Relive the senseless murder that drove Superman down a path of no return in Injustice, the animated feature based on the dystopian DC slugfest that finally imbued the Man of Steel with the Nazi undertones Jerry Siegel intended: as a man with limitless power and limited supervision, ruling over others deemed lesser. And the only freedom fighter left to stop him is Batman, a raging cynic who just lost his best friend to the same thing that could have cost him his humanity: the pain of grief.
The landmark fighting game Injustice takes inspiration from, taglined Gods Among Us, was originated by NetherRealm in 2013 as the Mortal Kombat creator’s response to Capcom’s wildly popular Marvel crossover series. The big-screen adaptation of Ed Boon’s subversive take on the Justice League sheds the group’s united and heroic front for underground factions where good and evil blur, and a so-called One-Earth Regime that robs mankind of its agency. The movie is expected to adapt Year One of the prequel comic book by Tom Taylor (DCeased) and Brian Buccellato (Witchblade), culminating in the events of the first Injustice video game.
Check out a teaser trailer for Injustice below:
The one-minute trailer is all about Injustice’s harrowing first act, which is to say Lois Lane’s death in the hands of the Joker. The Kents are expecting their first child, Lara, when duty calls. Superman responds to an alleyway scuffle and finds Batman; Lois joins Jimmy Olsen in the shadows and begins investigating a Metropolis councilman. Clark breaks the news about the baby, only to discover Bruce Wayne already knew. Unfortunately, Lois isn’t nearly as propitious with her own scoop. The tip is revealed to be an elaborate plot orchestrated by Harley Quinn and the Joker; Jimmy Olsen is shot dead by a pistol through his camera, while Lois Lane is taken away.
Injustice Clark discovers Jimmy’s head blown to bits and puts two and two together. With Lois Lane missing, Batman issues a Justice League-wide APB in search of Superman’s lost love; Clark, on the other hand, scours the seas and comes upon a submarine. Inside, he finds Harley and the Joker operating on an unconscious Lois. The interior is filled with Scarecrow’s fear gas. Superman is about to take action when he inadvertently inhales the green fumes. Suddenly, the scene is replaced by a seething Doomsday; desperate to save his beloved and the city that groomed him, Clark Kent takes the creature to orbit where it eventually dies of oxygen deprivation. Except it wasn’t Doomsday at all — it was Lois Lane. The fear gas warped Superman’s senses, drugging him, tricking him into killing his own. A detonator inside Lois’s body clicks when her heart stops, setting off bombs that turn the bustling streets of Metropolis into a barren wasteland.
Clark Kent, who had been deprived of his homeworld as an infant, just lost his beating heart (and the city that birthed her) to a senseless crime. What makes it doubly tragic is the Joker himself admits there is no rhyme and reason to his schemes. Injustice Lois died, on a whim. That is all. Blinded by grief and swearing to make everyone responsible pay, Superman begins taking matters into his own hands. He interrupts Batman’s one-on-one with the Joker. Unwilling to compromise and with little need for interrogation, he plunges his fist into the Clown Prince of Crime’s chest, instantly killing him. He then mobilizes society to bend to his will or be destroyed, effectively “throwing away what the Justice League stands for,” as Batman so eloquently put it.
It’s a high-stakes first act befitting of a teaser trailer. It showcased Injustice Superman’s reasons for being and the measures he’s ready to take in defense of the life he once called home. More importantly, it’s a sequence that wasn’t covered in any of the video games, but is the inciting event that kicks off Taylor and Buccellato’s tie-in comic book miniseries. Gods Among Us mentions the Joker’s death in flashbacks, but generally revolves around Batman’s surviving insurgents and the alternate-reality counterparts that helped stem the war One-Earth Superman started. Those who are familiar with the games know the Man of Steel was eventually quashed, locked away in a maximum security prison along with his cohorts. Of course, no jail cell can keep him sequestered forever. If the Injustice movie performs well, we may get a part two based on the sequel with Brainiac as the primary antagonist.
Injustice features an ensemble cast composed of Justin Hartley as Superman, Anson Mount as Batman, Laura Bailey as Lois Lane and Rama Kushna, Zach Callison as Damian Wayne and Jimmy Olsen, Brian T. Delaney as Green Lantern, Brandon Michael Hall as Cyborg, Edwin Hodge as Mr. Terrific and Killer Croc, Oliver Hudson as Plastic Man, Gillian Jacobs as Harley Quinn, Yuri Lowenthal as Mirror Master, 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, Fred Tatasciore as Captain Atom, Janet Varney as Wonder Woman, and Andrew Morgado as Mirror Master Soldier. It comes out on October 19.