Superhero fighting games are nothing new. DC and Mortal Kombat’s relationship runs deeper than Batman and Superman’s relationship. Thanos and Mega Man have even taken a swing at one another – although we’re not quite sure why Mega Man ever thought he’d win that fight.
However, while of course the characters in Injustice and Marvel Vs. Capcom – which are easily two of the best comic book video games – make up a significant portion of the popular characters from both DC and Marvel, there are so many lesser-known characters – and comics – that deserve their own fighting games. From The Guardians of the Globe to a potty-mouthed British warlock, it’s about time that more comic books were adapted into fighting games.
The Injustice games are fantastic. Both games offer fans the ultimate DC crossover event, featuring characters from across the publisher’s impressive roster of comics. However, while it contains your classic DC heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, it is sorely lacking a lot of the minor heroes that make the DC universe so nuanced. Enter 52, a comic so jam-packed with obscure heroes – it even includes a cameo from The Blimp – that it is pure buffoonery that it hasn’t had some form of video game adaptation.
In 52, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have all disappeared, leaving the remaining heroes to do their thing and save the world – Batman really needed a holiday, you can hardly blame him. That leaves the likes of Booster Gold, Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project heroes, Elongated Man, and more to fend for themselves. Oh, and Animal Man is floating around in space dealing with a reformed Lobo. If none of that makes sense to you – you should really read the comic, it’s fantastic – then fear not. Just imagine a fighting game with a lot of really cool, heavily underutilized heroes and villains, with a handful of recognizable names. Would it sell well? Probably not. Would it be amazing though? Oh, absolutely.
4 Justice League Dark
Speaking of superhero teams with underutilized characters, have you ever heard of Justice League Dark? The answer for a lot of people is likely yes, although those unfamiliar with the wider DC universe may have passed these folks by. Essentially imagine the JLA but instead of Superman you have John Constantine – the lovable chain-smoking Brit with a penchant for swearing – and instead of Batman, you have Frankenstein. Sure, it’s a weird universe. But in our opinion, the weirder, the better.
Of course, the focus on magic would greatly transform the kind of fighting game this would be. While there are heavy-hitters in the Justice League Dark comics, for the most part, the majority of its members rely on the occult to help them fight. This could lead to a fascinating subversion of the fighting game genre, and work in conjunction alongside the Injustice series as opposed to feeling exactly the same. The tone of these comics – which is often quite dark, hence the name – would also work well with the Injustice games and keep a sense of consistency across the DC fighting games. Additionally, while they’ve already done this in Injustice 2, you could bring in some DLC characters such as Hellboy or Sandman as they fit the theme rather nicely. Suffice to say, the potential is absolutely there.
Invincible seems absolutely ripe for a fighting game adaptation. Its enormous roster of colorful characters spanning both heroes and villains would make up a killer cast of characters to control. With such a range of abilities and powers to draw from – including turning into a giant monster or being a literal bulldog – each and every playable character would feel unique. In terms of who could be in the game, you could include anyone from Invincible himself all the way to the many versions of the Guardians of the Globe – who seriously need their own game, by the way.
From the original line-up made popular through the show – because, you know, they got absolutely bludgeoned to death – to the later versions including Japandroid, Best Tiger, and Black Samson, the Guardians of the Globe alone are packed with brilliant characters. With the Amazon show nearing its latest season and the comic having now concluded, it is surely only a matter of time before a video game is announced. Let’s just hope it’s a fighting game and not another mobile Gacha game.
2 The Boys
You’re likely wondering how The Boys would make for a compelling fighting game when they have so few characters. Well, much like Invincible, the Amazon adaptation of The Boys is excellent, but omits numerous characters and plot points from the comics. From the Young Americans to the G-Men, there are a lot of additional superheroes and characters that are either seen or alluded to in the comics. So, if you’re worried about having an impressive roster of heroes and villains to play as, fear not, as The Boys has them in droves.
Even if you were to take just the ones that have appeared so far in the TV show and its animated spin-off, you’d still have a large number of characters and abilities to play around with. Of course, having Homelander go up against pretty much anyone would be an unfair fight – he’s basically Superman, he’d just melt Hughie’s head right off and no one wants to see that. So, a few concessions would have to be made, or you’d have to go into it suspending your disbelief just that little bit more. But, frankly, it would be worth it, as a The Boys fighting game would be so much fun – and violent, extremely violent.
We all love it when the good guys turn bad. From Superman: Red Son to Batman: White Knight, there are a lot of instances where the so-called heroes join the dark side. Irredeemable runs with this idea by turning its super-powered hero, the Plutonian, murderously evil. He quite literally decides to slaughter the population of Earth. It’s brutal. What makes this comic so special is its treatment of what it means to be a hero. This is something that could be further explored through the lens of a fighting game – a genre with traditionally good guys and bad guys.
You could even draw from the spin-off Incorruptible and look at Max Damage and his slow and painful path to becoming a superhero. Building a narrative around what it truly means to be good and evil, and contextualizing it with action-packed fights would make an Irredeemable fighting game irresistible. Additionally, there are plenty of characters to build a roster around too, such as the superhero team The Paradigm, as well as the plethora of villains that they come up against. Like all the games on this list, it is surprising that Irredeemable hasn’t been given the video game treatment. It is just further proof that we need more comic book video games in our lives.
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