One of the most successful digital comic series of all time is returning for a limited engagement, with writer Tom Taylor reviving DC’s Injustice for an all-new prequel, Injustice: Year Zero.
The new 14-part series takes place before events in DC’s first Injustice: Gods Among Us series, and features the Justice League and their superheroic predecessors, the Justice Society of America, coming up against the Joker — who has discovered a way to control the heroes, and force them to destroy themselves.
The original run of Injustice, titled Injustice: Gods Among Us — launched as a tie-in to the video game of the same name — ran from 2013 through 2016, with Injustice 2, again tying into a video game release, running from 2017 to 2018. The series is set in an alternate DC universe where Superman becomes a despot following the Joker’s murder of Lois Lane, with Batman leading a group of other heroes to stop him.
Art for the Year Zero, which will be released every second Tuesday, comes from Rogê Antônio, Cian Tormey, Rain Beredo and Wes Abbott. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Taylor about his return to the property.
Why return to Injustice now?
Part of it, for me, was about what we could put out into the world right now. I was talking to [DCeased and Batman editor] Ben Abernathy about wanting to create exciting, affordable, digital-first comics for fans who were having trouble accessing physical comics in this challenging time.
We came up with two ideas. Given the popularity of DCeased, we thought expanding that universe, with our Hope at World’s End series, was a no-brainer. And then, the other obvious thing was to return to one of the most successful digital-first comics of all time, Injustice.
As I started work on DCeased: Hope at World’s End, Ben sent me an email with the subject line “Yes, we’re trying to kill you.” The upshot was DC loved the idea of returning to Injustice as well as doing DCeased, so we decided to do both.
And while this was about reaching people digitally, by choosing two big, well-loved series, we also wanted books that we thought would do well for retailers when we release them physically.
Why return with a prequel—and with this particular prequel, especially? You’re building out the mythology and backstory of the Injustice world in a very unexpected way with this series.
A couple of reasons.
One, this was the part of the story that always felt like it had the biggest hole. There were two Injustice questions that have been hanging over me for years. Why did Joker target Superman? And where did the Justice Society go? We actually sowed the seeds of this in the Injustice 2 comics, when both Doctor Midnite and Wildcat hinted at a traumatic past in our universe.
Two, while I was keen to return to this universe, I really didn’t feel like this was the right time for stories of a dictator Superman. My favorite comics are an escape from the real world, and the real world has more than enough power-hungry men stomping their will on the people. I wanted to write something where my heroes were truly heroic. The only way to do so in the Injustice universe, was to check in before Superman’s fall and before Batman and Superman’s friendship was broken.
By this point, you’ve written Injustice for 150 chapters, across five years; I think audiences feel like they know what to expect from the series. What’s the one thing in Year Zero that they’re not going to see coming?
Hope. Genuine heroics. This one isn’t as morally grey as what comes after. This is Superman and Batman at the peak of their friendship. Lois and Clark as a team. The Justice League united, and the Justice Society as a shining example for all. Of course, by its very nature, there’s going to be tragedy and shocks and deaths, but there will be hope, there will be triumph, there will be love with the loss and heart alongside the hurt.