Speculation regarding NetherRealm Studios's next big project has run rife in the lead to E3, helped along a little by a recently added question mark avatar, from old Tweeting hypehound, Ed Boon.

Rumors can now be confirmed with the official announcement of Injustice: Gods Among Us -- a new DC Universe fighting game developed by the makers of Mortal Kombat.

With their establishment under new owners, and a new name and studio setup; NetherRealm were quick to express their hopes to expand into properties other than the hugely successful Mortal Kombat, for which they are best known. As their first dedicated departure from MK, Injustice is still staying well within the developer's wheelhouse, not just a fighting game, but also dealing with characters they've had plenty of experience with.

Mortal Kombat Online was, of course, with you to break the exclusive announcement of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe -- a game that began the relationship between the MK, WB and DC initials, back in 2008. More recently, NRS received accolade for contributing support to the development of Batman: Arkham City, whilst taking full rein over its iOS spin-off, Arkham City Lockdown -- a game that included a cameo by MK mainstay, Kano.

When the heroes (and villains) of the DC Universe clashed with Mortal Kombat, the obstacle of narrative and super-powers was resolved with a simple high concept -- a mystic rage. As Ed Boon told Gamespot [below], this time the world of the heroes will receive a more attentive approach in gameplay, as characters are divided into different classes and given specific treatments accordingly.

Gadget and powered distinctions recall a vague, thematic appropriation of conceptual class seen in the MMO, DC Universe Online. The over-the-top nature of the game already promises plenty of super-human feats, with glimpses of arena interactions and character-specific attacks: vehicles as weapons, bodies hurtled through buildings, and a quick trip to the outer atmosphere.

Borrowing parallel universe tropes familiar to comic books, it seems the Justice League heroes themselves may be part of the threat, not just a victim of it. The trailer poses the question, "What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat?" Whether this cribs from a particular comic book reference, or deviates into its own, remains to be seen. NetherRealm have been given license to reinvent the characters visually, though, to reflect a unique state based on iconic and current looks.

Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash take another shot at the fight game, with Solomon Grundy and Harley Quinn also featured in gameplay snippets. Lex Luthor makes a brief cameo in CG custcene, taking a heat vision beating from his Kryptonian arch-nemesis, clad in his trademark powersuit familiar to MKvsDC and comics fans, alike.

Injustice is scheduled for an undetermined 2013 release, meaning more news is likely to be on its way. You can glean more from the official website, Injustice.com, and the promotional Twitter account, @InjusticeGame. Discuss the DC fighting games in our newly launched DC Universe Injustice Forum!