The Flash in Video Games Part 6: Injustice

Today’s guest post is by Colin Crebs.

Flash fans rejoice! Another playable Flash in a fighting game appears, this time in Injustice: Gods Among Us. But is he done well, or is it an… injustice?

Injustice: Trinity Plus the Flash

Pictured above: The Flash striking a pose with the DC Trinity, with Solomon Grundy photobombing.

For quick reference, here is a video of the Flash fighting Shazam. You can see the Flash do some super-speed combos, slow down time, and perform his Super Move where he runs entirely around the world just because why not. If you practice with him for a few minutes, you will discover he’s very different in play-style from his appearance in MKvDC. He will seem generally slower, with no ability to zip around the stage with impunity. But he may grow on you.

Injustice: Flash vs Nightwing

First, he’s got a lightning fast anti-air uppercut, like a faster, more horizontal Shoryuken, which is super satisfying to shut people down with. So characters coming at him from above are generally no problem. Second, he’s got a Lightning Kick move, which becomes especially awesome when combined with “Meter-Burn”, which turns it into a super-speed flurry of kicks that end in a popup. So you can juggle combo with the Flash fairly easily from it, a recurring theme in many of the Flash’s gaming appearances. He’s also got a fast dashing attack, where he chucks himself like a cannonball head-first at the opponent, some overhead smash attacks, and a “wind-up” stance for attacking high, mid, or low. So there’s still plenty of strategies and mind games you can play on your opponents. This Flash comes off especially like E. Honda in my mind, reminiscent of his days in Justice League Task Force.

But enough about gameplay mechanics, since the game is still very young and subject to change based on new strategies, tournaments, and patches.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: The Flash

What’s interesting about the Flash’s character in Injustice’s storyline, without spoiling anything, is that he doesn’t consider himself godlike in the Justice League. Whereas Superman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman are all super fast, strong, and capable of flight, the Flash identifies more with someone like Green Arrow on the ground (they’re both intimidated that Shazam can call magical lightning from the sky.) I thought this was an interesting direction, because the Flash is used as a direct analogue to Hermes all the time in the comics. The idea that he’s more human, and kind of insecure about his role in the Justice League, is good characterization and deeper than a comedic relief role. It’s Green Arrow cracking all the jokes in this one. This ‘more human’ Flash is kind of reflected in his play-style. Whereas Black Adam and Superman will be chucking planes and trees at each other in many of the levels, the Flash relies more on agility and positioning.

In terms of Flash-specific fan service, don’t expect a lot from Injustice however. There is no Flash-specific stage to wage battle on. While Wonder Woman has Themyscira, Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, and Batman has the Batcave, Gotham, and Arkham Asylum, there is no Flash Museum or Keystone City or anything like that. Moreover, in terms of arch-nemeses, while Wonder Woman has Ares, Batman has the Joker, and Green Lantern has Sinestro, the Flash is bankrupt. Despite how cool it would be, there is no playable Mirror Master, Captain Cold, or Gorilla Grodd, etc. I applaud the developers for including some obscure characters that have never seen the video game light of day, like Raven and Killer Frost. But where’s the love for the Flash? The first DLC character on the horizon is Lobo, and Superman already has Doomsday and Lex Luthor.

And as you may have already seen, all of the Flash’s unlockable costumes are variations of the classic red and yellow. You can’t go wrong with red and yellow, but the lengths you have to go just for the Flash’s Elseworlds costume are Herculean and probably not worth it. Maybe we can hope for Blue Lantern Flash, Black Flash, Reverse Flash, or even Jay Garrick Flash sometime in the future. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle with a lot of Flash-related icons and backgrounds you can customize your “Hero Card” with.

Final verdict? Super fun. The storyline is a big hug to DC fans, the Flash is competitive, and there’s a lot to unlock through leveling and completing STAR Labs challenges. It will have to tide you over for a while, as the Flash is appearing in a fighting game once every 5 years at this rate.

Previous articles in this series include Part 1: 90s Handhelds, Part 2: Earth’s Final Defense, Part 3: Justice League Task Force, Part 4: MK vs DCU & MUGEN and Part 5: The Lost Flash Game.


11 thoughts on “The Flash in Video Games Part 6: Injustice

  1. Greg Elias

    My favorite Flash STAR Labs mission has got to be the one where you save people from falling debris while fighting Grundy.

    Once you get the dash position moves down, it is a blast and you can really disorient opponents. Such an awesome game!

    1. Devin

      Greg, I completely forgot to hit you back about playing some matches online. I’m kind of weird about playing online (grew up with the old school fighting tournaments with tons of friends) but I would love to get some matches in.

  2. Ben

    To unlock the elseworlds costume, do you need 3.stars in all the s.t.a.r labs missions? Or just the Flash’s?

  3. Kyer

    Watched a bit of game play for Flash and loved the high-speed scenes between battles. Would be more than satisfied if they made a Flash movie this way.
    Eh….without the stupid reasons for some of those battles.
    I mean, seriously? Flash confronts Ollie and instead of telling him he’s joined the insurgents they have to fight? Worse, Flash hits Ollie multiple times *including* with his Around-The-World-In-80-miliseconds move and Ollie gets back up and continues to fight? Grundy I could see, but **Ollie**?! So either Ollie is either a new mutant with a healing factor on par with Wolverine or Flash’s best move is greatly overrated. Obviously one is not supposed to take this stuff seriously. 😛

  4. Javi

    Kyer, how the “normal” heroes can take so much punishment is addressed in the game. There is a reason for it, but I’ll save any spoilers for now, unless you want to know more.

    1. Kyer

      Thanks, and about 15 minutes ago I probably would have taken you up on that, but just clicked out of YT after watching a Superman Unbound clip. It was looking alright until some Kryptonian got the back of his head blown out in all its bloody gush glory. Add to that the last YT clip I checked out of a recent Batman clip as with Joker and what looked like a gouged out eye?
      Just animation? Maybe. But I have a vivid imagination and don’t need those kind of scenes stuck in my head.

      I think DC has left me behind and where it’s going, I really don’t want to follow be it DC52 or old universe. Not even going to bother looking up clips of Flashpoint Paradox when it comes out and that will have both Flash and Superman in it; yes, abhor the story, but was planning to see a bit of Flash in a clip.
      Now I’m afraid to.
      Never, ever thought I’d one day be afraid to view Superman or Flash. Batman, kept a wary eye on when cared at all, but Supes and Flash were always ‘safe’ ground for me.
      Not anymore.

      1. Kyer

        Ah. Well. I do have one thing to thank Superman Unbound DCAU for….going back to YT have rediscovered Fleischer’s 1940’s cartoons. Now THOSE were personable *and* clean fun with really good animation. Haven’t seen these since a young kid. 🙂


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