While Marvel Comics might be able to claim dominance over the movie industry, the company's longtime rivals at DC have far outclassed its video game efforts with the critically lauded Arkham series of Batman games. Now, all signs point towards the follow-up to that series focussing on Superman.
Rumours began to circulate last week that Rocksteady would be moving on to a Superman game, now that their time working on Batman adaptations is at its end. The many references to the Man of Tomorrow found in Arkham Knight seemed to be evidence enough that the London-based studio was set to stick with the DC Universe.
However, an image began to circulate today that seems to show a new version of Superman, presumably taken from a title currently in development. It's difficult to say exactly where it comes from — or even if it's real — but it will certainly be of interest to anyone who's a fan of the character.
The leaked screenshot presents some sort of character screen, offering up a short bio for Superman as well as skin options and a render of his appearance in-game. The character model itself looks similar to the superhero's New 52 skin in Injustice: Gods Among Us, albeit with a few minor differences that confirm that it isn't simply taken from that game.
Injustice launched in 2013, and conventional wisdom would suggest that a sequel might hit next year, to take advantage of the hype surrounding the theatrical release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Given that NetherRealm Studios shipped Mortal Kombat X earlier this year, that timeline certainly holds some water.
However, the overt comic book styling of the leaked screen seems to fly in the face of the darker tone of Injustice. This could be a placeholder, or indicative of a change of direction for the franchise — or, it could be evidence that the image doesn't come from NetherRealm at all.
Another theory is that this screen comes from Arkham Origins developers WB Games Montreal, with the implication being that the studio was given the reins of the Superman franchise after strong critical response to their work with Batman. We know that the team is currently hiring for a new project as of the end of June.
Whether this particular image turns out to be real or a fake, it seems very likely that we'll hear more about Superman's return to the world of video games sooner rather than later. With Comic Con taking over San Diego this week, we might not have to wait very long at all.