I was a big fan of Injustice: Gods Among Us, even though I spent most of my time getting destroyed in the multiplayer. Developed by NetherRealm Studios, using Mortal Kombat as its building blocks, this was a well-received game, praised for its story and use of DC Comics license. So now it seems there is a new one on the way finally, a new Injustice game with a mouthful of a subtitle is still exciting and there is tons of speculation about who will be on the roster. Sure many of the characters from the last one will return, and it had some amazing DLC characters, but I wanted to list a few I would love to see.
As cool as it would be to see someone like the Red Lantern, Atrocitus, I had to leave certain characters out whose power sets are already seemingly overdone and fully explored in the first one, and they wouldn’t let me put He-Man on this list, even though DC did his last run of the comics. None the less, hear me out on who I think deserves a spot in the new title.
Buddy Baker has been around on the comic pages since 1965, but his true revival into the current form of the character did not occur until the 80s at the hands of writer Grant Morrison. Bombarded by radiation from a crashed spaceship, Buddy has the ability to mimic the traits of any animal he has been in contact with. This means that he can fly like a bird, remembers like an elephant, jump like a flea, or have the sonic boom of a pistol shrimp—look it up, that’s crazy. This means the hero is perfect for a writer embracing a little creativity, and has done some truly amazing things in the right hands. Animal Man may be one of DC’s most underrated heroes in my opinion, and now is a good time to introduce him to the rest of the world.
The developers could go nuts with the mechanics and designs of his powers, with all the creatures of Earth and outer space at their disposal. His Super Move would be a mix of all the different animals’ forms and powers, laying into the opponent, perhaps while running them through a jungle environment. He is my pick for breakout hit in the game, and as cliché as it sounds, the team should go wild with this one.
Scorpion had his turn as a DLC character in the last game, so it is time to give his long-term rival a shot at the gods and monsters of this universe. The Lin Kuei master has had time to hone his skills against the forces of Outworld and Netherrealm, not to mention dealing with magics like the Dragon Amulet. The fighting game mainstay is more than equipped to handle anything that could be thrown at him and would love the challenge. Much like his fellow ninja, Sub-Zero would bring a familiar character and play style to newcomers. With the release of Mortal Kombat X players were shown three different fighting styles from the ice ninja, so there would be no shortage of moves and alternate costumes based on past games or maybe even his cyber initiative form. Plus, his Super Move could easily just be a modified classic fatality with a little comic-styled twist.
Scorpion is a revenant and a little more single-minded when it comes to what is going on, but Sub-Zero can assess the situation and truly affect the outcome once the fighting starts. No matter what role he would play in the story, I’m sure many fans would drool for a face-off between Sub-Zero and Batman, or maybe just a three way against Killer Frost and Mr. Freeze, but he won’t leave many challengers left standing.
I was a big fan of the Swamp Thing films as a kid, which got me into enjoying his comics, so I am pleased to have him on this list. Not just because I think this mass of vegetation kicks a lot of ass, but the fact he’d be perfect for a character with a versatile arsenal of moves. His elemental control not only grants flight, super strength, and the ability to transform himself, but the mastery over plants and life gives abilities that could fit the niche of multiple play types.
Multiple men have been Swamp Thing, but it was writer Alan Moore’s version that seems to have set the standard, which means we will most likely see Alec Holland as the dominant personality, but there could be creative story reasons for it to be someone else. I know that he is dead in the Injustice comic series, but this guardian has come back from worse—one of his powers is listed as immortality anyway. We also don’t know how much of this new game could potentially be told in flashbacks, which wouldn’t surprise me with so much work put into the comic. Story wise he may be a little hard to write in, since getting this protector to leave his swamp without a good reason is a bit tough, but they find ways to do it in the comics all the time.
Since Aquaman was the most overpowered character in the last one, I think it only fitting that the new long-ranged weapon-wielding titan from the sea be his arch-nemesis. Little is known about this aquatic villain though, not even his full name, and there are multiple versions of his origin. This guy was even an actual human/manta hybrid at one point, but that seems to have mostly been forgotten. Manta isn’t the most visually appealing character, and almost never leaves his entirely black suit, but he captures the strong silent type perfectly. He’s a bit of a powerhouse too, durable and strong, not to mention an excellent swimmer, and he has a few tricks in that suit of his, like eye lasers, electro shocks, and even a jetpack. This is before we even get to his specialized weapons of blades and tridents, or whatever else might be in that bag of tricks. An appearance in this game could do a lot for the character, and introduce this unholy diver to some new fans. Black Manta certainly has the resume to be a contender, and a new villain could shake things up a bit, but in the world of Injustice he may also prove to be an unconventional hero.
He may have come from humble beginnings as a supporting character in the pages of Swamp Thing, but make no mistake, John Constantine is not a mere pusher of parlor tricks or street magician. He is the Hellblazer. Alan Moore created one of the first and best paranormal detective characters, a foul-mouthed cigarette smoking alcoholic who hates everything, but also happens to be the best at what he does—a master of the arts. It’s still sad when his best trait is stubbornness, but this gives the cynical Brit a ton of personality for the character and a lot of room in the story as an unlikely hero.
His occult background and wide array of magical items he comes across will give the developers a lot to work with for his move set, not to mention his animations and visual styling should be one of the best in the game. The real trick would be getting some of the themes that made Constantine so cool in the comics across, like the political and social commentary, while still managing to show the world as this miserable place where the demons are usually the manageable ones. His fighting style might be handled a lot like Phoenix Wright from Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, making him a tricky but versatile powerhouse. No, his inclusion won’t make up for the excellent show getting cancelled way too early, but it will make this title a day one purchase for me.
I know I’m putting a lot of Alan Moore-centric characters on the list, but hear me out on including someone from one of DC’s best-selling titles of all time. Watchmen is a big part of comic history, but the characters haven’t been represented well in video games so far, so let’s see how one of them fairs in a fighting game. Walter Kovacs, this possibly mentally ill and fanatical crime fighter, finds himself as one of the last remaining active heroes in the world he perceives as flawed and doomed without action. This anti-hero is known for talking with fists and leaving broken bodies in his wake, meaning he’ll fit in fine.
I see Rorschach making the most use out of the background attacks, using weapons of opportunity would fit his style of fighting, or the harpoon gun when things get sticky. The fighting would be brutal and blood-soaked, his mask animations should be mesmerizing, not to mention how Walter’s unwavering moral sense would surely spell trouble for him in the story, so it’s good he has a high tolerance for pain. Bonus points if WB gets Jackie Earl Haley to do the voice—you know you want it. For anyone keeping up with the comics currently, the events of DC’s Rebirth will make this choice seem like the perfect fit. That and Dr. Manhattan would have been too overpowered.
She didn’t have the best run of luck in the world of television this season, but I promise the comic book version of Black Canary is tougher and isn’t afraid to bloody her knuckles. Her husband, Oliver Queen, had a good go of it in the last game, but it is time to let the femme fatale have her day. The blonde bombshell would give some much needed sex appeal in fishnets and leather, while delivering some serious attitude, a never give up mentality, and the voice that demands attention.
The character already has had quite the tale in the Injustice comics, but there is still room for her to do more in a new game. Dinah is a highly trained martial artist who uses her body in conjunction with a sonic wail, the Canary Cry, and she isn’t too shabby with a staff either. This would be easy to translate in the way of mechanics and animations, and I’d love for her to play as a close range beat down type. Is it too much to ask for her Super Move to involve the other Birds of Prey? We can at least have Canary ride in on her bike, like the badass she is.
Ra’s Al Ghul
A true super villain, Ra’s first crossed swords with Batman in the early 70s, and has been a thorn in many a superhero’s side since—even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles recently. Known as the Demon’s Head, his plans for recreating the world in his own vision often involve destroying it to start over, and he leads a shadowy group of well trained killers, the League of Assassins, to carry out his dirty work. A major player like Ra’s Al Ghul will shake up the world of Injustice no matter what side he aligns himself with, and this world has never been more ripe for needing a restart.
He’s a highly trained strategist, martial artist, and swordsman, as well as having a background in magic, and he has had a millennia to become the best at all of these things. Ra’s use of the Lazarus Pitts keeps him young and can even bring someone back from the brink of death, meaning he is nearly immortal and damn hard to kill. The demon has three children, all of whom could play important roles in the plot, not to mention his grandson, Damien Wayne, and all the complications that come with that. Any of those individuals or other league members could assist in his Super Move, keeping it involved and fun. I am sure we will get an alternate costume from the version CW’s Arrow made popular, but if we are lucky a Liam Neeson skin from Batman Begins would be truly enticing.