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Top 10: Gods We Want Among Us - Villains!

07/01/2012 :: Posted at 04:07 AM by Mick-Lucifer
Mortal Kombat Online Chooses 10 of the Villains We Most Want in Injustice!

The boffins at NetherRealm Studios are back at work, applying their trade to a universe of superhuman skills and deadly fighting techniques -- but it isn't Mortal Kombat! In 2013, the heroes and villains of DC Comics will get the fighting game treatment once again, arriving in Injustice: Gods Among Us!

?With more than seventy years of four-color history to draw inspiration from, it's a wide and wonderful world of possibilities that awaits! So far, a confirmed playable character list is split between six heroes and villains who possess Power and Gadget abilities: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Harley Quinn and Solomon Grundy.
Emphasis on adaptable, character-specific skills promises to make Injustice a very different experience to the hugely successful Mortal Kombat games the studio is best known for. Interactive fighting environments will add a special superhero twist to the side-to-side of battle, making characters and location as much a factor as preparation time and training.

Two weeks ago, we lept upon the wild stallion of speculation to pick an eclectic mix of Ten Heroes We Want Among Us. With so many characters available in the DC canon, we simply couldn't resist assembling the Mortal Kombat Online staff to catalogue our Top Ten Villains, as well!

For the sake of keeping it fresh, we're putting aside the iconic characters who were last brought to life by NetherRealm Studios, in 2008's Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe, as well as those already featured in Injustice. That means you can assume the likes of Darkseid, Lex Luthor, Joker, Deathstroke, Green Lantern, Catwoman and Captain Marvel are already pretty high on our list.

Fans with superhuman vision have also spotted what appears to be Doomsday lurking in the background of preview footage, so we're going to put the hulk that once killed Superman to one side, as well. With only ten villains, we're bound to miss plenty of other great characters, though. So be sure to share your thoughts with us in the forum comments!

#1 Scarecrow
Real Name: Dr. Jonathan Crane
First Appearance: World's Finest Comics #3 (1941)

With feature appearances in the hugely successful Batman Begins and The Dark Knight films -- the villainous doctor of fear, Scarecrow, is a pretty hot commodity, these days!

His video game acumen was popularly proven in 2009's breakthrough award winning title, Arkham Asylum, where the hallucinogenic properties of the Scarecrow's fear toxin took the plot in bizarre and creepy directions! Scarecrow's value to the reportedly expanded story mode of Injustice is a given, but simulating the fevered response of fear and paranoia in the fighting game domain isn't without its charms.

The constraints of a shared screen might mean options are a little bit limited, taking away, say, the potential to flood your opponents screen with nightmare creatures and contorted visions -- a fun idea for screen-to-screen multiplayer! That said, there are plenty of conventional methods for messing with your opponents head, which would work just fine: forcing characters into a control scrambled panic, freezing them with trembling terror, or just stripping them of their powers with stage fright.

#2 Ra's al Ghul
Real Name: Ra's al Ghul
First Appearance: Batman #232 (1971)

It's important to remember that there's a whole lot more to the DC Universe than just the characters you've seen in Batman. Still, riding on the crest of a Liam Neeson fake-out appearance in Batman Begins -- which may or may not have a role to play in the July 20-bound sequel -- the man called Ra's al Ghul is a fair choice!

Deathstroke showed how swordplay can factor in to a villain's moveset, even in a game without specific switch-out weapon styles (MKvsDC). The trademark scimitar of the master-villain could be an interesting twist, but for a character who is otherwise best represented with deft hand-to-hand fighting skills, you can't go past the gimmick of environments. Several hundred years old, "The Demon Head" enjoys near-eternal life thanks to the unnatural healing powers of the mysterious natural phenomena called a Lazarus Pit!

Bubbling in the background of any number of applicable backgrounds, a Lazarus Pit available for a quick dip, supplying a health recovery boost, would no doubt make Ra's an intriguing opponent on home soil. The pits can famously even resurrect the dead, albeit in a maddened state. With shades of Gill from the Street Fighter series, Ra's could become a compelling boss, or mode-specific challenge, if nothing else.

#3 Sinestro
Real Name: Thaal Sinestro
First Appearance: Green Lantern #7 (1961)

Once the greatest of the Green Lanterns, Sinestro was exposed as a tyrant and surpassed by the human recruit he trained, Hal Jordan. Stripped of his green ring of willpower, Sinestro would later come into possession of a yellow ring created by the Weaponers of Qward! Fuelled by the fear he inspires, Sinestro leads his own army of yellow lanterns, known as the Sinestro Corps!

Under the direction of Geoff Johns, the Green Lantern comics have enjoyed a long lived reneissance, which propelled Sinestro back to the top tier of villainy in the DC Universe. This significance saw Sinestro, along with his Corps, briefly featured in an ending in Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe, making his arrival in Injustice longcoming and welcome!

On a basic level, Sinestro runs the risk of being a return to palette swaps -- yellow for green -- but with the energy constructs of a power ring character, there's a lot of opportunity for differences in application and visual representation. A more aggressive, fear-inspiring figure; Sinestro's use of the ring should differ from any Green Lantern inevitably joining the Injustice line-up. Exhibiting the harder edge of an amoral Lantern, Sinestro can veer into more overtly violent designs, with a more aggressive playstyle designed to punish opponents.

#4 Black Adam
Real Name: Teth-Adam
First Appearance: The Marvel Family #1 (1945)

Like Sinestro, Black Adam represents an alternate vision of the powers possessed by a heroic counterpart -- in this case, Captain Marvel. In a game where the heroes may very well have gone rogue, this could either make for the perfectly matched counter-response to a corrupt Marvel, or simply provide an easy-bake compliment to titilate fans who will no doubt be eagre to see their favourites.

Another of the characters refurbished and reinvigorated not too long ago by Geoff Johns, the character has actually loitered in the grey area of morality, not always the polarized villain his name suggests, even if his willingness to extinguish a life is ever-present. An ancient hero, powered by an Egyptian-inspired pantheon that make up his particular SHAZAM acronym; Black Adam once again offers the basic opportunity to create a more deliberate, violent incarnation of the Captain Marvel character. That said, with downloadable content a known factor for the future of Injustice, characters like this might be best accepted in an add-on capacity, tittilating fans who are eagre to see their favourite characters move across the screen, without the burden of a completely unique skillset expected of an initial playable roster.

#5 Gorilla Grodd
Real Name: Grodd
First Appearance: Flash #106 (1959)

Batman villains may have all the press, but when it comes to the world of the comic books, the Flash Rogues will give any crooked gallery a run for their money! Although not technically a member of the elite brotherhood known as The Rogues, Gorilla Grodd has had more than his fair share of tangles with the men who've been The Flash!

When you boil it all down, there're really only a couple of things you need to know about Gorilla Grodd: He's a super-intelligent gorilla and he has mind control powers. If you really need more explanation than that, I can't help but think you're not doing your part for humanity. Fighting games have had their trists with fighting animals, but none have had the emotive potential of Gorilla Grodd, whose physical strength would be aptly complimented by ape-like dexterity and the potential to take possession of the opposing character! We know the idea here is to distance the game from MK, but controlling opponents was used to good effect with Quan Chi in the last game, and is ripe for expansion.

#6 Amazo
Real Name: N/A
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #30 (1960)

Offering a unique twist on the fighting game tradition of a character with stolen moves -- Amazo is a super-powered android created by the mad Professor Ivo. Able to scan and mimick the super-human abilities of the entire Justice League, Amazo can just about have any in-game ability you can conceive of.

As a story mode obstacle, Amazo has the potential to be a serious heavy-hitter, powered up with any and all powers programmed amongst the playable cast. As a balanced character with a unique hook, the option is there to simply mirror the abilities of an immediate opponent, or add any combination of others in any conceivable fashion. Choosing from the list might be a bit timeconsuming, so a secondary or complete list of randomized special abilities might be an interesting idea. Assuming the Power character functions of Injustice couldn't just boil it all down to presentation.

#7 Poison Ivy
Real Name: Pamela Isley
First Appearance: Batman #181 (1966)

In the immortal words of the often covered song, "You can look, but you better not touch!" Poison Ivy isn't exactly the most physically involved when it comes to combat in the DC Universe, usually favouring the manipulation of male brutes, but over the past few years, she remains a curiously popular character within a certain element of the fanbase. Many noticed the absence of Swamp Thing in our heroes list, but in a world always in need of a little gender diversity, Poison Ivy takes the powers of "The Green" and goes completely wild with it!

Able to call upon the most destructive forces of the plant world; Ivy's penchant for summoning vines, flytraps and other rapidly growing botanic brutalizers has the potential to take background interaction to new levels! Perhaps more than any other character, Ivy could go so far as to influence the environment, in a mechanic that allows her floral growth to remain a constant, or alter the surrounding terrain.

#8 Rag Doll
Real Name: Peter Merkel Jr
First Appearance: Villains United #1 (2005)

In our Top 10 Heroes we threw a few curve balls, and I think it's safe to say this is another one. Contorted for an available pitcher, Rag Doll could probably quite literally be thrown as a curveball, which alludes to why he's such an intriguing possibility.

Introduced in 2005 under writer Gail Simone, the character earned a pretty dedicated cult following almost instantly as a member of DC's Secret Six. Legacy character to the golden age Flash villain of the same name -- this particular Rag Doll has the distinction of an unnatural, medical means of super-contortion -- deformed with a rash of surgical scars beneath his lanky harlequin exterior.

With a twisted, sunny disposition to go with his twisted body, this almost has the potential to become a basic exercise in animation ragdoll physics. Inviting the hyper-kinetic style of the Capcom Versus games, Rag Doll is his own weapon, primed to hurl and bounce across the screen like a flying mess of limbs. Unfamiliarity may make this seem an odd choice, but with the right degree of mania, Rag Doll would be an instant hit, even if his spastic fighting style meant that wasn't true of every in-game attack. In a game aiming for the Evo Championships, that's the kind of unpredictability you can't buy -- and a great way to introduce the meta tier!

#9 Prometheus
Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: New Year's Evil: Prometheus #1 (1998)

Witness to his parents death when they were gunned down by law enforcement at the end of a murderous crime spree; Prometheus vowed to use the ill gotten fortune of his parents to dedicate his adult life to the eradication of justice. Travelling the world, he amasses a wealth of skills, knowledge and technology, refining himself into the ultimate human weapon!

Conceived as the anti-Batman, Prometheus is everything you would expect: a master tactician at the peak of physical human ability, superbly trained in hand-to-hand and special weapons combat. With a helmet that can download specialist skills direct to his brain, capturing the essence of Prometheus in a fighting game poses some obstacles, but we have faith that it's possible.

Customarily armed with a techno-tonfa and Ghost Key, which allows him instant teleportation -- the big difficulty is simply avoiding reducing Prometheus to the bland status of a common character. It was this type of approach that resulted in the introduction of an impostor (in comics), patsy to explain away the fumbling of a villain who once single-handedly took down the might of the Justice League! With that in mind, who better to take fire from the gods among us than Prometheus?

#10 Mirror Master
Real Name: Evan McCulloch
First Appearance: Animal Man #8 (1989)

Mirror Master is another of the Flash's legendary rogues we'd love to see in Injustice. Originally Sam Scudder, the most recent man to take the name is Scottish mercenary, Evan McCulloch, and we assume he might be the logical choice. In any event, it's the unique abilities of the Mirror Master that makes him an attractive choice, not just to us! It seems the MKOmmunity has taken a long hard look at themselves and seen the potential of Mirror Master, too!

Able to enter a mirror universe through any reflective surface, Mirror Master's potential interactions with his environments could get pretty far-out, given the right amount of ingenuity and in-game tech. Able to attack from all sides, given the opportunity, Mirror Master could simply fight with protruding limbs, or go so far as create mirror duplicates of himself. This is a mirror match quite unlike what you're used to!

There's still an entire universe of villainy that we haven't touched upon. Share your wishlist for heroes and villains in the DC Universe Injustice forums. Keep up to date with DC coverage by following @MK_Online and liking us on Facebook.

     
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