As the Green/Red Lantern War reaches its climax a third party enters the fray. Brainac has come…
Injustice 2 #65
Writer: Tom Taylor
Cover Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Cover Colors: Arif Prianto
Colorist: J. Nanjan
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Atrocitus has begun the siege of Oa with Starro the Conqueror as his battering ram. Successfully breaching their defenses and taking control of a number of Green Lanterns. Killing others with ease. To try and turn the tide, Hal Jordan takes a leadership position to rally the troops and free the Guardian Sayd from Starro’s control. To save the Titans from being assassinated by Soranik, Sinestro stops her and pays with his life. Freeing her from Starro’s mind control before dying. But there’s no time to mourn as Brainiac suddenly makes his appearance…
What You’ll Find Out:
Within moments of his arrival, the Brainiac drones relentlessly swarm the Titans. Removing Superboys oxygen mask and destroying Wonder Girls. As the pair continues to fight a voice speaks to them from Brainiacs Skull Ship. Telling them that they’ll soon die without any oxygen and that the only way to survive is within the Skull Ship. Being too far from Oa and the Green Lanterns are too busy with the Red Lanterns, they’re forced to enter Brainiacs lair.
With Sayd on their side, the tide of battle begins to turn against the Red Lanterns and Atrocitus calls for a retreat. Bleez is upset how they were so close to victory and must now flee and Dex-Starr outright states that they lost. But Atrocitus sees things differently. He knows they still have Starro and admits their main target was Sinestro, who is now slain. On top of this, they dealt the Lanterns a heavy blow between all their deaths, hurting the Guardians, and damaging the Central Power Battery. Intending to return in the future for revenge and use the rage from this loss to keep them motivated. The Green Lanterns watch on but Ghost Gardner won’t let Hal get too excited for the victory he helped them achieve. That Hal has made far too many mistakes for him to ever redeem himself. But implies that there is still some hope for him to learn and not make such terrible mistakes once more. Finally fading away as a sign that Hal isn’t consumed in his self-loathing and guilt. That it’s a part of him now and he can work to making up for his actions in Injustice 1.
We then return to the inside of Brainiac’s Skull Ship to find Superboy captive before the tyrant. Brainiac has questions for the young Kryptonian but all Superboy cares about is Wonder Girl. Brainiac ignores Superboys plea and begins his villainous monologue. Stating he planned to simply observe and take the main city on Oa after they were crushed by the Red Lanterns. But with the Corps still somewhat intact and the Guardians alive, he’s chosen to wait to attack at a later date. Superboy asks about Wonder Girl once more and Brainiac replies that he had no use for her and got rid of her. Enraging Superboy into using Heat Vision on him. But Brainiac is far stronger than Superboy and it’s a mild annoyance he ends with a single punch. Threatening to gouge out his eyes if he tries again. Brainiac questions why Superboy is wearing Superman’s symbol and notes that Krypton is dead. That he has the last remnants of Krypton in a bubble himself. Brainiac briefly notes that he has heard rumors of surviving Kryptonians but implies that Superboy isn’t “that Kryptonian” in a subtle reference to Superman. Brainiac plans to send another drone to Earth to locate Superman. Superboy has no objection to this and hopes they end up killing each other in the ensuing battle. Brainiac continues to ignore Superboy as his scans finish. Nothing that Superboy isn’t a pure Kryptonian. With no reason to keep the clone around, Brainiac ejects him into space unceremoniously.
As Superboy drifts into space he finds Wonder Girl drifting amidst the debris. He frees himself before freeing her and pursuing Brainiac. Unfortunately, Brainiac has already begun his departure and one of the ships defenses easily knocks them away. Leaving them to suffocate, at least they would have been if not for the sudden intervention of heroes exiting a portal in space. The Legion of Superheroes, led by Booster Gold, saved the two Titans so they could all save the future. The chapter ending with Booster setting them up to seemingly recruit another person to help them save this timeline.
What Just Happened?
The Red Lanterns have finally accepted defeat and Oa is at last safe! Similarly, Hal has taken the first true steps to make up for everything he did in Injustice 1 (Joining Superman, killing Guy Gardner, and being party to a number of atrocities in both action and inaction). Essentially putting Guy to rest at last as he seemingly is set up to try and be the hero he used to be and should’ve been. Acting as a sort of ending for Hals character arc that started back in Injustice 1 and setting him up for Injustice 2. This similarly explains why Atrocitus came back for Hal in Injustice 2 even if he had one of the least impactful appearances in the entire game.
Funnily enough, my suggestion that Brainiac’s attack was going to take cues from DC Universe Online wasn’t too far off. It likely would’ve been a replay of that had the Red Lanterns succeeded in their attack. I’m somewhat glad we didn’t get to see that but this both reminds us that Brainiac is a threat and why he will eventually go to Earth.
Final Thought: In classic Injustice fashion, we got a surprise appearance from the Legion of Superheroes. Which as interesting implications for Injustice 2 as a whole. We know that due to Booster Gold and Reverse Flash in the Injustice 2 game, that there are multiple timelines. But thanks to the creation of Injustice 2, Reverse Flash’s future was destroyed. One would naturally assume this means that the other futures are all destroyed as well. We also know that the Injustice 2 timeline has a break depending on what happens with Starro. So at the very least, we have two general branches to look at. So are they from a timeline where Starro was defeated but the events of Injustice 2 eventually lead to a happy enough ending they can exist? Why is the future of Reverse Flash incompatible with them or will that be retconned? So many questions I can’t wait to hopefully get the answer to.
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