Injustice: Gods Among Us (Year 1)

 

A seed must die for the plant to grow.

Times come when difficult decisions must be made. Injustice shows that these times are usually triggered by small but significant changes in the characters.

After Superman kills his pregnant fiancé, Lois, under the influence of the Joker’s concoction of Scarecrow’s hallucinating gas and stolen Kryptonite, the man of Steel becomes a thundering bowl of clouded judgement, vengeance, and sentiment-driven reaction (which later gets a support system to form it into a twisted form of pro-action).

The seeds are two. The first is the one of unforgiveness – planted when Superman declines every opportunity to “step back” and grieve. The second is myopic decision-making that is rooted in narcissistic altruism(more on this later) but manifests itself as a mockery of the very values it espouses.

 

Conflict of worldviews

The rift between the two (growing) teams in Injustice stems from a conflict between the two ‘main’ characters of Year 1; Superman and Batman. The issue of contention is the handling of evil and its doers.

Superman (now) believes that the flame of evil must be snuffed out once and for all before it becomes a roaring blaze. He will, for a brief moment, bask in the wafts of a flickering candle flame before plunging it into the dark and frigid depths of the waters.

Batman believes in managing the flame – not blowing it out completely. He contends that no candle has the right to snuff out another – regardless of the danger the misguided or ill-willed candle might be putting the entire house in.

 

Selfishness and Self-serving altruism

The bulk of human decisions are taken purely because we believe they are the most correct. These decisions are founded on narcissistic altruism at best and selfishness at worst. They inevitably serve the majority at best and only the decision-maker at worst but one thing is clear – the decision-maker will always benefit, whether it be in drops or in torrents.

 

Leadership and Serving Team

There are at least two leadership styles that manifest in the events that unfold, particularly after the rift causes people to team up based on their inclinations and/or allegiances.

On the one hand, Superman is the benevolent dictator – transparent, listening, and firm on his choices once he eventually gets around to making them.

On the other hand, Batman is the sociopathic commander – secretive, calculating, and moves with a combination of speed and accuracy.

 

Collateral damage

Both team leaders are not swayed by collateral damage. The assumption is “This is war, and if you’re not prepared to give your life, go back home and tend to your soon-to-be-dead family.” Superman takes fellow heroes’ lives ‘for the greater good’ and Batman sticks to playing chess while his antagonists prance about with the reckless abandon of checkers. The stakes are high and the losses are real – sometimes even heartbreaking.

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