“Riiiiise from your graaaave.”
A new trailer for Injustice 2 was released earlier today, providing some much needed information on the story. Our villain this time around is the evil supercomputer Brainiac, a classic Superman villain who definitely is worthy of the DC heroes debating to unleash the Man of Steel on. There’s plenty to unpack in the new trailer, from the confirmation of new and returning characters, to the art of Supergirl being flanked by Brainiac’s giant head ship. But one thing that’s worth bringing up is if Netherrealm’s upcoming game will stick to comic conventions and bring back dead comic book characters.
Towards the end of the newest trailer, there’s a brief glimpse of a cemetery seen before we get to the shot of Supergirl fighting Wonder Woman. That can’t be a coincidence, and it’s worth remembering the original trailer for Injustice 2. In that, there’s a man narrating about battle as Superman, Flash, Batman, Aquaman, and Supergirl take turns pummeling each other to paste. The final section in particular sounds ominous: “Each time I enter the pit, I emerge, reborn. Put the devil on the other side, and I will show up. Evolved, adapted, and prepared… to fight.” The “pit” in question obviously refers to the Lazarus Pit, a staple of the DC Comics mythology owned solely by Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. While Ra’s doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to just let anyone take a dip in the Pit and come back to life, there is a way to justify bringing back characters into the narrative.
In the comics, Brainiac has advanced mental powers that have allowed him to take control of organic beings, to the point where he can absorb information from them and transfer his consciousness into their brains. It stands to reason that he possesses the same powers in Injustice 2. As mighty as Supergirl is, one Kryptonian can’t be his right-hand woman, so it makes sense that he’d bring back fallen heroes and villains. Let’s not forget that the plot of Injustice began with Superman putting his fist through Joker’s chest, after all. In the comics that cover the five year gap between Joker’s murder and the main plot of the game, numerous heroes and villains were killed. Nightwing was killed by Damian Wayne, Green Arrow was beaten to death by the Man of Steel, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner got his limbs ripped off, and so on and so forth. There’s no shortage of bodies to go through for Brainiac, which brings us to two in particular.
Over the course of the story mode for the first Injustice, Shazam gets increasingly more disillusioned with being a part of Superman’s Regime. Even in the comic, signs of this are apparent, such as when he watches Ragman die. This all comes to a head when Shazam expresses discomfort at one of Superman’s plans and after invoking Lois’ name, the Boy Scout freezes Shazam’s mouth shut, then uses his laser vision to put a hole in his head. Superman murdering a 15 year old boy is certainly dark, and one imagines that Brainiac would opt to bring him back. Shazam is one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe, and it stands to reason that he’d be gunning for some payback in Injustice 2, should he arrive.
The second character is Lois Lane, his wife. At the start of the game, it’s revealed that the Joker kills Metropolis with a nuke and tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child. (Look, this is comics, so just go with it.) In the trailer, we see Superman cradle the dead body of his wife. If Brainiac is going to bring back dead characters, there’d be no one more capable of messing with Superman’s head than his dead wife reborn. While not entirely the same, Injustice 2 could use the current DC Rebirth comic Superwoman as inspiration. In that, Lois gains the New 52 Superman’s powers after he’s died. Super strength, flight, she’s got them all. If that wouldn’t be one hell of a final boss fight emotionally, it’s hard to imagine what else would be.
As the final piece of evidence, well… it’s a game based on comic books. There are few people in the DC universe (or Marvel, for that matter) who die and truly stay dead. The lives lost in Injustice 2 have weight behind them, most certainly. But this is also a universe where Batman can be punched into space and slammed back down to the Earth with very little damage done to his body. It wouldn’t be a stretch for them to come up with a reason to bring back dead characters, whether it’s because they’re fan favorites or because their reincarnated form leads to something interesting visually. Either way, unless all of this is just some elaborate tease for Solomon Grundy to be in the roster, you can likely expect some characters who were dead to show up in Injustice 2.
What dead character would you want to come back for Injustice 2? Let us know in the comments below.