NetherRealm’s sequel to the smash it Injustice: Gods Among Us was just released on May 16, 2017. Injustice 2 features nearly 30 characters including fan favorites like Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash. As if 30 characters wasn’t enough, NetherRealm announced they are planning on releasing more characters via DLC for the game. There are dozens upon dozens of characters NetherRealm can draw upon to include in Injustice 2 from all corners of the DC universe. They can use street-level characters, intergalactic warriors, super-powered baddies or mere humans using advanced weaponry. The sheer amount of amazing characters in the DC library is overwhelming at times.
The following list is divided into two halves, with characters who should appear as DLC and characters who should not appear. The characters who should appear offer players something unique that they haven’t seen in a fighting game before. Or maybe these characters aren’t well known but deserve a chance in the spotlight. For the characters who should not appear they may be fan favorites but their powers and skills are not a fit for a fighting game. As a side note, NetherRealm has a history of putting characters in their fighting games from different franchises. All these choices are from the DC universe, so don’t go looking for Mortal Kombat entries.
16. SHOULDN’T: KATANA
Tatsu Yamashiro’s husband and children were killed by a mystical sword called the Soultaker. Tatsu, seeking vengeance for the man who killed her family, took the Soultaker and became the warrior known as Katana. After leaving Japan, she met up with Batman and joined his Outsider’s team. In the New 52 continuity, she was a member of the Birds of Prey.
Katana certainly has had her profile raised in the past few years with appearances on Arrow and Suicide Squad. However, her Soultaker sword isn’t enough to make her a viable character for this game. Injustice characters have robust move sets that give each fighter a unique feel. There isn’t a lot that can be done with a sword aside from different types of strikes.
15. SHOULD: STARGIRL
Courtney Whitmore was a normal teenage girl who discovered that her stepfather used to be a superhero. She donned his equipment, including the cosmic converter belt and cosmic staff, and became Stargirl. Together with her stepfather, who uses a robot suit called S.T.R.I.P.E., they fight bad guys and are members of the Justice Society of America (JSA).
Stargirl’s cosmic belt and staff give her a fun set of powers that could be used in Injustice 2. The belt gives Stargirl super-strength, stamina and speed. The staff lets Stargirl fly, shoot energy bolts, create force fields, and absorb energy. It’s a combination of powers that can go toe-to-toe with any other character. There’s been a lack of representation from the JSA in the game and she would be a great addition to the roster.
14. SHOULDN’T: BOOSTER GOLD
Michael Carter was born in the 25th century and stole technology to travel back in time to make money as a superhero in the present day. Joining him on his mission of fame is a robot sidekick Skeets. Booster Gold usually is depicted as being an ineffectual goofball who is more concerned about his image that actually saving the day.
There’s no doubt that Booster Gold is a beloved character. His goofy personality and friendship with the original Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, has made him a fan favorite for years. However, that same goofiness and lack of interesting powers is what should keep him off the roster of Injustice 2. Just because a character is well-regarded does not mean they are appropriate for a fighting game.
13. SHOULD: MISTER MIRACLE
Scott Free grew up on the planet Apokalips under the care of the evil, ironically named, Granny Goodness. Over the course of his life, Scott trained with the master level escape artists to become Mister Miracle. Throughout his life, Mister Miracle would use his powers of escape to do battle against Darkseid and his followers.
Mister Miracle would be a perfect addition to Injustice for a few reasons. One, Darkseid is already confirmed and Scott Free’s presence would be another New God character in the roster. Two, Mister Miracle can build traps as well as escape from them. He could trap his opponents with other-wordly New Genesis technology. Three, Mister Miracle is known as a skilled martial artist who can stand up against the best of the best.
12. SHOULDN’T: LADY SHIVA
Sandra Wu-San became Lady Shiva during her quest to seek vengeance on those who killer her sister. She realized she had natural talent as a martial artist and quickly turned that skill into a career as an assassin. She has had affiliation with the League of Assassins and Birds of Prey. Lady Shiva is also the mother to one-time Batgirl Cassandra Cain.
Even though Lady Shiva is often cited as one of the greatest martial artists in the DC universe, that does not mean she would be a good fit in Injustice 2. There’s no doubt she could hold her own in a fight against any of the characters in the game. However, since she does not have any super powers, nor gadgets to use, her portrayal in the game might seem too plain or simple compared to the other characters.
11. SHOULD: LIVEWIRE
Leslie Willis was a radio DJ caught in an electrical accident that turned her skin white, hair blue, and gave her supreme control over electricity. Leslie can absorb electricity, emit it from her body like lightning, or even travel through electrical wires. She gave herself the name Livewire and set off on a life of villainy because she blamed Superman for her accident.
Livewire should absolutely be included in the Injustice 2 DLC because of her electric based powers. The first Injustice game featured a mechanic in which players could interact with the background. Livewire could interact with machines in the background of a level to give her an electrical boost. That super power lends itself well to a fighting game, with a variety of ways it can be implemented in a battle.
10. SHOULDN’T: RED TORNADO
When the mad scientist Professor T.O. Morrow created the android Red Tornado, he expected his creation to fight against and defeat the Justice League. Instead Red Tornado gained sentience and made the choice to become a force of good for the world. He since became a loyal and valued member of the Justice League. Red Tornado can generate tornadoes, make violent air blasts, and fly.
Red Tornado has proven time and time again to be a fierce warrior. That said, his wind-based powers are a little too shallow for the context of one on one fights in a video game. There’s no doubt that NertherRealm could make the character work. Their efforts might be better placed on another character who has more variety in their skills.
9. SHOULD: METAMORPHO
Rex Mason was exposed to the light from an ancient meteor that turned him into the super-powered Element Man! Rex found his body transformed into a grotesque mismatch of colors and textures. He gained the ability to change any part of his body into any element from the periodic table. Rex can even combine different elements to create complex compounds.
Metamorpho is a great choice for a DLC character in Injustice 2 because of how varied his powers can present themselves. He can stretch his limbs, turn his hands into weapons, make himself into gas to escape quickly, or even envelop enemies in his body. This variance of abilities would make him a fun character to play as, whose movements are fast and fluid.
8. SHOULDN’T: STAR SAPPHIRE
No less than six characters have used the name Star Sapphire in the history of DC comics. The character most associated with the name is Carol Ferris, the romantic interest of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. At first, her Star Sapphire alter ego was evil in nature, but then she turned to the good side as a member of the Star Sapphire Corps.
There’s a good chance another Lantern Corps character will show up in Injustice 2. The odds on it being Star Sapphire are lower than a character like Sinestro or Kilowog however. The Violet Light Corps members have proven themselves to be highly skilled warriors with their rings charged by love. However, a character like Larfleeze might be more appropriate for the dour tone of Injustice 2.
7. SHOULD: THE QUESTION (RENEE MONTOYA)
Renee Montoya was a former Gotham City Police officer before inheriting the title of The Question from her mentor Vic Sage. As the Question, Renee wears a mask that completely hides her features and investigates mysteries spanning the globe. Renee’s training as a police officer and later tutelage under Sage makes her a force to be reckoned with in the fighting arena.
Not only is she skilled in martial arts, but Renee can also control her body to block out pain or even slow down blood loss! The Question could be a character for players who has lightning fast attacks but lower health pool than the other super-powered characters. This would lend itself to a high risk, high reward style for expert level players to master and show off.
6. SHOULDN’T: PLASTIC MAN
Patrick “Eel” O’Brien was a petty criminal transformed by a chemical accident into a stretchy, rubbery superhero. Plastic Man is able to change his body into nearly anything he can think of, even complex machines like an automobile. His body is nearly indestructible and he can even regenerate lost limbs. He is often shown to be a member of the Justice League of America.
Despite the robust way in which Plastic Man’s powers present themselves, the biggest reason against his inclusion in Injustice 2 is that he is too wacky. Plastic Man is typically characterized by being just a hair shy of completely bonkers. His sense of humor and quips are always extraordinarily silly and that doesn’t quite line up with the more serious tone of the game.
5. SHOULD: PARASITE
The name Parasite has been used by several villains in the DC Universe. The first two incarnations, Raymond Jenson and Rudy Jones, are arguably the most notable versions of the Parasite. They all share the need to drain people’s life force in order to survive. When coming in contact with a super-powered individual, they can absorb that person’s powers for a short while.
Many fighting games feature characters who can copy the move sets of other characters, a la Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat games or Kirby from the Smash Bros. series. Injustice 2 could have its version of that character in Parasite. Players would have to get in close and grab their opponent in order to absorb the life force and/or powers of their opponent.
4. SHOULDN’T: HUNTRESS
Like several characters on this list, Huntress is a name used by a few different people in the DC universe. The two most notable women are Helena Wayne, the alternate-reality daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, and Helena Bertinelli. Both Helenas are vigilantes who typically fight crime in Gotham, wear purple-and-black costumes, and use crossbows.
The case against Huntress’ inclusion in this video game is that there is already a solid representation of Gotham-based heroes and villains. Batman, Robin, Red Hood, Catwoman, Joker and Harley Quinn are all part of the game’s initial roster. While Huntress is a good character, there are so many other corners for DC to draw from. These other characters should have the chance to appear before another Gotham-centric hero or villain appears.
3. SHOULD: MERA
Mera, the Queen of Atlantis and wife to Aquaman, is a formidable fighter in her own right. While some may scoff that she is too similar to Aquamn, what separates her from her husband is her hydrokinesis. This ability allows her to make “hard water” objects that can be used in battle. Whereas in the first game, almost all of Aquaman’s moves where based around his trident.
Mera is absolutely distinct enough to warrant inclusion in Injustice 2 DLC. In the comics, she has a history of entering battle alongside her husband. NetherRealm Studios would also be wise to include Mera as DLC because her profile will be raised once the Justice League movie is released later in 2017. In that movie, Mera will be played by Amber Heard.
2. SHOULDN’T: THE ATOM
There are a few versions of the Atom in the DC universe. Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi are the two most notable characters to wear the bio-belt that lets them change from normal size to microscopic. The white dwarf star-powered belt also lets the wearers scale up to giant sizes. In Legends of Tomorrow, his suit has been modified to include laser blasters.
There have been many times over the course of the comics or TV shows in which the Atom has proven himself to be an amazing fighter. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the character is appropriate for the one-versus-one structure of the Injustice video game. The Atom’s greatest asset is espionage and surprise. Those two qualities aren’t great in a fighting game.
1. SHOULD: MIRROR MASTER
Both Sam Scudder and Even McCulloch have used the Mirror Master identity to become one of the most prominent thorns in the side of The Flash. Each character possesses the ability to manipulate mirrors to make holograms, teleport quickly and even hypnotize people. In the comics, McCulloch uses a mirror gun that can turn people into a flat pane of glass.
The reason Mirror Master is the number one choice to be included among Injustice 2 DLC is two-fold. One is to expand the number of Flash-related characters. The second is because Mirror Master’s abilities would lend themselves to a fantastic character in a fighting game. There’s a lot of wild and innovative ways in which Mirror Master’s powers could be depicted in the video game. Playing as Mirror Master would be an absolute visual treat unlike anything seen in a fighting game.
What are your thoughts on Injustice 2’s DLC characters? Agree? Disagree? Do you want to nominate a character not listed? Let us know in the comments!