Injustice: Year Three Annual #1 Review
April 29, 2015
Once again, DC is filling in the gap between volumes of Injustice with a standalone annual issue that explores two untold stories in this video game universe. It’s a decent release for fans craving something before Year Four kicks off next month, but neither tale really lives up to the standard of the main series.
The first story in this issue sees former Justice League Dark writer Ray Fawkes lend his own take on the magical conflict that dominated Year Three. Doctor Occult (one of DC’s oldest characters) takes center stage here as he’s drawn into Batman and Constantine’s web. It’s interesting to see Year Three through a new and outside perspective, and Fawkes exploits Occult’s supernatural connection with his wife to great effect. Xermanico’s art is also a major draw. Free of the confines of the weekly series, Xermanico slathers his pages with an extra level of detail and dark texture. But the script lacks the peppy flow of the main series, and ultimately it adds little to the larger picture. We didn’t need a reminder at this point that Constantine is a self-interested schemer who shouldn’t be trusted. Year Three covered that.
Current Injustice writer Brian Buccellato handles the second story, as he explores what role the Teen Titans play in this conflict and why that team hasn’t appeared during the course of the story. It’s great to see the mid-2000’s incarnation of the Titans back in play. Buccellato wisely makes Conner Kent the crux of the story, as the idealistic young hero can’t reconcile Superman’s actions with the man he idolizes. Unfortunately, the story falls apart once Conner and Clark begin interacting. Despite this story taking place early in Year One, Buccellato writes Superman like the crazed tyrant he won’t become for several years. It robs the story of any real legitimacy and ultimately wastes the Conner/Clark dynamic. The art doesn’t do much for the script, either, as it suffers from inconsistent body proportions and poor use of perspective.
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