The DC Universe can be pretty intimidatingly complicated. It’s a place filled with heroes, villains, vigilantes, sentient planets and superpowered rabbits, each existing in a seemingly infinite number of (or for a while, 52) parallel universes. The recently released DC-based fighting game Injustice 2, like its predecessor, is set in one of the many universes that make up the vast Multiverse of DC’s mythology.
Now that the game’s been out for a few days, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the lesser known characters from the game, to give you a little bit of history on them and how they relate to their more famous in-game counterparts.
After all, anyone who’s been to the movies in the past 20 years or who watches any of The CW‘s Arrowverse shows probably knows all about Batman, the Joker, Superman, The Flash, Green Arrow, and Supergirl.
Their stories have been told ad nauseam (especially when it comes to Batman) and frankly, we’d be pretty shocked if someone out there didn’t know that Batman’s parents were brutally murdered by a common thug when he was a child, or that The Flash’s mother was brutally murdered by Professor Zoom or that Superman’s parents were brutally murdered by an exploding planet.
We’ve selected a few characters we find particularly intriguing and provided a bit of history and context for who they are and what roles they play in the intricate puzzle of the DC Universe. Let’s dive in!
Jamie Reyes, who may be familiar to viewers of the animated series Young Justice, was once a normal teenager living in El Paso, Texas with his mother, when he stumbled upon a mysterious scarab that immediately bonded to his spine, transforming him into the superhero known as the Blue Beetle and encasing Jamie in a protective armor.
However, he was not the first person to hold this title. Prior to Reyes, the scarab was once the property of Ted Kord who also fought crime as the Beetle and was a member of the Justice League. Kord was murdered by Maxwell Lord, the megalomaniacal leader of a villainous group called Checkmate. After Kord discovered files containing the secret identities, powers and weaknesses of all the heroes on Earth on Checkmate computers, Maxwell Lord shot him in the head point blank.
The scarab that grants Blue Beetle its abilities can manifest an array of powers that usually occur whenever Jamie is in danger. The protective armour that the scarab surrounds Jamie with can take the form of a variety of weapons such as blades, cannons that shoot energy and wings enabling Jamie to fly.
After Dick Grayson retired as Robin and assumed the guise of Nightwing, Batman recruited young orphan Jason Todd to be his ward and take over as the new Boy Wonder. While on a quest to discover his birth parents, Todd finds his mother being held hostage by the Joker. However, in his attempts to rescue her, he’s instead betrayed by her and handed over to the Joker who savagely beats him with a crowbar. Joker plants a time bomb where Jason and his mother are being held and the bomb explodes before Batman arrives to save them.
Years later, after a universe shattering event wherein an alternate version of Superboy punched the barriers of reality causing it to ripple and distort (because comic books), Jason Todd’s life was restored. Bitter and jaded, he returned to Gotham as the vigilante known as the Red Hood seeking revenge on the Joker, who he eventually beat with a crowbar. He also battled Batman, became Nightwing, went back to being the Red Hood, became Batman after Bruce Wayne was lost in time (comics!) then went back to being Red Hood again. It’s a whole thing. He’s really kind of a mess.
However, if you’re curious about Jason Todd or Red Hood, be sure to check out the DC Animated Universe feature Batman: Under The Red Hood or the classic comic book series “Batman: A Death In The Family“. Both are absolutely worth your time.
Kent Nelson was an archaeologist who discovered the ancient tomb of the sorcerer Nabu and revived him. Nabu then taught Kent the ways of magic and sorcery out of gratitude for releasing him from eternal suspended animation, and eventually bestowed upon Kent the Helmet of Fate.
Fate’s powers include flight, spellcasting, telepathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis. He’s basically Gandalf meets Professor X meets Firestarter, which is awesome. Also, his powers manifest visually as Egyptian hieroglyphs.
And, come on, that’s pretty damn cool.