DC has wholeheartedly embraced the digital comics format in recent years. Their digital-first projects like Batman ’66 and Adventures of Superman have proven popular among readers who crave something outside of the New 52 universe. But perhaps their most popular digital series currently is Injustice: Gods Among Us. This long-running series explores the tumultuous years leading up to the events of the Injustice video game, as Superman falls from grace, builds a totalitarian empire, and wages war on the likes of Batman and the Green Lantern Corps.
Even though we recently learned that Injustice: Year Two will be wrapping up in September, there’s nothing but good news on the horizon for fans of the series. First, DC has announced that Year Two will shift to a weekly release schedule as of today’s Chapter 13, continuing until the big finale in September.
Following that finale, Injustice: Year Three will begin on Tuesday, September 30. Taylor and veteran Injustice artists like Bruno Redondo, Mike S. Miller, and Tom Derenick will continue this ongoing storyline as John Constantine enters the picture and complicates the rivalry between Batman and Superman as only he can.
Fans can also look forward to Injustice: Gods Among Us Annual #2 to hit comic shops the next day on Wednesday, October 1. That issue will be co-written by Taylor and Maguerite Bennett and feature art by Jheremy Raapack and David Yardin. The writers will be offering two side-stories set during the course of Year Two, one focused on Hal Jordan and Sinestro and the other on a team-up between Commissioner Gordon and the Birds of Prey.
It’s a lot for Injustice fans to take in. Luckily, Taylor was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the future of this series and what readers can expect as Constantine makes his Injustice debut.
IGN Comics: You’ve said that Year One was the story of the breakup of the Batman/Superman partnership. And it seems like Year Two’s primary goal has been to chronicle the war between Superman’s forces and the Green Lantern Corps. How much can you say about the direction of Year Three?
Tom Taylor: Superman versus Constantine.
Do you need anything else? Because that was pretty much my entire pitch and it was enough to get my editor, Jim Chadwick, pretty excited.
If you need more, then Batman TEAMED with John Constantine plus a bunch of other magic users, supernatural characters and demons, fighting Superman’s regime, for the fate of the world. How can you not want to see that?
IGN Comics: You took a brief hiatus after Year One wrapped, but it looks like you’ll be moving right into Year Three this time. Are you eager to get to the next stage of this conflict?
Taylor: Absolutely! Year 3 is so freaking exciting.
It’s a difficult one, as magic versus Superheroes is something I’ve seen done badly many times but my editor, Jim Chadwick, and I are really pushing this one in ways we hope people will enjoy.
I’ve been fortunate enough to write most of my absolute favourite characters in the DC Universe but to be able to focus on the magical side and to be able to bring in John Constantine is a huge moment. Hellblazer is one of my favourite horror comics of all time, and Constantine is an incredible character to get to play with. As soon as I thought of pitting the occult hero against Superman’s regime, I had to see it. I think the entire pitch was ‘Constantine versus Superman’ and Jim was immediately on board. All of the other magical characters that come with it are going to make this one hell of a story too, and Batman having to team up with the cynical Mage should be a heap of fun.
IGN Comics: How challenging is it to write Superman as this story progresses and he falls further and further into darkness? Is it ever tough to reconcile the Superman you know with the one who commits the horrendous acts in this story?
Taylor: It’s honestly very hard. Anyone who knows me knows that Superman is my absolute favorite hero, and having to put him through the ringer like this hurts. In Year 3, I’m going to hurt him even more. I haven’t even written the moment I’m talking about yet, and I’m already dreading it. The worst part is my four year old son keeps asking if Superman is a bad guy as, between Injustice and Earth 2, he’s been surrounded by ‘bad Superman’ images for years. Some pretty intensive deprogramming will be coming soon.
IGN Comics: This series has a fair amount of humor to it despite the increasingly grim circumstances. Do you find it important to temper the darkness with a little levity?
Taylor: Absolutely. What’s the point of anything without levity? Great drama is made greater with moments of humor. Without humor, I don’t have fun. I don’t understand writing without humor. I also hate watching anything without humor. I’m pretty sick of tortured characters being depressing. Too many stories seem to revel in the second act at the moment. I’m not a fan of the second act. If you want to cry about your dead parents and beat something up, fine, just so long as you remember to throw some comedy in afterwards.
IGN Comics: Injustice is returning to a weekly schedule in July. What motivated the decision to switch to a weekly format again?
Taylor: Honestly, the fans really wanted this to be weekly. They missed that weekly buzz. I just hope I can keep up without breaking!
IGN Comics: Most of Year Two has been illustrated by Bruno Redondo. Will that change because of the weekly schedule, or has he been able to work ahead?
Taylor: Bruno has been just brilliant. I love his work so much. And he’s only getting better. But he is, sadly, just one man. So, other great artists will be stepping in to help us here, including ‘Year One’ regular, Mike S Miller.
IGN Comics: Last year’s Injustice Annual featured a clash between Harley Quinn and Lobo. What can we expect from this year’s annual issue?
Taylor: We’re actually telling two stories in this one. One concentrates on Hal and Sinestro and the other on the Birds of Prey and Jim Gordon. We didn’t have time for these stories in the moment they take place in Year Two – as people will understand soon. I’m really happy to say that Marguerite Bennett, a writer I think the world of, will be joining me to tell these stories in the annual.
IGN Comics: We know that there were five years between the destruction of Metropolis and the present-day events of the game. Do you have Years Four and Five mapped out right now?
Taylor: Um… sure.
Tom Taylor can be followed on twitter @TomTaylorMade
We also have a preview of today’s Injustice: Year Two Chapter 13 for your viewing pleasure.