Image: DC Comics. Injustice 2 #37 art by Daniel Sampere and Rex Lokus
But it’s a very specific kind of murder.
The latest issue of the digital-first Injustice 2 series — written by Tom Taylor, and with art by Daniel Sampere and Rex Lokus, and lettering by Wes Abbott — tackles a question fans of the fighting game elseworld have had practically since the first game: What happened to Injustice‘s Teen Titans?
The Titans in happier times, as seen in Starfire’s arcade ending for Injustice 2. Image: Neatherrealm Studios
We know Cyborg at least survived, gladly signing up alongside Superman’s dictatorial regime, but he and the rest of the world believe at least that the Titans are dead, killed when they opposed Superman’s rule (or in the case of Raven, possessed by her demonic father and forced to work alongside the regime). That hit a snag when the second game, set in the wake of Superman’s fall from power, introduced Starfire as a DLC character earlier this year.
The comic’s recent arc has revealed that Superman didn’t kill the Titans, but instead trapped them in the Phantom Zone for six years. That leads to Batman and his forces trying to break them out, with the help of some cross-dimensional stretching from Plastic Man, the only person who can reach into the Phantom Zone while still remaining in contact with the real world. There he finds the surviving Titans: Tim Drake, Superboy, Cassie Sandsmark, and Starfire, ready to return to the real world.
Starfire’s costume in this comic, by the way, is… a lot. And I don’t mean in terms of quantity of material.
Except this is Injustice, and you can’t have a happy moment for more than about half a second before tragedy strikes. It turns out Superboy cannot leave the Phantom Zone, which is keeping him alive after he sustained a mortal injury fighting Superman. So the team has to abandon him to life in alt-reality prison.
So when Tim, Kori, and Cassie’s return, it’s tinged with sadness. But at the least Batman and Batgirl get to be reunited with the long-lost and presumed dead Tim Drake, right? And after losing Dick Grayson at the hands of his own son, who in turn betrayed Bruce to join Superman, Batman gets to have a ward to emotionally bond with again, right?
Remember what I just said about Injustice not allowing happy moments? Yes, literally seconds after escaping, Tim takes a laser beam through the chest, collapsing to the floor. But the laser beam came from behind Tim, from through the Phantom Zone portal he and his fellow Titans just left… because it turns out Plastic Man accidentally brought someone else along for the ride out of there: General Zod.
Whoops. Well, what’s one more dead Robin to add to Injustice‘s pile, anyway?