Surprise: on the same day that Tom Taylor’s Injustice: Year Zero was announced, the first three chapters of this 14 part serial story also became available to read. I honestly don’t know what I am more excited about -between the JSA and Injustice, but I am super hyped that they are coming together in this run.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Injustice: Year Zero Chapters 1-3!
Chapter One opens with art by Roge Antonio and colors by Rain Beredo, and they kick this series off with a very somber vibe. The words by Taylor and the art come together for the first two pages show how the Justice Society could have helped the heroes and villains of Injustice be better by reminding them of heroism and keeping them in check as well. There is a panel in there that shocked me, with Alan “Green Lantern” Scott’s left arm visibly bloodied and Jay “Flash” Garrick’s helmet busted. How did that happen, and more importantly, who did it? Batman is our narrator for this installment, so that could imply that it was Superman and his forces that caused the scene, but that is a mystery for later.
We are then taken back to one year ago, at Blackgate to see Mr. Chavard diagnosed with cancer and denied parole. The scene shifts to the streets of Gotham where we see Batman, Nightwing, Huntress, and Robin taking on some Blackmask goons, and Superman arrives to help put a quick stop to it so Batman can attend a Justice League meeting. This is beautiful art and a nice visual of a happier time in the Injustice world.
We then head to the JLA Watchtower, where Hawks, Spectre, Doctor (Inza Cramer) Fate, Sandman, Liberty Belle, Jay Flash, Wonder Woman, Amazing-Man, Black Canary, Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, Hourman, Starman, and GL Alan are taking a picture. There are two Black Canaries — one with JLA and another with JSA, but only one Wonder Woman, so that could be interesting if she served on both teams. There are great interactions between all, but a favorite of mine was Wildcat vs. Batman and The Flash’s reaction to it. Of, course this can’t end on a happy note, so let’s go back to Mr. Chavard, who is getting his wish of an early release by way of the Joker. There are lots of great seeds planted in this chapter.
The creative team doesn’t change for this chapter, but the tone does a total 180 compared to the first. The focus this time is more on the Joker, and we learn about why the breakout occurred. Mr. Chavard has something he is offering called “Power of a God”, which is why the Joker broke him out. Harley, Joker, and Chavard go to see his grandson, but the reunion doesn’t quite go as well as Chavard planned, so he denies the Joker.
This is a textbook example of why you don’t double cross the Joker. Sadly, Chavard is going to learn that the hard way. When you read this chapter, make sure to pay attention to the vehicle’s surroundings as Roge Antonio sneaks in some details that will keep you on your toes. There is a beautiful scene with Batman, Superman, Alan Scott, and Amazing-Man where they talk about Legacy, which is fantastic. Oh, and massive shoutout to Roge and Rain for the art on that last panel — it’s quite the image.
Tom and Rain stay on for writing and colors respectively for Chapter Three, while Cian Tormey comes in on art. I like the way Cian uses the art to break up Chavard’s flashback with the Bang Gun from the Joker. So the flashback in this chapter is the story of the Amulet of Apophis and how it was freed from its tomb. Honestly, if I walk up and I see a door with an upside down Ankh, I’m going to leave it alone, but Carter and Shiera Hall, the Hawks, didn’t do that at all.
Shiera gets possessed by the Amulet, which takes her and Carter to Cairo during the second Battle of El Alamein. This is where things get crazy — Carter gets massively hurt and Shiera loses the Amulet, only for it to be recovered by a solider named Dirk Strasser. This leaves us with lots of questions for next time.
All in all, this is a great return to the world of Injustice, and what a great add on by way of the Justice Society of America. I am really excited to see their exploits in the WWII flashbacks and also what they contribute to Year Zero. Character writing is Tom Taylor’s strength, so there are many fantastic moments that extend why we love the DC Universe of heroes and villains.
What will happen to the Amulet of Apophis in the flashback, and will the Joker get to it? How will Year Zero interact with the previous story of Injustice? I’m excited to find out the answer to these questions, which means that these first three chapters make for a successful introduction to Injustice: Year Zero.