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Comic Book / Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe

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Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe is an 2018 miniseries which, if you couldn't guess from the title, is a Crossover between Injustice and Masters of the Universe.

After Prince Adam freed the kingdom of Eternia from an Evil Knockoff, he and his allies are recruited by Batman's Insurgency to defeat the Fallen Hero-turned-Evil Overlord Superman.

The series is written by Tim Seeley (writer of Green Lanterns) and drawn by Freddie E. Williams II (artist of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

It is more-or-less a sequel to He-Man/ThunderCats.

Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe provides the following tropes:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Shazam grants He-Man his power on top of his own. This allows him to kill Superman.
  • Ambiguous Situation: There are two separate Batmen in this continuity, one currently leading the Insurgency and another enslaved by Superman. A later issue confirms that the former is Damian, the disgraced Robin and son of Batman.
  • The Atoner: Damian Wayne has taken the Batman mantle after Superman's victory to make up for his actions as a member of the Regime.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Just like in the video games, Superman is the main villain whom Batman recruits He-Man to help fight against. However at the same time, Darkseid stages an invasion of Eternia while its champion is in another world. And then Skeletor enters into the midst when he takes Shazam's power for himself and engineered the entire crossover's events (arranging He-Man to fight Superman and Darkseid's invasion) to get inside Castle Greyskull. At the end, Superman is the last standing opponent having eliminated the others and turned into the biggest threat of all.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Darkseid and Superman are dead, He-Man stops Superman from using the Anti-Life Equation to rewrite the Multiverse and saves both Earth and Eternia at the end. Castle Greyskull is rebuilt, the Regime is dismantled and the Justice League is restored. However, several people died including Damian and many of Stratos' people (including his sister), the Apokoliptians evade justice by fleeing to their planet and are now under the control of Hordak, who has Atrocitus at his side, and they found the Horde Corps. Supergirl is also a lot harsher and brutal than the one we saw before, making unclear if she can be trusted to restore the ruined legacy left by her cousin.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Regime now makes use of brainwashed minions to enforce their will such as Batman and the Suicide Squad through Brainiac's technology.
  • Call-Back: Superman kills Skeletor the same way he did the Joker - by impaling him through his chest with his arm.
  • Continuity Nod: Several individual Arcade Ladder endings are said to be canon alongside the Absolute Power ending in the story mode such as Robin becoming the new Batman, Cyborg implied to have become a good guy and Atrocitus being exiled from the Red Lantern Corps.
  • Control Freak: Superman is a bigger one than he used to be. He now monitors civilians very closely for any sign of dissent via Coluan technology and now thought crimes are considered worthy of punishment. He also demolished Metropolis right back to the state it was after the Joker's detonation to serve as a reminder for the world not listening to him. When he realizes that he is fated to lose Lois one way or the other even with ultimate power at his disposal, he goes full-blown Darkseid, wishing to spread the Anti-Life Equation through every Universe to make sure "everyone is saved".
  • Crapsack World: Earth under Superman after he fused with Brainiac tech turns out to be even more repressive than the first Regime established in Injustice: Gods Among Us. For one, people are being constantly surveilled by a brainwashed Batman and if anyone even thinks about stepping out of line, Superman sends his Suicide Squad led by Wonder Woman to dish out the punishment. Also despite having Metropolis rebuilt, he decides to destroy it once again to serve it as a reminder. Death seems to be the only escape, or so one poor girl thinks so, but it's revealed in the same scene that Superman made suicide illegal and the superheroes under his control will stop you from killing yourself just to make you wish they had let you die.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Seems like the tables have turned and Superman is the one who has contingency plans against Batman and his Insurgency now, since the Regime's base is programmed to counter any Insurgent's abilities. This includes enlisting the Rot (yes, that Rot) to ward off Swamp Thing and Zatanna. When he actually confronts He-Man, he straight up tells him that he scoured the Multiverse for potential threats and found him a low priority.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He-Man with the power of Shazam effortlessly defeats Superman and kills him.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The story follows one of the endings in Injustice 2 where Superman turns Batman into a brainwashed minion. It also suggests that Damian's Ladder ending, in which he gets over his baggage and takes up Batman's mantle, did occur.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Darkseid allows the Shazam powered Skeletor to stab him in the chest, leaving him open to a blow that defeats him.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Skeletor, having made his way to Earth, has thrown his lot in with Superman and the Regime. Except he’s really working as a mole for Darkseid. Except he’s really biding his time to screw both of them over for his own ends, using Superman’s access to relics and Darkseid’s assault on Eternia to his true goal, fashioning his own Power Sword embued with the power of the wizard Shazam so he can take Castle Grayskull for himself.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Adam kills Darkseid. For good.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: To demonstrate how freaking insane the Regime has become, in the first two issues alone Wonder Woman tortures a kid because he badmouths the Regime and arrives to the site of a suicide attempt to attack the suicidal girl, because suicide is illegal under Regime rules (which makes one wonder if she would stop the attempt and then give the girl a Fate Worse than Death or she would do that to the poor girl's ghost or something).
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After defeating Bane and Copperhead, He-Man steals their uniforms so that both him and Teela can bypass the Regime's defensive mechanism.
  • Dude Magnet: As usual, Starfire. The third issue has Fisto, Sy-Klone and Clamp Champ throwing themselves at her feet in hopes of becoming her "companion".
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Other heroes AND villains are skeptical about He-Man's capabilities, but he soon proves his valor and smarts.
    • Teela is always sassy, but she's particularly mean about Adam's ability to take care of himself. As Adam describes, Teela also becomes very bossy with him, a thing that didn't happen before she learns he is He-Man.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After years of Regime rule, Brainiac's invasion, and the Regime's return, Earth's remaining heroes finally get something like a happy ending now that Superman is dead, Wonder Woman is imprisoned and crippled, and there appear to be no remaining Regime remnants. Superman might have gotten a happy ending himself, since he finally gets to be with his family.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: When He-Man is confused about the concept of a "reporter", Zatanna offers her help to explain and gets...touchy (Teela's expression is priceless). It's subtle, but the magician has her eyes on Adam for the whole mini series.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Prince Adam deposes a tyrant who was popular among the people of Eternia, and when the public jeers at him, he walks off despondent. It's exactly what pre-Regime Supes would have done, and the opposite of what post-Regime Supes would do. The Insurgents immediately realize he's their man.
  • Fish out of Water: Despite his mother being from Earth and him being half-human/half-Eternian, He-Man is naturally out of his depth when visiting her planet since he doesn't know what a reporter is. What is even more shocking to him is that Earth under the One World Government is nothing like the world she told him about.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Despite being originally a member of the Regime, Cyborg is among the Insurgency led by Batman for unknown reasons. Batman himself is revealed to be Damian Wayne, the previous Robin turned Superman's protege.
  • Immortal Breaker: As it turns out, the Sword of Power combined with the Orb of Power's strength is one of the few things that can permanently kill Darkseid by converting him into pure knowledge to be stored in Castle Grayskull.
  • Interrupted Suicide: In Issue #2, He-Man stumbles upon a woman trying to kill herself by jumping off a building. She is upset that he intervened because her suicide attempt constitutes as a thought crime and the Regime's enforcers are sent to punish her, though He-Man fights them off.
  • Jumped at the Call: With He-Man abiding by a strong sense of justice, naturally he would agree to help Batman out.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: This comic assumes the reader has played or is familiar with the plot in Injustice 2 since it picks up after the Absolute Power ending.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: By Injustice 2, Superman killed Billy Batson, aka Shazam. There were mentions and hints about the fallen magic hero and/or his power along the issues, and even Skeletor used the powers of the old wizard Shazam to fight Darkseid. In the last issue, Adam temporarily becomes Shazam and finally defeats Superman for good, which is both a rematch to He-Man AND, indirectly, to the penultimate holder of Shazam, Billy.
  • Meaningful Name: The woman saved by He-Man in Issue #2 is named Regina Taylor. When she becomes Shazam's newest champion, she becomes known as Queen Marvel (Regina is Latin for "queen").
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A possible albeit deadly serious 'gag' for Adam taking on the powers of Shazam!, since both He-Man and Shazam! had TV series put out by Filmation.
    • Teela has a ponytail like her incarnation from the 2002 series
    • Superman's ultimate plan to remake the universe from scratch is basically what Parallax tried to do in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!.
  • Nature Spirit: Mossman, who like Swamp Thing, is connected to a version of the Parliament of Trees. This connection lets him figure out that Swamp Thing is telling the truth when his group asks for He-Man’s help.
  • Neck Snap: Wonder Woman kills Damian Wayne this way with her lasso.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Darkseid straight up calls Superman an aspirant version of himself since he became even more power-thirsty of a control freak than before. Superman tries to deny it, but in the last issue, the Man of Steel proves him right by wanting to use the Anti-Life Equation to control all of reality to save Lois and his child.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: A reformed Damian is killed by Diana’s lasso snapping his neck in front of his father Bruce. With this being Injustice, Bruce has already outlived Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, too.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The reason why Batman recruited He-Man and his allies to fight against the Regime is that at this point, Superman has a counter-measure for any and all superheroes on his Earth but not for any outsiders like the Eternians. Subverted when Superman admits knowing about potential threats across the Multiverse and he is aware of what He-Man can do. Double Subverted when He-Man beats Superman anyway, and Superman only regains control thanks to Darkseid and Skeletor.
  • Out of Continues: Killing Darkseid for good is a nigh impossible feat, requiring a very specific weapon to do so. It turns out the Power Sword and Orb of Power's combined power is one of them, removing his essence after Adam kills him with it and turning him into knowledge which is stored inside Castle Grayskull, permanently killing him.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Orko, as per usual. There are two main reasons why he's allowed to join Adam and Teela on their journey to Earth: One, because they could use an extra magic-user; and two, because Batman found him funny. The fact that this Batman is Damian Wayne, either makes it more perplexing or explains things.
  • Put on a Bus: Supergirl has been exiled to the Phantom Zone. She returns on Issue #5.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After Damian starts regretting his actions, takes the mantle of Batman and even becomes the new leader of the resistance. He ultimately dies vis Neck Snap from Wonder Woman, when he and his allies assault the Black Oracle in order to save his father.
  • Robot Me: The fake Adam who took over Eternia was Faker.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The defeat of Faker angered some people, but Adam knows that its defeat was for the greater good of the kingdom.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Among the threats that Superman considers above He-Man he lists Captain Carrot.
    • He-Man saving a woman from a suicide attempt before telling her that she’s stronger than she knows and to keep living is very similar to the iconic scene from All-Star Superman where he saved a young teenager from a suicide attempt.
  • Spot the Imposter: Happens at the start of the comic as He-Man and Faker start duking it out. Fortunately Battle Cat can tell who is the real He-man and starts mauling Faker.
  • The Starscream: Skeletor has been playing Superman and Darkseid this whole time by pretending to be their loyal lieutenant.
  • Translator Microbes: Zatanna uses magic to translate what she and Swamp Thing say to Adam.
  • Together in Death: Superman's ultimate fate is being reunited with his family by the Black Racer, the New Gods' avatar of death.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Orko's magic turns out to work a lot better on Earth than it does on Eternia.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The series simultaneously tells two plots: He-Man and the Insurgency trying to defeat the Regime and the Eternians trying to fight off an Apokoliptian invasion.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Superman vs He-Man, of course. He-Man wins even without the power of Shazam.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Superman considered He-Man less of a threat than Captain Carrot. He eats his own words not much after.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Gorilla Grodd was killed by Aquaman in Injustice 2 yet he is among the brainwashed members of the Suicide Squad.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Darkseid's minions make a run for it after after their lord is seemingly destroyed by Superman.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Before his last breath, Skeletor transfers Shazam's magic to He-Man, which allows him to triumph at the end against Superman.
  • Villain Respect:
    • After Superman punches through his chest, Skeletor manages to say "Prince Adam...tell...He-Man...I've missed him..." before dying.
    • Superman regrets having to kill Prince Adam, noting that he's a good man.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Superman reaches the Nexus of reality and intends to travel back in time to undo the Regime timeline by saving his family. He sees a billion other alternate universes where he saves them from dying... But they later end up dying from other things beyond his control like a drunk driver or cancer because their deaths are a constant, making him cross the Despair Event Horizon and snap, as he tries to use the Anti-Life Equation to "save everyone".
  • You Remind Me of X: Superman says that He-Man reminds him of Shazam! - same naive youth who saw things in black and white, got his powers from a sorcerer and could transform by calling out his name. When he loses his powers after Grayskull's destruction, Adam is empowered with Shazam's magic in order to fight Superman in the last issue.

Alternative Title(s): Injustice Vs He Man And The Masters Of The Universe