Earlier this month, fighting game legend and co-creator of the Mortal Kombat series, Ed Boon expressed that he’d love to work on a crossover title pairing the universe of characters from both the worlds of Marvel and DC Comics.
Interestingly enough, they’ve actually crossed over quite a few times, from 1976 all the way through 2004 there were semi-regular crossovers between the two companies, most of which are completely non-canon and being set on the “crossover earth” which also was set with various other oddball crossovers the two titans had over the years.
These crossovers included Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man and its immediate sequel, as well as The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans, Marvel vs. DC, Batman vs. the Punisher, and of course, JLA/Avengers among others.
The trick to making a good crossover work is a couple of things, you need to have a good understanding of fan service without going overboard and just doing whatever you want.
The second is, that you need to make both parties seem on an equal footing in the story. Don’t make one character inherently more competent or skilled than another, they both need to be able to show off their strengths and weaknesses without feeling like one character is being favoured.
Far and away, the best crossover between the two is JLA/Avengers as it more than understands its titular characters. It has time for some cool fan service moments but at the same time, they’re brief and don’t distract from the actual story.
That was 2004, it’s currently 2023. How do we, in the current year, make a video game crossover between the world’s greatest superheroes, and the earth’s mightiest?
Many people would suggest using the Injustice games, and while that is a novel idea, and I really enjoy the gameplay loop of those titles, I think they may be a little too bogged down in their own continuity of deceased characters to adequately work.
So instead of using the main Injustice universe, what if instead, this game picked up following the Heroic Universe from the first game they do have their experience with parallel universes already, and that version of Green Arrow is married to Injustice Black Canary meaning they can still reference those games without being cluttered by their stories.
Similarly, Marvel doesn’t really have some big story continuity in games you can just cross over here. There are titles like say Spider-Man by Insomniac or the Ultimate Alliance trilogy, but they don’t carry any common blood.
So instead of using an existing continuity, this will be a new Marvel Universe inspired visually by the comics and the MCU, while not changing a ton with the characters so that their interactions with their DC counterparts will be true to how they would interact in the source material.
The only carryover, much like in Injustice, will be the use of legacy voice actors back as their beloved characters.
A good fighting game is only as good as its campaign, and that begs the question, how do you get two very very different but similar universes to cross paths without aping what’s been done so excellently before? It’s not the most outlandish answer, but both companies have events that wipe the slate clean and involve the entire multiverse, so in a sort of broad stroke, let’s take some elements from Crisis on Infinite Earths, Secret Wars (2015), and even JLA/Avengers and create a story where the multiverses of Earth-Prime and Earth 616 are bleeding into each other and then evaporating into the great beyond.
Once our united heroes of two worlds fail to stop the dark matter incursion, they arrive on the newly christened Battleworld thanks in part to the masterminds of this little trans-dimensional tussle, Doctor Doom and Vandal Savage. The two have decided to help each other out in a way no other can, force their greatest rivals to eliminate each other, and once both the League and Richards are defeated, they’ll reset the multiverses back to normal… albeit with them now in charge above all else. So now it’s up to our heroes to destroy this most deadly alliance and get the omniverse back to how it should be.
Now comes the most important part of any good fighting game, the roster. This is a pretty big deal, it’s a crossover fighter, so you need to rep both series equally, you also need to have at least as many fighters as in the last of the main entries, in this case, Injustice. Reasonably, I think a fair amount is 15 from each series, plus two pre-order characters, putting the total at 32 for the base roster. So without further ado, your starting roster.
1. DC: Batman
Batman, The Dark Knight; He’s Batman, what more needs to be said, his being here is a given, ’nuff said.
But if he’s going up against anyone, it’s the hero who uses his wealth for his supposed ego trip. Voiced by Troy Baker (Arkham Origins, Batman vs.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Lego Batman Games).
2. Marvel: Iron Man
Iron Man, Armored Avenger; same deal as the Dark Knight, he’s a founding Avenger, and the biggest breakout of the MCU, of course he’s in.
The armoured avenger is more than capable on his own, but throw him against a lunatic in a cape with all the same resources?
Voiced by Eric Loomis (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Ultimate Alliance 3).
- War Machine skin
3. Marvel: Captain America
Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty; DC has their trinity of Bruce, Clark, and Diana, but Marvel has one too, and that’s Steve, Tony, and Thor, and if you’re doing a big universe-spanning event, chances are all 3 are present.
Steve is the beacon of heroism and respect, but up against absolute power, will he still stand tall? Voiced by Roger Craig Smith (Disney Infinity, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and Avengers Assemble).
- Sam Wilson Cap skin
4. DC: Superman
Superman, Man of Steel; he’s the biggest hero of incorruptible good possibly ever, there are multiple pieces of media about “but what if he was evil?, including Injustice, that legacy says something, and he more than deserves this spot in the ring.
Clark is the American dream, and facing down a totem of nationalism, will his will be enough? Voiced by George Newbern (Justice League Unlimited, Multiversus, Superman vs. The Elite).
- General Zod skin
5. DC: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman, The Undaunted; the daughter of Zeus and the Princess of Power, the first lady of the DC Universe, easy.
A battle of the ages, gods by lineage and worth both, who will stand triumphant? Voiced by Susan Eisenberg (DC Animated Universe, Injustice, Justice League: Doom).
6. Marvel: Thor Odinson
Thor Odinson, The Thunderer; the warrior prince who learned humility. Is the God of Thunder a match for the Goddess of Truth, or will he face Ragnarok?
Voiced by Travis Willingham (Marvel Disney XD Universe, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and Fortnite).
7. Marvel: Spider-Man
Spider-Man, Your Friendly Neighborhood, y’know; If Superman and Batman are the most popular in DC, Spidey is the most popular of all of them.
Spider-sense is a powerful thing, but can it match a speedster, only time can tell!
Voiced by Yuri Lowenthal (Spider-Man Series By Insomniac, Marvel Future Revolution, and Spider-Man: Unlimited).
- Premier skins of Miles and Ben
8. DC: The Flash
The Flash, The Fastest Man Alive! A hallmark of DC’s many crisis events, whether he’s dying, vanishing into the speed force, or causing a reboot, if something big is going down, you just know a Flash is gonna be there.
And if he’s there, you just know he’ll race across that web of deceit that the wall-crawling menace lays out for the scarlet speedster! Voiced by Josh Keaton (DC Superhero Girls, Justice League: Cosmic Circus, and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths).
- Jay and Thawne skins
9. DC: Hawkgirl
Hawkgirl, the Immortal Reborn! A Lot of this roster was built on the idea of including rivalries that would blossom into friendships, and none of those work better for me than someone who makes Logan of all characters feel like he’s inexperienced.
Voiced by Jamie Gray Hyder (Green Lantern: Beware My Power).
10. Marvel: Wolverine
Wolverine is the best there is at what he does! One of the most popular Marvel characters, period, and he tends to stand alone in having an equal at the distinguished competition, although the Hawks may just be that match for Weapon X.
Voiced by Steve Blum (The Super Hero Squad Show, Wolverine and the X-Men, and X-Men Legends).
11. Marvel: Black Panther
Black Panther, The king by birth and by trial! A warrior of both cunning and brutality who rules over the nation-state of Wakanda, home to the indestructible Vibranium, so what better opponent than the noble king of the Justice League?
Voiced by James C. Mathis III (Marvel Future Avengers, Marvel Heroes, and Disney Infinity 3.0).
12. DC: Aquaman
Aquaman, The rightful king of Atlantis! A fair and just king who’s more than ready to take on any who’d challenge him, especially a monarch who’s had his fair share of troubles with his own Atlantean king… Voiced by Phil LaMar (Young Justice, DCAU, and Injustice).
13. DC: Black Canary
Black Canary, the Sonic Sweetheart! One of the most respected heroes in the DCU, from the Birds of Prey to the JSA, and even the JLA, she’s done it all.
What more is taking on a false god? Voiced by Grey DeLisle (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, DC Showcase: Green Arrow).
14. Marvel: Storm
Storm, the Weather Witch! A leader of the X-Men unlike any other and worshipped as Queen of the Morlocks and a God among her people back home, but can she rain hell on Canary?
Voiced by Mara Junot (Midnight Suns, Ultimate Alliance 3).
15. Marvel: Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel, when fan fiction becomes fan fact! One of the youngest heroes here and a member of a legacy removed from her own powers, but is Kamala gonna be enough to take down an alien techno-parasite?; Voiced by Sandra Saad (Avengers 2020 Videogame, Spidey and his Amazing Friends).
16. DC: Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle, when two are better than one! Jaime and Khaji have a big challenge ahead of them if they’re gonna take down this mutated horror; Voiced by Antony Del Rio (Injustice 2).
17. DC: Mr. Terrific
Mr. Terrific, the world’s third smartest man (but who made the list…) Michael is an explorer of the multiverse and infinity itself and nothing annoys him more than power being used so carelessly like with his fantastic foe; Voiced by Hannibal Burress (Justice League: Action).
18. Marvel: Mister Fantastic
Mister Fantastic, the rubbery leader of the greatest team of explorers. Reed is a man of science, even in the face of gods and monsters there’s always a rational explanation, but a parallel universe where his world is fiction and fiction is reality, maybe too much for him; Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Lego Marvel Super Heroes).
- The Maker skin that changes gameplay
19. Marvel: Rocket Racoon
Rocket Racoon, nobody’s him but him; Rocket always looks for a scrap but when this golden idiot from no future the Procyonidae had ever heard of (and he’s heard of quite a few in his day) commandeers his ship, there’ll be hell to pay with that fuse lit.
Voiced by Nolan North (Marvel Heroes, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, and Ultimate Alliance 3).
20. DC: Booster Gold
Booster Gold, the greatest hero you’ve never heard of… until now!; Seeing an impossible fused doomsday in his present, Booster with faulty time-space circuits ends up right on the windshield of the Milano, but he’s gonna need all the tech he can get if he’s gonna stop the end of the world.
Voiced by Tom Everett Scott (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold).
21. DC: Big Barda
Big Barda, a power couple like no other: Barda and Scott have each other and that’s enough, but when a new high-profile jade lawyer comes to town on account of Darkseid, the two try to put a stop to whatever game is afoot.
Voiced by Laura Post (Justice League: Action).
22. Marvel: She-Hulk
She-Hulk smashes through the fourth wall; Hired by a mysterious large grey man, Jen heads to Hollywood in a case against stuntman and entertainer Scott Free, although she’s not so sure her employer is perfectly legitimate… Voiced by Kira Buckland (Marvel TL;DR).
23. Marvel: Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts; The sorcerer supreme of his realm and many others he governs suddenly finds himself out of his depth when a possessed man claims to be the true bearer of the title and seeks to grow in power and reclaim his home from this agent of Dormammu.
Voiced by Liam O’Brian (Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell, Marvel Powers United VR, and Marvel Dimension of Heroes).
24. DC: Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate, Guardian of the Lords of Order; The sorcerer supreme and host of the ancient being, Nabu, finds himself in a new world where a mere child plays around with the tools of the divine, so he lays claim to the right of his title and takes this sanctum as his new mystical base.
Voiced by David Sobolov (Injustice 2).
25. DC: The Joker
The Joker, Clown Prince of Crime; Joker is a criminal unlike any other, chaos incarnate, truly an equal to Batman in every conceivable way, from gadgets to his mind to recruiting new allies, he’s an original and he’s fine with that.
That is until a freak with a man purse flies into town and steals credit for crimes he committed, whoever this goon is, he’ll be sorry because Mr. J is getting the last laugh.
Voiced by Richard Epcar (Mortal Kombat 11, Infinite Crisis, Injustice).
26. Marvel: Green Goblin
Green Goblin, He’s Out…Out of His Mind!; Sanity is dead and gone for this one, and his life has become making Spider-Man as miserable as humanly possible, so when he’s whisked from his universe to a new one and starts getting mistaken for another green and purple-clad maniac…maybe this could have some advantages.
Voiced by Roger L. Jackson (Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows).
- Hobgoblin skin
27. Marvel: Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom the second Greatest Scientific and Mystical Mind; Ego drives this man more than anything else, especially his perceived superiority to Reed Richards, so when a chance arrives to best not just Richards, but Spider-Man, as well as every Avenger whoever had the gall to cross him, he jumps on that chance, albeit he can’t see he’s being played too.
Voiced by Paul Dobson (Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Marvel Super Heroes 4D).
28. DC: Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage, The Immortal Caveman; The greatest schemer of his and any era, an eternal being who lives through whispers and backstabbing, and when power comes into his possession, he uses it to ravage not just his world but those that could be future threats, and especially weaklings who believe themselves equal.
Voiced by Phil Morris (Justice League Animated Series, Justice League: Doom).
29. DC: Black Adam
Black Adam, Benevolent Demigod King of Kahndaq; None understand balancing power and compassion better than Teth-Adam.
When his nation begins getting an influx of Krakoan guests heralded by an elderly man, Adam offers only a warning before shedding their blood. Voiced by Joey Naber (Injustice Series)
30. Marvel: Magneto
Magneto, Master of Magnetism; There are few who have seen pain and experienced rage like that of Erik Lensherr, so when he and a number of Krakoan citizens end up in a world ruled by a mystical demigod, they seek refuge, only to be denied solace, mutants must once again take up arms to protect their right to live. Voiced by Tom Kane (Wolverine and the X-Men, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Ultimate Alliance 3).
You may notice I left out two very particular characters, those being the pre-order bonuses, in this case, it’s because of story relevance.
31. Bonus Marvel: Captain Britain
Captain Britain, Hero of the Omniverse; Every choice creates a universe, and every universe is guarded by a Captain Britain, an Omniversal Corps of heroes that defend from events that threaten the totality of creation.
So when the dark messiah of the Dark Multiverse, the doomed hell Multiverse of worlds never meant to be, comes barging into the positive universe, chaos is afoot, and it’s up to Billy Braddock to stop the merging before it’s permanent
32. Bonus DC: “The Batman Who Laughs”
The Batman Who Laughs, Vengeance of the Dark Multiverse; Evil Incarnate. There are no other words to describe him other than a perversion of one of the best heroes in the positive universe.
A villain from a multiverse of ever-shifting doomed worlds that were never meant to be, worlds where evil won, and worlds where their very deaths fuel the life above.
BWL is traversing the worlds bit by bit so he can gather the tools to rift worlds together into a battle world that he’ll destroy with everything on it and funnel the energy back into the Dark Multiverse, trillions would die, but his people would live, is it funny or sick, who can tell really?
Potential DLC Characters
This is without even touching on DLC as a potential subject, but two seasons of five characters each, with one guest in each!
- DLC Season 1
- Fighter 33. Darkseid
- Fighter 34. Thanos
- Fighter 35. Deadpool
- Fighter 36. Harley Quinn
- Fighter 37. Liu Kang (Mortal Kombat)
- DLC Season 2:
- Fighter 38. Green Lantern
- Fighter 39. Nova
- Fighter 40. The Punisher
- Fighter 41. Green Arrow
- Fighter 42. Darth Vader (Star Wars)