Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Injustice are ahead!
Like the video games and comic book series that inspired it, the animated Injustice movie doesn’t shy away from killing off characters. This starts right off the bat, as like in the source material, Superman is tricked by The Joker into killing Lois Lane and his unborn child, which in turn leads to Metropolis being destroyed. However, arguably the most shocking death in Injustice’s opening minutes, if not the entire movie, is The Flash’s. While the Scarlet Speedster is a prominent character in the original Injustice: Gods Among Us continuity, he was quickly taken off the board in this movie, and writer Ernie Altbacker recently opened up to me about why this was done.
To recap, after Lois Lane is kidnapped in the Injustice movie and Batman discovers The Joker has stolen Kryptonite from S.T.A.R. Labs, the Caped Crusader calls in his fellow Justice Leaguers to help find Lois. The Flash discovers a hideout where he thinks the Clown Prince of Crime is lurking, only to find Scarecrow’s corpse. Flash is then dosed with fear gas, and while incapacitated, he’s decapitated by an automated buzzsaw that pops out of the wall. While answering my question about if he faced resistance with any characters he killed off in Injustice, or if he’d been outright told he couldn’t kill a specific character, here’s what Ernie Altbacker had to say about Flash’s death:
Since the Injustice movie could only tell this kind of story in a little over an hour, as opposed to across hours of video game play and dozens of comic book issues, naturally creative liberties needed to be taken. With regard to killing Flash, Ernie Altbacker did that not only so that Mr. Terrific could stand in the spotlight, but also to remove time travel from the equation. With elements of Flashpoint having factored into Justice League Dark: Apokolips and The Flash TV series, not to mention the 2011 storyline being loosely adapted for the upcoming Flash movie, Altbacker felt it was better to just eliminate the Fastest Man Alive so that he couldn’t simply run back in time and prevent Superman from becoming a tyrant.
Ernie Altbacker also mentioned during the interview how he was regretful Superman and Flash’s dynamic from the original Injustice stories couldn’t be replicated for the movie, but the runtime he had to work with necessitated that sacrifices be made, especially in comparison to the process of putting a comic book arc together. In Altbacker’s words:
This certainly strengthens the argument that Injustice would have been worthy of being adapted into an animated series, and maybe that can still happen someday. For now though, the Injustice movie from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment condenses the Injustice mythology so the tale can be told in one sitting, and unfortunately for Flash, he was among those selected to bite the dust in this version of events. Yuri Lowenthal voiced The Flash, as well as Mirror Master and Shazam, and he was joined by Justin Hartley as Superman, Anson Mount as Batman, Janet Varney as Wonder Woman, Laura Bailey as Lois Lane and Rama Kushna, Kevin Pollak as The Joker and Jonathan Kent, Gillian Jacobs as Harley Quinn, Reid Scott as Green Arrow and Victor Zsasz, and Oliver Hudson as Plastic Man, among many others.
Injustice is available on home media now, and the next entry in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line will be Catwoman: Hunted, which comes out on February 8, 2022. As always, keep your eyes locked on CinemaBlend for more news on upcoming DC Comics movies, both live-action and animated.