Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Injustice (2021)

Go To
"What happened to Metropolis can never be allowed to occur again."
Batman: You took his wife, you took his unborn child, and his city. Why?
Joker: After all these years, Batsy, you really need reasons from me?

Injustice is a Direct to Video movie produced as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies based on the video game franchise of the same name and its comic book prequel. It serves as a Compressed Adaptation of those stories and is an Alternate Continuity to them. The film was released on October 19, 2021.

Set in an Alternate Universe where the Joker tricks Superman into killing his wife and unborn child and setting off a nuke in Metropolis, Superman kills the Joker in revenge and starts to take a more brutal approach to crime with Batman opposing him.

Unlike the Role Reprise-heavy casts of the video games, the movie features a mostly original All-Star Cast, including Justin Hartley as Superman; Anson Mount as Batman; Janet Varney as Wonder Woman; Laura Bailey as Lois Lane and Rama Kushna; Zach Callison as Damian Wayne and Jimmy Olsen; Brian T. Delaney as Green Lantern, Brandon Micheal Hall as Cyborg; Edwin Hodge as Mister Terrific and Killer Croc; Oliver Hudson as Plastic Man; Gillian Jacobs as Harley Quinn, Yuri Lowenthal as Mirror Master, The Flash, and Shazam!; Derek Phillips as Nightwing and Aquaman; Kevin Pollak as the Joker and Jonathan Kent; Anika Noni Rose as Catwoman; Reid Scott as Green Arrow and Victor Zsasz; Faran Tahir as Ra’s al Ghul; and Fred Tatasciore as Captain Atom.

Previews: Sneak Peek, Trailer, Red Band Trailer.

These tropes will bring about Superman's fall to evil.

  • Adaptational Badass: Going hand-in-hand with the Adaptational Wimp examples below, Superman is depicted with much better showings than his comic/game counterpart. He immediately dispatches Captain Atom at the Fortress of Solitude, whereas in the comic Captain Atom nearly subdues him and is only stopped by Wonder Woman's intervention, and he defeats his alternate universe counterpart instead of the reverse, like in the game. It helps that the scenes in which Superman was a victim of The Worf Effect were not adapted either.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Considerably.
    • Almost everything about the ending is different from the game. In the film, Regime Superman tries to capture Batman & co., and actually wins against the good Superman before being talked down by yet another version of Lois Lane. Wonder Woman turns against him at the end while in the games she is worse than he is.
    • A strange example - the continuity status of the Arkham fight in the comics seems disputed as of Injustice 2, where we see the events of that night at Arkham as a prologue to the game proper. In that sequence, Bruce and Damian (with Dick absent, status unknown) arrive at Arkham to stop Superman (and only Superman) from rounding up the inmates, only for Damian to sneak off while Bruce comes to blows with Clark and come back when the two have finished, holding Victor Zsasz at knifepoint before he slits Zsasz's throat and declares his allegiance to the Regime.note  In the movie, we see the fight play out much as it did in the comics, with Bruce, Damian and Dick all present, more Leaguers present alongside Superman, and Damian accidentally killing Dick.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the games, Wonder Woman was the one who pushed Superman into embracing a totalitarian, oppressive and brutal approach towards handling problems on Earth and becoming a dictator. While she's initially his most vocal supporter in the movie and certainly agrees with his new approach to dealing with criminals, she's horrified that he murdered a bunch of kids at a Joker-themed dance party, and by the end, she turned against him. She's also genuinely thankful that Batman and his allies arrived to help them deal with Amazo and baffled that Superman still treats them like criminals after the battle was over.
    • As a result of Death by Adaptation and Put on a Bus, Flash, Shazam, Green Lantern and Aquaman avoid joining Superman's side.
    • Since it's a Compressed Adaptation of the Year One comics, Catwoman remains firmly on Batman's side as opposed to the games where she joins Superman before rejoining Batman in Injustice 2.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Harley Quinn does still join Batman's side but ends up getting none of the Character Development she got in the games, feels no remorse for any of her crimes and only joins Batman to get revenge on Superman for Joker's death making her a full example of a Nominal Hero.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Superman still ends up falling to evil and commits his share of evil actions, he is far less evil than his game counterpart, who by the end had fallen so far Beyond Redemption that he was willing to destroy Metropolis and Gotham and kill millions simply to set an example, and kill a teenager when he dared to question his plan, and is stopped by force. Superman, in this adaptation, commits far fewer crimes and nothing on the level he did in the games and comics, is far less brutal and murderous, stays a Well-Intentioned Extremist while his game counterpart eventually devolved into a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist, and ultimately realizes the error of his ways and surrenders.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • In the comics, Captain Atom is able to go toe-to-toe with Superman and even gain the upper hand at the Fortress of Solitude. Here, he's immediately throttled into submission.
    • The alternate Superman loses to the Injustice Superman, unlike in the game where he takes out Black Adam, Sinestro (sort of), Aquaman, Doomsday and then his Regime counterpart, since here Injustice Supes knows his counterpart will hold back and uses that to his advantage.
  • Adapted Out: Lex Luthor doesn't appear here, nor is even mentioned.
  • Alternate Continuity: Much like the games, the movie is set in an alternate universe from the main DC continuity. It's also set in an alternate universe from the games themselves.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Catwoman here is noticeably darker than in the original game or comic, joining a long line of constant flip flopping of Catwoman adaptations.
  • Animated Adaptation: As the title and premise show, this is an animated film of the Injustice franchise — specifically, the events of the prequel comics, along with elements of the main story.
  • Anyone Can Die: Much like the game and comics it's based on, the movie racks up a body count of major characters, those being Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, the Joker, Dick Grayson, Barry Allen, Jonathan Kent, Hawkman, Cyborg, the Atom, and Green Arrow.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The alternate Lois delivers a question to Superman that utterly breaks him:
    Alternate Lois: How many people...husbands, wives, children will you kill for peace, Clark?
  • Ascended Extra: Mister Terrific is a main character who plays a critical role here, while in the Injustice games and comics he's only a background extra or completely absent.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: None of the men seen topless in the film are shown to have nipples.
  • Beyond Redemption: Batman appears to consider Damian to be this after he inadvertently kills Nightwing.
    Batman: I thought I could redeem you. I was wrong.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: While Superman is the main antagonist throughout much of the narrative, he is joined by Ra's Al Ghul, who provides a corrupting presence towards the Man of Steel by telling him what should be done to ensure world peace, even if it costs the lives of many.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Batman and Catwoman get one at the end.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Just like the comic, the film is more violent than the games. In fact, it has an R-rating solely because of the bloody violence.
  • The Cameo:
    • Among the patrons at The World's End bar are, The Turtle, Killer Frost, the Axel Walker Trickster, Giganta, the Owen Mercer Captain Boomerang, Catman, Plastique, Captain Cold, Pied Piper, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, Reverse Flash, Enchantress (only seen from behind) and the New God, Mantis of all people
  • Composite Character:
    • Mr. Terrific fills the role for Flash playing chess with Superman while discussing what to do next.
    • Ra’s Al Ghul takes the place of Sinestro and Wonder Woman in enabling Superman’s fall from grace. He also takes Anthony Ivo's role as the creator of the Amazo android.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Of the first Injustice game, its comics and elements from the Injustice 2 comics as well.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Jonathan Kent is killed by the deflected arrow in the fortress battle, instead of just wounded in the comic.
    • Regime Cyborg and Hawkman are killed by Amazo.
    • The Flash is killed off-screen, unlike the main games where he's a major part of the story years into the Regime's rule.
    • The Atom is vaporized by a radioactive gas.
    • Martha Kent is assumed dead considering that only her husband John is in the movie.
  • Designated Girl Fight: During the Arkham Asylum battle, Wonder Woman squares off against Poison Ivy.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Downplayed with The Joker; while he is killed by Superman in the same way as in the comics, Superman immediately thrusts his arm into The Joker's chest in the film, whereas in the comics, Superman initially holds The Joker in the throat whilst the latter mutters one last line before he is killed.
    • Also Downplayed with Dick Grayson; he is still accidentally killed by Damian Wayne, however, his neck doesn't land on a rock, which means that Dick died via blunt-force trauma to the head caused by the baton impulsively thrown by Damian.
    • Green Arrow is still killed by Superman in the Fortress of Solitude. However, in contrast to getting beaten to a bloody pulp in the comics, Superman simply blasts his face apart with his heat vision after Oliver accidentally kills Jonathan Kent.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Mr. Terrific is this when he brings an alternate Superman and Lois Lane into his world.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • The Amazo android's rampage begins with it murdering a man for the extremely minor crime of accidental littering when his attempt to throw away a piece of trash misses the intended trash can.
    • Superman is so outraged by a hallfull of delinquents holding a Joker rave that when they start throwing bottles at him he responds by turning his eyebeams on them. Even the normally stoic Batman is shocked to witness this, and when he broadcasts video of the massacre it's the first time Wonder Woman starts to question Superman's sanity.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Flash is unceremoniously killed off-screen early in the movie.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Cyborg discovers that Batman planted a virus into his system on the day they met in case he goes against protocol, Killer Croc mutters "Boy, that's low".
  • Exploited Immunity: In a moment that did not occur in the comic or game, during the fortress battle, Ra's al Ghul gives Superman a dose of radioactive gas that is harmless to him, but kills the Atom in his brain.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Flash isn't mentioned once after he's killed off-screen. Not even Superman mentions him when talking about the casualties from Metropolis. Only the citizens, Lois, and his unborn baby.
  • Groin Attack: A failed one: Harley wanted to hit Green Arrow in the bollocks with a mallet, but grabbed accidentally the squeaky mallet, which saved the Oliver Queen's family jewels.
  • Ground Punch: Superman unleashes one during the Arkham battle that sends everyone flying into the wall before ordering the inmates back into their cells. They immediately obey.
  • Guttural Growler: Unlike the games, where Richard Epcar gave the Joker the usual Creepy High-Pitched Voice, Kevin Pollak instead gives the Joker this.
  • Heel Realization: A few. Wonder Woman goes through one after seeing footage of Superman killing a bunch of Joker Acolytes, realizing just how far Superman was willing to go, and Superman himself gets one after he's talked down by alternate-universe Lois Lane.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Amazo imitates Plastic Man's powers, the combined heroes are swiftly able to use that against it and destroy the android.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Much like in the game and comic, this is how Superman kills the Joker — ramming his arm through the Clown Prince's torso.
    Joker: Now, that's a punchline!
  • Incompatible Orientation/Mistaken for Gay: When Mister Terrific took off his prison shirt (and revealed a very muscular chest), Plastic Man said he's "flattered, but very married", but Mister Terrific did this to use his "tattoo" (actually a very well-hidden t-sphere device) to break out of Superman's prison.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted, as in the comic. Batman's fists are covered in blood when Catwoman finds him savagely beating a training dummy after Nightwing's death.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Arkham inmates, released by Harley, attempt to overpower the Justice League members sent to relocate them. Superman, eventually becoming fed up and seeing Nightwing dead, punches a hole through Solomon Grundy's stomach and sends everyone flying with a Ground Punch, before ordering all the inmates back into their cells. They immediately comply, unwilling to further test him.
  • Lighter and Softer: While still containing some brutal and violent scenes, the overall story is much lighter compared to the game and comic. Whereas originally, Superman's descent into totalitarianism resulted in five years of dystopian rule by his Regime, in the movie he gives up and surrenders upon meeting a pregnant Lois Lane from another universe, and realizes just how low he has fallen.
  • Magic Mirror: The US government uses Mirror Master to kidnap Jonathan Kent as a hostage and imprison him in the reflective surface of a salt lake in Bolivia.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Batman sobs uncontrollably in Catwoman's arms after relentlessly punching a training dummy due to his grief of losing Dick Grayson, whom he saw as a son.
    • Superman, when he hears the heartbeat of alternate Lois's child.
  • The Mourning After: At one point Wonder Woman tries to kiss Superman, but he feels it's too soon for him to move on from Lois's death.
  • The Multiverse: At one point in the film Mister Terrific tells Superman that he is mapping the multiverse, and muses on the fact that while he calls their universe Earth-1 their counterparts would do the same with their own universes. This plays an important role in the ending as he goes to recruit an alternate Superman to try and stop his version, and when that fails he gets a Lois from another universe who successfully talks Superman into surrendering. Mister Terrific even says that the alternate Superman is from Earth-9 only for the alternate Superman to claim that he's from Earth-1 while they are from Earth-22, proving that someone from his Earth did the same as Mister Terrific.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Damian, when he accidentally killed Nightwing.
    • Wonder Woman has a moment like this after she sees footage of Superman massacring a group of Joker Acolytes (most of whom were just dumb teenagers) and realizes just what she has been enabling.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A few times, like when the good Superman appears, a fanfare that sounds like the Superman: Doomsday theme can be heard.
    • The way Superman defeats his alternate counterpart, resembles a combination of his super moves from Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2.
    • When the alternate Superman claims that the main universe is called Earth-22 by the people of his universe, this is a reference to Kingdom Come which is given the designation Earth-22 in the comic book multiverse. The comic also showed Superman losing his loved ones at the hands of the Joker, however in that comic Superman simply retired and while more cynical was still a hero.
    • Also in regards to the alternate Superman, Mister Terrific claims he is from Earth-9 which in the comics is the universe of Tangent Comics. While not a version of Clark Kent and having completely different powers, the Superman of that universe eventually became a villain which makes it ironic that it would be the home of a good version of Superman in this film.
    • At the end of the film the rogue Superman beats up members of the Justice League and is poised to kill Batman until he is talked down by Lois Lane - a similar scenario also took place in the Justice League (2017) movie.
    • "You had an unfathomable loss. Please don't do something you'll regret for the rest of your life." Is Green Lantern talking about Superman or himself?note 
    • The Amazo android starts off with its almost-human appearance from the main comics universe, then during the battle its artificial facial skin gets seared off and leaves it with the skull-like robotic face from the Injustice 2 comics.
    • Superman throws a train engine at Amazo, who shrugs it off because he has Superman's powers and therefore is "More powerful than a locomotive".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Superman's rescue of his father is not shown.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Damian Wayne as Robin, par for the course. This rendition of him apparently will regularly hurl lethal blows at Nightwing whenever he gets upset. Faithful to the comics, this results in Damian killing Dick, though he is overcome with remorse immediately.
  • Put on a Bus: During the first Justice League meeting, Green Lantern, Shazam, and Aquaman all leave due to Superman's new stance, but are never brought up again despite all of them playing a role in the game's resolution.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: During the Arkham battle, the Riddler charges Robin while his back is turned... only to immediately flee when Robin turns to face him.
  • Shapeshifter Showoff Session: Batman calls a meeting to discuss breaking Mr Terrific out of prison, and admits that there's only one superhero with the power to breach the facility where he's being held... and said superhero has been hiding in their current location for the last few days. Found out, Plastic Man startles the bejesus out of Harley by revealing himself to be the chair she's currently sitting on - sprouting eyes and a mouth from the backrest in the process - and then transforms back into his true form with gusto, much to Harley's despair.
  • Shout-Out: The scene of Superman attacking the jets was based on a scene from Dragon Ball Z of Nappa attacking jets during his and Vegeta's arrival on Earth.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Helena Bertinelli is killed by Wonder Woman during Year 3 in the comics. Here, due to the nature of the film being a Compressed Adaptation of the comics' and game's events, she ends up surviving.
    • Since he leaves Shazam avoids his death in the first game.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Unlike his video game and comic counterpart, in the animated version, after the fight against an alternative Superman isn't enough to stop him, he's "defeated" by an alternative version of Lois Lane, who is still pregnant and lost "her Superman" in a fight against Brainiac. She asks him how many people he would keep killing in the name of peace, causing him to have an Heel Realization and to surrender on his own accord.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Either the Joker Acolytes don't realize they're worshiping the man who killed Superman's wife or they don't care. Also, there's them throwing bottles at Superman and calling him out for ruining their fun.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Huntress disappears from the story following the deaths of Pa Kent and Green Arrow, and unlike in the comics, she doesn't die.
  • With Us or Against Us: Superman imprisons Mr. Terrific simply for pointing out the flaws in his Black-and-White Morality worldview and refusing to help him. He then gives all the other superheroes a choice of joining him or facing arrest. After the battle with Amazo when Wonder Woman speaks out against him, he turns his eye beams on her even though she's been a staunch supporter up to then.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Injustice


Injustice Joker

The Joker killing Jimmy Olsen, kidnapping Lois and then tricking Superman into killing her along with their unborn child, nuking Metropolis in the process.

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompleteMonster

Media sources: