Paste comics editorial recently confirmed that 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us may be its favorite fighting game of all time. Unlike Garrett Martin and the rest of our friends in the games section, we’re too impatient to count frames nor are we hardcore enough to watch tournaments—we just like jumping into the pixel avatars of our favorite funny book characters to unleash holy hell. And in that respect, Injustice’s spectacle truly sings: immersive, interactive stages and super moves that have the likes of Aquaman feeding his foes to a great white shark with a trident. Injustice truly nails the God-like aplomb advertised in its title, let alone explored in its sister comic first written by Tom Taylor. The game still serves as an accessible, dazzling and delightfully bombastic distraction to toss at friends and significant others in the wee hours of the morning.
This is why we took pause when the recently announced sequel, Injustice 2, hinted at new players like…Captain Cold. We get it: the Flash villain has a new second life on the small screen, played by hunky Wentworth Miller in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. This game will no doubt incorporate characters who are recognizable to the largest audience across the largest number of mediums.
On the other hand, a dude in an eskimo parka with a gun that freezes people doesn’t quite seem to take advantage of the sheer range and depth of DC’s publishing history. The second biggest comics publisher has been around for more than 80 years, producing a litany of characters who can expand the grandiosity of the first game, even if the uninitiated may scratch their heads at giant plant man and little guys in bowler hats who bend reality.
Steve and Sean went deep and proposed 20 heroes and villains (and one DLC character) who would blow fandom’s mind if they happen to make it to the final roster. (They’re well aware that they probably won’t.) It’s a completely comic-centric take, taking footnotes from the ‘80s Vertigo imprint and absurdist goofballs like Section Eight, but loyal fans would sing developer NetherRealm’s praises like none other for this degree of devotion.