The Many Deaths of Injustice: Gods Among Us
With two games and hundreds of comic issues, the alternate universe of Injustice has given us many casualties. Here are the victims.
Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 are old news by this point. Even for the latter game, the DLC well has dried up and we’re simply waiting for NetherRealm Studios’ next Mortal Kombat game to pop up. Even though interest in the game has moved on, the comic prequel is still being released on a weekly basis and is still making the top ten in digital sales.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. When the first game came out, writer Tom Taylor and a group of artists (mainly Bruno Redondo, Tom Derenick, and Mike S. Miller) launched a digital prequel comic based on the Injustice universe. The comic became a surprise hit and the first volume was followed with an annual issue as well as a Year Two continuation of the series. The digital issues would eventually be released as print issues and later turned into trades. After hitting the end of Year Five, it moved on to a retelling of the game’s story from Harley Quinn’s perspective, and that was followed with a comic prequel for Injustice 2. There’s even a He-Man crossover comic on the way.
That’s kind of nuts.
Sometimes comics based on trademarked properties get screwed over by sequels. For instance, there were comic follow-ups to Aliens that were completely negated by the events of Alien 3. Considering the vast amount of deaths in the Injustice comic, surely the sequel would screw with the timeline.
Shockingly, that’s not the case. With one early exception, all the new characters in Injustice 2 are either ignored completely or simply not killed in the comic. It goes to show some high-quality communication between the writers and developer NetherRealm Studios. Together, the creators traversed the vast and violent landscape of the Injustice universe to carve out stories for most of the popular DC roster. The characters you meet in Injustice 2 have survived the vicious comic book series and are ready to enter the ring.
But what of those who didn’t make it out of that alternate universe alive? There are many heroes and villains who have fallen in order to make way for Superman’s Regime. Here are the victims of Superman and Batman’s great war.
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Injustice 2 Annual #1
Going in chronological order instead of issue order, this one supersedes the rest due to taking part in World War II. In the Injustice universe, there were more differences than the big Superman/Joker catalyst. After all, Lex Luthor was Superman’s best friend. While Superman’s downfall and behavior were well-explained, they rarely got into why Wonder Woman was constantly vindicating his actions and acted so loyal in his quest for tyranny.
In this universe, Diana discovers Steve Trevor on her island, as expected. The situation plays out an awful lot like the Wonder Woman movie, except for two major differences. One, it’s World War II instead of World War I. Two, Steve eventually betrays her and tries to steal the Lasso of Truth to help the Nazis because, oh yeah, he was also a German spy all along. Although he admits that he has feelings for her, Steve loves his homeland more and Wonder Woman responds by decapitating him with the lasso.
Kind of sheds some light on her behavior through the series, even down to holding a candle for an evil fascist boyfriend.
Year One #1
The comic series opens with pure optimism. Superman finds out that Lois is pregnant. He calls Batman over and asks him to be the godfather. Batman even musters up a smile. Then things immediately go to Hell.
Lois and Jimmy are given an anonymous tip about a corrupt senator doing corrupt things at the docks. Jimmy’s there to take photos, but it’s all a setup. The Joker steps out and shoots him through the camera. He then takes Lois hostage.
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Year One #2
The search for Lois becomes immediate and frantic. Batman demands all the Justice League members stop what they’re doing and find her, even though many aren’t aware of her relationship with Superman. Flash discovers the dead body of the Scarecrow at STAR Labs. With the sack removed from his head, it’s apparent that he’s been killed by Joker gas.
Even though Batman identifies him as Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow shows up again in Year Five. Now he’s in Injustice 2. Whoops! We never do get any real explanation for that.
Year One #3
And here’s the lynchpin of this universe.
Superman’s search leads to a submarine. He finds Joker and Harley there, but he also finds Doomsday out of nowhere. Quick to act, Superman grabs Doomsday and sends him into space. What Superman is slow to realize is that he’s been poisoned. The Joker mixed kryptonite with Scarecrow’s fear gas and made Superman hallucinate Doomsday. Superman has, in fact, killed Lois Lane and their unborn child.
Tom Taylor had no choice but to write this sequence because the game made it specific. The fact that he had to do it didn’t sit well with him and he tried to redeem himself when writing the comic Earth 2. In it, that world’s version of Lois Lane is resurrected by having her mind put into a robot body. He jokingly refers to introducing her via her robot body being thawed out as “unfridging.”
Year One #20
For the sake of chronology, I’m going to skip around for the next couple entries for the sake of issues with flashbacks.
Joker rigged Lois’ heart to a nuclear device, so when Superman inadvertently kills her, he does the same to his home. It’s later shown that Lex Luthor (a good man in this world) survives the ordeal because he thinks ahead. He has a speedster on his payroll who is hired to throw him into his bunker in case of such a disaster. Unfortunately, the speedster tries to save others and is wiped out by the blast.
Although she’s never identified, she mostly resembles Jesse Quick.
KID FLASH AND BEAST BOY
Year Three Annual
The Year Three Annual explains why all the other major Teen Titans characters are missing outside of simply saying that the explosion killed them all. When the explosion goes off, only Superboy, Beast Boy, and Kid Flash (identified as Bart Allen) are in Metropolis. Kid Flash is taken out immediately due to running into the blast’s direction. Superboy attempts to shield Beast Boy at the last second, but fails to save his life.
STEEL (JOHN HENRY IRONS)
Injustice 2 #21
During the Metropolis explosion, Natasha Irons is enjoying a romantic vacation in France. She receives a panicked and scrambled call from her uncle, explaining that something terrible has happened. In response to the explosion, he is putting all of their research in a safe place, protected from the radiation. Although he succeeds on that front, the building begins to collapse and the falling wreckage crushes him.
Years later, Natasha would be able to uncover the hidden files and take up the Steel mantle.
Year One #4/Story Mode
The Joker is immediately apprehended. Batman visits him in prison to demand to know why he did all this. Joker admits that he’s grown tired of messing with Batman, so he moved on to Superman, deciding he wanted to see if he could break him. Batman’s all, “You’ll never break Superman because he’s freaking Superman!” but then Superman breaks through the wall and angrily impales Joker with his arm.
Joker’s last breath is his last laugh.
Although the playable Joker in the Injustice game is the Joker from the mainstream DC Universe, his appearance in Injustice 2 is explained as a fear gas hallucination.
Year One #16
Although a Nightwing is on Superman’s side in the game, it’s actually an older Damian Wayne. Batman is sure to point out that Damian murdered the original Nightwing, Dick Grayson.
That puts Taylor in a tough spot because you have to sort of balance the act. He has to kill Dick but not in a way that’s too evil because even the super serious Justice League has to have boundaries at this point.
As the story goes, Superman chooses to remove all the inmates at Arkham and place them in his own secret prison. Batman and Nightwing go to prevent this, but Robin sells them out to Superman. A gigantic brawl breaks out between Superman’s team, the Gotham heroes, and a bunch of Arkham inmates. In the midst of it, Nightwing and Robin have a bit of an argument and Robin responds by lashing out and angrily throwing his escrima stick at Nightwing’s head (something he’s apparently wont to do as he tried it earlier).
Nightwing doesn’t see it coming because he’s busy fighting deranged murderers and gets nailed upside the head. It knocks him out, he lands neck-first onto a piece of rubble and he’s dead in a snap. Robin’s freaking out, Batman’s horrified, and everyone figures maybe it’s for the best to just back off on the fighting and not poke the bear for the time being.
Year One #24
Without the context of what’s been going on, Kalibak hears that Superman’s declaring a war-free Earth and figures it’s some hippy bullshit ripe for the picking. Under Darkseid’s permission, he and a bunch of Parademons invade Earth during a big Superman press conference. When Kalibak sees the anger in Superman’s eyes, he realizes that maybe he made a big mistake.
Superman fries a bunch of Parademons and beats Kalibak enough to make him surrender. Superman won’t have it and smacks him around, demanding he fight back just as an excuse to kill him and make him pay for his crimes. Kalibak strikes against him, but gets put down.
Year One #32
Batman’s team of rebels is mostly made up of low-level folks. The powerless vigilantes like Huntress, Batwoman, Green Arrow, and so on. Since Batman is on the same side as the President, it makes sense that he’d also have super-duper-soldier Captain Atom on his side.
Near the Fortress of Solitude, Captain Atom proceeds to outfight Superman and lets him know that he’s under orders of the United States government to take him down. He wants to bring him in alive, but then Wonder Woman arrives and chops open his neck. Annoyed, Captain Atom points out that he’s about to explode, taking the North Pole with him.
While mocking Superman for no longer being selfless, Captain Atom makes sure to fly to space and drags Superman with him. Wonder Woman follows but the explosion blasts her back to Earth and puts her in a coma for over a year.
Year One #33
This is another bit that’s mentioned in-game and we get to see it play out in comic form.
The whole first volume leads up to this moment. Driven by grief and frustration, Superman’s tried to do what he feels is right. The government betrays him. Batman betrays him. Wonder Woman is gravely injured. Then he discovers Green Arrow in the Fortress of Solitude, trying to pocket some of the “super pills” that Lex Luthor and Superman created (they give people Kryptonian-level strength). More importantly, Green Arrow is in the same room where Superman’s been keeping Jonathan and Martha Kent for their protection and that just comes off as a threat at first glance.
Green Arrow shoots an arrow at Superman and it deflects. It ends up finding its way into Jonathan’s shoulder. It’s that screw-up that finally sets Superman off and he angrily beats Green Arrow to death in front of the Kents.
Although Ollie dies, he does at least fire an arrow with a super pill tacked onto it. It reaches Batman and the others, but Black Canary knows he isn’t coming back.
When Superman comes down from his rage, he refuses to take responsibility and blames Batman for this death as well. The AI ghost of Jor-El apologizes to the Kents for unleashing this upon their world.
As for Green Arrow, the end of Year Two has Black Canary brought to an alternate reality where she died and Ollie survived. The two end up together and return for Injustice 2.
Year Two #2
Green Lantern Kyle Rayner missed out on the whole Superman situation because he was off Earth for an entire year. As he goes back to check up on everything, including his girlfriend (who may or may not be pieces of broken meat in his fridge. We’ll never know), he’s ambushed by the Sinestro Corps.
As he’s captured, Sinestro pops in to say that he’s been paying attention to Earth and is really interested in playing a role. He can’t have Kyle around to interfere, so Sinestro pulls off his ring finger and allows him to suffocate in space. He also has Kyle’s limbs torn off because that’s scarier, I guess.
Sinestro then goes to Earth and allows himself to be Superman’s prisoner, swearing that he’s there to warn him about the coming of the Green Lantern Corps.
Year Two #10
As expected, the Green Lantern Corps are sent to deal with this whole “Earth taken over by an overpowered tyrant” situation. Normally, Superman, Shazam, and Hawkgirl would be able to take on an army of those guys themselves, but the Corps has an ace in their sleeve that nobody expected.
Ch’p the space squirrel may be tiny, but he’s also able to control light on a much tinier scale than anyone else. This includes preventing the synapses in Superman’s brain from working, meaning Superman is completely paralyzed.
Sinestro convinces Luthor to let him free and he saves Superman by blasting a hole through Ch’p’s head. With Superman back in action, the Green Lanterns have no choice but to surrender.
Year Two #15
This one’s morbidly hilarious. To get in the good graces of Earth’s heroes, Sinestro has the Sinestro Corps put the boots to Despero and blast him to Earth. Disheveled and annoyed, Despero finds Sinestro loudly ranting and raving about how Despero won’t hurt the innocents of this planet. Sinestro then uses his ring to force Despero’s hands around Sinestro’s throat.
As Hal Jordan and John Stewart come to help, Sinestro snaps Despero’s neck and sadly tells his allies that it was the only way. Naturally, they don’t question it and think about how much Sinestro’s changed.
Year Two #20
According to Batgirl’s in-game ending, Superman killed Commissioner Gordon at some point, inspiring Barbara to don the Batgirl cowl once again. In the comic, Superman tries to intimidate Barbara into telling him where Batman is, then regretfully gives Gordon the news that according to his x-ray vision, Gordon’s suffering from lung cancer.
Gordon decides there’s no longer a need to lie and lets Barbara know that he’s always been keen to her double lives as Batgirl and Oracle. Using the super pills, Gordon leads Gotham’s Finest to siege the Hall of Justice, all while knowing that the super pill is actually making the cancer stronger and killing him quicker.
Although on his last legs, Gordon is able to stop Cyborg from tracking down Oracle’s whereabouts. He tears out the metal from Cyborg’s face, knocking him out of commission. Then, from the Justice League satellite, he looks at the beauty of Earth and says his goodbyes to Barbara and Batman.
Year Two #23
Batman’s resistance wages war on Superman’s Regime and the Green Lantern Corps is on Batman’s side, albeit against the wishes of all the Guardians except Ganthet. Superman, on the other hand, has the Sinestro Corps at his disposal. There are many casualties on both sides.
John Stewart is in the middle of it all. He’s on Superman’s side, but he’s also a Green Lantern. He doesn’t want anyone to fight. Sinestro tries to coax him into helping out and as John admits how torn he is, Sinestro literally tears a hole through John’s chest.
Sinestro then flies John’s dying body to Hal (who has become a Yellow Lantern by this point), telling him to get John to safety. John dies in Hal’s arms, making Hal a little too emotional to think clearly.
Year Two #23
When a distraught and angry Hal demands to know who is responsible for John’s death, Sinestro says that Guy Gardner did it by accident. Since Guy is the big mouthpiece in the whole “Let’s go get some Green Lanterns to beat up Superman!” concept, Hal freaks the hell out and it doesn’t help that Sinestro’s egging him on.
Guy is overwhelmed and begs Hal to get a hold of himself. Instead, Hal gets a hold on Guy’s arm and tears it off, causing a powerless Guy to fall to his death.
During the Injustice 2 comic, Hal constantly sees Guy standing nearby, cracking wise, as a manifestation of Hal’s guilt.
MOGO AND GANTHET
Year Two #24
As mentioned, Ganthet is in charge of the siege to stop Superman, and considering he’s an Oan, he’s tough enough to smack Superman around. Not only that, but he brought Mogo the Living Planet with him and he’s, you know, a living planet.
The death of a random Sinestro Corps member causes the loose ring to find a replacement in Superman. A pissed off Injustice Superman and a yellow wishing ring are the makings for a pretty bad day and he proves his power by slamming Ganthet into Mogo and pushing them both into the sun.
Yeah, that’ll do it.
DR. OCCULT AND ROSE PSYCHIC
Year Three Annual
The annual issue came out after the entirety of Year Three, but it takes place before it, filling in some of the blanks. Batman hires the two-in-one duo of Dr. Occult and Rose as his agents with the mission of neutralizing Raven and Wonder Woman. Dr. Occult finds and assaults Raven, but she is quick to burn him to death with Hellfire. Rose is separated from the charred body. John Constantine – who had been stalking the mystics – appears and helps take Raven down.
With Occult dead, Rose can’t survive. She fulfills her final mission by using magic powder to keep Wonder Woman’s coma going, but collapses. Her final words are a failed attempt to tell Batman not to trust Constantine. Immediately after, Constantine appears and robs her body of magic trinkets.
JASON BLOOD AND HARVEY BULLOCK
Year Three #3
Batman recruits a handful of magic users to help his cause. The rebels hang out in Jason Blood’s house and start planning, but dumpy detective Harvey Bullock realizes that he’s completely out of his element and tries to leave. Detective Chimp, who mentions having worked with Gordon in the past, gets through to him and convinces him to stay.
All of a sudden, there’s some kind of horrible force trying to get in through the door. Bullock attempts to close it, but can’t. Jason Blood steps in to do the same and begins to summon Etrigan to take his place. Before he can, the Spectre’s energies blast the door back, killing both men in one go.
Year Three #8
Constantine briefly captures Superman with the help of Ragman. The idea is to absorb Superman into Ragman’s magical attire, meaning Superman’s soul will have to spend years helping Ragman fight evil in order to atone. As Constantine points out, Superman’s literally killed a planet, so that might take some time.
Speaking of taking time, the absorbing process takes too long due to Superman’s strength. He’s able to get help from Shazam, who defeats Ragman. Then the Spectre – on the side of Superman in all of this – appears and tears Ragman to pieces while Constantine knows there’s nothing he can do to save him.
Year Three #10
Deadman possesses the body of Shazam in order to save Constantine and talk some sense into the Spectre. He’s confused and horrified when he discovers that Spectre isn’t Jim Corrigan anymore, and instead sees a creepy smile (one of several red herring hints that Spectre is actually the Joker). Spectre pulls out his giant sword and cuts through Deadman, wounding his soul.
Deadman goes to his boss Rama Kushna, who cannot save him. Deadman chooses someone to take his place. In his final moments, Boston Brand transfers his power into the soul of Dick Grayson, who gladly takes on the Deadman mantle.
Year Three #11
Phantom Stranger feels that Spectre’s being a little weird and is interfering with man a bit too much, so he teleports him to space for a heart-to-heart. It doesn’t take long for Phantom Stranger to realize that something’s up with Spectre on a physical level. Spectre strikes against him, strangling Stranger while shoving him through the entirety of Saturn. Stranger sees the force within that’s making Spectre act like this and widens his eyes in horror.
By the way, if you’re wondering, the Spectre is Mr. Mxyzptlk. Hence all the smiling and Joker-like gestures.
Year Three #17
A big battle breaks out between Superman and Batman’s groups, and Constantine points out that this isn’t going to end well. He calls to teammate Klarion the Witch Boy to teleport them out of there, but before anything can be done, Sinestro blasts Klarion to death with his yellow ring. Superman and Wonder Woman yell at Sinestro, which gives Batman and Constantine a moment to discuss their next contingency.
Showing that you either go big or go home, Constantine summons Trigon to distract Superman and friends.
Year Three #18
As the heroes escape, Detective Chimp refuses to follow. As he tells Harley, he was conjured by Klarion in the first place. With Klarion gone, Chimp will soon cease to exist. Harley, who has become attached to the little guy, hugs him until he vanishes.
Man, this story’s been kind of rough on Harley. Everyone she cares for dies on her.
Year Three #21
The rest of Year Three sort of spins its wheels until it gets to the final issue. Once again, Superman’s side fights Batman’s side, only with Trigon fighting Mr. Mxyzptlk in the background. Huntress and Batwoman – both powered up with super pills – team up on Superman until Wonder Woman steps in. During the fight, she wraps her lasso around Huntress’ neck and accidentally tugs on it hard enough to snap it.
Normally, this would just be an instance of killing off a random character because they aren’t in the game and, well, it’s the Injustice comic. What do you expect? Instead, this kill ends up being a bizarre editorial mystery, best explained with the next entry.
Year Four #4
A few years ago, there was a pretty big news story regarding DC editorial. The creative team on Batwoman left in a huff because they planned to have Kate Kane, a lesbian character, get married, or at least engaged, and DC wouldn’t allow it. When it became a big thing, DC doubled down by claiming that they don’t hate GAY marriage. They just hate ALL marriage! Which is stupid for other reasons, but whatever.
Tom Taylor, writer of Injustice at the time, had a one-panel scene showing that in this universe, Batwoman and Renee Montoya (who at the very least were an item in main continuity) are married back as of Year Two. It was rather nice and shouldn’t have been a big enough deal to affect anything in the story.
Brian Buccellato took over during Year Three and, as mentioned, killed off Huntress. Huntress’ death has huge ramifications in regards to Montoya, who goes completely off the deep end. She starts drinking heavily. She calls up an ex to give a tearful goodbye, and goes on a suicide run to kill the ones responsible.
In other words, she’s acting distraught in a way you’d expect from someone who lost their spouse. Over Huntress. Not that they aren’t friends and teammates, but Montoya is far more hurt and broken than when Gordon and Bullock are taken out. She has zero interaction with Batwoman (her wife), and even when Montoya dies, Batwoman barely has any reaction.
In other words, one of three things happened:
1) Buccellato seriously cannot tell Batwoman and Huntress apart, and the editor didn’t catch it.
2) DC were really mad about the insinuation of two supporting characters being (gay) married and told him to switch Batwoman and Huntress’ roles as a way to sweep it under the rug.
3) DC let him know that Batwoman’s planned to be in an Injustice sequel in some form, so no-go on killing her.
Regardless, it’s suspect as hell.
Oh, right. The actual death. Renee Montoya overdoses on super pills and calls out Superman for a public fight, beating on him until her heart gives out.
Year Four #13
Year Four is about the Greek Gods stepping in to clown Superman and take over. This leads to a battle between the gods and Superman’s regime. The heavy hitter is Hercules, who easily defeats Hal Jordan and then fights off both Wonder Woman and Superman, batting the latter into space. Shazam shows up and finally brings the demigod down. Hercules awaits his death, but Shazam refuses to commit murder.
Instead, Superman zooms down from space and does Hercules in win one swift blow.
Year Four #23
Wow, an entire ten issues before the next death?! Damn.
In the end of this volume, both sides of the Injustice conflict join forces to fight the gods. During the battle, Hera decides she’s finally going to take out Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta. Artemis shoves her queen out of the way and takes the blast herself.
Hera shows no regret for the kill and promptly gets taken down by Harley, Batwoman, and others.
Year Four Annual
The annual is a delightful prison break story starring Plastic Man as he tries to rescue his activist son, Offspring. Turns out the Justice League has placed all of the super criminals in an underwater prison with Metamorpho as the warden. Plas sneaks around and gets help from inmate Kilowog, who starts a riot by headbutting Bane.
Superman and his heavy hitters appear outside the glass bubble protecting the prison, and it looks like all is lost. Plas reveals that he’s smuggled all the Green Lantern rings and throws them all out to their users. Outside the bubble, Sinestro freaks out and, despite the warnings of Jordan, blasts through the bubble and shoots through Kilowog before he can be a threat.
That act works against Superman’s side and helps Plastic Man and Offspring free everyone, setting up the big Year Five story that a whole bunch of supervillains are on the loose.
Year Five #3
The Regime’s quest to round up all the escaped villains gets a bit more complicated when Doomsday shows up on Earth yet again. Superman’s too busy trading blows with him, while Yellow Lantern and Cyborg aren’t having any luck fighting Parasite.
Superman gets some unlikely help from Bane, who…puts…Doomsday…in a full-nelson…? Man, I don’t get how that works either, but let’s go with it. This frees Superman up to go bail out his buddies by grabbing Parasite and flinging him into the sun. When the others ask about why Parasite isn’t locked up with the rest, Superman just says he’s a special case and he’s been taken care of.
HEATWAVE AND WEATHER WIZARD
Year Five #10
Two subplots in the first half of Year Five are about the Flash Rogues and Bizarro Superman. Batman recruits the Rogues (specifically Golden Glider, Heatwave, Mirror Master, and Weather Wizard) to help him because they’re honorable enough despite being bad guys. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor’s secretly trying to create a perfect Superman clone to combat the real deal, but the unfinished clone escapes and now believes himself to be the actual Superman.
The two plotlines clash when Bizarro goes after the Rogues, because that’s what Superman would do. During the battle, he begins to realize his own lack of limits, such as initially being afraid of Heatwave’s fire, but then realizing it doesn’t hurt him.
Things get messy when Weather Wizard offhandedly calls Bizarro “Fake Superman.” Bizarro fries Wizard and Heatwave with his vision, and the other two are only saved because Trickster (Alex Walker), who has secretly tagged along, convinces Bizarro that he’s his friend. Bizarro, not really understanding who or what he is, grabs Trickster and flies away to get answers.
Year Five #16
The Gotham detective starts his own anti-Regime group called the Joker Underground to rally against Superman and maybe do some terrorist stuff. Harley and Batwoman show up to tell them not to go about it this way, especially the part where he invokes the Joker’s name as a good thing. They try to talk Bard into altering the group and maybe connecting them to Batman’s Insurgency.
As Harley and Batwoman ride off, Superman arrives, having heard about the Joker Underground. Hearing all these citizens chant the Joker’s name in defiance of Superman and his order, Superman gets downright pissed and mashes on the heat vision, taking out everyone in the building.
Year Five #18
The Trickster tries to help Bizarro figure things out and makes an attempt to teach him how to keep his powers in check. For instance, when Bizarro sneezes, he definitely needs to cover his face, as the alternative almost kills Trickster.
Bizarro takes to the Trickster as his little buddy, but his Frankenstein’s Monster mentality (the movie version and not the awesome DC Comics version) causes him to kill various civilians due to a misunderstanding. Trickster is mad at first, blaming himself for not being able to convey his thoughts better to the big lug, but is able to get over it. He and Bizarro are family. They only have each other, and they’re going to have a great future working together. As Bizarro flies with Trickster in his arms, Trickster tells him that they’ll be best friends forever.
That’s the most blatant death flag you’ll ever see, which is what makes this scene so goddamn funny. A beat later, Bizarro sneezes. This time he remembers to put his hands over his face. It just takes him a moment to realize that he dropped Trickster onto the side of a mountain. Whoops.
Year Five #20
Bizarro brings the Trickster’s carcass to Lex Luthor, begging him to fix his friend. Luthor’s in a tight spot because on one hand, Bizarro will likely kill him once he realizes he can’t resurrect the dead and on the other hand, Superman will figure out that he created Bizarro. Luthor gets Bizarro to enter the Fortress of Solitude, where he has Doomsday waiting. By this point, Doomsday has been mind-controlled to do the Regime’s bidding as the ultimate weapon.
Then Superman shows up, making it a three-way battle between Superman, Bizarro, and Doomsday with Luthor in control. Luthor realizes that he can put an end to Superman right there and now, but decides that he simply can’t murder him like this.
Which…kind of lacks any gravitas when Luthor then has Doomsday snap Bizarro’s neck as a way to cover his tracks. Superman delivers Bizarro’s corpse to Luthor and tells him to do as many tests as he needs to do to figure out just where this thing came from.
Year Five #23
Here’s the thing about Injustice: Gods Among Us: Alfred Pennyworth is the best. He exists to either be Bruce’s awesome paternal figure or to sass Superman. He even does both at the end of Year One, when he takes a super pill and kicks the shit out of Superman for destroying his family. By Year Five, he remains at Stately Wayne Manor, occasionally Skyping with Batman.
Superman visits Alfred to strong-arm him into admitting where Bruce is, but Alfred claims that he doesn’t know, wouldn’t tell him regardless, and proceeds to show off his supreme inability to give a single fuck in the presence of the Man of Steel by casually insulting him and telling him to see himself out.
Rather than just laser him on the spot, Superman gets prisoner Mr. Zsasz to escape and take care of Alfred. Zsasz kills Alfred in a knife fight, leaving Damian to discover the body. Superman figures that Alfred’s death will draw Batman out of hiding in the name of revenge.
Luckily, Alfred’s death is only temporary. In the Injustice 2 comic, Damian gets access to a Lazarus Pit and chooses to cross the other line Batman refuses.
Year Five #28
Flash is having a hard time figuring out his place in the world, what with Superman being a total dick, but also making the world safer. He goes to find Iris, who cut ties with Barry years earlier after his refusal to stand up to Superman. Flash then discovers that she’s part of the rebellion as she and her allies are confronted by Regime soldiers Girder and King Shark. Flash has a crisis of conscience and tries to save Iris and the others, though he accidentally kills King Shark by impaling him through the mouth with a broom. Iris is disgusted by Flash’s actions and the others refuse to trust him. Iris makes her own stand by surrendering to the Regime.
Year Five #32
Hawkman visits Earth at one point because he feels Hawkgirl isn’t fulfilling her hawk alien cop duties by hanging around Superman. Hawkman is sent packing and then gets sent on a mission by Batman to pick up some kryptonite in space. Hawkman earns it by offering Mongul thirty seconds of battle. Rather than bring it to Batman so that Superman could be imprisoned, Hawkman decides to fashion a kryptonite mace, which he uses to punk out Superman until the Man of Steel is a bloody and sickly mess.
The Justice League pops in to disarm Hawkman, but the weakened Superman tells them to back off. Despite being ill from kryptonite poisoning, Superman offers to fight Hawkman one-on-one. Hawkman never stood a chance.
Year Five #36
Mr. Zsasz killed Alfred and much to Damian’s dismay, Batman refused to take his life out of revenge. With Zsasz incarcerated, it doesn’t take long for the prince of assassins to sneak into his cell unnoticed and torture the criminal. He demands to know which of Zsasz’s many scars represents Alfred. Damian finally finishes his work and we discover that Sinestro allowed this to transpire.
For the first time, Hal Jordan starts to have second thoughts.
Year Five #36
I’m not 100% on this one, but I’m going to call this one out as a death. The Wikipedia page for Metamorpho at least agrees with me (I know, I know…), he never shows up ever again, and he’s got two gross, red wounds sticking out the back of his head there. He’s PROBABLY dead.
Batman and Lex Luthor need some schematics on a Mother Box. Deathstroke takes the contract because he’s bored out of his mind in a Superman-ruled society. After taking out dozens of drones, he gets a real main event fight out of Metamorpho. Deathstroke fires a couple metal balls at Metamorpho’s head, but he turns gaseous and they fly through. When it looks like Metamorpho has things well in hand and he’s about to burn Deathstroke to death, the metal balls are remote controlled to bury themselves into the back of Rex’s skull.
Deathstroke is promptly taken down by Raven and Cyborg, setting up his first appearance in the game’s story mode.
Year Five #40
In the final issue of the original prequel story, Batman, Batgirl, and Batwoman are trying to open a portal into another world so that they can bring in some non-Regime versions of the Justice League to help out. While Batman is off dealing with Superman, the two bat ladies are dealing with faulty technology. It’s the usual trope where some world-saving device isn’t working the way it’s supposed to and the only way it can is for someone to sacrifice themselves. Batwoman volunteers.
By the time Superman realizes that Batman is merely distracting him, he flies over and sees the alternate reality portal working. He fires his heat vision at a screaming Batwoman and…that’s all we see. After the fact, everyone involved is teleported to a different setting. Batwoman isn’t stated to be outright dead, but there is some red coloring on the wall behind where she was. It’s not explicitly blood, but…yeah. So much like Metamorpho, she’s probably dead, but it isn’t 100% certain.
Mentioned in Injustice 2
Although Golden Glider survives the comic prequel, she’s still taken down at some point before the crumbling of the Regime. The only confirmed name, Golden Glider is one of various Flash Rogues who are publicly executed by Wonder Woman. This is never outright shown, but it’s explained to be the reason why her brother, Captain Cold, goes from retirement/bartending to joining up with Gorilla Grodd’s Secret Society.
Story Mode/Ground Zero #19
We move on to the actual game’s story and its comic adaptation, where Injustice Batman pulls superheroes from the mainstream DC Universe to help liberate their world. They meet up with Lex Luthor, their man on the inside. As I’ve brought up earlier, Injustice Lex is a good man who has grown horrified at Superman’s actions. At the end of Act II, Lex enacts a plan that should stop Superman once and for all.
Lex defeats Shazam in battle and blows up the Watchtower, which has Superman inside. Lex calls out Superman and aims his arm-mounted kryptonite gun. Right as Lex is about to make the shot, a hurt Shazam electrocutes him from behind, nixing the plan.
Superman tears Lex from the battle armor and is furious that his own best friend betrayed him. Lex spends his final moments telling him that his “peace” is a joke. Superman crushes Lex’s neck and hears the words of onlookers all over as they whisper about seeing Superman kill his buddy Lex Luthor in front of the Hall of Justice. Superman flies off.
Story Mode/Ground Zero #20
The endless betrayals and ungratefulness of the public has finally taken its toll. Superman has snapped, falling farther than ever. He wants to raze Metropolis and Gotham to the ground to prove a point. Shazam – who just saved his life, mind you – calls him out on this and labels it insane, claiming the gesture spits on the memory of Lois.
Superman blows ice over Shazam’s mouth to keep him from using his magic lightning. He then stares at him with his heat vision until two holes burn through Shazam’s hood and he collapses. As Solomon Grundy walks off to dispose of the body, the Flash finally comes to realize that the ends don’t justify the means and defects.
HARLEY’S HORDE (GARY, TERRY, PERRY, JERRY, BARRY, AND LARRY)
Injustice: Ground Zero #18, Injustice 2 Annual #1
These guys aren’t preexisting characters, but they’re important enough that they should probably get a mention. With Ground Zero being a retelling of the first game’s events from Harley’s perspective, it shows that her Joker-based gang of freedom fighters had more going on than what the game’s story mode showed us. Harley has an inner-circle of henchmen with generic names and although she can’t tell them apart very well, she’s basically an inverse Joker by treating them with respect and friendship. After all, she knows what it’s like to be a flunky.
Gary gets killed by the mainstream universe’s Joker during Ground Zero via stabbing. The others go on to shed their Joker threads and instead base their appearances on Harley. They become Harley’s Horde in honor of their boss and help fight the Regime.
Unfortunately, Harley doesn’t keep in touch too much after the adventure. The group still trains just in case, but then get attacked by Suicide Squad members Clock King, Magpie, Killer Moth, and Polka Dot Man, who are looking for Harley. The Horde fights them off, then goes to search for Harley themselves to warn her that people are after her. Before they make it to her secret headquarters, Deadshot snipes them all dead from a nearby rooftop.
Basically, an after-the-fact explanation for why these guys aren’t involved in the Injustice 2 prequel storyline. Boo.
AMANDA WALLER AND RICK FLAG
Injustice 2 #2
With things calming down in a post-Superman landscape, Amanda Waller tries to take advantage by creating the Suicide Squad. Her crew hunts down and captures Harley Quinn before putting a bomb in her skull. Harley laughs the whole thing off because she’s friends with Batman now and solving missing person mysteries is Batman’s deal. When Waller points out that they’re very thorough about cleaning up their clues, Harley just laughs harder because, again, Batman.
As predicted, Batman shows up. Well, not THE Batman. A Batman. A red-eyed Batman imposter shows up to announce that he’s taking over the Suicide Squad operation and opens fire on both Waller and her right-hand man Rick Flag. The silhouettes show two headshots.
Fake Batman turns out to be Jason Todd because Jason Todd is the freaking king of obvious Batman identity mysteries. It’s Arkham Knight all over again.
CLOCK KING, MAGPIE, KILLER MOTH, AND POLKA DOT MAN
Injustice 2 #3
Fake Batman is interested in taking over the Suicide Squad and all, but unlike Waller, there are some members that he doesn’t feel jibe with his unseen master’s vision. Despite Calendar Man (who is treated as a pathetic running gag through the Injustice comics) pleading for his life, Fake Batman taps the detonators on his bomb as well as the bombs for Clock King, Magpie, Killer Moth, and Polka Dot Man. Those four all suffer from immediate head explosions. To Fake Batman’s disgust, Calendar Man’s bomb is faulty and he survives.
Injustice 2 #6
With Superman imprisoned, Bruce Wayne handpicked Dan Turpin as the warden in the world’s most critical supervillain prison. Said prison also has Damian pinned down, until his mother Talia comes to save him. Talia also brings along Damian’s never-before-mentioned sister Athanasia al Ghul, an original character that Talia chose to raise herself.
Turpin shows up during the family reunion and Damian tells him to just walk away. Instead, Turpin tries to call for Batman. Without remorse, Athanasia shoots him dead and they move on.
BLUE BEETLE (TED KORD)
Injustice 2 #10
After a day of training with the new Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), Ted Kord is slightly confused when Skeets, the robot from the future, tells him how much he enjoyed their time together. That night, Batman stops by Ted’s office to offer him a spot on his team of world-helping billionaires to clean up Superman’s mess.
Once Batman is gone, Booster Gold appears, albeit slightly drunk and nervous. He makes it clear that Ted’s time is up and there is nothing either can do about it. Booster tried to stop it himself and spent several years imprisoned in some kind of time jail. Ted puts on his old tights and attempts to fight off the invading Suicide Squad, but it’s no use. Katana chops his hand off and he’s captured.
Ra’s Al Ghul makes an example out of Ted, as well as some other wealthy victims, by having Orca and Killer Croc tear them apart. As promised, Booster appears before Ted in his final moments to comfort him, accept his new role as Jaime’s mentor, and share one last laugh.
Injustice 2 #23
Ra’s Al Ghul has quite the army of soldiers to help him save the world by destroying chunks of it. Not only the League of Assassins and the blackmailed Suicide Squad, but also nature-based characters like Poison Ivy, Vixen, and Animal Man…and a couple surprises yet to be revealed. Their secret lair is also a sanctuary for certain endangered species.
Batman puts together a team to infiltrate the sanctuary to rescue some kidnapped children of heroes. Blue Beetle is supposed to hang back, but he just has to play cowboy and burst into the stronghold during a critical moment where Batman and Ra’s could have presumably talked out their issues. The act kills one endangered animal with a falling shard of glass, which sets off Vixen. Then a big brawl kicks into gear with Ra’s helpless to stop it.
Blue Beetle takes on Diablo and blasts him a little too hard. Diablo can’t control his flames and explodes to the point of wiping out all the animals. Everyone else survives, but it leads to escalation as Ra’s commands the assassination of nearly every politician in Washington DC, including all living Presidents.
Batman is NOT happy with Beetle, to say the least.
Injustice 2 #37
During the prequel run for the first game, it was explained that while some Teen Titans were killed, the others were written off in a different way. Superboy, Wonder Girl, Red Robin, and Starfire attacked Superman early on in his madness. Superman won by puncturing Superboy’s heart in such a way that it was fatal, but not immediately. His ultimatum was to send Superboy and the others to the Phantom Zone, where Superboy wouldn’t succumb to his injuries.
Six years later, Catwoman tells Batman about the incident, so Batman and his crew go to the Fortress of Solitude to release them. Plastic Man ventures in and brings out Red Robin, Wonder Girl, and Starfire, but has to leave Superboy. As Batman and Red Robin are reunited and discuss the need for a new Batman and Robin team, something keeps Plastic Man from leaving the Phantom Zone.
It turns out to be General Zod, who makes himself known by eye-lasering a hole through Red Robin’s chest. Tim dies in Batman’s arms.
Injustice 2 #39
So. Batman is PISSED. Dressed in special mech armor, Batman hunts down Zod and sprays him with the same kryptonite fear gas that started this whole mess.
“I could never use it on Clark. Not after…what it made him do. But you… You killed one of my boys. You should be afraid of me. BECAUSE I’M GOING TO **** YOU UP.”
Batman lays into him for a bit while Zod imagines being beaten up by a judgmental Superman. When he starts to clear his head, the android Amazo appears, under the control of Ra’s Al Ghul. Ra’s knows the threat of a loose Zod and takes care of it by having Amazo catch his fist and then snap his neck so hard that Zod’s head tears off. Amazo flies off with Zod’s head in hand while Batman is left in wonder.
It isn’t all death and dread, at least. Using Zod’s headless body, Batman gets Dr. Midnight to perform heart surgery and give Superboy a replacement.
Injustice 2 #48
Ra’s uses Amazo as a way to wipe out towns and cities worth of people while leaving the animals and plants mostly untouched. Amazo is unleashed on Delhi, which leads to a big team-up where Batman and his allies are joined by Wonder Woman and Black Adam (with Flash secretly running around saving people, going against his probation). Of Ra’s Al Ghul’s faction, the group of Damian, Jason Todd, Vixen, and Animal Man decide that Amazo’s rampage was going too far. They find Professor Ivo and demand he stop his unbeatable robot.
Ivo desperately tells them to leave him be, as Ra’s has his family captive and will kill them if he steps out of line. Jason explains the rough truth that his family had already been killed in a failed escape attempt. Horrified, Ivo agrees to help exploit a bug in Amazo’s system that will slow him down.
Athanasia gets wind of what is going on and threatens to shoot Ivo if he complies with the rebels. Ivo remarks that he has nothing left to live for and presses enter to finish his hacking. Athanasia shoots him dead in response.
Injustice 2 #48
During the great battle, Damian calls in Supergirl for help, even though her existence is only known to few. Supergirl grabs Amazo and brings him to the moon. Amazo overpowers her at first, but between Ivo’s tampering, a surprise assist from Blue Beetle, and Damian broadcasting directions, Supergirl is able to turn the tide. She pours on intense heat-vision followed by intense ice-breath to weaken him before punching his head into scrap.
She asks Blue Beetle to keep her actions a secret and allows him to take credit.
Injustice 2 #49
Anthanasia is not very happy about the betrayal, so she calls upon the Suicide Squad to catch the traitors before they can escape. Jason and Vixen get out of there and Damian gets captured. As for Animal Man, his eagle form struggles against Man-Bat, gets tangled in a Poison Ivy vine, and then a Deadshot bullet to the head finishes him off.
Tom Taylor really should have personally told him that that was going to happen.
Injustice 2 #53
Ah, Tomar-Re. The most plug-and-play throwaway Lantern there ever was. I’m sure he’s done something important at some point in his existence, but all I’ve ever seen is him being used as a stock Green Lantern when you want to use an alien but you don’t want it to be someone too major.
Anyway, he’s investigating some kind of disturbance on the Green Lanterns’ prison planet and comes across Red Lantern kitty cat Dex-Star, who quickly slices his throat open.
VANDOR AND B’DG
Injustice 2 #61
Not only do the Red Lanterns wreck shit, but Atrocitus adds Starro the Conqueror to their ranks. The cosmic starfish then goes on to infect various Green Lanterns with rage starfish that puts them under its spell. This includes the Guardian Sayd, making a bad situation much worse.
Despite the pleas of Green Lantern B’dg, Sayd does not give in to the “remember who you are” trope and straight up vaporizes B’dg and Vandor.
Injustice 2 #64
After the events of the first Injustice game, Sinestro isn’t doing so great. Hal Jordan hates his guts and not only are they in space prison, but his warden is his own daughter Soranik. At one point, Soranik wants to discuss her mother’s death, but Sinestro chooses not to delve into it other than expressing that he didn’t kill her. Soranik figures that her mother chose suicide over a life with Sinestro and Sinestro responds with silence.
When the Red Lanterns attack, Soranik is taken over by Starro. Sinestro insists on getting a green ring and is granted one due to how desperate the situation is. He shows his worth by saving Hal’s life and inspiring him to unite the Corps against their foes. He also tears the starfish off Soranik’s face…at the cost of taking an impaling through the torso.
Dying in front of his daughter, Sinestro admits that he was the reason her mother killed herself and wished he could have been a better man. As he dies, his ring goes to go find a replacement, finds its way into Soranik’s hand, and repeatedly announces that the replacement is already active.
Injustice 2 #64
Don’t know who Veon is? Don’t worry about it. Throwaway Red Lantern, basically. Here, he blasts Starfire, which leads to Superboy and Wonder Girl giving chase. Before the fight can happen, Brainiac and his gross muscular system skull borg goons show up out of nowhere. Veon ignores his Teen Titan foes and instead picks a fight with Brainiac’s crew. He immediately pays for it with a fist through the side of the head.
Injustice 2 #66
Metron has Blue Beetle kidnapped to recruit him into destroying Starro, as a previous Scarab host succeeded years before. As Beetle, Booster Gold, and Skeets make their way to facing Starro, Booster has a stray memory of seeing himself floating in space with someone holding his hand. He ignores it and presses on.
Jaime asks his Scarab how it defeated Starro the first time around and finds out that it means separating from the Scarab, having the Scarab attach itself to Starro, and zapping it with energy to the point of exploding. Jaime is set to sacrifice himself, but Booster won’t allow it. He gives Jaime his oxygen mask and has Skeets send him away.
Booster floats in the cold void of space with no air and a giant starfish creature about to blow up next to him. Suddenly, a portal opens to reveal a younger Booster Gold along with Ted Kord, dressed in his Blue Beetle tights. As Ted tries to explain, at some point earlier on in Booster’s life, he figured out how to manipulate time travel so that even if the two of them were fated to die at certain points, they could still get a couple years of extra time together before that. Presumably, they would somehow forget about all this.
Either way, Ted gets to return the favor by being there for Booster in his final moments.
Injustice 2 Story Mode
Getting into the actual game’s storyline, Grodd leads the Secret Society of Supervillains, though he is secretly working under Brainiac. Late into the story, he takes on fellow kings Aquaman and Black Adam. While the player gets to choose which one beats him down, the aftermath is always the same. Aquaman jams his trident right into Grodd’s gut. Grodd weakly warns them about Brainiac’s power and merely receives another trident stab for his troubles.
Injustice 2 Story Mode
Dr. Fate doesn’t have much to do with story mode for Injustice 2. He warns Black Canary and Green Arrow that shit is going to go down, but then he vanishes until Act III. There, with Superman and Batman teaming up and searching through Brainiac’s ship, Dr. Fate appeares before them and warns them that their war has brought chaos across the universe. The Lords of Order are in support of Brainiac, as he’ll bring order across reality.
After losing a fight to Superman or Batman, Fate’s helmet falls off. Superman crushes it, cutting off Kent Nelson’s connection to the Lords of Order. He starts rambling about how the reunited World’s Finest could bring order to the world, but then Brainiac has him impaled with a giant metal wire. The wire retracts into the wall and Fate’s body melts into it.
So with all that carnage going on, what can we take away from this? Simply, put: there’s nothing stopping NetherRealm Studios from bringing in Larfleeze.
Gavin Jasper still thinks the lack of Booster Gold as a playable character is a travesty. Follow Gavin on Twitter!