Injustice 2 Chapter 50 is a bit of a slow issue that gives most characters a chance to pause, catch their breath, and and in Athanasia’s case, reflect on the problems inherent in trusting an immortal ecoterrorist mastermind, even if he does happen to be your grandpops.
There will be spoilers…
Having killed Professor Ivo in an attempt to stop the destruction of Amazo, Athanasia now faces an even tougher task: explaining herself to her disappointed grandfather. R’as al Ghul, however, has no time for explanations, and the shock and surprise on Athanasia’s face as she is handcuffed by gorilla soldiers and led to prison almost makes her sympathetic, albeit only briefly.
Sometimes it seems like being an asshole is a genuine Bat-family trait. Seriously, just take a look at Bruce Wayne and just about everyone related in some way to him other than Alfred and sometimes Dick. Jason Todd proudly carried that banner, until Damian hoisted it higher. Then we have Athanasia, who up until now has served mainly to make Damian look kind and gentle. And finally, in this issue, we see R’as truly own the mantle of asshole as he basically sentences both his grandchildren to die, in what will likely be a grisly and spectacle-laden fashion.
And yeah, on the one hand this is all tongue in cheek exposition on my part here, but on the other, this asshole tendency across Bat-generations is one of the core consistencies in the characterization for a few decades now. It’s the sacrifice of connectivity to others, both family and friends, that allows the extraordinary individuals who make up Bruce’s mythos to be so much better than human in other ways. It’s their grappling with that sacrifice that makes them interesting, as most fans of Damian Wayne will verify. But R’as doesn’t grapple, because R’as is a crazypants fundamentalist who’s already written off 99% of humanity and so apparently feels little remorse as the gorilla guards lead his granddaughter away to join her brother in jail. But while Grandpa may have let her down, Mom decides to make up for past parental failures and step up. Talia al Ghul kills the gorilla guards and frees Damian and Anathasia both.
From there the scene switches back to Batman and the rest of the crew who were busy getting their butts handed to them by Amazo in previous issues before Kara showed up and saved the day. Nobody really knows what happened; one minute Amazo was casually slaughtering innocents and swatting aside any attempt to dissuade him, the next he’d suddenly shot up to the moon at faster than visual speed. The only true witness is Blue Beetle, but he swore to Kara he’d keep her secret, so he lies. Badly. Batman knows something is up, and tries to take it out on Wonder Woman and Black Adam, who are trying to leave before anyone remembers that they’re not supposed to be there. But Superboy, who still hasn’t caught up on current events regarding who hates who, defuses the situation handily, reminding the “heroes” that maybe they should be helping the innocent victims of Amazo’s rampage, rather than beating the crap out of each other after the danger is past. It’s a small but nice moment, and with the body count in Injustice, nice moments should be cherished.
And the final act brings us to Wayne manor, where Catwoman and Alfred are discussing topics ranging from exactly how much Selina hates dealing with dogs to Alfred’s recovery. He’s not fully himself, as he’s still having memory issues and doesn’t feel great, but he is out of pajamas and back in his proper butler attire, which is an improvement over his previous zombie-esque condition immediately following his dunking in a Lazarus Pit. A fire alarm goes off, and Selina hands the Bat-puppy over to Alfred before heading to the kitchen to check the stove. But it’s a trap! Athanasia has come to see her father, and apparently has strong negative feelings about her father’s current romantic interest, as she demonstrates that Bat-family asshole banner loud and proud by shooting Selina in the stomach, then turning the guns on Alfred.
And scene! That’s the cliffhanger this week, which as cliffhangers go, is honestly a lot weaker than most Injustice cliffhangers. Alfred already died once, so there’s that, plus it seems like Athanasia’s looking to have to talk with her father, and everyone knows you don’t go about arranging that by hurting Alfred. Plus it seems like writer Tom Taylor is setting the daughter of the Bat up for a redemption arc, and readers already don’t like her. No way the readers come along for the ride if she offs Alfred. And while Selina was shot, she’s a survivor, and it wasn’t a shot to the head. Although it wouldn’t be out of character for this series to off a character in a less than spectacular way (you deserved better, Dick Grayson!), so it’s not like Selina’s totally safe here…
I’m interested to see what Athanasia has to say to Bruce, but I’m not holding out hope for her becoming at all likable. Here’s hoping for more Booster Gold comedic training advice next issue.
Injustice 2 Chapter 50, published by DC Comics on 3/21/18, features writing by Tom Taylor, lettering by Wes Abbott, and art by Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Rex Lokus, Tyler Kirkham, and Arif Prianto.