Following yesterday’s confirmation of more new additions to the roster of Injustice 2, the sequel to DC and NetherRealm’s successful fighting franchise, it seemed a good time to take stock of the confirmed characters so far and look at which characters might, or hopefully will, be making an appearance in the game when it launches in May later this year.
The obvious two characters confirmed from the initial trailer for Injustice 2 were Batman and Superman. Considering these two were the leaders of each side of the conflict in the original Injustice it would have been surprising if either of these characters were missing from the sequel. Also, the confirmation of Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman alongside these characters was again hardly a surprise to the roster, given that these three all had important roles to play in the first game, and also the Justice League film will be releasing later this year, and it would seem odd to miss any of these out. Given the gear system announced for this game, and the hints we have had about themed costumes based on certain appearances of each character, Justice League styled looks for all these characters also seems like a logical step for NetherRealm to take.
Alongside these, the another returning character we have had confirmed for this sequel is Harley Quinn, but again given her current popularity of this character in the wake of the Suicide Squad film, the lack of this character in the new instalment would again seem a missed opportunity for the developers. One of the last returning characters confirmed for Injustice 2 is Bane. This one stuck out a bit from the other returning characters that have been confirmed, as Bane is neither confirmed to be appearing in any DC films in the near future, nor does he have that much of a large following, and his character in the original game to me felt somewhat clunky and slow in comparison to a lot of the other playable characters. Given what we have seen of the sequel so far, most of these characters appear to have been given quite the overhaul in terms of controls, combat style and moves, so it seems Bane may also be in line for this, however we will need to wait for some gameplay footage before this is confirmed.
Injustice 2 also has a large host of confirmed characters who will be new to the franchise from this game. So far these characters include Braniac, Black Canary, Poison Ivy, Deadshot, Blue Beetle, Gorilla Grodd, Atrocitus, Supergirl, Robin and Swamp Thing. While the Robin in this game is Damian Wayne, who appeared in the original under the mantle of Nightwing, the appearance of him as Robin in gameplay footage has shown an all new combat style, so classing him as a new character seemed more sensible in this case. Of the new characters listed above, we have yet to see any gameplay footage of Brainiac, but all others have been shown off to various extents. For videos of these characters, make sure to check both the Injustice 2 website, their Youtube channel, and IGN.
Each of these characters looks to bring a new emphasis to the combat in Injustice 2. Unfortunately, I missed sign up for the beta, so have not had any hands on testing with any characters. However, the gameplay footage has shown the various powers of all these characters. Blue Beetle morphs his arms into various weapons in order to beat down opponents, Swamp Thing utilises vegetation to change his shape to attack his foes, Black Canary uses acrobatics and her scream to overpower enemies, Grodd has telekinesis to force characters to damage themselves and Atrocitus uses his rage, and his pet cat Dex-Starr, to overwhelm.
There are two characters who seem to have similar powers to characters from the original game. The first one to discuss is Supergirl, whose Kryptonian abilities bear some resemblance to Superman, although she seems much faster and more technical to play than Superman in the sequel. Deadshot in the footage released so far also reminds me somewhat of Deathstroke, with his bullets being able to zone enemies and damage them while keeping them at a distance. However, this seems much more balanced in the sequel, as many characters can close ranks on enemies, or turn the tables, from range pretty quickly and effectively.
In the latest reveal, Catwoman is confirmed to be returning to battle, and Cheetah, one of Wonder Woman’s core villains, will be appearing on the roster for Injustice 2. On top of all of this, Darkseid has been confirmed as a pre-order bonus, but again no footage has been released of his gameplay so far.
In total then, this has confirmed 19 of the playable characters that will be part of the base game upon release (not including Darkseid). The website for the game also features another 19 blank spaces, although whether Darkseid will eventually appear in one of these is unknown, so this currently implies that we have only had half the opening roster of the game confirmed as of now. The obvious question everyone wants to know is who will fill in these missing slots on the roster. Luckily there have been some hints to the fans.
The first, and clearest, character who has not been officially confirmed is made clear on the Pre-Order page of the Injustice 2 website, where it lists a premium skin for Green Lantern, making the character appear as John Stewart. This therefore confirms a Green Lantern playable character, although there is still speculation as to who this will be. It seems most likely to me that based on the original game Hal Jordan seems the most likely Lantern to appear in game. Either way, the only known element of this character is that the Lantern could be any but John Stewart.
Also, on Twitter an image has been posted by Ed Boon showing a t-shirt featuring the games logo, and a number of character based items, including a Green Lantern, Wonder Woman’s shield, the Superman logo and Flash’s boot among others. The two most interesting items on this list include Dr Fate’s helmet, implying he will be playable in the game, which is something that many fans are happy to see. Also on the shirt is what appears to be a freeze gun of some sort, although there is no clarity to who this belongs to. Most have guessed that this is the gun of Captain Cold, while others believe this indicates Mr Freeze will be coming to the game. Personally I am hoping for Captain Cold, as the first game included a number of Batman characters, and Batman has had a very successful video game franchise of his own, and I want to see a larger rogues’ gallery from more varied areas included in the game.
There is one character that has not been hinted at so far, but who for the sake of this article will be assumed to appear in the game, which is Cyborg. Cyborg played an important role in the first Injustice game, and as stated earlier, the odds of tie in items to the Justice League film seems an obvious move for NetherRealm. That said, missing out Cyborg from the listing would not only provide an incomplete Justice League in the game, but miss out on one of the core characters in this franchise.
Before we look at some more characters that we would like to see in the roster for the next game, there are some names that many may feel are missing from the first game. Online speculation has come up regarding the Joker, Green Arrow, Shazam and Lex Luthor as to whether or not they may appear. Based on the fact that Injustice 2 appears to be set entirely in its own universe, unlike the first game, the return of any of these characters would be surprising based on the fact that most of them were killed either prior to, or during, the events of the first game. This would be somewhat of a shame, as these characters are big names in the DC Universe, but if this allows for some lesser known characters to appear then this seems a worthy trade. What follows now is a list of some of the characters that would be fantastic to see in the roster for Injustice 2.
One character that would be nice to see returning to the game is Sinestro. The leader of his own Lantern Corps, Sinestro played an important role in the first game in terms of his corruption of Hal, and if Hal is set to return to the game as the Green Lantern, this classic rivalry would be a fantastic one to revisit in Injustice 2, particularly with a lack of a Batman/Joker rivalry. However, given the inclusion of Green Lantern and Atrocitus, adding Sinestro should be the limit of the Lanterns that are added into the game, otherwise the variation in characters that made the first game so popular might be limited in its sequel, which would be a shame.
While Sinestro is the last returning character on a list, there are still a number of additional characters that would be fantastic to see appearing in the sequel. First on our list is John Constantine. One of the DC Universe’s most morally dubious heroes, Constantine has had a boost to his popularity after his relatively short-lived television series. His questionable morality aside, he has been shown to be able to hold his own in a fight both with and without the use of magic. His addition to Injustice would add another magic user to the roster, if the Doctor Fate speculation is true, and this would be a fantastic area for the game to explore given the technological role that Brainiac will likely add.
Another character that would be a great addition to the game is Mera, Aquaman’s partner in the DC Comics. Mera is our pick as, given the change to story that has occurred in the Injustice Universe, Aquaman’s failure to secure Superman’s position may reignite the conflict between Atlantis and Xebel. This in turn could add Mera as either a past love interest now turned enemy of Aquaman, or keep her in her original role as an assassin aiming to take out the King of Atlantis. While it would be nice for Black Manta to also make an appearance, the footage showing him during a stage transition makes this unlikely, so Mera is our pick for an additional Aquaman character to appear.
Hawkman is another pick of ours for the game. While Hawkgirl appeared in the original, Hawkman would be a great addition to the roster, especially given his role in the original Justice Society line up. Given Doctor Fate’s more than likely addition, Hawkman could have some interesting dialogues with this character, even more so since Batman brings up Wildcat by name in the extended Black Canary gameplay footage, hinting at the Justice Society’s potential appearance.
Red Hood is also another key pick for the game, and one that is very popular online. Given this character’s popularity, and recent appearances in other DC games, it would seem a shame to miss this character off of the list. This would add further dynamics to the Batman/Robin rivalry in the game, and provide Damian with another potential role model. On top of this, many people are hoping to see Starfire in the game, given her involvement with Red Hood’s team. Again, this would be an interesting new character to add, with her having abilities quite different from most characters confirmed in the game already, and combining her and Red Hood into an already well established and rich game universe would be fantastic. Additionally, this game seems to be adding in a number of alien characters, and Starfire would certainly add to this dynamic as well.
Equally, despite Green Arrow being unlikely to appear, there is the possibility that Arsenal may appear to take his place. Despite being somewhat just a younger version of Green Arrow, Arsenal is a well-developed character in his own right. His addition to Injustice 2 could allow for plot points about the legacy of certain heroes killed in Superman’s Regime rule, while also allowing for a new character to break-through. Equally, given the use of shaders as well as gear, we could potentially be given the option to change Arsenal from a red uniform to a more traditional Green Arrow look.
The final characters on our wishlist would be the Atom and Firestorm. Both of these characters have appeared in Legends of Tomorrow, and this could allow for them to be considered for the sequel more than they may have been for the first game. Both characters would have interesting dynamics given their somewhat unique abilities in the DC Universe. Atom’s ability to miniaturise and grow at will, and Firestorm’s elemental control, would add two unique playstyles to the game. On top of this, both characters somewhat technologically based powers would allow for some interesting options in terms of the gear system being added for Injustice 2.
While this in no means fills the roster based on the available places on the website, these are some of our top picks for Injustice 2’s roster, and ones we hope to see confirmed in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, due to missing the beta applications, we are patiently waiting for the Ultimate Edition to be available for pre-order in the UK, and are eagerly counting down days until May 19th. Let us know your top picks for the roster in the comments section.