Friday, August 23, 2013


My college years were filled with a lot of late evenings tackling my buddies in exhausting bouts of combat as we all strove to be the campus champion in Mortal Kombat.  This game had cutting edge graphics and features for the time and was a great way to release some of our scholarly anxieties and just have some youthful rambunctious fun.  I've wondered over the years why video game publishers have never made an exhilarating combat game that allows players to bash comic book super heroes and villains  against one another.  Well the waiting ended this year when the creators of Mortal Kombat took its game engine updated with today's graphics and processing technology to produce INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US.

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US pits the DC Comics super heroes of "our universe" against their personalities from an alternate dimension on  Xbox and PlayStation consoles.  The game play is fun and full of special effects and feature moves that keeps the games interesting.  It's a brawling good time for fans of Superman, Batman and the like.  The weakness of the games is an odd ball plot and lacking script for the game's "story" but that is overcome by the sheer fun of the game's one-on-one battle sequences.

Don't fret though because DC has addressed the limitations of the game's script with an incredible new comic
book series with the same name as the video game but with its own stand alone in-depth story.   Often times these type of tie-in comics are just meant for marketing purposes and don't have a lot of effort put into them making them not worth a glance, but I have to say DC has embraced this effort and made this an extraordinary piece of work.  I was riveted to the pages while reading it and enthralled by the storyline of this comic book series.  The comic has decent artwork but it is the story that draws your interest and hooks you.  This was one of the best comic book reads I've had in a few years and highly recommend it whether or not you are interested in the video game.

While of course the story has super hero battles it also has a philosophical undertone exploring the balancing
act of giving up "freedom" to gain "security" that combined with good character plots and scripting makes this title a winner.  The comic book series revolves around how an injustice is done to Superman and how superheroes based upon that act as "gods" among mankind in response.  There really are some hard hitting sequences in this comic that go a lot darker than the "Smallville" type portrayal of the DC universe that many people associate with its super heroes.

The story starts with the Joker tricking Superman into killing his pregnant wife, Lois Lane as well as their unborn child, with his bare hands and in the process also causing a nuclear explosion that decimates his adopted home of Metropolis killings it entire population of 11 million people.  This pushes Superman to his breaking point.  He pledges to stop all violence in the world.  Instead of protecting humanity from threats so they have the freedom of self determination, the Man of Steel determines that he well  decide the rules by which mankind conducts itself and behaves.  This places Superman at odds with Batman who doesn't believe that super heroes should be acting like "gods among us" in determining how much freedom or control the people of Earth should have over their own behavior.

 The plot of INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US really places Superman who has been know for upholding "truth, justice, and the American way" into a grey area between good guy and bad guy which is highlighted in one scene where he tries to put down a citizen protest and is yelled down being told "you think you can come here and hover above us all with a scowl and some special powers and tell us what to do?"  This dynamic really makes the story an entertaining read that I couldn't put down.  So far I haven't figured out if the comic book story is taking place in an "alternate reality" like the video game and is explaining how the Superman Regime from the game began or is supposed to be taking place in the "main stream" DC universe.  While there are similarities between some things in the game script and the comic book story there are also lots of differences too. DC Comics does call the series a prequel to the video game though which has to make you think maybe this is the alternate reality setup.  I guess I'll have to just keep reading to find out.

Missed the monthly serial issues of the comic? Don't worry you can catch up with the first 5 issues all bundled together as a hardcover edition.  INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US - VOLUME 1 went on sale August 13, 2013.  Check it out!

Also if you are interested in the game console video game and/or the comic book there also is a great iPad game that I've downloaded and been playing quite a bit's become my favorite game beating out Angry Birds: Star Wars for my attention...and its FREE.  I just beat a number of challenges to add General Zod to my online cast of characters.  You can download the game from the iTunes store.

Kudos to DC Comics for making their INJUSTICE video game and comic book a great dynamic duo!

DISCLAIMER:  I was provided a complimentary digital advance readers edition pdf of INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US-VOLUME 1 from the publisher.  I was not compensated for this review and the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

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