W hen I was 12, I had an ongoing argument with a friend about who would win a fight between Batman and Green Arrow.

My friend argued that Batman was stronger, smarter and better trained, while I insisted Green Arrow was more effective at long range and would beat the Bat by keeping him at a distance.

Variations of this conversation occur ad nauseam in comic book shops across the country, with fanboys sticking up for their favorite characters.

Now, fans of DC Comics can finally take their dispute to the game console with "Injustice: Gods Among Us."

This fighting game comes from the team behind the 2011 "Mortal Kombat" reboot. It uses the same glorious fighting engine while focusing on 24 of DC Comics' most iconic heroes and villains. From mainstream favorites such as Wonder Woman to more obscure characters like Solomon Grundy, the list is impressive.

And the characters aren't just knockoffs of "Mortal Kombat" characters. Each has his or her iconic powers, coupled with speed and agility appropriate to that character. Though "realistic" might not be an appropriate term when dealing with muscular guys in spandex, flying around and shooting lasers from their eyes, it's fair to say everyone here controls exactly as you want them to.

What makes "Injustice" so special, though, is the quality and care developer NetherRealm Studios put into every aspect of the game.

It starts with the story mode, usually a ridiculous throw away in fighting games.


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The game begins with the Joker setting off a nuclear bomb in the heart of Metropolis, killing 8 million people, including Superman's wife, Lois Lane, and their unborn child.

Superman snaps. He kills the clown and, deciding that the world of men can no longer rule itself, takes over. The rest of Earth's super-powered contingency either fall in line with the Kryptonian dictator or shrink into the shadows with a small, disjointed resistance group led by Batman.

Now, those familiar with how DC Comics works won't be surprised to learn this all takes place in an alternate universe. The heroes we all know and love are busy fighting their own Joker when a rift opens between universes and begins a clash between the mightiest meta-humans in both realms.

While it sounds confusing, the story works well and explains everything, including why heroes are fighting heroes, teaming up with one-time villains and, in some cases, even fighting themselves.

I don't want to spoil any aspect of this fantastic story, so I will say only that, as you work your way through more than 50 fights with nearly a dozen characters, your inner comic geek will creep closer to your TV in anticipation of the next twist or turn.

But that's not all. Like a late-night infomercial, the goodies keep on coming.

The game also includes a Battle Mode, where players can take each character through a personal story while working through a series of fights. To keep things interesting, there is a cornucopia of sub-modes to pick from here -- such as heroes-only and villains-only ladders -- many of which must be unlocked.

There's also a S.T.A.R. Labs mode, similar to the Tower in "Mortal Kombat." Work your way through S.T.A.R. Labs' various levels to unlock loads of goodies, such as alternate costumes, concept art and music.

Additionally, the full complement of multiplayer modes, both local and online, round out an already impressive package.

"Injustice" contains a ridiculous amount of gameplay, but this would mean little if it didn't play well.

No worries there, though. The controls are smooth and responsive, allowing players to pull off complex combos with just a little practice.

The characters are all well-balanced (the story even explains how usually weaker characters can stand up against the likes of Superman or Shazam) with very few overpowered characters.

Add in gorgeous graphics, fantastic voice work and a rockin' soundtrack, and the game wins on every level.

"Injustice: Gods Among Us" flew to the top of my all-time best fighting games list. Fans shouldn't miss it.