In April of 2013, the world was given what it always truly wanted — a fun, Mortal Kombat-style fighting game featuring all of our favorite DC Comics heroes and villains!
Injustice: Gods Among Us released to critical acclaim, and it was clear that fans were pleased with NetherRealm Studios' take on the DC Universe. So much so, in fact, that we wanted more. We NEEDED more! The story mode for Injustice was great, but we wanted to learn more about this crazy, alternate world where Superman is an evil dictator and Batman leads a resistance army.
Thus, the prequel comics were born. The Injustice: Gods Among Us comics were just as well-received as their video game counterparts, and did a fantastic job of introducing us to the origins of this alternate Earth and its characters.
Now, Injustice is heading towards a grand finale, with the comic reaching its final chapters. Things are getting hectic, heroes are becoming villains, and the world of DC will never be the same! Chapter 23 of the Injustice comics is going on sale May 24, and it sounds like it will be a doozy. To get a little more insight into this upcoming chapter and the story of Injustice, I got the chance to talk with writer Brian Buccellato.
Buccellato is a comic book veteran, having worked on a ton of awesome stories, like Flash Annual Issue 2 and Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion. He's also been writing the Injustice comics since halfway through Year Three.
WARNING: Major Spoilers Ahead For The Injustice: Gods Among Us Comic Book
Movie Pilot: You've been writing Injustice for a long time. What is your favorite story or event that's happened in the world of the Injustice comics?
Brian Buccellato: Hmm, that's tough. That's like asking, "Who is your favorite child?" [Laughs] I definitely feel like Year Five is the most satisfying for me. I've been able to focus on a lot of different characters, and see how they are affected by the Regime. I'm hoping that people really like the death of Alfred story. It's something that I feel really strong about, in terms of how the story would affect Batman. It's exploring some of the situations that Clark [Kent] went through, but through the eyes of Batman.
MP: So tell us about this storyline, the death of Alfred — it's a very huge storyline. Alfred is a very important character to both Batman and the DC Universe. What was going on in your head while you were creating this story?
BB: For me, it was about exploring how Bruce Wayne would deal with similar circumstances [to Clark Kent]. We saw how Superman responded to Lois and his unborn child being killed, and Metropolis being nuked. It made him into a murderer, you know? He killed the Joker. I really wanted to put Batman in a situation where he'd have to face the same challenge. Alfred is by far his family. Losing Alfred to such an act of violence is, I mean, if there was ever something to push Batman to the edge, this is it.
MP: So with Alfred gone, are we going to see a much darker or more brutal Batman than we're used to? Is this going to be his breaking point?
BB: I don't think so. I think that Batman acts true to who he is, and the line in the sand that was drawn from the beginning of this universe — with Batman on one side and Superman on the other — is very clear. It's very clear where that line is drawn. I think he's going to go to the edge, but I don't see him being that dark. It's a very painful storyline, it affects him as well as everyone around him. But I don't think it's going to push him to be way darker.
MP: You took over the Injustice comics from Tom Taylor a long time ago. Did you and he ever talk about the comics and where they were headed in the future?
BB: Not exactly. I'm friends with Tom, I think he's a great writer and did a fantastic job of setting up the "Injustice" Universe. So in a lot of ways, I'm just happy that I didn't screw it up [laughs]. But I came in midway through Year Three, and so there were certain things set in motion that I had to sort of sew up. So we had an initial conversation about Year Three. But the year after that, I wrote the story that I saw fit. There were no constraints or demands placed on me from DC or Tom. I had [Tom Taylor's] blessings to write it as I wished.
MP: So this is the final arc for Injustice, and the story has been slowly leading up to the story that we see in the game. Have you played the game as of yet?
BB: I have, actually. I haven't played the story mode, but I've played the fighting part. I always felt that Aquaman was an unfair character, because of his reach with that trident [laughs]. I have watched the cutscenes for the story on YouTube, because sometimes I'll use that for reference when I'm writing something. So I know the storyline, I just haven't played it.
MP: Has the game's story ever directly affected or influenced where something is going in the comic's story for you?
BB: Oh yeah, that is the world, so I know how and where our story ends. So I'm not going to do anything that's contrary to what's in the game, at least not consciously. There's a certain cut of parameters because the game starts where our series ends, so we know where certain things have to be. So it definitely affects the writing, but not in a way that's constricting, just in a way that sort of moves the ball in a certain direction.
MP: So who would you say is your favorite character in the Injustice storyline?
BB: Hmm. It's kind of a cop-out to say Harley, she's definitely the most fun to write, because she's so unpredictable. I have the most fun writing her. But as far as who my favorite character is — probably still Batman. I'm a big fan of Superman, but not in this universe, since he's such a jerk [laughs]. I also love Barry Allen — the Flash — but in this world, he's made too many compromises.
MP: You've written several Flash comics before. What would say is your favorite Flash comic that you've worked on?
BB: There's two that really speak to me. It's hard to pick out one from all of them. In Year Zero, we got to tell the origins of Flash from a different perspective, and so that's my favorite issue that Francis [Manapul] and I worked on together. And then, my favorite issue that I wrote on my own was the "Flash Annual" Issue 2, which had the first meeting of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen in The New 52. I had a lot of fun writing that one.
MP: If you were given the opportunity to continue the story after the prequel comics and the game, would you?
BB: Oh, absolutely. I think that even though we know what the story in the game is, there is a segment of the "Injustice" fan base that hasn't played the game, they just read the comics. So I would love to be able to tell that story [in comic form]. Not to do it minute by minute, just to find an interesting angle into that world and play out the story.
There you have it, my interview with comic book writer Brian Buccellato! Judging from his words, it sounds like the final chapter of Injustice is going to be quite the emotional journey. For Batman and us! Make sure to pick up Injustice: Among Us Year Five Chapter 23 today!
Thanks For Reading!
Have you read Injustice:Gods Among Us yet?
[Picture Credits: Writer: Brian Buccellato. Artist: Marco Santucci. Colorist: Rex Lokus. Cover: David Yardin.]