers! Angry Dinah demands to know why Harley is in the Cave who replies that she has nowhere else to go. With the Joker dead and Arkham Asylum cleared of inmates by the Regime she really is alone. Dinah demands that Harley leave who then throws her slippers at Dinah...which turn out to be bombs. Harley laughs saying that they weren't actually explosives and that she had tricked Dinah. Dinah unleashes her Canary Cry which sends Harley flying across a table but she comes up with a giant mallet before charging at Dinah. Black Canary yells stop and puzzled Harley does so. She keels over ordering Quinn to get a bucket. Harley soon realizes what is up with Dinah: morning sickness. Making light of the situation Harley laughs commenting how funny it is that a superhero is pregnant. In one of the most heart breaking moments of Injustice we now see more of Harley. The villain confides in Dinah that she is also a mother to a four year old girl called Lucy who lives with her sister so she can have a normal life. Even worse is how Joker never noticed how she had been gone for almost a year. The Joker was Harley's world, but Harley was nothing to him.
Harley's revelation
Harley tentatively admits that she knew of Ollie's death and asks if the baby is his. Dinah in turn reveals that Ollie saw some chance for redemption in Quinn. Harley asks if Superman killed Ollie. Upon hearing the answer she asks to join the Resistance. 

Resistance
On Oa the Guardians are puzzled: the Earth has suddenly vanished. Ganthet is questioned about the Lanterns sent to Earth for him to reveal that he has heard nothing from them. Salaak soon interrupts the discussion by dragging in a badly injured Guy Gardner. Gardner explains that there is now a Korugar/Earth alliance and that the Sinestro Corps now monitors the path from Earth to Oa. It was thanks to this that he was ambushed and barely got away. The Guardians realize that this is the reason why Earth has vanished from their view. Sadly Guy says that although Kilowog's Lanterns were alive when he left everything could have changed since then. All of them sadly accept that for this reason they have now also lost Kyle Rayner. When asked about Hal and John Guy says that there is no way that they will condone this activity but begrudgingly admits that recently he seems not to know his friends. However, Ganthet remains hopeful that he can later use Hal and John, but for the time being they must leave Earth alone or otherwise fall into a plot by Sinestro. 

In Gotham the Resistance makes its first strike. A team made of Black Canary, Batwoman, Huntress, Bullock and Montoya ambush a patrol of Regime soldiers. With their skills and enhanced strength they subdue the two soldiers. Gordon arrives ordering that they be prepared for interrogation: they are now prisoners of war. 

Seven months then pass. Dinah has given birth to her son whom she names Connor. On the Watchtower Cyborg and Robin observe a fireball heading towards Chicago. They issue a call for help only to find that Superman is missing. Cyborg is distraught to find out that Hal, John and the Flash won't make it in time before the fireball hits. However, Sinestro unexpectedly intercepts it which turns out to be Despero. Despero is a tyrant much like Superman and Sinestro. Ruling the planet Kalanor his third eye gives him immense telepathic powers while using the 'Flame of Py'tar' to augment his already formidable strength. Despero demands to know why Sinestro attacked him and threw him towards Earth. The warlord becomes confused when Sinestro starts yelling about not wanting to harm him. As John and Hal arrive he uses his constructs to make it appear that Despero was strangling him. He seemingly begs Despero not to make him do it as he constructs a bubble around the tyrant's head which he then uses to snap his neck.
Sinestro kills Despero
He apologizes to the two Green Lanterns for killing Despero but both admire him for ending it before he could do more damage. Sinestro has just had his Reichstag fire. Meanwhile, an ecstatic Harley meets Dinah in the hospital. Quinn has brought her several gifts for the baby: a bow and arrow set, a fake mustache, and a muzzle in case little Connor inherited her Canary Cry. As the two laugh Dinah's bag glows and her communicator suddenly has the Green Lantern symbol on it. On the other end Guy Gardner tells her that in three weeks he will arrive with with a large group of Lanterns and a secret weapon, and that he needs the Resistance ready. She is worried. What would happen to Earth, her son's world, if it gets caught between a war of Green Lanterns, Sinestro Corps, and Superman's Regime. Guy jokes that he he's bringing his own planet: Mogo.
The Lanterns are Coming!
The Lanterns are Coming, The Lanterns are Coming...
Upon their way to Earth Guy and Sarlaak are informed that Mogo has been detected by two Sinestro Corps members. Guy reluctantly authorizes lethal force and the two are dealt with. Knowing that the element of surprise has ended Salaak tells Guy to inform Earth. They can now come to Earth quickly now. Outside the Hall of Justice, and flanked by Sinestro, Superman makes an announcement to the public that the Earth is now officially at war with the Green Lanterns. In a secret base Oracle and Black Canary are disgusted about how Superman is now calling for people to be nothing more than human shields. Oracle soon receives a file linking her to the Watchtower's communication network. When Zatanna arrives telling them now is the time Oracle gives Dinah the option to opt out. Upon looking at her son she decides that if she does not fight for the sake of her son who will? They are teleported to the Tower of Fate where Batman is struggling with a mechanical brace being applied to his son to help his recovery from paralysis. As Catwoman chastises him for taking on Superman alone the year prior Alfred informs his master that he mustn't leave the Tower until he has fully healed. When Bruce asks if Zatanna could just heal him with magic she jokes that if anything happened the spell would end and he would be 'bat-floored'. When Alfred asks to begin the Resistance when he has healed Batman rebukes this: the Green Lanterns are coming and time is up.

Batman opens the line of communication to all the Resistance apologizing that it has come to this. The Man of Steel has lost all his senses and morals so must be taken down. Some of them may not come home after the war. He promises that they will be the one who will end Superman's tyranny and apologizes that he cannot fight with them. Catwoman kisses him knowing it could be the last time that they see one another. Zatanna takes hold of Connor as she teleports Dinah, Catwoman and Alfred to the Batcave. Batman asks her if they should fail to not get involved; she is needed for 'Plan B'. Zatanna then gives Bruce his wish to be teleported to where Oracle is. He declares that he has to make sure that Superman is taken down no matter how broken he is.

And that is the end of part two of Year Two. Next time Superman's Regime and the Green Lantern Corps go to war with tragic results...