Injustice Roster Speculation

Let's talk roster line-ups.  Usually I don't do this but its a Wednesday and I'm trying to find a way to delay doing the three Anime Weekly columns I'm behind on, plus the latest Injustice trailer has me hyped.   DC are my favorite fictional characters after all, and the RPG-esque loot system combined with NetherRealm's penchant for offering decent-sized story modes in their games has placed Injustice pretty high on my list of games for 2017.

To begin with, let's establish some basic facts.  For one thing, NRS has confirmed eleven characters so far: the initial reveal had Aquaman, Atrocitus, Batman, Flash, Gorilla Grodd, Supergirl, Superman, the second set consisted of Blue Beetle and Wonder Woman, and most recently Harley Quinn and Deadshot.  The current boast is that NRS plans on making this the largest roster of DC characters ever in a fighting game, and since the bar for that is currently set with their last game (lol) that would place the minimum size this roster could be at 30 characters.   A shot of the Character Roster screen:

Shows space for about 28 characters.  Now all of this is before you get to DLC, and NRS has been including more DLC with each passing game--MK9 had 4 characters, Injustice had 6, MKXL had 8.  If we're going off that there's a good chance this game will have 10-12.  So that's a total of 40 potential characters for this roster.  WIth that in mind, just below half of the base game's roster has been revealed and just slightly more than a fourth of a potential "full" game's roster has popped up.  That places our numbers at 11/28 or 11/40.  

Having said that, an Injustice T-shirt popped up right after the game's reveal, showing off the icons for multiple different characters including Aquaman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Flash, Harley Quinn, and Atrocitus.  At the time both WW and Harley had yet to be revealed but have since shown themselves to be in the game.  But there are still two characters being hinted at on the T-shirt: Dr. Fate and Captain Cold.

That puts our numbers at 13/28 or 13/40, and takes us out of all currently strongly hinted characters and into the realm of "slight" hints or theory/conjecture.  Now one of the things noticeable about the last Injustice game is that it went for as much synergy as possible for what DC currently had going in other areas of media.  Green Arrow had an "Arrow" costume voiced by Stephen Amell.  Flashpoint was big so they gave Batman a Thomas Wayne alt.  Man of Steel came out that year so one of the DLC characters was General Zod.  These were all very purposeful choices--they included the characters that had raised awareness due to their existence in other mediums. 

Injustice 2 looks to be doing the same thing, with the two breakout stars of Suicide Squad--Harley and Deadshot--debuting shortly after the premiere of the film.  And Captain Cold recently played a major role on Legends of Tomorrow as a lead actor, and going forward will be a "universe regular" for all CW-verse shows.   It's also not a mistake that Supergirl was included in the initial reveal considering her show on CBS that recently got a second season order and a move to CW. Thinking about that, here's a look at who could be the remaining 15 characters for the base game:


Cyborg will be making an appearance as a member of 2017's Justice League.  He'll also be playing a role in 2018's Flash for...some reason or other.  He wasn't killed in the previous Injustice game and they can crib a few moves from his Injustice 1 incarnation, so I wouldn't be shocked at all to see him make an appearance, alongside...

Now Starfire doesn't have any scheduled appearances in any television shows or films, not unless that canceled Titans series somehow gets un-canceled.  But Ed Boon *was* teasing her recently, and she's one of the only two Teen Titans from the cartoon that hadn't made an appearance in the Injustice universe so far.  Between that, and her recently popularity in the comics, she's probably a lock.  If we're alternating between heroes and villains for reveals, I could easily see Cyborg and Starfire paired together.

Reverse-Flash is almost a given as your Flash villain.  I would almost count Captain Cold as the villain for Flash, if Wentworth Miller hadn't gone and made the guy rise up above being just a Rogue to the Flash.  So with that in mind, since this guy was both a major part of season one of the Flash, will likely play a STRONG part in season three, and already popped up in the Injustice mobile game, he's a good choice for an appearance here.   Imagine a more brutal version of Flash--one willing to break bones or suck the air out of your lungs or along those lines and you've probably got an idea of his moveset.

Silver Banshee
And here's my one major crackpot theory.  If we're in need of villains and we're doing the media synergy thing, Silver Banshee is one of Supergirl's major rogues who also made an appearance on her television show.  So it fulfills the media synergy thing while also keeping the delicate hero/villain balance.

Much like Blue Beetle, fans wanted Firestorm in the last game, and he's also played a major role in the CW-verse.  By the time Injustice 2 comes out, he'll have been in two full seasons of Legends of Tomorrow alone. His powerset should be easy enough to work with without being a complete rip-off of most other characters too, though I bet he'll have a Liu Kang-esque fireball toss.   And if you include him, there's a good chance you'll also have...

The Atom
Atom was one of the first major super-heroes to appear in the CW-verse besides Ollie, and he's been a part of both Arrow and a lead character in Legends of Tomorrow. He was also focused on quite heavily in DC's much lauded Rebirth comic book, where he was lost in the microverse.   He's at that point where, no pun intended, he's too small to get his own film or show--but he's big enough to be a lock for an ensemble game like this. The only question here is will they take advantage of his shrinking powers or go full-on armor with lasers and shit. 

We're back into weird territory.  I'd always thought the smart thing was introducing Darkseid in the second game because he's the only threat that could trump an evil Superman.  But since Justice League's major villain is confirmed as Darkseid's lackey Steppenwolf, then Injustice likely won't get ahead of them and introduce Darkseid, but instead will likely go for the tie-in as well.  Expect him to be the game's Ares' type, I guess.

Wonder Woman is down a villain and we've already used up the Ares-type for this game with Steppenwolf.  Her film is basically a World War I story and there isn't a villain from her rogues gallery for it (smart choice), so NRS is free to use who they want.  If not Ares then Wonder Woman really has like two villains: Cheetah, and Circe.  And if they tone down the Bat-focus in this game, then Cheetah's a strong choice.  Basically a Catwoman-type character to replace Selina.  (If its Circe, think Quan Chi-type moves as she's a sorceress.)

Martian Manhunter
Pretty much a lock for a ton of reasons.  He was already DLC in the last game so it's not like they haven't already figured out how the guy works, but also played a major role in Supergirl last season and very well might be a series regular.  And while he won't be in the film coming out next year, he's usually meant to be in the Justice League so one way or another he's a high-profile character that will likely find a way into this game.

Red Tornado
Another shaky guess--Red Tornado popped up in Supergirl last year but only as a one-episode cameo.  Still, he could easily take a position in this game as a wind-powered character with unique abilities and a fighting style that wouldn't be out of place in an Injustice game. 

Red Hood
Joker's version of the Red Hood was a costume for the original Injustice, but recently Ed Boon teased if the real one--Jason Todd--should be in the game.  Given the brief high-profile stint the character enjoyed during Arkham Knight, and the sheer fact that people love the character, I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up as a villain for this game.

Black Manta
Currently, Black Manta's role as the "villain" of Aquaman's solo film is unconfirmed.  ...But let's be honest.  Much like Wonder Woman, when you're talking villains for the guy you really have about two options: Black Manta and Ocean Master.  Whichever one goes in the film, will pop up here.  We're getting way ahead of ourselves as far as tying into films since the Aquaman movie is over a year away even from this series' premiere, but if DC's really aiming to create a cohesive universe then they're almost definitely taking villains from future films and tossing them into this game.

Green Lantern (John Stewart)
I was a little uncertain about including GL.  The first game ended with the evil Hal Jordan being taken away by the Guardians in handcuffs.  Worse yet, there's no synergy to be had here.  The Green Lantern film--IF we get it (presuming DC doesn't fuck up royally with their EU)--is so far down the line you could've released an Injustice 3 by the time you'd need to worry about this.

And there are no plans to introduce him in the Justice League film.  So the only reason I think he'll be included is because he's a pillar of the DC Comics universe for one...and more importantly, Atrocitus is in the game.  He's got to have an opposite number.  But for story purposes I think this time the choice is John Stewart, as much as I wish it were Kyle Rayner.  He's the most well-known Lantern besides Hal bar none, and the rumors are for the GLC film it'll be a buddy cop theme in space starring Hal and John.

Booster Gold
This is a pure fanboy thing.  There's no rumors hinting he should be there, no synergistic reasons--none of that. Basically I love Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle's already in.   (Though it's Jaime and not Ted.) Why not.

Swamp Thing
And a character who belongs to neither side (technically a hero, admittedly) but has been hinted by Boon a couple times to round out the base 15 that we don't know about so far.

Of course, there's anywhere from 10-12 DLC characters to think of, but I think that's getting way ahead of things.  Ultimately Kombat Pack 2 wasn't released until a full year after MK X had launched.   If anything I'd expect four to five DLC characters for the first year and then everything else to be saved for 2018.  If I had to hazard a guess at who'd be included: Joker, Lex Luthor, Captain Marvel, Black Adam, and probably Sub-Zero.   The most downloaded character of Injustice 1 was Scorpion so you know they're going to do that again.   Three of the DLC characters I mentioned are dead as a doornail, but if they don't fit into the plotline because of DLC you don't actually have to answer where they came from.  Black Adam serves no purpose if he's not playing off Captain Marvel, but if you include one in the DLC you can absolutely have the other.

For the remaining 5-7 characters I'd say they'd have a lot to do with whatever DC's got planned for 2018.  There's a Justice League Dark film coming out so they might sneak some mystic characters in the game like Deadman or Zatanna, and by that time we'll be looking at the films for Flash and Aquaman so maybe a Mera appearance?  She fights completely differently from Aquaman and she's a fan-favorite. 

In any case, that's it for me.  Feel free to point out all the characters I got wrong as they get revealed.  I'm personally betting Starfire was just Ed Boon fucking with us so I can see it going off the rails as early as that.  And of course that idea about the Joker makes way too much sense so of course I bet they throw that to the fucking wolves, because people somehow still think that stupid clown matters.


  1. I like this article. Some other characters that may show up "Mr terrific" (black guy...I'm not even joking you gotta have some)and some big brute force character such as "clayface" or "killer croc" (another suicide squad tie in). These more so to round out the pure grappler role in the game as that currently is unslotted.


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