The Joker is dead in the Injustice comic books and the first Injustice Gods Among Us video game.
Injustice 2 holds one of the largest DC Comics character rosters in a videogame, but The Joker’s presence as a playable character is troubling to gamers.
In the DC Comics Injustice comic book/game series, a vengeful and murdering Superman kills The Joker after tricking him into killing his wife and unborn child. The horrific event pushed Superman to create a world under his regime, and forced the spit of Justice League members who either follow under Superman or resists the regime with Batman. (You can read more on this blog post).
The first Injustice game made the Joker an intricate figure in the story. Without the Joker’s evil ploy to trick superman, the Regime wouldn’t emerge, and If the Joker successfully triggered a nuke to explode at the center of metropolis, millions of people would have died. As you may know, we don’t see the Joker succeed in our heroes’ universe, but he does succeed in the alternate universe (i.e. bad Superman).
Injustice 2 doesn’t need the Joker because, well, he’s dead. The better approach to the Joker was making him into our universe’s joker who somehow escaped and seeked to finish what his alternate universe counterpart started. But he’s instead given one scene, while playing as Harley Quinn, as a Scarecrow fear toxin induced illusion. Disappoint.
Even with the in depth gear system that’s unique to Injustice 2, getting gear for the Joker is almost like having a Shazzam shader for Black Adam….. it’s almost unique but not as nostalgic. Shazzam was another victim of Superman’s rage but isn’t a established character. Injustice 2 follows the event of the alternate universe under Superman’s Regime and the days after his imprisonment, so some characters who made a major impact, should have made an appearance in the story mode.
Netherrealm and WB may have missed the mark by choosing to place the Joker in the game, with all the hype on Harley Quinn on Red Hood, but there are about 6 other DLC characters still unknown to players.
In light of the Joker’s strange appearance, here are some better choices for characters that needed to be in the game on release day.
Martian Manhunter is said to come from Mars, but survived after the mass extinction his his race. As a refugee, he comes to earth able to shape shift and blend his way through life in human form. Martian Manhunter would join the Justice League and take Earth as a second home not to be destroyed like family on Mars.
In the Injustice Gods Among Us comic book series, Martian Manhunter doesn’t join Superman’s regime. While undercover as Hawkgirl, another league member turned rouge, Martian Manhunter was able to help Batman know detailed information on Superman’s plans. With his identity discovered by Robin (Damian Wayne), Martian Manhunter attempts to neutralize Wonder Woman by shape-shifting inside of her body and cutting off her air supply. Superman then vaporizes Wonder Woman with his heat vision, exploiting Martian Manhunter’s weakness, and vaporizing his body.
Game developers had the right idea to add Martian Manhunter as a DLC character in the first Injustice game, but it’s unclear if he will make a return in Injustice 2.
Sinestro is the leader of the Yellow Lantern Corps and villain to Green Lantern hero Hal Jordan. The first Injustice game utilized the rivalry between the two lanterns and gave a glimpse into how Sinestro joined forces with the tyrant Superman. We don’t see exactly how Sinestro would turn his rival into his friend, but the Hal Jordan of this universe is seen using a yellow lantern instead of his green lantern.
Injustice two gives players a glimpse into how events in the Injustice world took place but don’t show how Hal Jordan was turned to Sinestro. The comic book series shows a deceiving Sinestro playing at Green Lantern’s vulnerability when John Stewart was killed. Sinestro blamed Guy Garner, another green lantern, for Stewart’s death and pushed Hal over the edge. He would help eliminate the Green Lantern Corps members while in battle and earn the yellow power lantern of fear.
Although these character shared similar playstyles, sinestro played a key role in the story and faced defeat after the first Injustice game. His return could bring three lantern corps members in one game.
Huntress has taken many names in different DC Comics Universes, but her demeanor is that of a detective, weapons expert, and master martial artist. Huntress helps Batman fight against the regime in the Injustice Comics and sacrifices herself to help other team members, including batman, escape with the super pill necessary to rival that of superman. More women figures in Injustice that impacted the story should be recognized and not simply used to balance out the boy-to-girl ratio. Huntress has crossed the line between hero and villian, but still stands as a valuable asset in the Injustice Universe.
Gone! Gone! — the form of man — Rise, the Demon Etrigan!
As another character in the DC Universe bound by magical powers, Etrigan would best fit in Injustice 2 to balance the magic wielding characters. Etrigan is a demon infused to the man Jason Blood and only comes when the poem of etrigan is said (the paragraph above). If Scarecrow could make an entrance with literally no superpowers or extensive combat training, a demon raised in hell should be a no brainer.
Plastic Man is one of the more elastic choices to join the Injustice 2 character roster.
Tom Kenny is Plastic Man and allowed to change his shape, stretch, or warp into any form imagined. As one of the far less brooding heroes and more of a comedic relief, Plastic Man can be one of the most creative and challenging personas. The Injustice comic series sure included him and gave him the pivotal role of returning all the green lantern rings to the imprisoned wielders.
Plastic Man sneaks into a secret base created with the help of Superman’s Regime to imprison those who oppose The Man of Steel. Plastic Man’s son gets caught rebelling against The Regime and becomes imprisoned. While taking the form of The Flash and infiltrating the old Justice League watchtower, Plastic Man finds his son and the other imprisoned Green Lanterns that can help fight against Superman. His plan goes well and helps Batman in his fight against The Regime.
Plastic Man needs to be in a videogame and in the Injustice 2 roster as an essential story character. Plus his appearance in the Super Powers Team television cartoon show earns him leverage over the other characters.