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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. 

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...

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