Right on the heels of finding out about the new Black Panther stuff, I was treated to something quite surprising: a small series of DCU Character Cars based off of the Injustice 2 video game!
I’ll venture that most of you have probably at least heard of Injustice 2 (or its predecessor, Injustice: Gods Among Us) but just in case you haven’t, it’s a video game…a fighting video game. You know, a couple of guys square off against each other and punch and kick each other for a couple of rounds. It’s made by the same guys who’ve been responsible for Mortal Kombat the last few years, so the quality is indisputable. Yet it shouldn’t be thought of as just replacing Scorpion with Batman or Kitana with Wonder Woman – no, the creators were eager to develop a system different than that of the MK franchise. Of course they didn’t want to experiment within the MK series and risk alienating fans (I personally think the overall “system” of fighting in MK is the best in the genre) so they used their new-found connections with Warner Bros. to bring you a DC-based game of cosmological proportions.
With the depth and flashiness of games nowadays, hitting each other for a few seconds can seem kind of…weak. For that reason, a strong story needs to be at the crux of any worthwhile fighting game. And instead of having good vs. bad making a fight between, say, Batman and Superman a totally moot point, Injustice (the series as a whole) gets around this by digging right into the DC Multiverse from the outset. Basically there is “our world” as we know it in the main DC continuity. However, there’s an alternate universe whereby Joker blows up Metropolis, kills Lois Lane in the process, thereby eliciting the wrath of Superman, who summarily executes the clown, and consequently develops this sort of “New World Order” where the superheroes essentially “rule” the “dumb humans who don’t know any better.” Some heroes defect and join Superman’s ultimately oppressive regime while others stay hidden for fear of punishment and death. And by this token, some villains flip as well, finding Superman’s brand of terrorism too much for them.
I hate to be so long winded, I just wanted to paint a picture of Injustice 2 as you enter into it. To summarize, “regular” Earth’s Batman with the help of both heroes and villains from both universes imprison “other” Earth’s Superman and his cohorts, though they are soon left with the difficult decision of whether or not to free Superman in order to assist them with an impossibly powerful antagonist. The layering of the universes can get a little confusing, but the second game in particular takes a lot of this pressure off the player by staying with one version of the character most if not all of the game.
What I really like is that the good guy/bad guy line has been completely redrawn. There is some definite gray area, but for the sake of simplicity, they can easily be sorted into good and bad factions. Guys (and gals) like Superman, Wonder Woman, and a Damian Wayne Robin are thuggish villains, while Batman and his group of rag-tags fight from the shadows, including Harley and Catwoman. Hal Jordan also exists in both universes – one as a Green Lantern and the other as a Yellow Lantern.
Anyway, it’s a fun game, and if you like fighting games, you should definitely give it a shot. There are constant costume upgrades to unlock and while the bright, flashy colors of the DCU still exist in Injustice 2, there’s an over-the-top brilliance to them that make our characters feel larger than life. I still think matchups like this are kinda silly because really, who could best Superman in hand-to-hand combat without specialized biology or technology? He could just grab you and fly your ass up into orbit until you suffocated. Wrangle yourself free? Congratulations, you’ve still got about 1,000 miles between you and the ground. What about the Flash? He could just dodge your blows and smack you back before you even blinked. You get the idea…
As for the Character Cars, Hot Wheels has released a small set for the occasion. The corner has them labeled “1 of 5,” “2 of 5,” etc. except at the moment we do not know who 5 of 5 is! And wouldn’t you know, I still can’t find a picture of the back of the card to possibly gather more info.
The others are:
- 1 of 5 – Batman
- 2 of 5 – Superman
- 3 of 5 – The Flash
- 4 of 5 – Supergirl
If we’re going based on importance in the storyline, I guess I feel like Wonder Woman should take the next spot, but then again we’re running mighty close to the Justice League line of recent. What do you think?
When looking at these 4, I have to wonder if Hot Wheels is running dry on ideas. Each of these is a recycled shape: Batman from Armored Batman, Superman from the old-school Superman, The Flash from the most recent Justice League Flash, and then Supergirl straight from the DC Super Hero Girls version of Supergirl (and itself highly derivative of the original Superman). Don’t get me wrong, the paint jobs really bring these things to life, giving them a very tech-y, futuristic look with some great juxtaposition between light and dark. But…but…couldn’t they just implement these new color schemes on brand new body designs? Makes me even more curious about that 5th car though…makes me also wonder if there’s a secret “chase car” (a sort of “secret 6th”) vehicle too…
I haven’t found any of these in stores yet and there aren’t a whole lot on eBay, but a set like this should become relatively common before too long. But damn, of all the characters available to play as in Injustice 2, I wish they’d pepper in some of the lesser known characters (and of course villains!) – I’m always lobbying for Scarecrow and Poison Ivy – but also guys (and gals) like Black Manta, Enchantresss, Atrocitus, or Gorilla Grodd. And hey, Hot Wheels, quit snoozin’ – make Luthor, Brainiac, and Nightwing. Yes.
And that, they say, is that! Holla back if you get a scan of the back or find out what numero 5 is, or whatever! Just be sure to keep me in the loop!
And don’t forget to take a look at some recent news that’s dropped: