Batman is one of the most interesting characters in comic book history. He’s been portrayed as a world-class pugilist, an unflappable detective and a vengeful protector. But, no matter what the case (or place), the one thing that Batman ALWAYS is, is one step ahead of the bad guys.
And while that should be the thing that makes him really interesting, it’s really just a part of what makes him a huge fan favorite. You see, Batman isn’t just one step ahead of the bad guys. Batman is one step ahead of the bad guys in a world where men and women boast incredible, god-like abilities. The kind of abilities that can topple entire buildings, and in some cases (Superman, Shazam, Black Adam, etc.) entire nations.
All that and…
Batman really has no special abilities of his own. No super powers. None. He can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s not faster than a speeding bullet, and he’s certainly not stronger than a locomotive. He’s extremely talented, methodically skilled and more connected than anyone else on the planet Earth. But, even with all that said, at the end of the day, he really is still just a guy…in the dark…dressed like a bat.
He’s a mere mortal. And, in a world where evil men and women are often likened to the gods themselves, watching a “mere mortal” consistently give those “gods” the business can be one of the tastiest treats in comics.
The first Injustice comic book series presented us with a world where Superman had been pushed too far. His wife Lois was killed, along with over four million citizens of Metropolis, in a horrific terrorist attack led by the Joker and Harley Quinn. Blinded by grief and rage, Superman immediately murdered the Joker and proceeded to lead the Justice League into an international coup of our world’s leaders.
In response, Batman created his own team of heroes—an insurgency against Superman’s new empire. After taking many painful sacrifices, he managed to win the day, defeating Superman and imprisoning him for his crimes.
And that’s where we find ourselves as readers at the beginning of INJUSTICE 2 VOL. 1. Superman incarcerated. Many heroes dead. And Batman left to put the pieces back together.
What’s so interesting about that?
Well, with Superman out of the picture, we finally get to see Batman realize his own super powers. Yes, I know that earlier I said Batman has no powers. But I was talking about super powers in the traditional comic book sense. Things like enhanced strength, speed and durability. Those aren’t Batman’s super powers.
What super powers does Batman have?
The best powers of all, obviously. The powers of being rich. That’s because Batman is Bruce Wayne, and Bruce Wayne is rich. Very. Very. Rich. Rich enough to speak to world leaders and realign political powers. Rich enough to get nations to stop wasting their money and lives on petty wars and religious disagreements. Rich enough even, to possibly inspire world peace.
In today’s world (I’m talking about the real world now), the most powerful men on earth aren’t lifting cars over their heads or blasting bad guys, they’re lifting international sanctions and blasting off missions to Mars. The type of power an international billionaire wields in the real world is rarely actually talked about, but still, very often felt.
These people have the power to move mountains. Literally! They could purchase the property a mountain sits on, have people dig it up, break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces and relocate it, one mountain LEGO piece at a time.
And just think what could happen if a whole team of mountain movers got together. For instance, what if like… Oprah, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk teamed up to make life better for the people of Savannah, Georgia. Just Savannah. They could build massive free public transportation systems. Or towering vertical farms that provide free food for every citizen. Innovative energy, water and education programs—all supplemented by their immense wealth. The amount of good that can be done almost seems endless when money is no object.
Getting back to Injustice 2, in the wake of Superman’s Kryptonian coup, Batman finally realizes that what he really needs to save the world isn’t strength and speed, but resources and assets. Basically, what I’m saying is, he figures out what he really needed was an Oprah team of his own. So, starting with Lucius Fox (and a few other familiar faces) he begins putting together a group of the wealthiest and most influential individuals on the planet to start rebuilding the world in his image.
However, not everyone is interested in Batman’s better world.
While Batman is putting together his team of influential world movers, another mysterious individual begins breaking super-villains like Orca and Killer Croc out of prison in order to create their own deadly Suicide Squad. Their goal? Breaking Superman out of prison and restoring his regime.
Now that Batman has finally unleashed his true super powers on the world, will it be enough? Will his group of wealthy innovators be able to turn around the utter tragedy that was Superman’s regime? Or will the formation of that villainous new Suicide Squad be all it takes to bring this world back to ruin? And lastly, who is to say that Batman won’t use his new super-powered friends the same way Superman did in the earlier Injustice series? After all, the history of man has shown us time and time again that having the intention of doing good can very often not matter at all when it comes to the impact of your actions.
Looks like we’ll have to keep reading Injustice 2 to see how it all shakes out. For now, though, hit up the comments section to share your thoughts on the first volume.
Regular Et Cetera writes about Injustice and the DC Universe for DCComics.com. Look for him on Twitter at @RegularEtCetera.