(CBR) In 2013, the digital-first "Injustice: Gods Amongst Us" was a surprise critical and commercial success for DC Comics, so the announcement that the best-selling prequel to the hit video game would continue in 2014 with "Injustice Year Two" came as little surprise. Nor was it a surprise that the death and destruction delivered by Tom Taylor in the first comic book series will continue in the second.
Of course, though the series' overall formula remains the same, there are some changes coming in the new year. Taylor told CBR News, for example, that as in the game, Hal Jordan is no longer a Green Lantern, and the comic will feature the fan favorite character's fall from grace, which is reminiscent of Superman's trajectory in Year One.
And much like the death of Nightwing divided the now broken Batman from members of his family, the ultimate fate of Green Arrow at Superman's hand in Year One will resonate loudly with those closest to him as Year Two begins.
"Injustice Year Two" also greatly expands the series' mythos, both emotionally and geographically, as Black Canary and Harley Quinn find themselves playing major roles in Year Two, along with Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe. The writer also discussed the superheroics of Alfred Pennyworth and why the death of characters like Dick Grayson and Oliver Queen are painful to both himself and readers, but are also highly plausible events necessary to drive the story's narrative forward.
CBR News: At the end of "Injustice: Gods Amongst Us," many of the world's greatest heroes are battered, bruised or even worse, both physically and emotionally. Does that death and destruction continue in "Injustice Year Two"?
Tom Taylor: One of the major things that happened at the end of Year One was the death of Green Arrow at Superman's hands. That was huge for a lot of people, and we're spinning right out of that storyline. Black Canary's reaction to Ollie's death is obviously front and center. She's not going to take that lying down; she is going to be coming for the Man of Steel. Also at the end of Year One, Batman is essentially broken by Superman, so the death of Green Arrow and Batman being broken divides the heroes even further.
What's also interesting is that we have Hal Jordan, who is one of Green Arrow's best friends, and we've got Black Canary, who is the love of his life, and they are on opposing sides. We're certainly going to be starting with that. With Year Two, much like we had Superman's fall in Year One, we're very much going to be concentrating on Hal Jordan.
Anyone who has played the game knows that Hal's not really a Green Lantern by the time the game rolls around. We're going to explore his fall, we're going to see Sinestro show up and we're going to see the Guardians of the Universe, too. Year Two is where "Injustice" stops being about Earth and just goes all over the universe. Giant, blue-headed beings are turning their very stern gazes towards Earth, and they don't like what they're seeing.
We've talked about your love of Superman before, so writing his fall was obviously an intriguing exercise for you. What is your attachment to Hal Jordan as you prepare to tell his fall from grace?
Hal is actually the first character I ever wrote in the DCU. I wrote a two-parter called "The Brainiac/Sinestro Corps War" for "DC Universe Online Legends," where the Green Lanterns all show up and contain it instead of basically watching them all die. The art was by Bruno Redondo, who is now doing the art on a lot of the "Injustice" issues.
I've always loved Hal. I love most of the DC characters -- there are not many that I haven't been reading for years and years and years -- but we deliberately left Hal off the table in Year One because I felt his story was too big to tell on top of Superman's. It's great that we got Year Two, because I now get to write it.
Honestly, I love all of the Green Lanterns. I love Guy Gardner. I love Kyle Rayner and John Stewart and Kilowog and all of these guys. Hopefully, we take the Green Lantern Corps mythos to some places where it's never really gone before. There is some pretty big revelations coming for the Guardians, and hopefully, people won't see them coming. Sinestro is on Superman's side, and Hal is going to be, as well. For me, that's been very interesting, to try and figure that one out. That's been an interesting journey.
Unlike Superman, who I find difficult to read as a fallen hero, Hal Jordan's descent seems more natural. Is there inherent darkness in Hal?
I think Hal is like Superman. We tried to make Superman's fall as organic as possible. In his mind, Superman still feels like he is doing the right thing. He still feels that what he is doing is for the greater good. For Hal, he's a bit of a straight edge. I look back at stories like "The Brave and the Bold" with Green Arrow, and he was always the straight-edge guy. Yes, he also had this playboy thing happening, which we hit on in the opening pages actually, [Laughs], and a fear of commitment, but he's a very honest character. To push Hal, you have to push his belief. You need to rock his world, and that's what we do. Not so much the way we did with Superman, with horrible things happening to him all the time, but more rocking his belief in the world and what he thinks.