Injustice 2 #71: Children are the future

As a coup brews in Gorilla City, Black Lightning makes a life changing decision…

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Injustice 2 #71
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letterers: Wes Abbott
Cover Art: Bruno Redondo
Cover Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Publisher: DC Comics
Original Review Date: August 15, 2018

Recap:

Killer Croc & Orca have finally tied to knot! As one of their gifts for the occasion, Ra’s Al Ghul has freed them from their membership in the Suicide Squad. Unfortunately, the loving couple doesn’t take so kindly to slavery and prepare to exact their just dessert. Croc biting off one of Ra’s arms. But before they can finish the deed, Gorilla Grodd and his army arrive at the gates of Gorilla City. He agrees to use the Suicide Squad rather than simply killing them and allows the couple to leave. But not before being given the now very vulnerable Ra’s to do with as he will…

Review:

We open up this chapter not at Gorilla City but at the White House where several unconscious agents are found by Black Canary & Green Arrow. Realizing the president is in danger, they rush to the Oval Office but are immediately shot down with arrows. Calling each other their pet names one last time. The president threatens the attackers if they hurt Black Canary & Green Arrow. But an electrically powered hero claims the seat of United States President isn’t theirs. As they unleash their classic evil laugh, we discover it’s actually Black Lightning, the Arrows, and Harley’s children playing a game.

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The game ends when President Black Lightning finally needs to return to work. Only for him to be interrupted by another Agent who claims he’s needed in the Situation Room. General Lane has news for President Black Lightning; a hundred people, or rather a hundred apes, are marching through the jungle. Satellite imaging discovering the sentry that Gorilla Grodd had killed in the previous issue. They’re able to piece together that they’re near Gorilla City and suspecting a coup is brewing. Just in time for us to cut over to Gorilla City where a young Gorilla is brought to Grodd via mind control. Suggesting that him recruiting the young Gorilla from the last issue wasn’t a one time deal. That in reality, he’s recruiting people throughout Gorilla City on top of his own pre-existing army.

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General Lane has a rough idea where Gorilla City is and notes that there is a cease-fire and they are attempting peaceful measures. President Black Lightning asks if they can get a warning to Solovar but General Lane pulls a bit of a swerve. Suggesting that by letting the coup happen, they’ll have the threat of Gorilla City & Ra’s eliminated without having to lift a finger. Reminding President Black Lightning that they’d be warning someone who killed hundreds of people and kidnapped his children. It pains President Black Lightning but he orders them to monitor the situation without acting and leaves. When asked what happened, he lies and says it was a false alarm. But being veterans to the superhero thing, neither Green Arrow or Harley believe he was called to the Situation Room for a false alarm.

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Seeing the kids continuing to play their game, Green Arrow is proud. Saying that one day they could grow up and be heroes just like their parents. But President Black Lightning doesn’t want that. He wants them to be kids and that they shouldn’t have to deal with all their mistakes. That they need to make a world where their kids don’t have to be heroes, no matter the work they have to do to make it happen.

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Final Thoughts

I won’t lie, when I started reading this chapter I thought I skipped an issue before realizing I actually didn’t. That says a bit about the opener for this issue. It served primarily as a character development focused issue. Specifically, one on Black Lightning which we haven’t gotten up to this point. He was around but we never focused on him for long despite him being President of the United States. We now see just how far he’ll go for his family. His line about them not paying their parents mistakes having even more impact when you consider it’s the Injustice universe. The world has literally tettered on the edge of self-destruction for years and is in a continual cycle of war and death. It makes sense he wouldn’t want his kids to deal with a broken world, Superman, or any other threat that exists beyond their sight. Though given the events of Injustice 2, his actions in not helping Solovar may have led to a worse timeline. The road to hell once more being paved on a heroes good intentions.

While that is good, that’s also all there is to this chapter. Seeing the kids play together and with their parents was cute but beyond learning that Gorilla City is being left to its inevitable destruction, it was pretty fillery. It showed that Grodds coup is still occurring simultaneously and that he’s doing it surprisingly stealthily. If they rearranged some of the events, like having the meeting about Gorilla City first then shifting over to the kids it might’ve felt better. Otherwise, the main thing going for this chapter is the art. The use of dramatic lightning continues to be top notch. Especially the sinister Brainiac looming overhead on the cover.

Rating: 5/10

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