COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Injustice 2 #56 (Red Jordan)

Hal Jordan of Earth, you have great rage in your heart. You belong to the Red Lantern Corps. But for how long will he remain consumed in rage?

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Injustice 2 #56
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Cover Artist: Daniel Sampere
Cover Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics

What You Need to Know:

The Red Lanterns have come for Sinestro and are intent on killing anyone in their path. Before they can complete the deed, one of their members is assassinated and a fight between Green Lantern & Red Lantern begins. In the chaos, Sinestro attempts to take the new Ring but is stopped by Hal Jordan. In the ensuing scuffle and break up prompted by an energy blast from Soranik, Hal dons the Red Lantern Ring. With what limited control he has, he takes on the Red Lantern Corps to give the Green Lanterns and Sinestro a chance to escape. However, he is soon captured and spared by Atrocitus who loves his power and control over Rage. He asks what he hated enough to make him this powerful and receives the answer “Myself”…

What You’ll Find Out:

Back above the surface of Oa, the survivors of the Red Lantern attack return. Salaak (unnamed) is the first to greet them and question what happened on Harring. After discovering about the Red Lantern attack, Hal joining their Corps, and using the Red Ring to allow their escape we shift back to Hal. Still bound in chains by the Red Lanterns. Zilius Zox (another unnamed Red Lantern) wants to kill Hal for using his power against the Corps. But Atrocitus is still captivated by his power and skill. Hal manages to attack Zilius with a Construct while bound but before he can eat Hal whole, Atrocitus stops him. Atrocitus realizes he knows who Hal Jordan is and references his long list of terrible actions. Hal is given an ultimatum, join the Red Lantern Corps or be ripped limb from limb. Hal agrees despite his guilt induced Guy Gardner hallucination telling him not to.

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Atrocitus may be a rage monster, but he’s far from an idiot. He knows they won’t be able to take on Oa in a direct fight. But he suggests that he has a secret weapon waiting to get their revenge against the Guardians. Back on Earth, Superboy is examining his new heart. He’s concerned that his newly transplanted heart came from Tim Drake’s murderer, General Zod. Martha Kent tries to ease his concerns. Noting that Clark never had an evil heart, he just couldn’t bear everything that had happened to him. That Connor being worried in the first place means that he cares. Which in itself shows he has a good heart.

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After the battle with AMAZO, Wonder Girl finally returns to the Fortress of Solitude. She tells Superboy that she’s been talking with Starfire. With how dark the world has gotten, she thinks they need the Teen Titans and should begin recruiting new members. In a nifty bit of juxtaposition, Atrocitus is also recruiting someone on the surface of a moon. He takes the Ring and puts it into the floor causing power to course throughout its surface. Zilius is confused as to what’s happening. Atrocitus explains that they are on the person capable of standing up to the Guardians and has already destroyed nine galaxies…Starro the Conqueror has now joined the Red Lantern Corps…

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What Just Happened?

Hal has given into the Red Lanterns, the Teen Titans are getting the band back together, and Starro the Conqueror has joined the Red Lantern Corps. This chapter effectively helps repair and give more context to one of the weakest parts of Injustice 2 the game, the Red Lanterns. In the game Atrocitus appears to bother Hal for a single fight then disappears for the rest of the game. But now we’re getting more detail and focus on their relationship. Now we know that Atrocitus had but lost Hal between now and the game and much of his MO remains the same. Getting revenge on both Sinestro and the Guardians for the decimation of his Sector. The continued cameo use of the Green & Red Lanterns is also a nice touch in showing us who is still alive. Something especially relevant given the Green Lanterns decimation in the first Injustice and the implied skirmishes they’ve had with the Red Lanterns since then. Unlike the Amazonian Arc that seemed to attempt this with little success, the Lantern Corpsmen are far more significant in the mainline DC comics and more easily identifiable visually.

Recruiting Starro was a twist I never even considered.  Which has really interesting implications that explain why we got set up with the Teen Titans. Starro conquers planets with his mind-controlling Spores. Just what would happen if he did that while under the influence of a Red Lantern Ring?

Taking a bit of a step back, the brief scenes with Superboy, Martha, & Wonder Girl were also nice. We got development for Superboy & Wonder Girl while also seeing how they’re dealing with the considerably darker world they’ve returned to. Wonder Girl remaining hopeful despite learning Wonder Woman has gone supervillain but Superboy being somewhat hesitant about it. Given their appearance, I can only imagine how long until they’re tested by Starro and the Red Lanterns invading Earth.

Rating: 9.5/10

Final Thought: This issue continues to show that Injustice 2 is at its strongest when it’s doing new content and showing the effects of Injustice 1 instead of strictly setup for the game. I am really excited to see how far they’re going to take this Red Lantern Starro concept. If the Red Lantern power can be transferred along with his spores this could be full blown crossover event worthy. Seeing as how Hal has continued to maintain use of his Red Lantern Ring this makes me wonder if we’re going to end up seeing Blue Lanterns, Star Sapphires, or both as a means to free him from the whole…losing your heart thing that happens when you don a Red Ring…


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