By Brian Truitt
January 6, 2014 12:04PM
Even Tom Taylor is feeling a little guilty about taking his favorite superhero to the dark side.
Then again, the Australian writer wants to see what will happen with Superman as a supreme power on Earth. That’s why he signed on for “Year Two” of his popular DC Comics digital-first series, “Injustice: Gods Among Us.”
“I want to know what happens with a vengeful Black Canary,” Taylor explains of the comic, available weekly on Tuesdays. “I want to know how Green Lantern falls. I want to know what happens to Harley Quinn with the Joker no longer in the picture. I want to know why Superman teams up with supervillains. I want to see Batman heal. I want to find out who lives and who dies, and how.
“I want to see powerful beings, who were once allies, fighting each other with the future of the universe at stake.”
So far, comic fans are all about Taylor’s story. Since the first chapter debuted a year ago, Injustice has sold more than 1.9 million print and digital comics, with the vast majority being digital downloads, according to DC. (The series so far, as well as new chapters, will be available on the DC app and in the DC2 Multiverse format on the Madefire app.)
Based on the video game of the same name, Taylor’s “Injustice” series explores a darker, reimagined version of the DC Universe comic fans know and love: After the deaths of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Superman murders the Joker and installs himself as the ruler of a new world regime, making enemies of members of the Justice League such as Batman, who heads up a group of insurgents.
Illustrated by Bruno Redondo and Julien Hugonnard-Bert, the first chapter of “Year Two” (available Tuesday for download) picks up where the initial series left off, with the heroes hit hard — physically and emotionally — and divided following the death of Green Arrow and Superman’s attack on Batman.
“Despite the death of one of his best friends, Green Lantern Hal Jordan still believes in what Superman is doing,” Taylor says. “For Black Canary, losing her love at the hands of Superman has firmly turned her against the Man of Steel, and others are only too happy to help her against him.”
The biggest negative for Taylor is putting heroic characters — especially Superman — through “insanely awful” situations, he says.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to think of just how much an uncontrolled Superman is capable of, particularly a Superman who still feels he’s acting in the world’s best interests,” he adds. “Superman’s continuing fall to the dark side will feature in ‘Year Two’ but there are other character’s stories that will also be highlighted, particularly Hal Jordan’s story. Green Lantern has a long way to fall.”
Taylor also plays in an alternate universe with his “Earth 2” series, which connects with the DC Universe but focuses on heroes such as Green Lantern Alan Scott and the original Flash Jay Garrick.
“We’re creating new characters and new situations,” Taylor adds. “People know this world because the DC heroes have been inhabiting it for years. It’s familiar but also completely perverted by some incredibly dark moments.”