REVIEW: Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four – Chapter 5

WRITER: Brian Buccellato
ARTIST(s): Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran
LETTERER: Wes Abbott
COLORIST: Rex Lokus
COVER ARTIST(s): Tom Raney
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: 06/2/2015

And Batman’s back in the game!

Yes, it’s true. After a shocking temporary ceasefire between the World’s Finest last week in Chapter 4 (as Bruce picked up Renee’s fallen body), Batman has begun scheming once more in this issue, bringing together once more Batwoman, Harley Quinn (who’s having this strange obsession with Billy Batson/Shazam), and Catwoman. After Aquaman turns him down, though, we discover that Barbara Gordon, formerly Oracle, has become a new-and-improved Batgirl, with the help of Lex Luthor. The issue ends with the Amazon army marching on the Hall of Justice, demanding that Superman give up (although, after the insurgency, the Green Lantern Corps, and the magic-users, why anyone still tries to topple Clark’s empire is beyond me).

This issue was so obviously an Injustice issue to me in the sense that I had the same likes/dislikes as I do every week with this digital-first series. First, the likes. Brian Buccellato continues to deliver on the end-of-week cliffhangers that keep me coming back for more. Every week, no matter how boring the issue is, the last two pages have me with widening eyes. And the feeling of all being lost on the good guys’ side is still prevalent here, like when you see Batman’s whooping 5-man army (including new recruit Batgirl), or when you see the graves of Dinah Lance, Oliver Queen, and Renee Montoya. And seeing Batman reach out once more to Aquaman (as well as having Aquaman respond with an appropriate kingly reply) was nice, as it referenced back to some Year One events.

Now, the dislikes. All in all, this issue felt kind of bland and filler before the coming war. I still find myself put off by Bruno Redondo’s pencils and Juan Albarran’s inks, while Rex Lokus’ colors seem boring and unimaginative. I find Harley Quinn started off in the series as a fun, lighthearted character in a dark book, but at this point she has basically become DC’s Deadpool (a fate she suffers in the New 52 publications as well). And the overall pacing of the issue was rather slow, with entire pages being used seemingly just to make a page. But hey, it is a weekly, so I don’t blame Buccellato for potentially needing to do that. Lord knows he’s a great writer most of the time (see: The FlashRogues Rebellion).

In conclusion, this issue isn’t bad, and should definitely be picked up if you’re reading the entire 5-year series like I am. It feels like filler at times, and seems to have lost the real-world sense that Year One/Year Two had done really well (I mean, are there any people that aren’t superheroes still alive?), but it’s overall clearly a continuation of the story into the coming war. The art remains lacking, but seeing as how it has since Year One chapter 1, I don’t see there being much of a change there anytime soon. All that being said, I’m looking forward to watching Superman (and possibly Wonder Woman?) kick some Amazon ass next week.

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