I finished playing through the story mode campaign on Injustice: Gods Among Us over the weekend. While the game won’t win any industry awards for its story/dialogue at the end of the year, I have to admit that I enjoyed it’s plot. Comic book fans, imagine a story like Geoff John’s Infinite Crisis, only with worse scripting and character art, but with a more coherent narrative. It’s big, it’s dumb, it’s fun, and I’d recommend it to DC Comic fans.
The recommendation comes with a warning however, it is still a NetherRealm Studios fighting game. I know general opinion may side against me, but I’ve never been a Mortal Kombat fan. The games seem to be more concerned with cleavage and gore for the kiddies rather than fulfilling fighter gameplay. That said, Injustice is a deeper fighter than expected, and my new favorite fighting game from NetherRealm/Midway – edging out Mortal Kombat 3. There’s something oddly entertaining about iconic heroes and villains of DC lore beating each other senseless.
The characters in Injustice: Gods Among Us is the real key to your enjoyment of the game. Try not to gleefully laugh out loud when making Aquaman feed his opponent to a shark! I know I was sold on the game when I saw a trailer featuring Doomsday pummeling his opponent back and forth through the Earth. Once sold, the idea of playing as characters foreign to gaming such as Deathstroke and Black Adam had me hotly anticipating the game. Now that I’ve played it, and found out that I surprisingly enjoy it, I want more characters to enter the arena.
DC has thousands of characters, and while I believe that the original game roster was a good one, I believe there is still plenty of gold left to mine from the DCU roster. Here’s a list of 25 characters I’d like to see offered as Injustice DLC alongside the previously announced Lobo and Batgirl.
In DC’s New 52 offerings one book stood out from all the rest: I, Vampire. While the book was just cancelled with issue #19 in April, it should be remembered fondly for doing something different and delivering an original, beautiful, and unpredictable comic. What better way to celebrate the underdog series than with adding I, Vampire’s main character Andrew Bennett as DLC for Injustice. Being that he’s a shapeshifting vampire, I could easily see NetherRealm creating a fighter able to change from human to bat, to wisp of smoke, to giant werewolf, all in a single battle.
Call me prejudice, but Buddy Baker/Animal Man is one of my all time favorite characters. Read through Grant Morrison’s incredible run from the late 1980s and there’s no way you too won’t be a fan of this odd character. While he may seem like an odd pick for a fighting game, just image the idea that he can channel animals’ abilities into his powers, so he could fly like a bird, headbutt like a rhino, or kick like a kangaroo. It’d still come off silly, but the developers and designers could have a lot of fun with creating this character. [Honorable mentions: Vixen]
Another character with animal based powers (DC seems to have quite a few of those…) which would be great as DLC would be the Teen Titan’s Beast Boy. The reason I’m giving him a nod on this listing is because unlike Animal Man who uses animal powers, Beast Boy actually transformers into animals. Imagine changing into animals for various attacks, or being able to permanently morph into one as a trait. It should also be mentioned that Beast Boy is mouthy and obnoxious, this could definitely play into the replay value of the character in multiplayer battles.
Not much needs to be said about Black Canary. Not only is she a great character from the comics, but she’s also one of the characters in the DCU that can win a fight without her metahuman abilities. On top of being a natural fighter, it’s always nice to have more female characters on the roster.
For some odd reason I’ve always liked Black Manta. I couldn’t tell you why, but something about the odd manta ray looking helmet and pitchfork which tickles my ironic sensibilities. If you want to see the character in a legitimately interesting light, check out the cartoon Young Justice. As a player in a fighting game he’d work great as a foil to Aquaman’s character.
While I appreciate Ted Kord’s time in the JLI, it would be Jaime Reyes that I’d like to see in Injustice. Reyes would appeal to the young DCU fans who’ve had this character promoted to them quite a bit over the past few years, and with the adaptable mechanical suit Blue Beetle would be an offensive powerhouse.
One thing Injustice was missing was a real sense of humor. Sure, Joker had lame dark comedy, and Green Arrow had a few one-liners, but the game is missing a truly humorous character. While having a character like Deadpool from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 may be going overboard for Injustice’s tone, a character like Booster Gold could swoop in and deliver just the right amount of douchiness to liven up the joint. [Honorable mention: Ambush Bug, or Larfleeze]
There are plenty of magic users in the DC Universe, but my personal favorite is John Constantine. This would be a odd choice for NetherRealm to add to Injustice, but I think that he could definitely be one of the most interesting players on their roster if they went with him. As Constantine isn’t much of a fighter, this character would be all about distance attacks and magic traps. Just image a character spending more time lighting a cigarette than punching and kicking. It’d be a refreshing change of pace. [Honorable mention: Doctor Fate, or Zatanna]
Out of all the characters on the list, this seems like the one that has the best chance of happening. Darkseid is the big bad of the DCU, and he’s already appeared in the game in a level transition cut scene. Really, due to being a heavy character I probably wouldn’t play as him, but I’d have to give it at least one go-around in order to use the Omega Beams! [Honorable mention: Orion]
Another character that already appears in Injustice: Gods Among Us is Deadshot. He’s only hanging out taking shots from behind a pillar in the background of a level, but the model for the character is made (and it looks a lot more like the character we’ve grown to love in Secret Six and Suicide Squad, than Arkham City’s baffling interpretation), so let’s just give him a move list and get this over with already! [Honorable mention: Grifter]
Are superhero comic books silly? Yes, sometimes. Is the main premise of Green Lantern silly? Yes. Are the other lantern corps from GL silly? Very much so. And is Dex-Starr silly? Yep, apologetically. Then why put him in a game?! Because he is also awesome. My ironic sensibilities are delighted every time I see the house cat become plasma blood spewing rage incarnate. If NetherRealm wants money, and like all of it, they need to consider adding in Dex-Starr as a playable DLC character. Don’t scoff, Tekken has Kuma and Panda, and neither of them fly, vomit boiling blood, or have a tearful backstory. [Honorable mention: Krypto]
Etrigan the Demon
Why mention characters like Huntress, Robin, Hawkman and others who are already very much like characters already in the game when you can offer a name like The Demon and surprise everybody. For those not familiar with this great character he is actually two characters in one. Half of the time we get Jason Blood, a heroic human. The other half of the time we get Etrigan, a violent and unpredictable fire breathing demon from hell who is bonded to Jason. They essentially swap places between hell and Earth, and are awesome. The real question about adding the character is whether or not you have The Demon talk in rhyme or not?
This one seems like a no brainer. If you’re going to have a character like Solomon Grundy in your game, why not go all out and bring in a crazy undead character who shoots guns, swings a giant sword, fights massive monsters and speaks with a flourish? He may be based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but he seems more appropriate as a character for a fighting game than literature.
Yet another character already found in Injustice, Gorilla Grodd is the one that I want to play as the most. Who wouldn’t want to play as a giant super-intelligent gorilla with mind-control abilities? Since he’s already been modeled (to look like his Flashpoint Grodd of War character), I could see Grodd as an easy addition to the game’s roster. [Honorable mention: Mister Tawky Tawny]
In fighting games I always enjoy taking the character who uses guns, just to annoy my opponent – i.e. Cable in MvC 2. While the aforementioned Deadshot could throw kicks and punches in with the gunplay, I believe that hitman Tommy Monaghan could be a great guns-only character (with the occasional grenade). This cool as ice character would look just different enough from the rest of the roster that having him play differently wouldn’t seem off base. I’m not holding my breath on this one, but I’d sure like to play as him.
If you want to put a character into Injustice that can go toe-to-toe with Superman without taking one of the game’s story’s silly super-pills, then this Justice Leaguer would be the character to add. Much like Darkseid, Martian Manhunter just seems like an easy addition to the roster… one that probably should have been there in the first place.
Another one of my favorite New 52 books that was cancelled early in its run was OMAC. While there have been plenty of versions of the character over time, it would be this new one which would work best for Injustice. Think of OMAC like Hulk, with his alter ego being a confused civilian named Kevin Kho. Just to have Kevin shout “Omactivate!” and smash on opponents would make for a character worthy to be added to the roster.
I promise you I am the only person in the world with this character on his/her DLC wishlist. But, I present to you Peter Merkel, Jr., one of the oddest characters in DCU history. I won’t go into the history of the character (I recommend reading Villains United and Secret Six Vol. 1 & 2 for that), but I will mention that Rag Doll replaced his joints with hinges so that he can bend any way he wants. This creepy character would be quite unorthodox, I imagine he’d play a lot like Voldo from the Soulcalibur series. [Honorable mention: Creeper]
Even if DC has yet to bring him into the New 52, I’d really like to see the Red Tornado make his way into Injustice. To be honest, I don’t know much about the character, but I have always liked his look, and the idea of having a robot character in the game would give Injustice’s roster a little more variety.
Who’s Resurrection Man?! Hold on, and hang in there with me on this one. Resurrection Man is a character that is resurrected after every time he dies. With every resurrection he is given new superpowers. Think of this in fighting game terms and you have a character who could have a different move set every round. While that may sound maddening, it is also annoying to your competitors as they’d never know how you’ll be fighting them next. I image he’d play like Moukjin from Tekken. [Honorable mention: Clayface]
While The Sandman is my favorite comic series of all time, I’m actually referring to Wesley Dodds. It isn’t very often in video games any longer that we get to play as golden age superheroes, and one of my favorites was always Sandman. Just look at the character! He runs around in a suit, cape, fedora and gas mask. That is just downright amazing character design. Give the character a gas gun and let him move around like back-in-the-day and you’d have a character that’d be a ton of fun to play as. [Honorable mention: Dr. Mid-Night, Mister Terrific, or Starman]
Chalk this one up to me just finishing reading through all of Starman, but The Shade is one of the most interesting characters in all of the DCU. While his greatest assets (narration, and English wit) wouldn’t be used in the game, his superpowers would more than justify a spot in the DLC roster. (Even if it’d make people scratch their heads wondering who he is.) His powers are immortality and commanding the darkness into violent weapons, the latter of which could manifest into moves reminiscent to Morrigan from Darkstalkers. Shoot darkness here, release a shadow demon there, and finish your opponent off by walloping them with your cane.
While nearly all the characters mentioned so far have a move list just waiting for them, Spectre would be a little more difficult. In the DCU there are a group of characters which have godlike abilities, and often watch and manipulate the happenings on Earth, I would love to see one of these beings given a chance to battle in this game. If Marvel vs. Capcom 2 could get away with adding Shuma-Gorath, I think Injustice could handle the Spirit of Vengeance. [Honorable mention: Phantom Stranger, Pandora, The Sandman, or Death]
Here’s another oddball injection to the fantasy fighter roster. Swamp Thing is enjoying a great run in the New 52 right now, and thanks to Alan Moore had one of the best runs of any comic ever back in the 80s, but bringing Alec Holland’s green god to a fighter seems like a strange choice. I’d agree to that assertion, but I counter by asking you to imagine Swamp Thing handling like Dormammu from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – large, bulky, strong and with plenty of elemental attacks. Really, I just want this character in the game to see what his special move would look like.
If you are going to have a fighting game that takes place in the DC Universe, you need to have the fighter from the DCU, Wildcat. The scrappy old Ted Grant is just a boxer with a no quit attitude, that’s enough to be perfect for Injustice. If you need a visual, but just imagine him handling like Balrog from Street Fighter… only wearing tights with a cat mask. Perfect I tell you!!
They probably could have had a roster of over a hundred fighters and I still would beg for more. But if NetherRealm can deliver on a few of these characters I’ll gladly drop a couple bucks to play as somebody new.
What do you think? What characters would you like to see added?