Injustice for All: 8 heroes and 8 villains that should join the fray in Injustice 2

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Jun 9, 2016

On Wednesday, good news was delivered to both comic book and video game fans alike: The fight isn’t over.

That’s right, NetherRealm Studios has just announced that it will be releasing Injustice 2 sometime in 2017, a sequel to 2013’s smash-hit fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us. The new trailer didn’t show off any new gameplay footage, but did reveal the addition of Supergirl to the roster, and the press release confirmed that the vicious leader of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus, and the telepathic simian despot Gorilla Grodd would be jumping into the brawl as well.

In addition, the press release stated that Injustice 2 would boast “the biggest DC roster ever offered in a fighting game,” which immediately inspired fans—this one included—to begin speculating as to who might make the cut. The library of possible DC heroes and villains is immense, so I’m bringing you my top eight of each, and am giving you the breakdown on why they deserve to be included, and how likely it is they’ll make the final cut. I’ve include sure-fire inclusions, wildcards and everything in between, so read on to see if your favorite is on the list. If not, let us know who you want to see duke it out in the comments!

BLACK CANARY

What she adds to the roster:

Black Canary is a master hand-to-hand combatant, and her Canary Cry could be utilized for devastating blasts, and smaller bursts could be used to stun or in conjunction with physical attacks for some unique combos. She’s also a more street-level character, which the original roster lacked a bit, outside of the Bat-family and Green Arrow.

Will she get in?

Almost definitely. Black Canary is one of the DCU’s best female heroes, and the roster could use a bit more girl power. She fits the fierce, angry tone of the game, and at one point was a founding Justice League member. Plus the character is in the zeitgeist thanks to the—admittedly rather different— TV version.

BEAST BOY

What he adds to the roster:

Animal powers are a DCU staple (Animal Man and Vixen also vied for this slot) but Garfield Logan, aka Beast Boy, makes them the most visually unique. By shapeshifting into different animals, the game designers will be able to get incredibly creative with his moves, which could span the animal kingdom. Quickly shifting between animals could be a fun mechanic to master, and would keep players on their toes.

Will he get in?

Beast Boy is a solid contender. He’s pretty recognizable thanks to his status in the comics as a prominent Teen Titan, and his extensive animated appearances on Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!, and to a lesser extent on Young Justice. The developers also seem to have a soft spot for the Titans, having included Nightwing, Cyborg, and Raven in the first game, so I think that Beast Boy and/or Starfire making an appearance is almost certain.

STATIC SHOCK

What he adds to the roster:

The Milestone characters have been sorely underutilized by DC across all media, but Static manages to get a new cartoon or comic series every now and then, so video games are the logical next step. Static’s charged flying disc gives him a unique way of moving that opens up a lot of possibilities for combos, and while Shazam can throw lightning, that’s the closest any of the current roster gets to electrical powers.

Will he get in?

Another near-certainty, since he’s already been added to the mobile version of the game. And not many characters not named Batman or Superman have got their shots at a television series, so Static has better name recognition than many DC characters.

PLASTIC MAN

What he adds to the roster:

Super-stretching is one of the quintessential superhero powers, and no one puts them to use like Plastic Man. The limber hero has the potential for bizarre and hilarious attacks that would keep his enemies infuriated and baffled, and his cartoonish antics would be wonderfully out of place in the dour Injustice setting. If given the opportunity to revel in the silliness of his situation, Plastic Man could be the “Deadpool” of this roster, poking fun while wrecking his enemies.

Will he get in?

Plastic Man is definitely a bit outside the mainstream DCU lately, having been largely absent from the New 52 era, and not regularly featured in any outside media. But his powers and cult-favorite status among comic book fans should at least get him some consideration.

BIG BARDA

What she adds to the roster:

Like I said, the roster needs more girl power, and they don’t get more powerful than Big Barda. Barda is big enough to go toe-to-toe with the bruisers on the villains side like Bane, Solomon Grundy and Doomsday. There aren’t any heroes in the first game’s lineup that had their “brute strength” style, and Barda would be a perfect fit for that role. Plus her Mega Rod is a blunt weapon with powerful abilities of its own, allowing for a twist on the typical brutish heavy-hitter playstyle.

Will she get in?

With the likely inclusion of Darkseid (we’ll get to him), it’s probably a safe bet that there will be some 4th World representation on the hero side as well. The most likely candidates would be Orion or Mister Miracle, but if the developers don’t want to go for the obvious choice, Barda would be ideal. Probably not great odds, but not impossible.

BLUE BEETLE

What he adds to the roster:

Created in 2006, the Jaime Reyes version of the Blue Beetle is one of the most popular new heroes that DC has created in recent years, and could be a much-needed injection of youthfulness into the series roster, whose newest character is the 23-year-old Harley Quinn. Wearing his shapeshifting, weaponizable armor into battle, Jaime will also be able to bring a fresh new play style that could land him somewhere between Hawkgirl and Cyborg.

Will he get in?

He seems like a top contender. The inclusion of a customizable armor mechanic seems tailor-made for the character, and DC seems to like to give him a push when they can, with Blue Beetle having appeared in Smallville, multiple times on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, played a key part in the plot of Young Justice, and nearly had a live-action tv show of his own. Someone at DC clearly likes Jaime quite a bit, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the game.

WILDCAT

What he adds to the roster:

While Injustice is all about the massive power of DC’s pantheon, the DC Universe isn’t just about the gods, it’s also about the little guys who are badass enough to stand alongside them. There’s no character that embodies that better than Wildcat, a man who has no powers, but is a formidable enough boxer and fighter that it doesn’t even matter. It’d be fascinating to see how NetherRealm would make an effective character out of a man with no powers or weapons, just his fists and wits.

Will he get in?

Almost definitely not. He’s fairly obscure and isn’t quite flashy enough for the game’s style. But I can dream!

KATANA

What she adds to the roster:

The closest thing you have to a “ninja” style character on the original roster is Nightwing or Batman, so Katana would fill a unique niche in the lineup. And there are only a couple of sword-wielding characters on the whole lineup, so adding a dedicated swordfighter to the game would be a welcome addition.

Will she get in?

Katana feels like a shoe-in to me. She’s about to get a big boost in name recognition when Karen Fukuhara brings her to life in Suicide Squad, she received a decent push in the comics during New 52 era, and she was given a starring role in the recent Beware the Batman cartoon. Like Blue Beetle, this is a character that someone at DC clearly wants to succeed, so her inclusion in this game is very likely.

POISON IVY

What she adds to the roster:

Vines, thorns, tree trunks, razor sharp leaves, poisonous pollens, and carnivorous plants are just a few of the weapons that Poison Ivy has at her disposal, and NetherRealm would be foolish not take the opportunity to show what the queen of green can do with them. I can see Poison Ivy being a mix of Ares’ and Killer Frost’s fighting styles from the first game, keeping opponents at bay with vegetative friends, and then luring them in for the kill.

Will she get in?

If there’s one thing you can count on always selling, it’s Batman villains, and Poison Ivy is one of the best and most unique. She meddled with fighters from within her cell on the Arkham stage in the first installment, so it seems likely that she’d have figured a way to break out by the time the sequel arrives.

MIRROR MASTER

What he adds to the roster:

For having the second best rogues gallery in the DCU, it was odd that there were no Flash villains in Injustice. The developers have already begun course-correcting by answering all of my prayers and including Gorilla Grodd, but one Flash villain is not enough! NetherRealm should begin by going where the TV show has not yet dare: Mirror Master. He can teleport, shoot lasers, blind opponents with light, and create illusions and duplicates of himself, which could all add up to a really fun trickster-style fighter.

Will he get in?

Mirror on the wall says probably not. Like I mentioned, the TV show seems to be actively ignoring him, and if they’re going to add in more Flash villains beyond Grodd, they’ll probably be better known rogues like Zoom or Captain Cold.

DARKSEID

What he adds to the roster:

He doesn’t so much add anything as he fills the Apokolips-sized, Darkseid-shaped hole in the lineup of villains. He’s the biggest of DC big bads, and has the unparalleled strength, Omega Beams, and durability to throw down with any fighter Injustice throws at him. The villain side will always feel incomplete without him.

Will he get in?

If anyone on this list is a sure thing, it’s Darkseid. Not only is he one of DC’s most well-known villains, he’s also already in the mobile version of Injustice, and is notably the only DC character from its predecessor,  Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, who wasn’t included in Injustice. You don’t need to know the Anti-Life Equation to calculate the odds on this one.

BLACK MANTA

What he adds to the roster:

Just like Flash, Aquaman was missing a nemesis to clash with in the first game. And when it comes to undersea troublemakers, Black Manta is the best there is. Even out of water, Black Manta is a worthy foe for any of the heroes, using his knives, tridents, eye-lasers, and various weapons built into his armor to keep his enemies guessing. And who doesn’t want to see how NetherRealm designs that ridiculous helmet?

Will he get in?

Black Manta is a safe bet. As I mentioned, he fills the Aqua-villain role, which could otherwise only be filled by Ocean Master, but he seems like he’d play too similarly to Aquaman. I’d say it’s a certainty at least one of them gets in, but with the odds leaning towards Black Manta.

CAPTAIN BOOMERANG

What he adds to the roster:

Have you ever played a fighting game with a character whose primary weapons are boomerangs? If you have, please let me know what it is, because I want to play it, but for the rest of us, playing as Captain Boomerang would be a really unique experience. He ideally would play similarly to Green Arrow, with ranged projectiles that you can switch between various types.

Will he get in?

Because of his slightly goofy gimmick and name, I doubt Boomy’s at the top of NetherRealm’s list, but he does have quite a bit going for him. He’s a well-known enemy of both Flash and Green Arrow, and has appeared on their television shows, and of course will be appearing in Suicide Squad later this summer. It's a hard call. Come back to me on this one.

VANDAL SAVAGE

What he adds to the roster:

Vandal Savage brings with him millennia of experience in battle, not to mention all of the pointy objects he’d bring along. Gameplay-wise, Vandal could add a knife-fighting style of combat that we haven’t seen yet, and his combination of ferocity and expertise could provide interesting material for combos.

Will he get in?

He’s not an absolute certainty, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him included. He’s known to fans outside comics, having recently been the main antagonist on CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, as well as the face of villainous cabal known as The Light on the animated Young Justice show. Plus he’s immortal, so he’s going to find his way onto the roster eventually.

CIRCE

What she adds to the roster:

Personally, I thought Ares was kind of an odd choice to represent Wonder Woman’s villains in the first game. But who would be better? Cheetah would play too much like Catwoman, and it would be hard to make Giganta’s powers work fairly in a fighting game. No, if they add another Wonder Woman villain, it has to be the legendary sorceress Circe. Her unparalleled mastery of magic gives unlimited possibilities for moves to the game designers, and if she gets the ability to turn Batman into a pig, this whole game will have been worth it.

Will she get in?

Wonder Woman is one of DC’s Trinity, so getting some more representation for her rogues gallery seems like it should be a priority, since Batman and Superman had nine villains between them. Circe is definitely the best option, and adds another powerhouse woman to the roster with a unique skillset. Barring all of NetherRealm getting stranded on her island, I’d say Circe’s chances look good.

RED HOOD

What he adds to the roster:

Guns. The game could use another gun-toting combatant in addition to Deathstroke, and Red Hood would be distinct enough to not be more of the same. Plus, as a former Robin, Red Hood is very acrobatic and deadly in close-combat. He would be an effective medium-range fighter.

Will he get in?

The only one approaching being as certain as Darkseid is Red Hood. He’s hugely popular right now thanks to the animated film Under the Red Hood, his appearances in the Arkham games, and his own comic book series. His violent personality is a perfect fit for the tone of the games, plus he’s a Batman character, and DC is always eager to put lots of Gotham into everything DC. You can count on Red Hood making an appearance.