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What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat?

Injustice: Gods Among Us is an April 2013 DC Comics Fighting Game developed by NetherRealm Studios, the company behind the Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011. The game is the first installment of the Injustice franchise.

The game's story is set in an Alternate Universe where Superman renounces his beliefs following the death of his wife Lois Lane and the destruction of Metropolis at the hands of the Joker and Harley Quinn, causing him to murder the Joker in cold blood, much to Batman's horror. Sometime later, Superman professes his intentions to rid the world of all crime and tyranny to the United Nations, with him and Wonder Woman reforming the Justice League into a police force to enforce the will of their One Earth government, causing Batman to rebel and form a resistance group composed of badass normals, vigilantes and novice metahumans to fight against Superman's authoritarian government. However, years of fighting leave Batman as the only active member of the resistance after most of his team is either killed, wounded, or deserted, forcing him to use a device built by Lex Luthor (who is a good guy in this universe) to summon a Justice League from another universe, a universe where they are still paragons of hope and justice.

The game has a similar gameplay to 2011's Mortal Kombat reboot but with a few additions such as interactive objects in the stages with the characters with Super-Strength having the ability to use heavy objects to attack their opponent while badass normals use those objects to evade attacks. Also, there are stage transitions that can be triggered using a heavy attack on a specific part of the stage, and each character have a special ability unique to them such as Superman having a short damage buff, Wonder Woman changing her fighting style from barehanded to a heavier sword & shield style and Aquaman summoning a water shield that increases defense.

The playable cast includes:

Non-playable supporting characters include:

Has a tie-in comic, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and a sequel, Injustice 2. The film Injustice, a DC Universe Animated Original Movies project serving as an adaptation of the game and its comic tie-ins, was released in 2021.

Injustice: Gods Among Us contains examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: The entire world hates Superman's Regime due to its severe authoritarian nature and global scope, though most are too afraid to stand up to it. Even some of the Regime's own high-ranking members start to question its level of power, and some start hating Superman himself since he treats them so disrespectfully.
  • 2½D: Much like Netherrealm's other fighting games, much of the environments are 3D, but the main action is 2D.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Friendship: Aside from the iconic Point of Divergence between the Injustice universe and the mainstream DC universe, another major divergence is that in this version, Superman and Lex Luthor are and have always been good friends instead of mortal enemies. However, the more heroic Lex takes issue with his friend's descent into evil and becomes a mole aiding Batman's group.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In this world, Lex Luthor never became evil but is a truly good man who helps the world and Superman's best friend. He's also the inside man aiding Batman.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Catwoman in the comics has been an antihero since the early 90's. Still a thief, but on the side of good overall. In the game, however, she is grouped with the villains. This is doubtlessly because Pop-Cultural Osmosis still considers her to be one of Batman's most well-known adversaries, despite the fact that she's been his ally for over twenty years. The game at least makes nods to this; in-game dialogue mentions that her allegiances are unclear, and in her ending, she essentially becomes the hero she is in the comics.
    • Almost every member of the Regime fits this, being much more ruthless than their mainstream counterparts, but Wonder Woman takes the cake. She makes even her Flashpoint version look like a saint in comparison.
  • Age Lift: In the comics, Damian Wayne's age is somewhat nebulous and depends on who is writing him, but he's usually depicted as a middle schooler at the absolute oldest.note  In this game, he's a grown adult and has taken on the Nightwing mantle.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: This can potentially happen to any character. The victory animation for Regime's Superman has him tell his opponent "Kneel before me!" and the defeated opponent complies as he is surrounded by Superman's Gas Mask Mooks.
  • Alternate Continuity: There are two in the game. A "main" one and an alternate one. Even the "main" continuity is alternate from the comics, though, seemingly taking on aspects from the Prime Earth books, the "New Earth" continuity before that, and a few nods to the DC Animated Universe.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Injustice is essentially the Warner Bros./DC Comics version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in the Superhero Fighting Game genre, only with a roster composed entirely of their own characters... And Scorpion.
  • Alternate Timeline:
    • The game's story involves heroes and villains from a "normal" timeline being pulled into a Dystopian timeline where only one or two major events turned out differently.
    • "Classic Battles" mode also provides individual ending stories for each character which are mutually exclusive, since the final battle for every character involves him or her personally overthrowing Regime Superman. This is particularly the case for the villains, who generally end up ruling the world in his place.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Some characters' S.T.A.R Labs missions have the player control a completely different character altogether: one of Catwoman's has you control her cat Isis, one of Joker's has the player control the Atom for a brief segment, and one of Wonder Woman's uses a generic Amazonian soldier.
  • Anyone Can Die: This is prominent in both the comics and the game, where even big names like Joker, Green Arrow, Lex Luthor and Shazam end up dead. No one from the main universe dies, however.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Just how can normal human characters like Batman and Green Arrow survive fighting against Meta-humans like Superman and Wonder Woman? By consuming a small little pill based on Kryptonian nanotech that instantly increases body tissue and bone density by a percentage of several thousands. It's also a case of Gameplay and Story Integration as this is mentioned in Story Mode.
  • Arrow Catch: Near the end of Story Mode, Regime-Raven possesses Ollie's body, making him shoot arrow after arrow at Batman. Catching them is a QTE minigame.
  • Artistic License – Physics: There is no way we should be able to see the water splashing during the Flash's Supermove as he runs across it. The clip lasts ten seconds and consists of the Flash encircling the Earth, which has a circumference of 40,075 kilometres. That distance across that time frame would be 14,427,000 kilometres per hour. However, the opponent barely moves between when the Flash begins running and when he returns, so he was moving even faster than that.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The detailed profile of the Joker in the Batcave stage lists his various crimes, which include all three and end with the latter.
  • Ascended Meme: One of Solomon Grundy's combos is titled "Wants Pants Too."
  • As You Know: When Aquaman is sent to the alternate universe, he asks an Atlantean historian to review Regime Superman's rise to power. The historian gives him a look that clearly indicates he's confused as to why he would ask something everyone already knows until Aquaman Hand Waves it by saying hearing the story recounted by somebody else might give him some fresh ideas on how to handle the upcoming treaty.
  • The Atoner: Regime Flash. He pulls a Heel–Face Turn halfway through the story, doesn't resist arrest at all, and as he's taken away, he gives a meaningful look to Green Arrow, who salutes him.
  • Attack Drone: Batman can summon robotic bats that either fire themselves forward or circle him in a shield, and Sinestro has the ability to create a fear construct that fires energy blasts directly at the opponent.
  • Audience Surrogate: The Injustice universe is so different that the characters of the main universe come off as this.
  • Badass Boast: Initiating a Clash Wager starts a contest of these, though special mention goes to any that involve Batman, Superman, Green Arrow and Scorpion.
    Scorpion: You are no Sub-Zero!
    Batman: I'm Batman.
  • Badass Normal: Non-superpowered heroes and villains like Batman, Catwoman, Nightwing, Joker, and Harley Quinn go toe to toe with superhumans like Superman and Solomon Grundy. This is justified in-universe: In the story mode, Regime Superman creates a Kryptonian nanotech drug that gives regular humans thousands of times their normal durability. This is stolen by Batman and his Insurgency, evening the playing field.
    Joker: (after absorbing a chestful of bullets) I should be dead now. Thanks happy pill!!
  • Bald of Evil: Lex Luthor, depending on which universe he is seen in. In the Regime universe, he is working against Superman's rule from within and beats down several of his underlings before going down himself.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: And so can anyone else who gets kicked out into space from the lower level transition of the Watchtower, where they are then rammed by a space shuttle, which spins out of control and crashes, shoving them back into the station to continue fighting. Also applies to the victims of several characters' Super Moves including Superman's and Zod's.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: The game's story involves an alternate universe where the Justice League, led by Superman, have gone into Knight Templar territory. The trigger was Metropolis being nuked by the Joker, with Lois Lane being among the victims. She was also pregnant with Superman's child at the time. This act led to Superman killing the Joker, setting him on the path to becoming a Fallen Hero. Deliberately invoked by the Joker in-universe: After years of tormenting Batman, Joker realised that Batman would never break, so he decided to see what would happen if a hero less acquainted with him and his methods had one bad day. Unfortunately for the Joker, it worked a little too well.
  • Battle Aura: Superman and Green Lantern gain auras for the duration of their traits, and everyone gets a brief aura burst when they start their super move. Superman, Flash, Doomsday, Ares, Scorpion and Deathstroke have varying shades of orange-red, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Batgirl, Sinestro, Zatanna, Black Adam and Aquaman have yellow/gold, Nightwing has bluish purple, Cyborg and Killer Frost have blue, Raven, Catwoman and Harley Quinn have varying shades of pinkish-purple, Lex Luthor, the Joker, Bane and Green Lantern have green, Martian Manhunter have white, Solomon Grundy has yellow-green, and Zod and Lobo have red. Curiously, Green Arrow and Shazam have different colored auras for the ports; green on the console ports orange on mobile for the former, the latter has white on console ports, but gold on mobile. Mobile-exclusive characters Darkseid and Static both have gold auras.
  • Beam-O-War: Some STAR Labs missions feature this, such as an Eye Beams duel between Supermen from alternate universes.
  • Beard of Evil: Regime Aquaman wears one to distinguish him from Main Universe Aquaman.
  • Believing Their Own Lies:
    • After the Joker nukes Metropolis and uses the Scarecrow's fear gas to trick Regime Superman into killing Lois Lane, Regime Superman kills him with his bare hands and subsequently convinces himself that it was "one death to save millions of lives." Of course, anyone who saw it can tell right away that he was motivated by vengeance, not justice.
    • Then there is later in the game where he is planning to destroy several cities because they are starting to rebel against his totalitarian rule. He believes they reject his safety and are ungrateful so they don't deserve to live.
    • Supergirl herself calls Regime Superman out on this in Injustice 2:
      Supergirl: Diana said the Joker was executed. Were you the one who...?
      Regime Superman: I took one life to save millions.
      Supergirl: But it wasn't just one, Kal, was it? How many? How many?! Everywhere I go, people are afraid of this... Now I know why.
  • Betrayal Insurance: In his ending, unsettled by his fight with his Evil Doppelgänger, Superman decides to ingest a Kryptonite piece that can be remotely detonated by a trigger which changes hands between each of the Justice League members, in case he ever goes down his counterpart's path. Appropriately enough, Batman has been denied a shift with the trigger.
  • Beware the Superman: The Regime is a dystopian tyranny of superpowered former heroes. The game is a good primer on what happens when our beloved superheroes snap because of a tragic event and permanently become the exact opposite of what they used to be.
  • Big Red Button: There's one in the Batcave that players can use to launch missiles from the Batmobile, as well as one in The Watchtower that launches a ship, causing an unwitting opponent to be caught in the burn of the thrusters.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Superman makes his appearance blowing up a car Black Adam threw at Aquaman.
  • Bilingual Bonus: On the screen of the device Regime Superman uses to control Doomsday, two short lines of symbols read "YONECA WELL" in Kryptonian, although the significance, if any, is unknown.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • For the "Injustice" Universe. The Regime's rampage through Gotham and Metropolis is put to a stop, and the surviving leaders of the dictatorship are either apprehended or willingly turn themselves in. That being said, many heroes become evil, hundreds of people have died as a result of the conflict, including two morally decent people (Lex Luthor and Shazam), and the best chance that this Universe had at world peace has been fragmented. This allows Brainiac to invade Earth with no fuss in Injustice 2.
    • In "Classic Battles", many of the individual stories get these. A few highlights: Catwoman regrets her association with the Regime, but can't bring herself to apologize to Bruce Wayne for her actions and spends the rest of her life shadowing him as a crime fighter. Green Arrow visits his counterpart's memorial and trains a replacement for him. It's revealed that Batgirl initially took up crimefighting after the murder of her father, Commissioner Gordon, by Superman's Regime.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Sure, Superman and his supporters began as a Well-Intentioned Extremist faction, who have many right points in their actions, but their steady decline to tyranny and growing abandonment of morality in their crimefighting led them to become real villains. However, Injustice Batman isn't entirely blameless: he refuses to help Superman cope with his emotional trauma, continues to follow his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule to stupid and hypocritical ends, lies, and uses more and more unscrupulous means to fight against the Regime, nearly always causing more disasters and making others and himself sink deeper into despair.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Ironically, while the game has a T-rating and eschews most connections to the Mortal Kombat franchise, it goes for a considerably more graphical depiction of violence than the cartoony Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. While the action is adequate to its Superhero universe, battles are accompanied by significant amounts of blood and most combat techniques are very visceral in nature, especially when blades like Wonder Woman's sword or Catwoman's claws are involved. In a way it makes sense, as it helps hammer home the emotional impact of a DC Universe where everything has gone horribly, tragically wrong for the characters, who now find themselves pitted against former friends and allies, viciously fighting each other against the backdrop of a Crapsack World, with both sides believing that their side is the only hope to make it better.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: The game has some pretty strange endings, but Harley Quinn's takes the cake.
    The defeat of Superman filled Harley with confidence. She knew what she was capable of, and knew what she wanted. She traveled to the visitors' Earth and freed The Joker from prison. Returning to her world, they married in a ceremony that set Gotham ablaze. At the reception, the cake cutting ceremony took a gruesome turn. As her new husband playfully mashed her face into the cake, years of abuse took its toll. Something in Harley snapped. She used the ceremonial knife to slash Joker's throat. Still in her wedding gown, Harley now resides permanently in Arkham Asylum.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: In a way reminiscent of Order vs. Chaos, Ares' perspective cares only about Less Vs More Conflict, with more conflict being what he prefers. Interestingly, this puts him on the heroes side - because The Regime stands to cow the entire world under their rule and rob him of his power completely.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Regime Catwoman tricks main universe Cyborg into revealing himself by asking if they are still on their (non-existent) date that night.
  • Bond One-Liner: Several in the story mode. Albeit, there are no actual fatalities, characters do have their chance to throw in their quips after kicking the living daylights out of their opponent.
    • After the defeat of Doomsday.
    Superman: Doomsday's not today.
    • Joker gets one as well whenever he wins as he douses the opponent in gasoline and then utters, "You're fired," just as he drops a lit match.
    • Green Arrow, perhaps the king of one-liners in the game, utters this one.
    Green Arrow: (after defeating Killer Frost) Thought that would warm me up.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Superman and the Regime want to eliminate all conflict and crime everywhere by any means necessary, to prevent another Metropolis. Batman and the Insurgency are against those methods, claiming they make the Regime a band of tyrants at best and a group of murderers at worst.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Due to his nature as a mindless and destructive monster, Doomsday required a mind-control collar to force him into serving the Regime.
  • Break Them by Talking: The Regime-Universe Joker delivers one of these to Superman in the beginning of the game - comparable to the kind of speeches he's been known to give Batman to goad him into killing him, or the speech the alternate Luthor gave to kick off the Justice Lord Universe in Justice League. Sadly, there's a moment where it looks like it might not work and Superman might not fall after all, but then Joker keeps talking and getting worse by the second. It ends badly for everyone.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Joker certainly had the last laugh as he made Batman and Superman hate each other and splintered the once-mighty Justice League into two factions, mainly over when, where and if heroes should break the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
  • Broken Pedestal: Regime Shazam, still a kid here, looked up to Regime Superman, even going along with his ideas of a better world. However, after witnessing Superman murder Lex Luthor, learning people now hate him and finding out that he plans to wipe out Metropolis and Gotham City before marching over to the brighter universe and taking it over, Shazam calls it quits. Sadly, Regime Superman kills him before he can bail. However, it does inspire another to do so: Regime Flash.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: In the mobile version, the later matches in Survivor Mode. The difficulty gradually increases to astronomical levels, but the rewards are evenly distributed so there is no advantage to beating the super-hard levels. Legends say there are 21 levels in total (there used to be only 16; players have previously beaten it on previous patches, it is unknown whether anyone has even actually beaten it in its current form). A relatively new player may struggle to get pass match 7 (which disables the use of special 2), and even experienced players tend to struggle past match 10 as heal suppression ramps up and may be stopped dead by match 13 which disables special 1 (you pretty much have to spam special 1 constantly and prevent the opponent from attacking at all). Even skilled veterans may need dozens of attempts to get pass match 15, since by this time your characters are practically One Hit Point Wonders, but would be stopped dead by Random Tag in match 16.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Regime military. Superman and the other Fallen Heroes hold their own quite well, but the soldiers, despite their intimidating appearance, spend most of the story on the losing side of a beatdown by nearly everyone fighting them — even the common street thugs who follow the Joker.
  • Canon Foreigner: The Red Son Solomon Grundy skin was created just for the game. The Archives even give a backstory for his character, along with traits he possesses. Red Son Grundy is the same as Regular Grundy, but lacks the limited intelligence to act on his own. Same deal with the Red Son Deathstroke.
  • Cardboard Prison: When Superman decides it is time to start running the world himself in, one of the first things he does is shut down Arkham and relocate all the prisoners. He even points out in an interview how silly it was that Arkham is still open when it can't hold prisoners or reform them.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cherry Tapping: Superman can finish off an opponent by breathing on them.
  • Circling Birdies: The upgraded versions of Wonder Woman's Lasso Grab and Zatanna's Teppup Retsam attacks cause stars to circle the opponent's head.
  • Clothing Damage: All characters who take enough damage will start to show wear and tear. For Lex Luthor's armor, it gets burned, dented and chipped up. For everyone else, they get serious abrasions that even show exposed muscle.
  • Continuity Porn: There's loads of it in the game, everything from comicbook trivia to character design references in skins (such as the Arrow skin for Green Arrow)
  • Co-Dragons: Regime Wonder Woman and Yellow Lantern split The Dragon role between them for High Councilor Superman, but with an interesting variation: Both double as a Dragon with an Agenda, each with their own ideals and plans separate from Superman.
    • Yellow Lantern is the more morally ambiguous of the two. While serving as a loyal enforcer commanding the other Regime members with the same desire to end the Insurgency, he's shown to be an Anti-Villain legitimately regretting his actions. He believes that he's truly fighting for justice, and is always trying to "do the right thing" no matter what. Which he ultimately does in the end by relinquishing his Yellow Ring.
    • Regime Wonder Woman is by far the more devious one. While serving as his enforcer by leading an entire Amazon Brigade to serve the Regime, she's also a Manipulative Bitch with every intention to replace Lois Lane in Superman's life and become a legitimate Battle Couple with Superman. This ultimately doesn't pan out however, as her good doppelgänger defeats her and turns the Amazons against the Regime.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Various character bios reveal that villains who joined the Regime were "re-educated" in the Phantom Zone to make them loyal.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Interactive environments are a part of the game, with characters being able to use them to hurt opponents. Different characters however, have different ways of doing them. For example, Batman slams enemies onto a car, while Solomon Grundy slams a car onto enemies.
  • Combo Breaker: The Clash, which is only available on your character's second health bar. However, in addition to breaking a combo, there's also a wagering portion where each player "bets" part of their super meter. If you bet more than your opponent, you recover health; otherwise, you take additional damage. This means that you have to take care when activating a Clash.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: John Stewart is a dead ringer for Idris Elba.
  • Continuity Snarl: A retroactive one. In the opening cutscene, Batman and Superman of the “Injustice” universe are already wearing their respective Insurgency/Regime outfits, despite there being quite some time before either faction is formally establishednote . The sequel establishes that Batman and Superman wore outfits that are very similar to the default/“Main” universe outfits in this game when Joker nuked Metropolis.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: It's a fighting game set in The DCU and starring both flagship characters and fan favorites. The trope is inevitable.
  • Crapsack World: The end result of Joker's posthumous actions is years of endless misery and countless deaths of those who called out Superman, who established a dictatorship on Earth. If he were alive, Joker would be cackling madly at the chaos he unleashed in the Injustice-verse.
  • Crime of Passion: In the backstory, an encounter between the emerging Regime and Insurgency groups at Arkham Asylum had Damian Wayne angrily throw an escrima stick that ricocheted and hit Nightwing's exposed head. Nightwing collapsed, causing him to break his neck on the rubble. Damian attempted to say this was a mistake, but Batman would have none of it as he carried Dick's body away. This would lead to Damian siding with Superman.
  • Cross Counter:
    • When a counter is initiated, both characters are knocked back, recite character-specific lines and attack each other simultaneously. During the clash, players need to bet portions of their super meter to earn the upper hand. If the initiator wins, they receive health proportionate to their win, while if they lose, they receive damage proportionate to their opponent's bet.
    • In the Story Mode, the two characters in a clash have a short conversation instead of their normal lines.
    • Certain characters who have extensive relationships (like Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro) have an alternate exchange as well.
    • A montage of everyone's unique clash quotes can be found here.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The death of Regime!Shazam. Regime!Superman starts off by choking him. When Shazam attempts to counter by summoning his magic lightning with "Shazam!", Superman cuts him off by freezing his mouth shut. Superman then uses his heat vision to roast through Shazam's skull to the other side. Of note is that Shazam is still a child in a grown-up body.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Superman versus well, everyone, really. And it goes for both the "normal" and Injustice versions. Injustice Superman curbstomps everyone who opposes him throughout most of the story proper, and when his opposite is summoned to the Injustice universe, he returns the favor. Big time. So much so that after watching the treatment Injustice Sinestro gets, Yellow Lantern just hands over his ring without a fight.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Cyborg, having just been transported to the Injustice universe, does this to himself when he hears the alternate Luthor and Deathstroke talk to each other.
      Cyborg: Wonderful. Dunno whether to pat myself on the back or kick myself in the—
    • This also happens after Joker shoots Luthor out of the sky in the latter's chapter. He gets interrupted by Harley commenting on Luthor's suit.
      Joker: Humpty Dumpty fell through a truck. Humpty Dumpty's suit is all f--
      Harley: Love the color. Matches your eyes.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The accidental death of Lois Lane and his unborn child at his hands and the destruction of Metropolis —all this orchestrated by the Joker— were the reasons why Superman first became a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Knight Templar and finally turned in a Misanthrope Supreme Straw Nihilist as well as an Evil Overlord and Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Darker and Edgier: Injustice is much grittier than previous games based on DC properties, including Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. The story features half the heroes entering He Who Fights Monsters territory while multiple others die in exceedingly brutal ways. The premise of the game is "What would happen if The Joker breaks Superman?"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seen more so in Clashes than in Story, but expect some snark from everyone, particularly Batman, Flash, Nightwing, and (God help us) Green Arrow.
    Killer Frost: Do you ever shut up?
    Green Arrow: Every other Tuesday.
  • Deface of the Moon: The Super Move of DLC character General Zod includes shoving his opponent straight through the moon.
  • Defeat Means Playable: In the mobile version, you must beat the boss version of the card that is the ultimate prize of the challenge, such as Containment Doomsday.
  • Defiant to the End: Lex Luthor. Note that in the Injustice Universe, Lex is a good guy and a longtime friend of Superman, but also helping against his regime. He's about to incapacitate him successfully until Shazam attacks and disables his armor, allowing Superman to injure him mortally.
    Superman: I gave you peace!
    Lex Luthor: Your peace... Your peace is a joke...
  • Delirious Misidentification: The premise for the game is that, in an alternate reality, the Joker gassed Superman was a drug that made him see Lois Lane as Doomsday, whom he then proceeded to beat to death (offscreen). To make matters worse, the atomic bomb that the Joker rigged up was synced to Lois' heart rate. Once she died, the entire city of Metropolis was destroyed. This destroys Superman's morality, turning the entire world into a police state where he believes Utopia Justifies the Means.
  • Demoted to Extra: Brainiac, in a way. Despite being a major villain in the comics, his role in Injustice is that his robotic head is an interactive object in the "Insurgency" level and can be thrown at opponents by some characters (which would essentially kill him). Also, Brainiac-5 appears in Ares' character ending.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: At first, Regime Superman is motivated by Utopia Justifies the Means when it comes to ending crime at all costs, but when people question his rule and his selfish side manifests after killing Luthor while on live television, it quickly devolves into this with the Regime sending its forces worldwide to brutally crush the growing rebellion.
  • Deus Exit Machina: The regular Superman is busy fighting Doomsday in space when Insurgency Batman pulls the other heroes into his dimension; keeping him out of the way for most of the story. Alternate Batman is also reluctant to bring him there. When he does eventually get pulled into the Injustice Universe, he takes on and defeats Black Adam, Sinestro (effortlessly), Yellow Lantern (without a fight), Regime Aquaman, Doomsday, and his Evil Doppelgänger in rapid succession.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If Doomsday is being used on the Fortress of Solitude stage, where he also appears in the background, the appearance of the background Doomsday will change to the attire not being used. If it's a Doomsday Mirror Match and both costumes are in use, then the Doomsday in the background will change to the green spacesuit from his first appearance.
    • If Green Lantern's "Yellow Lantern" costume is used, in addition to the changes seen in story mode, then his super move teleports the opponent to Qward instead of Oa, and his victory pose has him declaring "Yellow is power" in the orbit of Qward instead of joining his fellow Green Lantern Corps members.
    • On Stryker's Island, one stage interaction for Gadget characters has them take a gun from a nearby guard, fire it, and hand it back to them… that is, unless you're Batman or Batgirl, who instead jump off of the guard like they would off of various other objects.
  • The Dictatorship: As the new High Councilor, Regime Superman sets up the One Earth Regime, a planetwide dictatorship which includes members of the former Justice League who now support him, along with villains such as Bane, Sinestro, and Black Adam. Instead of following truth, justice, and the American Way, Regime Superman now believes in lies, injustice, and the authoritarian way, thinking that the traditional model of superheroics is outdated. At first, the Regime is motivated by Utopia Justifies the Means when it comes to ending crime at all costs, but it slowly devolves into a twisted desire to subjugate the Earth as time passes.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Zatanna; her normal moves have very short range and are painfully slow, but she has some of the most special moves for a single character with many variations for each, including teleports in multiple directions, controllable projectiles, levitation, a move that can reverse the opponent's controls or outright mind control them for a second, and her character trait gives her some great zoning tools in exchange for being unable to jump or duck. On top of that, at least one of her normal combo strings puts the opponent in a standing state. All this makes Zatanna an extremely execution heavy character who takes a lot of practice and finesse to use correctly, otherwise the player will find themselves performing all the wrong moves, but when she is used right, Zatanna is great for creating set ups, getting around defenses and confusing the opponent.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Subverted. In Harley's ending, she marries the Joker. At their wedding, he shoves her face in the wedding cake, and she gets mad enough to slash his throat. However, while fatally wounding someone over a harmless prank would normally be pretty harsh, the game states that her violent reaction was the result of enduring his Domestic Abuse for years, until she just finally couldn't take anymore and snapped.
  • Downer Beginning: The situation in the alternate universe is kicked off by the Joker managing to destroy Metropolis. The Story Mode begins with a shot of said city in ruins and police department saddened, and Batman interrogates a laughing Joker angrily about the whereabouts of the nuclear bombs. Suddenly, Superman breaks in and, in spite of Batman's pleas, kills the Joker in revenge for his wife and unborn son, whom he killed unknowingly due to the effect of the fear gas inflicted by Joker - and things go downhill from that point on...
  • Downer Ending: The Classic Battles mode considered as mini-stories are decidedly this when you play them as the villains, considering that the final battle is always against Regime Superman. This inevitably means that The Villain Wins. In a variety of Alternate Universe endings, we get to see what each individual villain's conquest would have been like.
    • There's a more personal but especially depressing ending to Harley Quinn's story; having defeated Superman, she crosses to the main universe, frees Joker from prison, and marries him. Then, after he slams her face-first into the wedding cake, she snaps and cuts his throat with the cake knife, then checks herself into Arkham, where she stays, still in her blood-stained wedding dress.
    • Raven's Classic Battle ending, in spite of being able to play as the Mainstream Raven, is a downer as well. Defeating Regime!Superman forced Raven to pull out all stops that when the deed is done, Trigon was released to the main DC universe and thanks her for allowing him to create a hell on Earth, and there's literally nothing Raven could do to prevent this disaster.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Six playable characters (Lobo, Batgirl, Scorpion, General Zod, Martian Manhunter and Zatanna) and their corresponding STAR Labs mini games (except Manhunter's and Zatanna's).
    • Skin Pack features.
  • Dramatic Spine Injury: Bane's Super Move recreates the famous scene in Knightfall where he breaks Batman's back. He lifts his opponent above his head before shattering their spine with his knee, with the impact being highlighted by a shockwave special effect and the animation going into slow motion.
  • Dueling Hackers: Cyborg and Regime Cyborg do this just before their fight.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The single-player campaign has you swapping characters at the end of most chapters, and every so often you'll end up in a fight with a character you controlled in a previous chapter.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: The Flying Brick characters (Superman, Martian Manhunter, Black Adam, etc.) tend take this pose after they win. Black Adam even takes it a step further by doing with a foot on top of his conquered opponent.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: After he was driven to villainy by Joker, Superman is motivated by Utopia Justifies the Means via his hardline stance on crime. But being confronted with a bad stream of events and Batman's insurgency against his tyrannical Regime causes Superman to become desperate at holding on to power at all costs. Superman justifies killing the Joker by saying it was "one death to save millions of lives," but everyone knows it was done in revenge and not altruism. When people witness him kill Luthor on live TV, his selfish side fully manifests when he unleashes his military and Doomsday against the "ungrateful" civilian populace to suppress dissent.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • For the "Main" Universe. Regime Superman's plan to invade their Universe is thwarted before it even begins, The Joker's super strength pills are implied to wear off shortly after the ending and everybody lives.
    • For the "Injustice" 'verse, it's revealed in Batman's Classic Battles ending that Lex Luthor left his fortune to Bruce Wayne for the rebuilding of Gotham and Metropolis. The populace rallied behind him as the leader of the Insurrection, but, with no secret identity, Wayne could not return to crime-fighting. Instead, he became the leader of a successful mass movement dedicated to fighting crime in the name of Batman.
  • Endless Winter: Killer Frost's classic ending ends up with her freezing the entire northern hemisphere and ruling it as "The Winter Queen."
  • Enemy Mine: Batman recruits various supervillains to help him take down the Regime in Year Five of the comic.
  • Environmental Symbolism: Just before the heroes are transported to the Regime world, we see a golden statue of Superman lifting up a globe in a lush green park under a blue sky. Batman and Joker appear in the world near a silver statue of Superman standing atop the globe in a cold, grey district under a dusk-toned sky.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Hilariously, Killer Croc of all people thinks Batman secretly uploading a virus into Cyborg is "pretty evil".
    • For all the lines Superman and Wonder Woman cross, neither are comfortable with torture.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • After the Joker drove him to pull a Face–Heel Turn, Regime Superman and his allies adopt a hardline policy on crime and take a jaded view on traditional superheroics, but they're also ignorant to realize that it has warped them into the villains they once opposed. The Flash eventually realized just how corrupt Superman has become and defects to Batman's side after witnessing the fallen Man of Steel kill Shazam in cold blood.
    • When others point out that he is scaring people, Superman justifies himself by saying that the bad guys should be scared, not realizing that they meant people in general. There are many instances where Superman wonders if he's going over the edge, but he then immediately starts rationalizing his new behavior as Batman's fault.
    • After people witnessed him kill Luthor, Superman rants about how "ungrateful" the people are for his rule, completely ignorant of the costs of it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Characters on the side of the Regime tend to have more ominous secondary costumes than their defaults. For example, Shazam's alternate swaps his white cloak for a collared black one, and his lightning bolt insignia no longer has magical lightning coursing through it. Green Lantern changes over to Yellow Lantern. This is the first thing that Hal points out when he first meets his counterpart.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: At the end of Chapter 9, Shazam saves Regime's Superman from being killed by Lex Luthor, who had betrayed him beforehand and thus is killed in turn by the corrupted superhero. Afterwards, Shazam realizes too late that Superman's methods to govern the world are too radical, and Superman ends up killing him as well.
  • Evil Learns of Outside Context: In the Injustice universe, the Joker's actions culminate in Superman becoming a megalomaniacal dictator and forming a Regime to subjugate the Earth. With most of the world's heroes either dead or supporting the new government, Batman has no choice but to recruit heroes from another dimension to put a stop to the mad tyrant. However, this also makes Superman aware of the existence of other realities, inspiring him to extend his influence across the multiverse.
  • EX Special Attack: The Meter Burn button lets you spend 25% of your Super Meter to enhance your special attacks.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Superman, followed by most of the Justice League become violent dictators.
  • Facepalm: One of Joker and Green Lantern's animations upon failing a S.T.A.R Labs mission may have them hold their head in their hand like this.
  • Fake Difficulty: In the mobile version, it is sometimes hard to block because it requires you to tap and hold two fingers at once; even if you do it at the same time by human standards, sometimes it would still register as a single tap (light attack), especially when you really want to block. To say nothing of the cheating computer.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: How Regime Superman kills Regime Shazam. It's especially brutal considering the fact that Shazam is literally a child in an adult's body.
  • Fantastic Drug: "5-U-93-R", a special pill developed that would grant normal humans superhuman (re:Kryptonian) physiology. Many of Batman's Insurrgency uses this to help even the odds and it's still used in the time of Injustice 2.
  • Final Solution: By the time the game starts (as can be seen on the prologue comics and a flashback on Injustice 2), Superman's quest to bring order to the world no matter what has escalated to the point that he turned Arkham Asylum into his own personal Auschwitz, where he takes care of any and all criminals... for good.
  • Flipping the Table: In the beginning, alternative-reality Superman does this when "interrogating" The Joker, who was sitting behind the table — or at when least complaining to him about how he killed everyone and made Superman kill someone he loved. The table flies pretty far to the side, naturally, but still to a kind of restrained extent considering it's Superman we're talking about. Still, if you thought at this point he was flipping out, you'd be right.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Subverted, there's more than one difference that lead to the Injustice Universe becoming a dictatorship. They include Lex Luthor not being a villain, Wonder Woman being more aggressive and The Joker being a sorer loser.
  • Foregone Conclusion: During the marketing for the game, there was a tournament containing most of the characters in the game. As it was based on public votes, which meant it was a popularity contest, the final battle was always going to be Batman vs. Superman.
  • Free-Floor Fighting: Hitting an opponent with a wall-bounce attack (Back + H) will send them hurtling into another stage of the area if they're standing in the right spot.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When beating the standard fighting game mode, Regime Superman is knocked into the phantom zone (this happens for every character) after the fight, as his life flashes before his eyes one can see a set of gravestones for Lois Kent and Baby Kent.
  • Gainax Ending: Green Lantern and Shazam's Arcade endings have zero connection with the main story. The former involves him reliving the events that led to him obtaining his ring, while the latter randomly introduces an alien virus that infects the Justice League.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: Deconstructed. After killing the Joker in revenge for nuking Metropolis and the death of his wife Lois, an alternate version of Superman Face–Heel Turn snaps and takes a hardline approach to solving crime. Part of the conflict between him and Batman is him breaking of the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. As time passes, he accepts killing for justice, but he also Jumps Off The Slippery Slope, transforming him into an Ax-Crazy, raging maniac who reacts with outright brute force when others call him out on his actions. The way he kills Shazam and Lex Luthor in a cold-blooded manner, and unleashes his thugs to quash any dissent against his rule shows the ruthless monster he's now become, a far cry from the idealistic hero he once was.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: A Token Good Teammate's loyalty only lasts as long as they can delude themselves into thinking they're doing the right thing, which becomes impossible if the villain becomes unhinged enough to destroy cities, invade parallel universes, and murder a child.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Numerous examples here and there, but the most notable is that the earlier fights take place before the "survive punches to space and back" durability pills are introduced. The environmental damage remains the same too, so a fight between Batman and Joker somehow results in a building collapsing.
    • The characters can also take moves they should only be able to take with the enhancement pills. You can shrug it off by saying Batman has armor that can take Joker's bullets, but it's much less believable for it to be able to take one to the head at point blank, and then a Rocket to the head at point-blank and for Joker to survive such close proximity to the explosion.
    • At one point in Superman's story mode chapter, you must fight Doomsday in the Fortress of Solitude. For some reason, there's another Doomsday held captive in the background, though there's been no mention of cloning. You can even throw Doomsday into Doomsday.
    • Both Doomsdays are shown with both Main and Regime costumes.
    • All characters are vulnerable to the Scarecrow transition, including ones who are immune to poisons (Joker) or who the needles shouldn't even scratch (Superman).
    • While the durability pill justifies how "normals" can withstand massive damage and inflict harm on much tougher foes, it does not cover factors the pill can't change, like Superman being injured by bullets.
    • Many of the battle intros (Zod, Black Adam) and super attacks (Superman, Doomsday) make it look like the fight is on Earth, which gets confusing if you're playing on the Watchtower. Furthermore, performing Doomsday's super move on the rooftop areas of Gotham and Metropolis prove that the buildings are, in fact, made of solid dirt. This becomes even funnier in Metropolis if a stage transition is performed after it, as it will send the unfortunate victim falling through the now building-esque building.
    • At one point in the story, Wonder Woman fights her Regime self while the Amazons crowd around to watch. This averts it at first by having Wonder Woman start off in her Sword stance when she usually starts off in her Lasso stance, which makes sense as they had a swordfight in the cutscene prior. Then played straight as the Amazon crowd has seemingly dispersed once the fight properly starts, only returning once the battle ends.
    • You can perform level transitions in the story-mode and end a battle in a different area, which makes no sense as far as the story goes. This is, however, averted with a number of S.T.A.R. Labs missions.
    • Main universe Raven says and does what a good-aligned Raven wouldn't, including Demonic Possession and help from Trigon. Main universe Nightwing also isn't afraid to use any of the gun interactables.
    • There's the way that Superman easily handles any opponent during cinematics, but is just another character during gameplay and depends on player skills for the win.
    • At the end of the last fight of the Classic Battle mode, Regime Superman is always thrown into the Phantom Zone, regardless of the character you are using. If you beat him with Superman, however, the ending sequence (which begins immediately after the aforementioned scene) shows Regime Superman lying on the floor.
    • Wonder Woman's super move involves her enlisting the help of a pair of Amazons to help her beat down her opponent. In Story Mode, Main Wonder Woman only gains the loyalty of the Regime Amazons at the end of her chapter.
    • Some Super Moves like Lex's or Doomsday's show the characters ravaging the Earth, even if it's performed somewhere else, like the Watchtower.

  • Giant Enemy Crab: Aquaman aids the heroes in rescuing Batman in Stryker Island, by summoning an army of giant lobsters to distract the Regime. Being King of the Seas doesn't seem so lame now, does it?
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The alternate Ares decides to help the good guys because Regime Superman's rule over the planet is wiping out conflicts, which starves him of his power. His classic ending reveals that this didn't work for him either, since the heroes brought peace in the wake of the Regime's overthrow.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Batman gets his Regime counterpart to cross his own personal Threshold by using the dimensional transporter to bring classic Superman to fight his corrupted Regime counterpart and the latter's army. Fortunately for Regime's Batman, this turns out to be a very wise move, considering classic Superman single-handedly saves the day.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Played with. While Joker got exactly what he wanted, to corrupt a paragon like Superman, and getting what he wanted did cost him his life, in his final moments he shows absolutely no signs of remotely caring about the whole "costing his life" part. His final words are simply a burst of maniacal laughter as Superman plunges his fist straight through Joker's ribcage.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Some of the Have a Nice Death screens after a "villain" win, as seen from the loser's POV. Notable are the Joker pouring gasoline on the loser, followed by a thrown match, and Ares summoning a swarm of daggers which he hurls at the loser's POV, complete with "thudding into flesh" sounds.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Batman, just like in the comics and the adaptation movies and games. This time, he can shoot it either forward or upward (to intercept the opponent if he or she is jumping). Along with making a Mortal Kombat Shout-Out.
    Batman: Get down here!
  • Groin Attack:
    • One of the disadvantages of playing one of the larger characters is that your groin is at the height were most fighters have their belly, which is where several attacks, including throws involving Cyborg's electric clamp and Joker's stabbing knife, are targeted. However, none of the character specifically have groin attacks in their arsenal, not used for the intended effect at any rate.
    • In a cinematic, Joker delivers one to the Regime trooper who tried (unsuccessfully) to shoot him to death. Also, he gives one to a not-as-stealthy-as-he-thought Batman.
    Joker: "Right in the belfry!"
    • Harley Quinn's Mallet Bomb: she pummels her opponent with a mallet knocking him/her back before she runs and slides between their legs, placing an exploding pie underneath the opponent, which explodes and sends them flying.
  • Guest Fighter: Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. This marks the second time, following Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, that the ninja would do battle with the DC Universe. His fighting style here is directly based on the then-most recent mainline title from his home series.
  • Hack Your Enemy: In a cutscene, the Cyborgs from the main and alternate realities wind up hacking each other. It ends in a draw, leading to a physical fight.
  • Hammered In To The Ground: Sinestro makes a giant mace with his ring and smashes Superman into the ground. As soon as he stops to gloat, Superman takes him down.
  • Harmless Freezing: Killer Frost invokes this during battle, with one cutscene having her freeze Diana, only to be unfrozen moments later by Green Arrow.
  • Hate Sink: Injustice-verse Joker loses all his cred (and life) once he nukes Metropolis — Harley ditches him entirely, Batman just completely gives up on indulging him any more, and most villains loathe him for either Metropolis or just in general principle. Many in Gotham are happy that he's been Killed Off for Real.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Regime Flash. Harley and Deathstroke in the backstory of the Regime universe, though Deathstroke shows himself to be more of a neutral and Harley goes back and forth along the good-evil line before settling on good near the end.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Regime Shazam starts to question the actions of the side he chose, but makes the mistake of thinking the other members of the Regime still have enough good in them to agree. Regime Superman ultimately kills him for speaking out during his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Lex Luthor wears a suit of Power Armor which leaves his bald head completely exposed; not what we might expect from a genius (though in other continuities this suit is explicitly said to invisibly shield his head as well with force fields), but we definitely know who it is in there.
  • Heroic BSoD: Insurrection Batman has a severe one after Lex Luthor is killed attempting to use Batman's Kryptonite laser against Superman. He decides the fight is hopeless and attempts to send the counterpart heroes back to their own universe, only regaining his resolve after Prime Universe Batman duels him and wins.
  • Home Stage:
    • The Superman Mythos have plenty of stages represented, but the Man of Steel is fought at the end of Arcade mode in the Fortress of Solitude. Lex Luthor also has the Insurgency stage.
    • The Batman Mythos also have locations represented, with plenty of Batman characters to share them with. The Dark Knight himself though has both Wayne Manor and The Batcave, with the rest having Gotham City, Arkham Asylum, or Joker's Asylum.
    • Aquaman has Atlantis.
    • Green Lantern has Ferris Aircraft.
    • Wonder Woman and Ares have Themyscira.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: In a DC game made by the makers of Mortal Kombat, this was pretty inevitable. Badass Normal characters like Batman and Green Arrow and Supers alike can be punched through a building, impaled, crushed and hit with all sorts of super moves and still keep going. This is partly explained by all the Badass Normal characters taking a special Kryptonian pill that confers super-resilience.
  • Humans Are Flawed: How the Regime views humanity, especially Superman and Wonder Woman. Regime Superman even calls them disobedient children that need to be punished. Both his and Regime Wonder Woman's heroic counterparts are disgusted at such a thought.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!:
    • This is the theme of this game, showing how a man who was once a hero became a villain after killing one.
    • Said almost verbatim by Hal when Alt Batman reveals he has a kryptonite weapon to use on Alt Superman. Alt Batman reassures him that it's just meant to incapacitate, not kill.
    • Injustice Harley wants to kill the Joker after the latter despises her, but Injustice Lex Luthor dissuades her of doing so.
    • Zigzagged by Alt Flash when Alt Superman is preparing to execute Batman to lure out the rest of the Insurgency; Alt Flash brings up a comparison to the Joker before being silenced by Superman's Death Glare.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Injustice Superman is not all that impressed by Injustice Wonder Woman showing up in a Stripperiffic dress, as Superman still has lingering feelings for Lois. In fact, his mental focus is entirely elsewhere, with Diana's presence only barely being acknowledged.
  • I Have No Son!: Alternate Batman's feelings regarding Damian Wayne, after Damian killed Dick Grayson.
  • Immune to Bullets: Everyone eventually gets enhanced by Kryptonian nanotechnology, explaining how the Non-Powered Costumed Heroes and villains can fight the Flying Bricks and the like in gameplay. The first demonstration of this is when The Joker gets shot with a machine gun right after being enhanced — and it doesn't so much as affect his clothing.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Inverted during Story Mode, wherein Bane is too accurate when shooting at Wonder Woman, given that he keeps shooting at her indestructible bracers, rather than shifting his aim to anywhere else on her person.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Played for horror. After his Face–Heel Turn, Superman becomes the Judge, Jury, and Executioner obsessed with ending crime at all costs. But after he killed his ally Lex Luthor on live TV and heard the growing dissent against his tyrannical rule on Earth, he rants that the people are "ungrateful" for his "protection" and unleashes his forces on Metropolis and Gotham to Scare 'Em Straight. He also justifies killing the Joker for tricking him into killing his wife Lois Lane and nuking Metropolis by claiming it was "done to save millions of lives", but everyone knows he did it in revenge, not altruism..
  • Irony: Regime's Superman is very quick to blame others for his increasingly brutal and violent actions, especially on his world's Batman, and refuses to admit any wrongdoing on his end. However, the one thing he will claim responsibility for was him killing Lois and their unborn child, but that was not his fault.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Inverted. When Grundy clashes with Green Arrow, they have a dialogue exchange, and Grundy takes offense to what Green Arrow says first:
    Green Arrow: Slow, stupid, and ugly.
    Solomon Grundy: Grundy not slow!
  • It Gets Easier: So much could have been resolved if an alternate version of Superman had just stopped after killing the Joker and explained how he felt after being tricked into killing his wife Lois Lane and nuking Metropolis. Instead, the tie-in comics show that despite his good intentions, he's forced to commit morally gray acts after being confronted by a stream of bad events. Superman did have pangs of regret initially, but eventually, he becomes so completely desensitized that he instead blames others like Batman for his actions. Ironically, the bad deeds Superman did were part of the Joker's long-term plan to see if someone would break and become just as evil as he is from his twisted viewpoint.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: In the mobile version, SHAZAM! His passive, Lightning Fury gives him unlimited power, a basic damage boost and damage reduction for 12 seconds after using a super move. He is also a Rare Random Drop from gold packs.
  • Invincible Hero: Things are not looking good for the heroes in the other universe as all the badguys and their army begin their final push to victory. Then our Superman breaks into the Injustice universe. And then single handedly stops EVERYTHING. Including Injustice!Superman.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Two S.T.A.R. Labs Missions have Harley Quinn and Hawkgirl using this on Catwoman and a brainwashed Cyborg, respectively.
  • Jiggle Physics: Batman's Super involves attacking his enemy with two tazers, causing them to spasm uncontrollably. This presents some issues with more cleavage-y characters like Harley Quinn.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Superman goes rogue and sets up a planet-wide dictatorship after killing The Joker. Instead of following truth, justice, and the American Way, Superman now believes in lies, injustice, and the authoritarian way via his hardline stance on crime. It is even lampshaded by Atlantis' archivist (a Martian Manhunter in disguise), who describes him as this when explaining the backstory on Superman's rise to power to an alternate version of Aquaman who didn't go rogue.
  • Just the First Citizen: Superman rules over a totalitarian Regime that had previously dissolved all of governments in the world and ceded all authority to him, but his official title is that of "High Councilor". In the tie-in comic, Plastic Man accurately calls him a despot who is even sitting on his own throne.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Many characters do this for their victory pose. The Flash lifts his defeated opponent up with a whirlwind and uppercuts them off screen, Ares skewers the loser with a flurry of swords, Black Adam puts a foot on their chest and electrocutes them, the Joker douses them in gasoline and tosses a lit match on them, and Harley Quinn literally kicks them while they're down.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In a nod to the trope namer, High Councilor Superman's win pose forces his opponent to do this. The trope-naming General Zod has this as a grab.
  • Knight Templar: The Regime versions of Superman and Wonder Woman became this after the Tragedy of Metropolis. They show how dark the innocent, idealistic hero that are adored by millions can turn should they lose the ones they cherishe and subsequently push their version of "justice" too far to the point they're worse monsters than the villains they killed.
  • Knockback Slide: Happens after an equal wager/clash.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The Injustice Universe Aquaman summons a massive Kraken to fight against Superman's Regime when they threaten Atlantis. It's probably one of the few versions of a Kraken that actually matches the "size equal to a chain of islands" description in mythology.
  • Kryptonite Ring: In Superman's ending, it's revealed that the Regime-Superman's ease at conquering the world only made him even more terrified of what could happen if he ever lost control of himself. He makes sure this doesn't happen by having a Kryptonite bomb implanted by his heart, which will instantly kill him should this happen. The other members of the Justice League all take turns carrying the detonator for it. Except for Batman, who was denied a shift.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom:
  • La Résistance: The Insurgency, a group of heroes loyal to Batman who fought the Regime. By the time of the game, all of them have died, defected to Superman or given up.
  • Launcher Move: There are uppercuts like in Mortal Kombat and can be used more effectively. There are also Ground Bounces and Wall Bounces that have a bit of start-up but you can add super Armor to them, as well as certain moves or combos that you can follow up with an air game. Most characters stay on the ground, however, as the combo system is based on juggles, and once a character is in the air, any move has small launcher properties to keep the combo going.
  • Leet Lingo: 5U93R, the durability enhancement pill developed from Kryptonian DNA used to justify the amount of punishment people can take.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Certain points of the Story Mode have flimsy justifications for certain character matches.note  During Green Arrow's chapter, Wonder Woman loses a sword fight against Killer Frost, giving Ollie a reason to fight the latter, and when Barry shows up to the Insurgency base later in the game, he makes no effort to even try to explain that he's in the process of defecting from the Regime before Ollie comes to blows with him.
  • Legacy Character: Killer Frost is actually the original Killer Frost's friend, who took up her powers and name after the original was killed.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the absolute darkness present in the prequel comic, the actual game itself is much less dark. That's not to say that it's all a picnic, though - the alternate universe itself is pretty oppressive and unpleasant, and several characters meet particularly gruesome deaths. In fact, the Injustice franchise is more family-friendly than the Mortal Kombat franchise.
  • Limit Break: All character have these as Supermoves. For example, Cyborg does a massive, point-blank energy blast while Superman punches you into orbit before smashing you back to Earth.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Deathstroke has a brief one as his introduction for the beginning of each match.
  • Make an Example of Them: After his Face–Heel Turn, Regime Superman and the Justice League establish a Police State on the entire Earth. But when people witnessed him kill his ally Lex Luthor on live television and questioned his rule, Regime Superman doesn't take this criticism lightly. To suppress this brewing rebellion against his rule, he sends in his forces to Metropolis and Gotham to set an example.
  • Male Gaze: To Wonder Woman in story mode, constantly. She tends to walk out of scenes (towards the camera) chest first, and into scenes (away from the camera) with focus on her behind, and the camera tends to focus on those areas via various angles when she's standing still as well.
  • Meaningful Background Event: During the battle in the prime universe in the beginning, there is a bronze statue of Superman carrying the planet above his head. In the alternate universe, that statue has been replaced with a silver one of him standing on it.
  • Mercy Invincibility: The dual life bars. After the silver one is depleted, absolutely nothing in the rest of the combo, super move, or stage transition will roll over into the red until the opponent does his taunt and controllable play resumes.
  • Meteor Move: The Supermoves of Hawkgirl, Shazam, the Flash, Sinestro and Batgirl are all variations, but Superman tops the game, as stated above.
  • Mirror Match:
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The scene where the main universe Lex Luthor in his power suit hits a satellite and a spaceship.
  • Model Museum: The Archives allow you to freely view static models of all the characters you have available, with all their skins viewable on top of that. Each character comes with some additional description; you can use this feature to re-watch their endings too.
  • Mood Whiplash: The good versions of Superman and Wonder Woman were having the most lighthearted conversation after the good Amazons triumph over the evil Atlanteans...then Doomsday smashes Superman through a skyscraper.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Sinestro can be seen ordering the execution of several troopers who attempted this before Regime Flash saves them. During the fight or rather extermination at Metropolis, several mooks turn on the majority.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Alternate Universe Joker fear-gasses Superman and tricks him into killing Lois and their baby, and leveling Metropolis with Joker's nuke. This causes him to go off the deep end and install himself as Earth's God Emperor. Several times he tries to justify his actions as what Lois would have wanted, but when he expresses his desire to bring Prime Lois to the Injustice-verse to show her how he's "perfected" the world, main-universe Superman is having none of it:
    Superman: I know what you lost.
    Regime Superman: And you judge me?! After I've killed you, I'll bring Lois here. When she sees how I've perfected this world—
    Superman: She'll be afraid and disgusted!
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The game allows the player to literally kick an opponent out of a battle stage, moving the fight to another location.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Played for Laughs in one Clash Quote between Catwoman and Batgirl.
    Batgirl: What!? Ew!
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: In an alternate universe of the DCU, although The Joker was killed off early in the game by a grieving Superman for tricking him into killing his wife Lois and nuking Metropolis, the Monster Clown did have the last laugh as his Villainous Legacy of causing Superman's downfall has slowly led to the collapse of everything good in the Injustice-verse, most notably the Justice League falling apart due to the enmity between Batman and Superman. Ironically, this is exactly what Joker wanted, including the part where it got him killed: to prove that others can have "a really bad day" in his twisted Straw Nihilist mindset.
  • Nano Machines: Used in the Alternate Universe to give the normal human Heroes and Villains super strength and durability.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Suffice to say that the trailers can be very misleading as to how the plot and characters develop. The whole "alternate universe" aspect of the plot isn't even hinted at in the trailers, for instance. Wonder Woman's line in particular... "Men's aggression cannot be tempered, only quelled. We are here to save mankind." It is actually spoken by two different versions of Wonder Woman: Regime for the first half, and the main universe version for the second.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: A cross-company example. Some of the character models are reused from the Arkham games (such as Riddler and Scarecrow in the Arkham stage) likely to save time in development, though this is intentional in the case of Batman and Joker, as they both have their Arkham Game looks as Mythology Gag skins.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Aside from the combatants themselves, players can find themselves getting smacked around by a few members of the Batman: Rogues Gallery in one stage transition at Arkham Asylum, as poor Harley Quinn finds out. Toss someone into the elevator in the Batcave stage and watch as your character mercilessly pounds their face in all the way up.
  • Nominal Hero: Ares only aids the Insurgency because the Regime's authoritarism has left him nearly powerless, while Deathstroke and Harley Quinn do the same out of thirst for revenge. Although Harley Quinn does get better and becomes much more selfless as the game goes on.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Even more than non-lethal, matches end simply with the defeated character on one knee (so they're not even lying on the ground knocked out). This can be after things like Superman punching them above the Earth's atmosphere then back down again or Batman summoning the Batmobile to run them over have occurred during the fight. Metahuman and mortal alike survive their bouts intact no worse for the wear (in-canon this is explained by the normal humans taking a special pill that makes them resilient enough to contend with the likes of Superman or Doomsday).
  • No-Sell: Most characters who activate their super move need to make contact before it engages. This gives opponents a chance to attack first and cancel out the entire move. Solomon Grundy's super move cannot be canceled. He gains super armor, and the only way to avoid his attack is to completely stay away from him until the super armor wears off.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Regime Superman became a Knight Templar bent on ending crime at all costs, having been tricked by Joker into murdering his wife Lois and nuking Metropolis, but devolves a twisted tyrant ruthlessly obsessed to subjugate the Earth, especially when he killed Shazam and Luthor while ranting about the populace "complaining" about his dictatorial rule. He even planned to invade the Multiverse, kill Mainstream Superman and forcefully take Mainstream Lois Lane as his bride even if she won't like it.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Said almost word for word by Regime Flash, After Billy's death and hearing Superman wanting to destroy Gotham and Metropolis.
  • Offhand Backhand: A variation. In the first chapter, Batman does an Offhand Punch Catch when the Joker tries to strike him after warping to the Injustice Verse.
  • Oh, Crap!: Green Arrow does this twice. Once when Green Lantern is knocked out by the door that's blown off its hinges by Killer Frost, and again when Green Arrow is grabbed by Solomon Grundy. Both times, he says, "Oh, shit!"
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: When Shazam takes out Black Adam with the magic lightning bolt.
    Green Arrow: Thunder of the gods, Flash, thunder of the gods.
  • One World Order: By the time the Main Universe heroes are teleported, the Injustice Verse Regime has taken over the world, with the exception of Atlantis. In Aquaman's chapter, the underwater empire agrees to surrender to Superman, leaving Batman as the sole opposition to the dictatorship.
  • Order Is Not Good: Superman's Regime is an absolutely totalitarian and brutal government that aims to impose peace through fear, and has made countless of victims across Earth and beyond (many of them were his former allies). It still acknowledged as a force of order that managed to end warfare and conflict, to the point the Greek God of War Ares is extremely weakened with no more strife and violence to feed him, allowing mortal heroes to kick his ass. When the Regime is toppled, balance is completely ruined and the order enforced by the Regime crumbles with supervillains coming out of the woodwork to fill in the power gap.
  • Palette Swap: The John Stewart Green Lantern appears as an alternate skin for Hal Jordan. He has the exact same moves and animations, just with a different appearance and voice.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Superman shoves his hand right through the Joker's chest when he gets pushed too far. Joker Immunity didn't save him this time, but the last laugh was his.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The Joker's death at the hands of a grieving Superman early on served as the catalyst for everything falling apart in the Injustice-verse.
  • Police State: The Regime used to be a universal police force before it became a One World Order.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In the story mode, Cyborg overhears Lex Luthor and Deathstroke planning to take down Superman, and attacks them. Except, Cyborg didn't know that it was about taking down Regime Superman. Or that there was a Regime at all.
    Cyborg: That's all I need to hear.
  • Popularity Power: The character battle tournament done as a way of marketing had this deciding the winner of each match. This is subverted due to Power Creep in the mobile version. The regular version of characters tends to be weaker as they are released earlier, compared to lesser known versions of them. Wonder Woman is particularly bad, being the only one in the Trinity to be a silver card, although she is still one of the strongest silver cards, while 600 Wonder Woman is a very powerful team boosting gold card especially with more strong female cards being released (Zatanna, Regime Killer Frost, Raven). Superman on the other hand, is a "trash tier" gold card, while Red Son Superman (as well as Red Son Wonder Woman) is a consistently strong Red Son pick. The regular Hal Jordan and The Flash are bronze cards, Regime Flash and Regime GL are silver cards, while Elseworld Flash and John Stewart are (fairly unused, but still) gold cards. Batman is an exception and is likely the only regular card to be gold and a reasonably strong pick, arguably better than the newer and more obscure Red Son Batman, but even then he's a bit upstaged by Animated Harley Quinn in that regard.
  • Posthumous Villain Victory: In this universe, as well as its tie-in comic and animated film, the Joker manipulated Superman into accidentally killing Lois, whose death set off a Dead Man's Switch that activates a nuclear weapon that destroys Metropolis, killing millions. When Superman interrupts Batman's interrogation, the Joker admits that he got bored of trying to push Batman over the edge to see if he would break "his one rule," but when Batman wouldn't budge, he moved to another target. Superman responds by thrusting his hand through the Joker's torso, and eventually Superman came to the conclusion that becoming a dictator was the only way to eliminate all crime.
  • Power Creep:
    • In the mobile version, inevitably most of the new cards will be stronger than the old ones. Also, with the release of multiplayer and gear, it is painfully obvious that most, if not all, of the new challenge cards have passives that cater to the now much more effective special attacks.
    • Damage wise, Arkham Origins Batman has a powerfully aggressive passive, and held the 1000 damage for quite some time. Blackest Night Batman matches him (and surpasses him at night), but his health is low and his passive is awkward to use. Then 600 Wonder Woman came along, with an effective 1040 damage and extends her damage/power generation boost to all female members of her team. After that came Arkham Origins Deathstroke, whose passive gives him an effective 1326 damage once fully elited, to say nothing about his unblockable crits.
    • On the team of passives: Batman Beyond is immune to stuns. Man of Steel General Zod takes 20% reduced damage from special attacks. But Krypto Lex Luthor's 30% team max health increase effectively gives a 23% damage reduction for his whole team against all forms of damage. Red Son Green Lantern gives all Red Son teammates immunity to stuns and 20% reduced damage from specials, and additionally immunity to crits. Doomsday was considered strong for has passive that allows him to gain 50% of his health back when he knocks out an opponent (up to 2 times effectively). Raven was released with similar stats, but the ability to swap health twice with her opponent (effectively healing herself by up to slightly over 80%, dealing the same damage, and easier to trigger).
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Hand Waved through the use of Kryptonian nanotech, making each character who is normally a Badass Normal become an Empowered Badass Normal.
  • Press X to Not Die: The game does this for its story mode. All of them involve trying not to get hit (and looking awesome doing so, like with Batman's towards Green Arrow), but two (one with Joker towards Regime Nightwing and one with Superman towards Regime Black Adam) involve your character fighting back. Getting hit puts you at a disadvantage in the actual match.
  • Prison Dimension: If the player completes arcade mode, a cutscene will show Regime Superman being sucked into the Phantom Zone's portal at the Fortress of Solitude. As he desperately tries to escape, he sees memories of the events leading to his Face–Heel Turn before being pulled in by a demon. Superman is then seen trapped inside a crystal, screaming in anguish as he is sent further into the Zone.
  • Pull The Trigger Provocation: In the opening cinematic, an enraged Superman has the Joker in a chokehold, and is wavering over what to do, with Batman trying to calm him down. But the Joker just can't resist taunting him, and when he makes a tasteless joke about Supes killing Lois and their unborn child, it's The Last Straw that drives him to tear the Joker's heart out of his chest.
  • Punch Parry: The "Clash" system has this, although some characters use weapons, others kick and so forth. The results however, are typical for this trope.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Sinestro smashes Superman repeatedly with a giant energy mace. Superman Flash Steps behind him and easily takes his ring from his finger.
  • Precision F-Strike: Superman, of all people, to John Constantine after he manages to trap him with Ragman and he narrowly escaped.
  • Press X to Not Die: The Story Mode features a few quick time events along the way, for things like Batman having to dodge the arrows from a Raven-possessed Green Arrow or Wonder Woman using her bracelets to deflect the bullets fired by Bane's machine gun. Failing parts of these challenges results in your character starting the subsequent fight with some of their health depleted.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Regime Superman has definite shades of this. His decision to destroy Metropolis and Gotham comes off more as a temper tantrum over the fact that they don't like him very much than any sort of tactical move. When he encounters his good counterpart, the main Supes can barely get a word in since Regime Superman keeps interrupting him to complain about his backstory.
  • Rain of Arrows: Ares transports his opponent to a barren wasteland where they become a victim of this as part of his Limit Break.
  • Right Makes Might: In story mode, every time a hero faces their Regime Counterpart, they will briefly argue over whether their proper role is protecting people or subjugating them before coming to blows. Every time, the heroic versions end up winning.
  • Real Is Brown: The game has an extremely desaturated, washed-out colour palette for a superhero fighting game, but it makes sense given the bleak, dystopian tone of the story mode.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Harley Quinn allying with Batman and helping fight the Regime did not fix the fact she helped the Joker cause the incident that set the whole story of the game into effect. Several of Batman's allies point out that she could easily slip back into her old ways, and that she isn't excused for her actions. Harley herself even admits that she hasn't quite gotten over her villain phase and struggles with the mental damage that came from it.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: After The Joker drugged Superman with Kryptonite-laced fear toxin and tricked him into killing his pregnant wife Lois Lane and detonating a nuclear weapon that destroys Metropolis, the Man of Steel not only kills the clown in revenge, he adopts a Knight Templar Well-Intentioned Extremist stance on crime. He even blames Batman for allowing the clown to run amok and put him in Arkham Asylum, an infamous Cardboard Prison whose criminals don't reform. However, anyone can notice Superman was clearly motivated by revenge and not altruism when it comes to the post-Metropolis crimes he commits, such as brutally crushing any opposition to the One Earth Regime he established, and frequently gets condemned by the Insurgency for breaking the no-kill rule.
  • Rule of Cool: The entire game runs on this. For example, how is Batman able to do a flying kick that knocks Bane backwards a few hundred feet through several walls? It's cool.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The player gets to see a gold statue of Superman lifting up a globe in a lush green park under a blue sky. In the alternate universe, a silver statue of Superman standing atop the globe can be seen in a cold, grey district under a dusk-toned sky. This shows the Crapsack World the Injustice-verse has become five years after the nuking of Metropolis.
  • Sanity Slippage: After being tricked into killing his wife Lois Lane and nuking Metropolis by The Joker, Superman establishes a dictatorship on Earth. He Can't Take Criticism by responding with outright violence at times, ranting about how "ungrateful" people are towards his rule, and blaming others for his misfortunes. He even kills two of his own allies when they realize how far he's fallen, and threatens to destroy Metropolis and Gotham when people began revolting. Regime Superman even develops an obsession on Multiverse Lois when told about it, planning to forcefully take her as his bride even if she won't like it and kill Multiverse Superman. By the end of the game, he's much worse than the insane clown he killed earlier.
  • Screw the Money, This Is Personal!: Discussed by Mainverse!Cyborg and Insurgency!Deathstroke after the former beat up his Regime counterpart at the cost of a contract:
    Deathstroke: You beat me to it.
    Cyborg: Another contract lost?
    Deathstroke: This one was personal.
    Cyborg: I didn't think anything was personal with you.
    Deathstroke: He made it personal when he tortured me.
  • Seen It All: Upon being transported to the Regime universe, the Justice League immediately realizes from experience they're in a Bad Future, an altered present or alternate version of Earth and start making plans to sort out which is which before they do anything too important. Upon meeting the evil versions of themselves or their friends, they all make a pretty good guess at what went wrong too from experience, while for their part the Regime versions catch on to what's going on after a second after meeting their alternate versions as well.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Netherrealm later released another mobile game called WWE Immortals, which is basically Injustice WITH WRESTLERS!
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Regime Wonder Woman is more skimpily dressed than her main universe counterpart. While the main Wonder Woman has a slight Cleavage Window and wears tights, Regime Wonder Woman has a much more pronounced window, bare legs and wears a revealing dress to attract Superman at one point.
  • Sequel Hook: Even after the Injustice version of Superman is locked up in a room filled with red sun lamps, he can still mildly use his heat vision...
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Impaled in the head? High-voltage shock? Punched to space and back? Walk it off.
  • Shield Banging: Wonder Woman's win animation has her say "You're no match for an Amazon". She then taps her sword against her shield before thrusting the sword into the air.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: One of Joker's finishing moves involves shooting his opponent at point blank range both with a big gun and a bazooka. Any other character with ranged weaponry will inevitably play this straight, as the characters are rarely more than fifteen feet away from each other. Notable examples include Deathstroke and Green Arrow shooting opponents right a few feet away with a sniper rifle and a bow, Lobo firing an absurdly Short-Range Shotgun that has only a little more range than his melee attacks, and Lex Luthor using an orbital laser to blast an enemy right next to him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Batman says "Get down here!" while using his grapple move against an airborne opponent.
    • Shazam's animation after depleting his opponent's first health bar has him turn into Billy Batson and then back into Shazam. This is almost identical to Shang Tsung's animation for doing the same in Mortal Kombat 9, in which he will turn into his opponent and back into himself. Even the pose is practically the same.
    • S.T.A.R. Labs mission titles include:
    • One of the player icons is a Jokerfied version of the Trollface.
    • A strip club in the Gotham stage is called Sin Kitty, a reference to Frank Miller's Sin City.
  • Shows Damage: Minor injuries and costume damage result from the brutal conflicts in each match.
  • Siding with the Suffering: Regime Superman murders Shazam for questioning his Knight Templar motives and killing Lex Luthor, who was The Mole and tried unsuccessfully to oppose Superman , and then orders the destruction of Metropolis and Gotham to serve as an example of what happens to those who go against his rule. After witnessing this, Regime-Flash tells Yellow-Lantern Hal Jordan that he became part of Superman's crusade to make the world a safer place, but has just realized that if anything, they've made things worse, and decides to quit. After beating Hal and Sinestro, Flash joins Batman's Insurgency and reveals Superman's plans so that hopefully Earth can be free again, and the suffering end.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: This is the crux of the conflict in the game. The Joker has performed what he believes is his ultimate achievement, make Superman suffer that "one bad day", and Supes is so blinded by his grief that he decides to ditch heroics altogether and Take Over the World alongside other superheroes that have been driven to similar levels of cynicism by various misfortunes (some of which are Supes' fault). The heroes that fight against them are all banded together under the banner that shit happening to you doesn't means that you should take it out on the rest of the universe, and in the majority of the Multiple Endings they go on to become the symbols of hope that the world desperately needs.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Not only does Superman and the rest of his Regime believe this thanks to The Joker succeeding in creating a perfect "one bad day" for him, but people who try to convince them otherwise tend to get brutalized at best in response.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Joker only appears in a single cut-scene in the game itself and the first four panels of the prequel comics before being killed by Superman but it is ultimately his actions to nuke Metropolis, murdering Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, and corrupt Superman that kickstarted the events of the Injustice universe. Of course, there's another Joker running around, but he's from the main universe.
  • Sparing the Final Mook: When Superman enters the alternate reality and defeats Black Adam after a brief fight, Sinestro sneaks from behind a smashes him with a giant mace. Superman then goes behind Sinestro and disarms him by yanking off his ring, and then turns to Yellow Lantern-Hal Jordan, and tells him to stop what he's doing. Knowing it's over, Hal takes off the ring and hands it over to Superman.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover: The game has a significant portion of its cast coming from Gotham even though Catwoman and Bane barely play any role in the story. Batman is also the only remaining superhero and the only character to have two chapters in Story Mode: one as the main universe one and the other as his Injustice verse counterpart. He even has a bonus Mirror Match fight between Wonder Woman and Superman's chapters.
  • Start of Darkness: We learn that the Injustice-verse Superman started his takeover of the world after the Joker tricked him into killing Lois and his unborn child by taking them up to space without a suit because he was under the effect of a Kryptonite-induced fear toxin that made Superman hallucinate that she was Doomsday. Lois' death triggered the hidden Dead Man's Switch in her to set off a nuke and blow up Metropolis. The Joker then successfully goaded Superman into murdering him, something that he was never able to do with Batman.
  • Stealth Pun: One of Superman's moves is a Superman Punch as made popular in Mixed Martial Arts vernacular.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The end of the game sees the rebel forces in their Darkest Hour: their plans have only served to drive Kal-el further into madness, and now the Man of Steel is going on an indiscriminate rampage of slaughter that none of the rebels have a prayer of stopping. So they bring in probably the only one capable of matching Superman head-to-head: the Superman from the other world, who proceeds to end the Regime in about twenty minutes.
  • Supporting Protagonist: The Batmen of both universes. For most of the story, they lead the fight against the Insurgency but are aware they are outmatched by a large margin. The real hero is Superman, who is brought to the Injustice universe during the final chapter to fight his Evil Twin directly.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Poor Regime!Superman suffered so much at the Joker's hands that he killed him in a mix of rage and grief. Despite what he has become, this deed and the context for it are always played for maximum pathos.
  • Tagline: "What If? our greatest heroes became our greatest threat?"
  • Tailor-Made Prison: At the end of the story mode, Injustice Superman is brought to the normal DC universe where they lock him up in a cell illuminated with lamps that simulate a red sun, nullifying his powers.
  • Take That!: The game can be considered an Alternate Company Equivalent of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. While none is present in the game, the box-art has been seen as one to said series by some fans, with Superman and Batman fighting over a dead Green Arrow's body. Said corpse looks pale and metallic, and while Green Arrow did die before the events of the game, that was the Insurgency Green Arrow, the box-art depicts main-universe Green Arrow, which is significant as he wears his hood over his head, giving the body more than a passing resemblance to Doctor Doom, one of the most commonly played characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Particularly noticeable between Cyborg and Injustice universe Deathstroke, though the latter claims his attempts to kill the Teen Titans were Just Business.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When "main" universe Batman first ends up in the Injustice universe and escapes from Gas Mask Mooks, he mutters to himself that he's in a nightmare.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • At the beginning of the fight between Batman and Regime Nightwing who is actually Damian Wayne, Batman tells him:
    Batman: You stopped being my son when you killed Dick Grayson. He was my son.
    • There's also his victory line afterward:
      Batman: You're dead to me.
  • Those Two Guys: Regime Flash and Regime Shazam give off vibes of this early in the story. In fact, it's Shazam's murder at the hands of Superman that prompts Barry to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Three Round Deathmatch: A grey life-bar is seen on top of a red one, and once the grey one is depleted, the loser would be knocked really far back and roll a little bit and lie on the floor for a bit, enough time for the victor to deliver a taunt, before getting up and resuming the match in the same position. Again, the victor's life-bar remained the same, meaning it's not uncommon to see one character's life-bar depleted followed immediately by the one who did the depleting become the one that gets depleted. Being on your second life-bar also allowed access to clashes, a combo breaker that can be used to turn the match in your favor, but only once per match per character. Also notably, while the first life-bar depletion has the character lie on the floor motionless for a few seconds, the match point will have the user get back up to strike a defeated pose as if they're even less damaged from the first round end.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Whilst a great effort was made to conceal that the story wasn't a straight up war between Superman's Regime & Batman's Insurgency, the Harley Quinn character trailer gave away Joker's presence in the storyline after his apparent death at Superman's hands whilst the Green Lantern trailer outright revealed that a group of heroes are being pulled from another timeline and/or universe to help fight the Regime.
  • Tranquil Fury: Superman murders Shazam for speaking out of line, by lobotomizing him with heat vision. He is clearly angry, and simply replies to the rest of the Regime in a calm yet annoyed voice, "Anyone else?"
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: After he killed Luthor on live TV for criticizing his rule, Superman rants that the people are "ungrateful" for the "safety and protection" he provided, and threatens to destroy Metropolis and Gotham for questioning his authority.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Done after depleting the opponent's first health bar. Examples include Cyborg shooting in the air and declaring "BOO-YAH!", and Shazam saying his magic word twice to briefly revert into Billy.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Characters operating in the background in various stages do not react at all to the carnage raging around them. The few that do tend to get involved, either as interactables or stage transitions. Otherwise, they don't seem to bat an eye as the structures or objects immediately next to them get destroyed.
  • Use Your Head: Doomsday headbutts a building hard enough to make at least four of them fall over like dominos.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: After he accidentally killed Lois, his unborn child, and getting the entire city of Metropolis wiped out with a nuke, Superman kills the Joker (he was the one behind the manipulation) and declares that the only way to maintain peace is to kill or jail all criminals and suppress anyone that may become one. On top of this, Superman also does things like having Aquaman agree to merging Atlantis with Superman's regime to ensure safety. Sure, the world has peace, but it comes at the price of the people having little to no personal freedoms.
  • Villain Has a Point: While Injustice's Superman and his fellows established a dictatorship and went to the deep end, their motivations are very understandable: before their coming to power, criminals were unstoppable, as it was essentially nothing to fear for them: the government did nothing to properly imprison or punish them, and heroes didn't kill in any circumstance. "Look at the Joker. Would he even exist if not for you?"
  • Villain Team-Up: The story in the game starts with the Justice League and the Titans taking on all the main universe villains, led by Luthor, which itself is just a distraction for the Joker and his attempted nuking of Metropolis.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Regime Superman really starts to lose it after Batman is rescued by the prime-dimension heroes, the Watchtower is destroyed by Deathstroke and the alternate Lex Luthor betrays him: he kills Luthor on live television and his super-hearing picks up the public's fear and disgust at the act. The next scene has him rather dementedly declaring he will destroy Metropolis and Gotham before invading the prime dimension and making them all pay, in a sharp contrast to his calmer demeanor throughout the story and he heat beams through poor hero worshipping Billy Batson's head just for daring to question him. It goes downhill from there.
    • Regime Superman notably becomes more aggressive when he finds out Insurgency Batman has kryptonite, and presumably thinks Batman was trying to kill him.
  • Villainous Legacy: Injustice-verse Joker, thanks to his sinister legacy of causing Superman's downfall. Joker certainly had the last laugh as Batman and Superman hate each other, the Justice League is dissolved for good, and worst of all, the Injustice-verse becomes a Crapsack World. If he were alive to see the chaos he's unleashed in his wake, the Joker would have been cackling mad with glee.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • While Tara Strong reprises her role of Raven, her voice sounds drastically different than in the Teen Titans cartoon, modulated to sound demonic.
    • Richard Epcar's portrayal of the Joker in this game sounds more like a Mark Hamill impression compared to how he sounded in MK vs. DC (higher-pitched and screechy).
  • Voodoo Shark: Kryptonian Nanotech that makes the Badass Normal characters stronger? A brilliant Hand Wave... but it does raise a few questions:
    • Why do gadget-using characters (like the Joker or Harley Quinn) get more resilient gadgets as well?
    • Why are nigh-invulnerable characters like Shazam and Green Lantern suddenly vulnerable to things like laughing gas and Catwoman's claws?
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Lobo's super move involves him ramming his opponent with his Space Hog, making them fall behind and then burning them with the exhaust flames while giving them a sign of utmost respect.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The game sees an alternate Superman fall to the dark side after the Joker drugged him and tricked him into killing Lois Lane—which in turn destroyed Metropolis as the Joker hooked up a nuke to her heart and Batman forming a resistance after most of the League decided to join Superman in taking over the world.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Every main timeline hero delivers these to their counterparts who turned evil in the story. There are also several good ones in clash quotes.
    • Green Lantern disgustedly calls Yellow Lantern a coward for abandoning willpower in favor of fear.
    • Aquaman furiously tells off his counterpart for agreeing to a treaty that capitulates Atlantis to the surface world.
    • Cyborg tells off his Regime counterpart for becoming so bitter and jaded.
    • Wonder Woman delivers a scathing one to her Lady Macbeth counterpart for both bringing out the worst in Regime Superman and forgetting what it means to be Amazon.
    • Good Superman pulls a damn good one on Regime Superman when the former finally confronts the latter in the end.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: As soon as he's retrieved the equipment Luthor needs to repair the Kryptonite laser, Deathstroke vanishes from the story and is never seen or mentioned again. He doesn't even make a cameo in the epilogue. His Arcade ending, should it be canon, suggests he has gone into hiding and recruited former members of the Regime to form a league of bounty hunters, who are being hired to aid in the struggles for power as new governments are established around the globe.
  • What If?: The Backstory can be summarized as "What if The Joker tried to give Superman one bad day... and it worked?"
  • Withholding the Big Good: While many heroes from the "Prime" universe cross over into the "Injustice" universe to help Batman's Insurgency against Superman's Regime, Prime Superman himself doesn't come until the final Story chapter. Justified by Injustice Batman not wanting a second Superman running around, since one didn't exactly work out for his Earth. Once Prime Superman joins the fray, he ends the Regime pretty quickly.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: An alternate universe with Knight Templar versions of DC superheroes deciding to create a new world order, who then get confronted by their main universe counterparts? It wouldn't be a stretch to say the game's plot is an Adaptation Expansion of the "A Better World" two-part episode from Justice League.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Five of the first eleven characters revealed were Batman characters. Though honestly, it's par for the course these days.
  • Women Are Wiser: Wonder Woman, in a speech to her alternate and the alternate Amazons, tells them that they are supposed to council men and lead them away from anger instead of encouraging it.
  • World of Badass: Just look at the roster. If that's not enough, every playable character can both hurt Superman and survive his unrestrained might.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: The Flash and Black Adam have yellow electricity, while all other electricity is blue.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The Clash system has this in spades. Below is one such example:
    Harley: You fight like my grandma!
    Nightwing (laughing): You fought your grandma?
  • You Have Failed Me: The Joker attempts to kill Alternate Harley after she loses to Lex Luthor.
    Lex: Do yourself a favor, Harleen. Stay away from him.
    Joker: She can't quit. She's fired.
  • You Will Not Evade Me:
    • Batman uses his Grappling-Hook Pistol to pull himself towards the opponent. The move also has an anti-air version, which slams the opponent into the ground. The latter version is a reference to Scorpion's Bloody Spear special attack, which works similarly and is punctuated by a similar catchphrase ("Get Over Here!", instead of Batman's "Get Down Here!"). The similarity between Batman and Scorpion's fighting styles is lampshaded in their clash quote.
    • Wonder Woman's Lasso Grab pulls the opponent towards her so she can deliver a powerful punch.


Superman's Plan

Superman plans to destroy Metropolis and Gotham to set an example of what happens when anyone crosses the Regime. Then murders Shazam when he questions this plan.

How well does it match the trope?

4.81 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / MakeAnExampleOfThem

Media sources: