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>>>>>>>>>>SPOILERS<<<<<<<<<
(You’ve been warned)

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“Chapter Eighteen”

  • Writer: Tom Taylor
  • Artist: Jheremy Raapack
  • Colors: David Lopez and Santi Casas of Ikari Studio
  • Letters: Wes Abbott
  • Cover Artist: Mico Suayan

I know that it is Firestorm Appreciation Month on this blog, but I didn’t see this one coming and simply could not sit on it until June.  This series – although it is based on a video game and therefore could have potentially been awful – is completely awesome.  The art is beautiful, the story is compelling.  I usually don’t really go for digital books; I tend to wait until their paper versions are out.  But this one had me from the first issue.

Basically, Superman is going over the edge.  The Joker used Scarecrow’s fear toxin mixed with kryptonite on the man of steel, causing him to believe he was fighting Doomsday.  He wasn’t.  It was Lois Lane.  And he killed her.  The Joker had a trigger connected to Lois so that when her heart stopped, a nuclear device went off in Metropolis and flattened the city.  Eleven million dead.  And to add insult to injury, Lois was pregnant with Superman’s child.

So Superman has decided not to go soft on criminals anymore.  He started this by putting his fist through the Joker’s chest.  He has been taking down despotic world leaders (for example, the leader of Bialya, Rumaan Harjavti).  Flash and Wonder Woman have been working with Superman (among others), but Batman refuses to back his friend up.

This issue opens in Gotham City with Batman and Catwoman responding to the bat signal.  But it isn’t Commissioner Gordon waiting on the rooftop, it is the U.S. President.  The president begins by saying he saw the footage of what happened in Arkham Asylum and offers his condolences (Damien Wayne – Robin – accidentally killed Dick Grayson – Nightwing).  The president leads Batman and Catwoman to a room in the police station that has been fitted so Superman can’t see or hear them.

Meanwhile, Superman and Green Lantern are taking down spy satellites in orbit around Earth.

The president tells Batman that since the incident at Arkham, Superman and his crew have been inserting themselves into world conflicts.  Superman forced the leaders of Palestine and Israel to agree on a peace plan.  Wonder Woman has been fighting in Burma while Shazam and Green Lantern have been in Syria.  Raven terrified warring Sudanese tribes into submission.

While the president agrees that stopping bloodshed is a good thing, he is worried about what Superman will do once his attention is focused on the United States.  He’s worried Superman will take over the world and asks Batman if he can stop the man of tomorrow.  Batman says he can.  Catwoman says they will go to bat for the president but he needs to do his job better (she lists, “Health.  Education.  Gun control.  Poverty.  The environment.  Not telling people who they can and can’t love.”).  The president says he won’t accept their help in exchange for another set of costumed vigilantes telling him what to do.  Catwoman points out she isn’t telling him what to do, just asking him to do better.

The president gives Batman a file containing info on super-heroes not aligned with Superman who may be willing to stand against the last son of Krypton.  The top of the list is Huntress, whose file says she has “probable daddy issues.”  The bemused Catwoman points out the file fails to mention Huntress is an alien spy.  Batman and Catwoman split up to form their team.

Catwoman calls on Black Canary in Starling City.  Batman meets up with Black Lightning in Washington.  The next day, the newly formed team meet up in the bat cave.  Assembled are Huntress, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman, Aquaman, and (you’ve probably already guessed this) Captain Atom.

They sit down to plan their attack.

This new version of Captain Atom looks like a cross between the Modern Age Captain Atom and the Kingdom Come/Armageddon/Earth-22 Captain Atom.  I’m really looking forward to seeing this new take on the character.

I really love this series.  I’m not usually prone to doing this, but I’m giving Injustice: Gods Among Us #18 an A+.  I really need to play this video game.

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