7 Marvel Characters that MvC3 Needs on Deck
So this is CMackDaDon up in this, AKA J.B. Hoodrich, AKA Senior Gamerunner, AKA Street Assassin and I’ve been recruited by KJ at Play Legit to drop this list of Marvel elites that, in my opinion, need to be seen in the anticipated MvC3. But what makes my opinion so special? In short, I’ve been a huge Marvel fan all my life. Now I have treaded the waters in all manners of comic-dom, but Marvel has always been my home base. My personal collection spans over 3,000 single issues and over 40 graphic novels, most of it Marvel, so when KJ recruited me to do this article, he wasn’t asking some random bum off the street (we tried that and he screamed “What’s a Marvel?!” after trying to piss on our shoes), I’ve got a veritable PhD in comic book pimpin. Added to that, fighting games are my chosen and favorite genre of video game, so the Marvel series of Capcom fighters has always been a big draw for me. Without further bush beatin, these are 7 characters the Marvel roster could benefit from featuring in MvC3:
Seriously, where have the Spier-Man villains been in the Capcom series? Let’s see, there’s Venom, who’s an anti-hero, and then there’s Doctor Doom, but he’s fought everyone in the Marvel U. and their mother so that really doesn’t count. We have plenty of X-Men villains and plenty of heroes, but the Marvel roster is lacking in character specific villains, with most of the focus being on heroes. Now don’t get me wrong, Spider-Man has had some lame villains in the past (see: “The Kangaroo”, “Big Wheel”, or “The Hypno Hustler”), but Spidey’s mainstay villains have always been some of the most creative and well received in Marvel history. I mean, every one of the Sinister Six is a great candidate for being featured in this series, but not wanting to overload my draft picks with just Spidey villains, I chose the long running four armed fatty simply because there’s so many gameplay possibilities.
You know how Omega Red already has those crazy tentacle whip combos? Well that’s just with two, imagine that deuce deuce and it’s a whole other ballgame. I have mental pictures of moves where Doc Ock can avoid projectiles by latching on to to one side of the screen with two arms while attacking with the other two, or maybe ground-rider type moves where they travel underneath the arena and pop up and attack you (granted Omega has something like that already). More or less, you could replace Omega Red with Ock, who would kind of fill the same role, but would offer even more possibilities because of his extra arms. I think the team attack options here could be really cool, with Ock maybe launching melee dudes like Wolverine and Ryu towards enemies, and maybe providing a ranged melee in tandem with a projectile for beam/blast type characters.
True believer tip: If they do put Doc Ock in the game, they’d better dig up Efrem Zimbalist Jr. the dude who voiced him in the 90’s animated series. Now I realize that the man is in his 90’s, but saying a few attack names for some cheddar doesn’t sound too demanding to me. Also, Doc Ock’s alternate costume could be a trenchcoat inspired piece from Spider-Man 2.
The first black superhero and an eternally under-represented Marvel badass, Black Panther is one of the few dudes in the Marvel Universe other than Wolverine that has gone toe-to-toe with Sabertooth and not just lived, but won (seriously, he beat that A). Other people that Black Panther has tussled with include guys like Captain America and Daredevil, guys that make melee fighting their lifestyle, so you know that Black Panther has a lock on those skills. He also has tons of technology at his disposal, as well as his own personal guard of bald headed, spear wielding attack-hoes (look it up, I don’t make this stuff up) who could be used as assist characters.
If you don’t know much about BP, an abbreviated background is that he comes from the nation of Wakanda, a secret African city-state that discovered an alien element known as Vibranium (almost as hard as Adamantium) when a buttload of it crash landed in their backyard. They used the deposits of it to become filthy rich and incredibly technologically advanced, with Wakanda having cured many deadly diseases, developing things like flying cars and invisibility cloaks, all while remaining virtually unknown to the outside world. Ruling over the nation is the country’s greatest warrior, the Black Panther, who is chosen through a fighting tournament of royals.
Black Panther’s entire suit (which includes claws in the gloves) is made of Vibranium, so while he can be hurt through it, the suit itself will absorb most of the impact that comes from bullets, blades, blasts, etc. I see this being a power-up/buff type ability that would maybe take up a chunk of the super meter. In terms of his offense, I see him being basically a combination of Strider and Wolverine, with crazy acrobatics and slash moves all over the place. You could also incorporate his invisibility cloak as well, but in my experience, invisibility in fighting games doesn’t always work out, so maybe cancel that, but it’s still an option. For a super move, I figure it could either be an all out strike from Wakanda’s tech-enhanced forces, or maybe BP could summon his Holy Armor, which is also made of Vibranium and includes a Vibranium broadsword. This could be a power-up state that he could do massive berserker damage within the time limit.
True-believer tip: When BP shows up, it shouldn’t just be in his modern costume, his retro costume is also where it’s at, so they’d better hook that up if they want this to be truly legit.
We all know the hard-on that the Capcom fighting series has for beam characters. There’s all the infamous multiple Iron Man or Ryu combination from MvC2, the favored characters of spammers. I’d hate to add to that tradition, but we can’t have a cast of just melee peeps. Havok, also known as Alex Summers, is the lesser known brother of Cyclops from the X-Men. Havok is not nearly as much of a jerk-off boyscout as Scott Summers, and also has more options visually with his powers.
Basically, Havok absorbs latent cosmic energy from outer space into his body and can then let it loose in concentrated blasts. Like Cyclops, his power is kind of a crutch and a curse, because he has to regularly let loose energy blasts or the power will tear him apart. He’s been an on/off member of the X-Men as well as X-Force, and even boned Magneto’s daughter (not Scarlet Witch, but Polaris, Mag’s daughter from another Baby-Mama). He was featured once on an episode of the X-Men animated show but they didn’t even explore the connection between him and Cyclops.
Anyways, since Havok can release energy from his body and not just his hands like Iron Man, you could have burst type moves where he could make a quick energy bubble to get opponent’s off of him or wave projectiles instead of a straight beam. I’m thinking more of a circular emphasis on his energy because the straight up blast has been done so many times with so many characters.
true-believer tip: Maybe to parody Cyclops he could say “Cosmic Blast!!” every time he did that, but then again that could get as annoying as the original….
Going back to the character specific villains point I brought up in Doc Ock’s section, here’s an Avengers/Iron Man villain that just hasn’t seen the light of day outside the pages of comics in years. His only non comic appearances were in that disappointing Avengers animation in the late 90’s and in the classic Captain America and the Avengers brawler as well as a throwaway spot in Ultimate Alliance.
For those not in the know, Ultron is a super-powerful, Adamantium bodied killer android that hates all humanity. Why would somebody make this? And who? A villain right? Wrong! He was created by Hank Pym of the Avengers, originally for good. Ultron was based on the super-smart Pym’s brain-patterns, but he, like all advanced technology (I’m looking at you Skynet and Apple) became self aware and realized that killing people and robbing banks was a lot more fun than being a robot step and fetch-it boy.
So more or less, he’s a nearly indestructible walking arsenal with tons of tech-based gameplay possibilities. It sounds like The Sentinel has some serious competition as the robo-villain on Marvel’s roster. Ultron can mass-produce himself, so you could have supers where he instantly makes a duplicate, or maybe a super where an army of him drops major artillery on the opponent. Also, Ultron has something called the “Encephlo Ray”, which is basically a mind-control beam. Maybe after being hit with it your character would be locked out from doing some of your special moves, like they were too mentally tripped up to be able to pull it off. I’ve not really ever seen or heard of a game where that mechanic was used, so it could be kind of innovative to feature that. On top of all that, Ultron has your standard energy blast and conventional weapons inside him to completely run game for special moves, so like I mentioned earlier he would just be a more exciting replacement for The Sentinel (and who really wants to play as a thing that even the weakest X-Men stomp on regularly? Damn, even Jubilee has beaten one!)
True-believer tip: Make him sound kind of like if Stephen Hawking and Soundwave combined voice-boxes and set them to insanity mode.
I can just hear his harmonica theme from the 90’s X-Men series now…okay, so Bishop is a time-traveling mutant from an alternate future where mutants are slaves and are branded with marks to let others know this. In this world, The Sentinels have taken over, the X-Men (even Wolverine) are dead, and everything is one big piss pot of sadness. So Bishop, like Cable (who we ALL know thanks to the spammers in MvC2), travels back in time to set things right. Bishop has energy absorption and redirection powers, so while he can be hurt by projectiles, blasts, and energy, if he directs it out of himself quickly enough, he can heal from the attack.
To me, this translates to gameplay pretty simply, but might require a special system just for him (it’s okay to have an advanced character or 2). In my vision, Bishop would have low-powered energy blasts and gun/weapon attacks at the beginning of the match, but the more damage he took over the course of the fight, the more a special gauge would fill up that would make his energy powers stronger. At the same time, his weapon moves could become weaker, balancing it out a bit. This would give you the choice of using just his weapons for offense, or absorbing attacks and hits for a big payoff later in the match. You could even tag him in just to absorb the opponents big blast so that your character wouldn’t take it, and then tag him back in with a charged energy meter. Of course to balance all that out, Bishop would have to take more damage from melee and physical attacks, which fits because in the comics that is the only real way to hurt him.
True-believer tip: A possible super could be Forge, Bishop’s partner from the future time-traveling back and hooking him up with some massive weapon, or maybe just a blunt.
One of my personal favorite characters who is very under-recognized in Marvel, Iron Fist has been getting a little more notoriety lately from Ultimate Alliance 2, but other than that his only game appearances are in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and a bit helper character in Maximum Carnage. The dude really could have an entire game to himself, as well as movie or animated movie, so be on the lookout for that, because Marvel has been mining more and more of their unpopular characters recently.
Anyways, Iron Fist is considered one of the best, if not the best martial artist in the Marvel Universe, at least in terms of the heroes. Now we’re not talking melee with shield throwing or club wielding like Cap or DD, or claw swinging like Wolverine, I consider those slightly different types of melee since they’re based around some kind of weapon. I’m talking just straight up body weapon stuff right here. I would even go so far to say that Iron Fist is Marvel’s Bruce Lee, however there is Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu, but he ain’t been doing much in recent years, so until he earns his paper in the 00’s I’ll stick with Iron Fist as Marvel’s go-to martial artist.
So brief summary, Iron Fist was raised from age 7 in a temple that resides in a city from another dimension that only appears on Earth about every 140 years (think if George Clinton ran the Shaolin Temple). In this temple, the city’s army is trained, but you have the option of aspiring to be the greatest warrior of all: The Iron Fist. To do this, you have to go through insane Ninja Warrior on Acid challenges and then wrestle a 300 foot long fire breathing dragon with your bear hands. If you do all that, on top of winning a brand new Toyota and a Hawaiian vacation, you are blessed with the Chi-Energy of that big ass dragon, granting you the power to punch with 10 tons of force twice a day. The energy can also be used to lengthen life, heal others, communicate telepathically/Jedi-Mind Trick stuff, as well as other stuff. Pretty sweet deal.
So it kind of speaks for itself how Iron Fists moves would pop off. He can use the energy in many different ways, so you could have many different attacks. Recently, the comics have really branched out with his powers, giving him speed blitzes (a la Fist of the North Star), wave punches (think Terry Bogard’s “Power Wave”) and more. With his healing, he could heal teammates or himself as a super art or maybe a special that would take from the super-meter. In conjunction with all of his cool melee opportunities that could be inspired by real martial art styles, I could see him quickly becoming a fan favorite.
True-believer tip: There have been multiple Iron Fists for 3,000 years, and the comics have revealed others, so just mine them for alternate costumes. Don’t be lazy Capcom!
Okay really, where has this dude been? Who hasn’t wanted to see him slam against Colossus, Hulk, or the Juggernaut? The rest of them are in the Marvel Versus series but we don’t have Thor. He’s the closest thing Marvel has to Super-Man (yes I’m ignoring Sentry, who’s dead now anyways) and is a massive powerhouse that rounds out any roster of top Marvel characters. The man is a god, okay?! He’s perfect for competing with some of Capcom’s strongest. On top of that, Thor is one of the Big Three Avengers, who if you didn’t know, also include Captain America and Iron Man. So a team with the three of them would be perfect, seeing as they are the most recognized and popular Avengers.
A Thor sprite and functioning Gameplay character was made for the MUGEN fighting simulator and is very popular and well designed. Look it up on Youtube, because it’s so well done he almost could have been in MvC2. The moves in that MUGEN character could be easily translated to the new format they’re going with for MvC3. You’ve got the hammer throw, hammer melees (anti-airs, etc), you’ve got lightning blasts, tornadoes, all sorts of extremely badass powers there. Thor even has a band of three warrior-gods that follow him around on adventures that could be used as assist dudes or in supers (think Captain Commando). Thor is such an obvious power character that could combine the best of melee and projectile fighting and become a major player on the Marvel roster. I really don’t have as much to say about the big guy because it’s all fairly cut and dry, he’s badass and super powerful and needs to show up in the series.
True-believer tip: MOVIE. TIE-IN. Make that bank, Marvel.
I know there’s probably plenty of other cool dudes from Marvel you could see showing up in the game, who I probably wouldn’t object to, but I chose these 7 because they either offered something new gameplay or visual-wise, or replaced the basic function of an existing character except with a more exciting twist. This isn’t all I’d like to see added to the Marvel cast in MvC3, but I just think these picks should be at the forefront.