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By Joshua Yehl
Writer Tom Taylor is back for the Injustice 2 comic book series, which tells the story in between the first game and leads into the sequel. The comic is a digital-first series that releases weekly chapters online every Tuesday (starting April 11) and will be released in print each month (starting on May 1 for the first issue).
The story of the first game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, showed an alternate world ruled by a tyrant Superman driven to the dark side by the grief of losing his wife Lois and their unborn child, all thanks to an attack by the Joker. The comic explored the five years between when this tragic incident happened and when Superman took rule over the world. It showed how Batman tried to stop him, with each side enlisting the help of various heroes and villains, and the many twists, turns, and deaths along the way.
All of that led into the actual game, and the currently running Injustice: Ground Zero comic (by Chris Sebela, Tom Derenick and Pop Mhan) tells the definitive story of what happened over the course of the game, which ends with characters from the main DC Universe crossing over into the Injustice universe to help take down evil Superman once and for all.
That is, until the events of Injustice 2, which will see bad Supes re-enter the fray alongside a host of new characters like Gorilla Grodd and his Society of villains, the Suicide Squad, and Brainiac. The Injustice 2 comic fills in the five-year gap between the games, picking up with Batman talking to an imprisoned Superman just after his defeat.
We have your first look inside Chapter 1, which you can check out by clicking through the slideshow below.
We also asked Tom Taylor six questions we had about the upcoming comic for Injustice 2.
Warning: there are no huge spoilers, but if you don’t want to know anything, then best steer clear!
IGN Comics: The first chapter sees Superman blaming Batman, maintaining that he was right to do what he did, for the most part. How would you describe Superman’s mindset going into Injustice 2? What’s their relationship like in Injustice 2 as compared to the first?
Tom Taylor: In the original Injustice, certainly in the early days, I think both friends thought there was a possibility they could save the other. Superman lived in hope that Batman would join his side and, in his mind, help him to make the world a better place. Batman hoped his great friend would see the error of his ways and, you know, stop being a murdering tyrant.
We’re past that now. There’s nothing fine about The World’s Finest. Both men have suffered and lost a lot. And both blame the other for a lot of what has happened.
IGN: Fans fell in love with your take on Harley Quinn, and it looks like she’s down to partner with Batman, so what can you tease about her role going forward? She was already immensely popular before the Suicide Squad movie, but has her increased visibility to general audiences changed anything for her since you wrote her in Injustice: Gods Among Us?
Taylor: Her increased visibility hasn’t changed anything for me. I’d be writing Harley as much as I could no matter who had heard of her. But I’m definitely glad more people are now aware of just how awesome she is. Injustice is a book full of shades of grey. No one is completely right. No one is completely wrong. Everyone is acting, in some degree, in a way they believe is right and they all have genuine grievances. Because Injustice is such an epic, it’s also a book where characters can truly grow and change. There is room for redemption. Harley is a character who embodies that.
IGN: The Suicide Squad looks to be playing a big part in your story, and you have quite a peculiar lineup (and that’s saying a lot given that SS is known for having weird rosters). How did you land on those more off-kilter members?
Taylor: With all the problems in the Injustice universe, we wanted a bigger Suicide Squad than we’ve seen before to deal with it all. But this IS Injustice, so I’m not guaranteeing the lineup stays the same. Some of the Suicide Squad members might not be around a long time. There is something coming for the Suicide Squad that changes everything. As I’ve said many times while writing this book, don’t get too attached to any characters.
IGN: With both DC and NetherRealm working on Injustice 2 together, does that change your writing process at all? Were there any particular characters they wanted emphasized for the sequel?
Taylor: There are, as with the first Injustice, certain characters in the game who will get more of the spotlight. There are events in the game which we will be seeding and foreshadowing. Some moments are only talked about in the game, so we have the opportunity to tell those stories. However, I can happily say, just like the last series, Injustice remains the place where I have the most creative freedom of any licensed series I’ve ever worked on. Jim Chadwick and Rob Levin at DC and everyone at NetherRealm trust me and offer me a lot of support. It means I get to unleash some of the greatest characters in the world.
IGN: Supergirl appears prominently in the marketing for the new game and the story teaser trailers. How big will her role be in your story? We’ve seen many renditions of Supergirl over the years, what will yours be like in terms of how long she’s been on Earth, her supporting cast of characters, etc.?
Taylor: Supergirl actually comes to Earth in the midst of our first arc. How she comes to Earth, and where she lands, is a big part of her story. This isn’t a Kara who gets to live with The Danvers. Her supporting cast of characters are important, and unexpected. The alliances she forms have a huge bearing on the story.
IGN: What’s it like working with artist Bruno Redondo again? How has he upped his game for Injustice 2?
Taylor: Bruno is a good friend and, artistically, to put it nicely, he’s a freak. He’s always been a great collaborator. From the work we did on Star Wars together to now, his work has only strengthened. The way his characters act on the page is everything a writer could want. I’m overjoyed to be working with him again, and happy he signed an exclusive to work on Injustice full-time. Daniel Sampere and Mike S. Miller are also crushing it, along with inker/finisher, Juan Albarran, colorist, Rex Lokus, and one of my favorite letterers, Wes Abbott.