COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Injustice 2 #57 (Universe in Peril)

While the Red Lanterns begin to bolster their ranks in the depths of space, the Teen Titans do so far closer to home.

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Injustice 2 #57
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Cover Artist: Bruno Redondo
Cover Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics

What You Need to Know:
Since the early days of Supermans tyrannical reign, the Teen Titans remained missing. Sealed away within the Phantom Zone to keep the fatally injured Superboy. Now, years later after Superman’s reign has ended they’re free. But the world has moved on around them and become darker. People they once respected and looked up now total monsters. With the world in need of hope, the Teen Titans plan to recruit new members and bring back hope to the world so desperately in need of it.

What You’ll Find Out:
This chapter opens at the home of Jaime Reyes, Blue Beetle, as his mother calls to him. After switching back to normal clothes, his parents tell him he has friends at the door. His dad noting one is considerably more orange than the others. Jaime heads outside and finds Superboy, Starfire, and Wonder Girl waiting for him in civilian clothes. While Jaime is excited to see them, he still has a secret identity and having the Titans dropping in for a surprise visit is something he can’t have. Even if they’re in disguise there’s no way to hide that Starfire is a literal alien. They plan to meet somewhere in private and before Jaime leaves, his parents ask if they can be introduced. Showing little shock or concern for the group, especially Starfire. Superboy & Wonder Girl introduce themselves as Conor and Cassie respectively. Starfire, being Starfire, introduces herself as Koriand’r the Princess of Tamaran. Jaime is unamused but Conor and Cassie are just tickled by Starfires honest and innocent response. The group arrives at Kord Industry as guests for Booster Gold, the companies new owner.

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The Titans say they’re looking to recruit, implying they’re planning to ask Jaime to join. Except Jaime assumes they’re asking him for other possible recruits. He suggests Steel and references Aqualad before shooting it down thanks to his genocidal attack with Ra’s Al Ghul. Booster & Skeets both have to get Jaime to be quiet and let Cassie say she wants him to join them. Jaime agrees and the Titans depart, leaving Booster & Skeets to poke fun at how he was oblivious to their intentions. The fun times end when Skeets alerts them to an approaching enemy. The pair has just enough time to prepare themselves before a ball of fire strikes Kord Industries. Lobo has returned and he’s come for Blue Beetle.

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Booster tries to stop Lobo but is no match for the Bounty Hunter. Being beaten in a single blow before he straps Blue Beetle to the hood of his motorcycle. Skeets places a tracker as he leaves…moments before what remained of the top floor of Kord Industries collapses onto them…

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What Just Happened?
It’s taken a long time but Lobo has finally returned. We haven’t seen him since the Injustice Year 1 Annual where Harley…well she ripped his head off. It was surprising but given the last chapter was about the Red Lanterns, he works as a bridge between Earth & Space. Looks like the Titans will need to recruit fast if they plan on saving their first member.

Overall this was a fairly nice and upbeat comic. The most upbeat in quite some time with multiple moments of humor before the actual serious content began. Something you don’t often see in Injustice 2 and it’s a welcome thing every so often. It was also a nice little touch to change the Teen Titans to the Titans now that they’re older.

Beyond the internal contents of the comic, the cover is actually one that stands out in comparison to all the others. This is the first cover for Injustice 2 that was comedic in nature. No foreboding ominous figures or massive shadows to give an epic feel. In his first Injustice 2 cover, Jose Villarrubia gave it the lighter and softer color palette it required to make it really stand out. A visual representation of the Teen Titans trying to bring back hope & light to the world. Each person showing unique personality. Starfire is serious and demanding like a warrior princess. Booster Gold is being the upbeat showman he normally is taking the center of the picture with the largest image. He’s even the one pulling an Uncle Sam and saying he wants you to join the Titans. Wonder Girl is quite clearly disgusted by the idea of Booster Gold joining (or at least speaking for) them and Superboy is just being stern and serious. But unlike Starfire who’s doing it to look cool, he gives off a distinct Batman vibe.

Rating: 8.5/10

Final Thought: The tone of this chapter overall was a nice change of pace we don’t often get in Injustice 2. A break from all the gloom and doom without it being so drastic it feels like it doesn’t belong. All the while seemingly setting up to connect the two ongoing plotlines between the Titans & Red Lanterns.

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