With the announcement by Warner Home Games that NetherRealm Studios is making a fighting game set in the DC Comics universe entitled Injustice: Gods Among Us, speculation began to run rampart even though the game won’t be out until sometime in 2013. Would there be Fatalities and an exceptional amount of violence since NetherRealms pretty much only makes Mortal Kombat games? Would it be a traditional 2D style fighting game like Mortal Kombat or Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 or would it be more of a 3D battlefield akin to Virtua Fighter or something like Castlevania: Judgment? Most importantly, what super heroes would be used?
NetherRealms is no stranger to making video games with DC Super Heroes. After all the eighth Mortal Kombat game was Mortal Kombat Vs. DCU and while the gore factor was noticeably turned down compared to other MK games, it WAS the best engine to ever feature Mortal Kombat characters up to that point and even won our “Best Fighting Game of the Year” award for 2008. It also proved that DC characters could have a quality fighting game of their own. After all, Marvel characters had X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and more. All DC had was this MK crossover and a terrible 16-bit console fighting game. Can NetherRealms pull off an all DC only fighting game and again, if so, what super heroes will we see them use?
Several Diehard GameFAN and Comic Nexus staffers sat down and penned their list of who they would like to see in the upcoming game. They range the gauntlet from mostly DC newbies like Crystal to people that grew up preferring DC over Marvel (JLI Baby!) like myself. It’ll be interesting to see how many of these wants actually make it into the game especially with the advent of the New 52 Universe. We only gave ourselves two rules. The first is that we had to include the six characters already revealed for the game (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Harley Quinn & Solomon Grundy) and the second was that we tried to keep to the New 52 universe, but that wasn’t always possible as some people haven’t read it. With that in mind, sit back and see who we’d like to play as in Injustice: Gods Among Us and then let us know what your own dream roster would be.
Alexander Lucard: Editor-in-Chief
I should start off by saying there are many characters I liked that didn’t make the list. I’m not a fan of the New 52 versions Darkseid and Martian Manhunter, so they didn’t make the cut. Spectre and Phantom Stranger are way too powerful. I don’t know if Ted Kord or Ralph Dibny even exist in the New 52, so I couldn’t include them. Green Arrow just didn’t work in my head (Hawkeye is great in MvC3, but there’s not much more you could do with an arrow based character and Olli wouldn’t fit a MK style game) and I left out Robin because doing a Fatality to a ten year old would freak censors and politicians out big time.
Now with that said, two-thirds of my pull list each month are DC comics. Justice League Dark, I, Vampire, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Resurrection Man, Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Captain Atom, Jonah Hex, and Batman, Inc. That’s up from Booster Gold and Jonah Hex before the relaunch. I did pull Deathstroke, Blue Beetle, Hawk & Dove, DC Universe Presents (for the Deadman storyline), Superman, Action Comics and Justice League International at one point to try them, but dropped them all for various reasons (Well, they canceled H&D…). My goal was to make a thirty-five character roster that would allow diversity, play to NetherRealm’s strengths and include character that would fit a fighting game pretty well (specific power set and easy to digitize). My thought would be that the game would also end with a three part end boss comprising of various aspects of THE ROT. I also tried to have villains for specific heroes and vice versa. With that in mind, here’s my list along with notes as to why I would include each one where applicable.
1. Andrew Bennett (Star of I, Vampire. It’s one of my three favorite DC titles right now. It’ll let NR have a supernatural character, give Andrew a shot of mainstream recognition and I miss Midnight from Eternal Champions)
2. Aquaman (I’d prefer the version from The Brave and the Bold, but they could do Arthur like Rikou from Darkstalkers pretty easily)
3. August General-in-Iron (He looks awesome, the character is fun to read and he’d definitely stand out on screen).
4. Batgirl (I’d prefer Cass Cain, but it will be Barbara Gordon here because DC would mandate it.)
6. Black Canary (A fun martial artist character with a sonic scream for a distance attack)
7. Booster Gold (the game’s Johnny Cage. He’s got projectiles, a force field to block projectiles, Skeets as an annoyer and would be all around fun)
8. Fire (My favorite female DC character. She’d work wonderfully and have some nice Brutalities)
10. Green Lantern (Guy Gardner. Hal, Kyle and John just don’t fit a fighter as well)
11. Ice (So NR can have a Sub-Zero like character. Or I guess Frost since Ice is a woman.)
12. Jonah Hex (A gun based character like Stryker. Jonah Hex is AWESOME. Read his comic.)
13. Nightwing (I don’t get the thought that Dick and Bruce would play even remotely alike. Dick’s faster, more agile, definitely would have more air based attacks and would do less damage.
15. Swamp Thing (Because he’s awesome and would be fun to see on the screen.)
16. Wonder Woman
1. Anton Arcane (For Swamp Thing. He also fits my end boss theme and is tres creepy to look at).
2. Bane (Movie tie-in, I love the character, especially when he was in Secret Six and he’d fit a fighting game perfectly.)
3. Black Manta (A striking looking character that is a good fighter. It would also give Aquaman core enemy in the game.)
4. Deadshot (He’s a fun character and just feels like the type of DC bad guy NR would work wonders with.)
5. Deathstroke (He was fun in MK8. Let’s bring him back. My favorite DC villain after Despero.)
6. Despero (Hulking version, now scrawny 60s version. He could be the Goro of the game.)
7. Harley Quinn
8. Helspont. They’re making him into a major Superman and Justice League big bad. He looks great, has cool powers and it would give a nod to Wildstorm.
9. Joker (Because NR loves him, he was a fun character in MK8 and maybe we’ll get an unedited Fatality this time.)
10. Lex Luthor (He worked in MK8, so let’s bring him back.)
11. Mary, Queen of Blood. (Andrew’s arch-enemy and lover. I’d love to see her in the game. NR would have a ton of fun with her and her powers.)
12. Solomon Grundy
13. Talia Al Ghul. (It adds another female to the game, a recognizable Bat nemesis and she can hold her own in a fight.)
14. Talon (Any one of the major Talons from the Court of Owls honestly. They look cool and it would be fun to play as one.)
15. Weather Wizard (A Flash bad guy. I have Ice, so Captain Cold would be redundant. WW would let NR play with wind, lighting and cold based powers instead of having two pure ice based characters in the game.)
1. Ambush Bug (The game’s Joe/Dan. Just make him an annoying defensive character with easy constant teleports and taunts.)
2. Catwoman (Fun to animate, neat moves and a ton of different costume options)
3. Etrigan (I love the character, he’d be hilarious to see in the game and it would be fun to have Hell’s best rhymer in the game. Maybe even the ability to shift from a heavy brawler to a fast countering defensive character as Jason Blood.)
4. Vandal Savage (I love the version in Demon Knights. He’d just be so much fun to play ala Slash from Eternal Champions.
So that’s my roster. It highlights the New 52 well, features characters that deserve mainstream exposure and hopefully in turn gets pple to pull their comics (Animal Man, Swamp Thing, All Star Western & I, Vampire) and focuses on characters that NetherRealms could really do a good job with in a MK style fighting game.
Ashe Collins: Staff Writer
1. Power Girl
5. The Flash
6. Wonder Woman
8. Swamp Thing
9. Martian Manhunter
1. The Joker
2. Harley Quinn
3. Solomon Grundy
6. Mr. Freeze
7. Talia Al’Ghul
9. Owl Man
10. Superwoman (Earth-3)
I have a few picks on here from Earth-2. I think it’d be fantastic to include the new versions from World’s Finest of Power Girl and Huntress then offer alternate costumes from where they were Supergirl and Robin and then a set of their classic costumes as well. From Earth-3 I grabbed Owlman and Superwoman to go against Batman and Wonder Woman. They’re the perfect anti-thesis of each other really. Darkseid to go against Superman, and so on. This is just a sample roster. Most of my DC knowledge is from Batman and his rogue’s gallery to be honest. Clayface would be fantastic in a fighting game though.
Crystal S: Staff Writer
I don’t know that I can really give a justification for the characters I’d like to see in the game other than I like them or I think they’d be interesting. I’m not the biggest comic book aficionado, having only really gotten into them the past couple of years, so I don’t even know if some of these would be good fighting game characters. But here goes a list if nothing else.
1. Power Girl
3. Green Lantern
5. Wonder Woman
2. Harley Quinn
4. Mr. Nobody
5. A Talon
6. Lex Luthor
8. White Rabbit (Why not?)
10. Light & Lime
An even 20 and I honestly can’t think of anyone else that I’d care about…
Mark B. : Senior Editor
I’m going to build my list based on 1.) who I know is IN the New 52 and 2.) who I like from the original canon, because I’m going to be honest, I don’t expect there to be anything significant from continuity factoring into this game of any merit. Besides, they have a year and change yet to make the game into something so I suspect characters will change so many times between then and now that it won’t matter anyway.
5. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan/Sinestro, depending on who remains the primary)
6. Wonder Woman
11. Green Arrow
12. Power Girl
1. Lex Luthor
3. Harley Quinn
4. Solomon Grundy
7. Black Manta
11. Red Hood (I know he’s an anti-hero now but he’s a dick and I don’t see that sticking)
I know there are a fairly large amount of Bat-family characters in the list, both heroes and villains, but this is largely because SORRY, BATMAN HAS THE COOLEST SUPPORTING CAST for the most part. Batman is an obvious character, though it probably seems odd to include Batgirl, Batwoman and Catwoman but not Nightwing, Batwing or Robin. The simple answer as to why comes down to the fact that Batwing isn’t a character I’m terribly familiar with, and Nightwing and Robin would basically play similarly to Batman based on their shared history et al. You could go into more interesting directions, I think, with Batgirl, Batwoman and Catwoman, all in all. For villains, you could argue that Joker, Harley Quinn, Bane, and Red Hood is a bit much, but Red Hood has a prominent role in the New 52 and is basically a jerkass character so a heel turn (again) is only a matter of time, Quinn is confirmed for the game, and Joker and Bane are obvious choices that really fit in well.
Of the rest, Superman and Lex Luthor are obvious choices, and play off of each other well. Wonder Woman is also obvious, so I paired up Strife with her as an obvious villainous foil for her. A Green Lantern should be in the game, but with the recent face turn of Sinestro, it’s hard to say which one should be the choice for the game. Conventional wisdom says Hal Jordan, but one never knows how the comics will develop (though if Sinestro turns heel again, he’s an obvious villain choice), and we can pair him with Solomon Grundy since he debuted as a Green Lantern villain so, what the hell? Aquaman and Black Manta are iconic characters (even if Aquaman isn’t an especially popular one) so I feel like they merit inclusion into the game based on their status as characters. Flash is a confirmed choice for the game and he’s an iconic character worth including, and you could pair up Captain Cold with him as a rival villain who would work well as a Sub-Zero sort of character as well. I’ve always had a soft spot for Zatanna as a character and you can easily pair her off with Enchantress as rival combatants. Green Arrow and Deathstroke make the list as much because of their notable status in the universe as because they’re cool characters that work well for fighting game combat. Finally, Mirror is an interesting new villain (and, yes, a Bat family villain) that seems like he’d work in a fighting game, and Power Girl… well, I like Power Girl over Supergirl and she’d be a fun character to have in the game, given how rarely she appears in DC games.
Mike Maillaro: Staff Writer over at our sister site, Comic Nexus.
3. Wonder Woman
4. Barry Allen
5. Blue Beetle
7. Green Lantern
8. St Walker
11. Martian Manhunter
12. The Demon
13. Madam Xanadu
14. Animal Man
15. Swamp Thing
1. Star Sapphire
3. Captain Cold
4. Harley Quinn
5. Solomon Grundy
10. A Daemonite
11. Vandal Savage
13. The Hunters Three
14. Anton Arcane
I kind of felt bad that I couldn’t work in some characters from Teen Titans, Legion, Stormwatch, OMAC, Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE (he could be done like Captain Commando in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2), or Justice League Dark, but man 30 spots get used up real quick!
Jaime Reyes is one of my favorite DC characters and I love that he’s been getting much more exposure lately. Nightwing I know could come off as a Batman clone, but I think you can make him much more agile to help differentiate them. With Green Lantern, I am actually more of a Kyle Rayner fan, but DC is on a Hal Jordan kick lately, so I suspect he would get the nod here. St Walker is the blue lantern of hope, and just a cool looking character. Catwoman is always a great character when the right creative team is on board, and I think there are a lot of cool things you can do with her in a fighting game. I’ve always been an Aquaman fan anyway, but in new 52, he’s been better than ever. I almost forgot him from my list to be honest, which likely would have led to my wife seeking a divorce (she’s a huge fan).
One thing I love about the New 52 is that Cyborg has much more of prominent role. This was a great element of Flashpoint, and Cyborg continues to be a major player in the Justice League. Wildstorm characters have a big role in the New 52, so I needed someone to represent them, so Grifter gets the nod here. Xanadu has major roles in Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, and mysticism could add something real cool and unique to the game. Animal Man has quickly become one of my favorite books in the new 52, and I think the power to take on any ability from any animal would be a crazy power set for a fighting game, so I’d love to see it. New 52 Swamp Thing is a total bad ass. He definitely needs to be in this game!
With Hawk and Dove, I would love to see these two characters as one fighter where you can swap between them. Power Girl and Huntress would be another combo set. The two Earth-2 characters seem to have an important role in the new 52, so I’d love to see them get more exposure, and my list needed more females anyway.
For bad guy, Star Sapphire’s spot would probably be better served by a Red Lantern, but I hate their series, so I couldn’t bring myself to giving It to them. Instead, Carol Ferris gets this spot to bring some love to the roster…BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY! Despite the fact that Sinestro hasbeen around forever, I don’t think Sinestro has ever really been featured in a video game (I’m sure I am wrong about that). Geoff Johns has revitalized the character big time, so I’d love to see him. While I’m on a Lantern kick, The Orange Lantern is just one of the coolest characters in the DC Universe. I have been dying to see how someone would do his voice work, so this is probably my best shot of seeing that happen.
I really am not even sure Lex Luthor could be done well in a fighting game, but a Clancy Brown-voiced Lex Luthor just needs to be in this game. While they might not be as well known as some of Batman’s rogue galleries, the Talons are the newest baddies to strike Gotham City. I definitely want to see how they work in a fighting game. I absolutely love the redesign of Captain Cold.
The Daemonites seem to have a major role in the new 52, so I figure they should be represented here. Black Manta is one of my favorite looking villains! I can definitely see some cool potential here. With the Hunters Three, imagine how wicked the fatalities or finishers could be for the most powers agents of the Rot. Finally we have Anton Arcane. I don’t even know this character all that well, but I figured the Hunters Three needed some help and Swamp Thing needed an enemy.
Graham Scherl: Editor-in-Chief of Comic Nexus
3. Wonder Woman
5. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
6. Hawkman (Carter Hall)
9. Green Arrow
12. Rose Wilson
13. Blue Beetle
14. Black Canary
15. Shazam (Unlockable)
16. Robin (Damien) (Unlockable)
1. Harley Quinn
2. Solomon Grundy
8. The Joker
9. Captain Cold
10. Black Manta
11. A Talon (Unlockable)
12. Lex Luthor
13. Helspont (Unlockable)
14. Darkseid (Unlockable)
The big trick here is trying to balance the heroes and the villains, because, really, after Mortal Kombat Vs. DC…the lack of a villain roster hurt that game. Sure, there is an appeal in your dream hero vs. hero matches, but eventually you want Superman to punch a bad guy.
I tried to pull villains from each of the primary heroes, though several wound up omitted due to their lack of appearances in the New 52. Captain Cold makes his debut as the Flash’s primary villain, and Sinestro and Atrocitus show up to balance out Green Lantern.
My six unlockable characters are each for their own little reasons. Shazam would be similar enough to Superman that you wouldn’t want both available from the start, whereas Robin would just a be fun little bonus character. The real meat there is in the villains, which you would have to beat in order to unlock. A Talon (with alternate costumes being other Talon’s) would come from some Batman achievement, while Helspont and Darkseid would be from the story mode.
My biggest stretches are Black Canary, Fairchild, and Rose Wilson. But in the case of all three, it was just an attempt to bolster the number of female characters by using ones who are prominent in the New 52.
So there you go. Six different staffers and their personal dream rosters for Injustice: Gods Among Us. Remember, these lists are only speculation and you’ll have to keep checking the official Injustice website and the game’s Facebook page as they NetherRealm Studios’ gives us snippets and teases about the roster and gameplay well into 2013. Cross your fingers that some of the characters we mentioned make it in to the game.
Alexander Lucard was the Editor-in-Chief of Diehard GameFAN and Director of Operations for the InsidePulse network. He has since retired from writing, but clearly shows up now and again. He has worked in video game journalism since 2002 and was also a paid consultant for Konami and The Pokemon Company. Alex has previously written for Tips N Tricks, Gamespot, White Wolf, TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Eden Studios, 411mania, Not a True Ending and more. His writing could also be found in the monthly periodicals Massive Online Gamer and Pokemon Collector Magazine.