“Marvel vs. Capcom” is one of the most popular crossover fighting games ever. Released in 1998, it was developed and published by Capcom, following “X-Men vs. Street Fighter” in 1996 and “Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter” in 1997. It spawned a sequel in 2000’s “Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes” before “Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” and its update, “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” (both in 2011).
With “Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite” finally confirmed and Captain Marvel making her debut, whispers are still afloat that the game may exclude characters which Marvel lack exclusive film rights to (like the X-Men and Fantastic Four). However, even if those rumors turn out to be true, with the current hype of the comic book movie era and plethora of Marvel-exclusive characters both old and new available, this doesn’t reduce the pool for the next roster. We decided to take a look at 15 Marvel characters we’d like to play as in the new game!
15. The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes was quite a hit in the “Captain America” movie trilogy. The best friend and former army-mate of Steve Rogers went missing in action, only to be found by HYDRA and brainwashed into becoming the notorious operative known as the Winter Soldier. Comic fans would also recognize his redemption as the assassin who recovered his memories and took over the shield when Steve died in the “Civil War” storyline. Bucky would later become a “Secret Avenger” and also, a member of the “Thunderbolts.” He also had quite a galactic bounty-hunting saga while rubbing shoulders with another associate, Nick Fury, in “Original Sin,” further compounding Bucky’s relevance in Marvel’s comics.
Versed in various styles of martial arts, he packs a plethora of intimidating weapons, matching the duality in his personality. His explosive nature is shown through guns, grenades and bazookas while his stealthier side is seen via knives. Bucky’s vibranium arm is what identifies him the most and it boasts the heftiest of punches. Capcom could use this to soup up his arsenal with some epic blasters on a cosmic scale.
With the alien symbiote known as Venom having been included in the first two editions of the game, there’s no reason why another can’t be injected this time around in the form of its more vicious offspring, Carnage. The latter came into being when the parent symbiote (bonded to Eddie Brock at the time) produced a spawn while in prison, which then fused with the prisoner, Cletus Kasady, a homicidal psychopath with no sense of morality. Carnage is no stranger to the medium, having appeared in a few “Spider-Man” video games as well as in “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2” and “Lego Marvel Super Heroes.”
Carnage is actually much stronger than both Spider-Man and Venom, on top of being able to control other people by spreading his symbiote to others. Like Venom, Carnage also has the ability to regenerate himself, shoot webbing without needing web-shooters, and stick to walls. He can also make his symbiote take the form of tentacles and sharp weapons, often even shaping parts of it that he fires off as projectiles like knives and spears. All of these abilities would cary over perfectly to the game.
13. Blue Marvel
Adam Brashear isn’t the most talked-about superhero in Marvel comics, but lately, he’s been getting more attention. Under the moniker of Blue Marvel, created in 2008 by “Underworld” writer Kevin Grevioux, the hero found himself shifting away from his perennial enemy, Anti-Man, and into mainstream events such as “Fear Itself,” “Infinity,” and recently, “Secret Wars.” Along the way, he also made a name for himself as part of Luke Cage’s “Mighty Avengers,” where he fought the Illuminati, as well as in the “Ultimates.”
What makes him a powerhouse are his superhuman attributes: speed, agility, stamina and flight; along with things like invulnerability, the ability to emit light, and a regenerative healing factor. Blue Marvel also possesses the ability to generate and control negative-matter energy based on antimatter. He can then manipulate this energy to create energy constructs. One of his biggest assets, however, lies in being able to alter matter at a molecular level with precision and control, allowing him to transmute elements. This wouldn’t be his first time showing up in video games, either, as he also appeared in “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” and “Lego Marvel’s Avengers.”
Blade’s 1998 movie did the character immense justice and its welcomed reception led to two sequels over the next six years. In the comics, however, he hasn’t been able to sustain that traction individually and has found himself used mostly in supporting roles, as seen in the “Curse of the Mutants” arc where he teamed with X-Men such as Jubilee (now a vampire) and Wolverine, to fight Dracula’s bloodline.
Blade, a cult favorite, appeared in this franchise as a non-playable character in “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” five years ago (in Jill Valentine’s ending against a team of monsters), having been omitted from the roster because he was deemed too similar to Deadpool. This vampire hybrid could stake a claim here again due to his superhuman strength, stamina, speed, agility, heightened senses and rapid healing factor, which leaves him unaffected by daylight and other traditional vampire weaknesses. He’s also a master martial artist and talented marksman, with his skill with knives and swords making him one of the deadliest opponents to step into the arena. Another possible treat could be a Ronin skin for the character, like when he donned the guise in his recent comic stint with the “Mighty Avengers.”
11. Luke Cage
2016 has been the year of Luke Cage. Over the years, we’ve watched him mature and grow as an Avenger, as well as the leader of a reformed “Thunderbolts” unit, but this year, it’s been his series taking Netflix by storm that made everyone pay attention to him. The show was a major payoff for fans who had already been engrossing themselves in his Harlem adventures and street-level superheroics for years. He’s also no stranger to the video game arena, as seen in “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2” and in his appearance in “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” five years ago as part of Iron Fist’s ending.
Luke was experimented on in prison in a cellular regeneration experiment, based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process that gave Captain America his powers, and after a mishap in the procedure, he emerged with unbreakable skin. He’s impervious to high-caliber bullets, stab wounds, corrosives, biological attacks, and extreme temperatures and pressures. A second experiment increased his strength, speed and durability, but if he needs a power up in this game, he can always turn to the game’s Infinity Stone tie-in to enhance him and put him up there with the big-hitters.
10. Black Bolt
Blackagar Boltagon endured a lot as the ruler of the Inhumans, Earthlings who were genetically experimented on by the Kree many years ago. He’s had to fend off cosmic threats in events such as “War of Kings” and “Infinity,” where he was barely defeated by Thanos. The latter saw him release a Terrigen bomb that was meant to usher in a new era of Inhumans in the “Inhumanity” arc, only to see it adversely affect mutants. This debacle culminated in an apparent death-match with Cyclops, whose outcome sparked the current conflict with the X-Men.
With Black Bolt and the royal family landing their own show on the heels of other Inhumans appearing in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the hype around his people has never been bigger. Apart from his agility, reflexes and super-strength, gamers are chomping at the bit to see the effects of his world-shattering supersonic scream. They’re also waiting to soak in Bolt’s other attributes such as his concussive blasts and the Master Blow: where he channels all his energy into a devastating super-punch. Add these to his abilities of flying and creating impenetrable force fields and you’ve got a very powerful player on your hands.
Medusa has shared in all of the Inhumans’ trials and tribulations as Black Bolt’s Queen. She stood alongside him with confidence and poise, which carried over in his absence after “Realm of Kings.” Thinking he was dead, she began leading with a stronger resolve, making her voice further heard in groups like the Illuminati and Future Foundation: not just because of her wisdom but also due to her combative acumen.
Her no-nonsense attitude has been on display like never before, especially in the current “Civil War II” event, where she’s been tasked with harnessing the unstable powers of a new Inhuman, Ulysses. They’ve found her to be no pushover due to her powers that stem from the famous Terrigen mists. Medusa has incredibly long red hair and the ability to control its movement in any fashion she conceives. It can snap like a whip, rotate like fan-blades, bind people like a rope and lift heavy objects due to an increased tensile strength. We’d love to see her do all this in the game.
8. The Punisher
Frank Castle became the Punisher after the grizzled war-hero returned home from duty only to have his family murdered by the mob. He retaliated in kind and became one of the biggest anti-heroes in comics, with a murderous vendetta against any and all criminals. From extortion to kidnapping to blackmail, there’s no line that he won’t cross, which we saw as the manic vigilante took aim on the big screen. He was the focus of three films in 1989, 2004 and 2008, and appeared in Netflix’s “Daredevil” on top of being en route to his own series.
What makes him ideal for this game isn’t just his popularity but the violence he unleashes as a merciless one-man army. He’s an expert martial artist whose knowledge of grappling and knives shapes him as a deadly close-range combatant. In addition to stealth and black-ops infiltration, his reputation as an assassin prides itself primarily on specialized firearms and explosive ordnance, where he brings the heat using almost any gun possible: from machine guns to sniper rifles to handheld pistols. Also, when it comes to employing the use of grenades, bazookas and bomb traps, the Punisher’s always equipped to take you out with a bang.
7. The Falcon
Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, would be a great choice for this game for a couple reasons. People are more aware of who he is now due to Anthony Mackie’s portrayal in the “Captain America” movies, his cameo in “Ant-Man” as well as in the cartoon, “Avengers Assemble.” In the comics, as a trusted friend of Steve Rogers, he also became the new Captain America (which could be an alternate skin here) when the former retired, even taking charge of the Avengers. He’s certainly come a long way since first being introduced as mainstream comics’ first African-American superhero in 1969.
As the Falcon, he uses mechanical wings to fly, which also fold in as shields. In addition, he has grappling lines built into his costume for swinging, climbing and hooking onto opponents and objects in the heat of battle. “Captain America: Civil War” also showed how his gliding pack masked mini-rockets and his goggles contained a targeting system which allowed stealth vision and sniper control. In the comics, he has limited telepathic and empathic control over birds, including his own, Redwing: which was re-purposed in the films as a drone to enhance his range in the field.
6. Black Widow
Black Widow is another character whose popularity grew after director, Joss Whedon, put her on the big screen in “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” From fans to even her co-stars, everyone wanted her in a solo flick. While that wait continues, joining the roster in this game would make a lot of sense because it would piggyback on the character’s momentum and do service to comics’ very vocal fanbase, who are clamouring for more female superheroes on the big screen, small screen and of course, video games.
Widow is a former Russian assassin and current member of S.H.I.E.L.D., subsequently reformed into an Avenger, so there’s no doubt she’ll be up to the task. As a world-class gymnast and acrobat, she’s brilliant in a vast array of martial arts and is also a weapons specialist. Due to her super-spy background, calling her an expert marksman and fighter would be a severe understatement. Widow utilizes equipment such as the Widow’s Bite: bracelets which fire energy blasts that shock and subdue opponents. She also uses modified guns attached to her Widow’s Bite as well as employs grappling lines and tear gas pellets to take out challengers in direct combat, proving she’d definitely be more than a handful in the game.
5. The Sentry
Bestowed with the “power of one million exploding suns” by a special serum, Robert Reynolds has two distinct personalities: the nervous, heroic Sentry and the malevolent one known as the Void. This dichotomy has seen him used as an Avenger by Tony Stark, most notably in helping restrain the Hulk in “World War Hulk,” while his evil persona (sometimes hinted at as cosmic, other times as biblical) has been harnessed by Norman Osborn. This led to him making major headlines in “Siege,” where he murdered god-of-war, Ares, but was then killed by Thor.
Recently resurrected by the Apocalypse Twins as a Horseman of Death, he still leaves fans divided as to how such a god-like character should be written. These characteristics, however, may well make for the perfect final boss (or the pawn of one, at least) as opposed to a playable character due to his unrivalled powers. The Sentry has the powers of flight, super-strength, speed, invulnerability, energy projections, teleportation and molecular manipulation, while the Void can create destructive hurricanes and trap opponents in its tendrils, inflicting trauma and nightmares to disarm them mentally. Maybe both can be split into playable characters but we’re feeling them as the big boss!
Matt Murdock’s chemical accident blinded him, but it also give him heightened senses. Daredevil’s stock has risen quite a lot in recent years due to his acclaimed Netflix series, which paved the way for other street-level heroes such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and the Punisher to hit the small screen. This culminated with the announcement that they’d all be teaming up for the “Defenders” show, and after cameos in the last two games in this franchise, fingers are crossed that this reinvigorated popularity could see Daredevil in this game.
Just because he’s blind doesn’t mean you want to underestimate him. His speed, awareness, agility and reflexes all combine to make him one of the best martial artists in comics and, if he needs to shift up the range or style of his attacks, he’s also got his billy clubs and grappling hooks to rely on. His swiftness, ability to evade long-range and short-range attacks, and his overall penchant for inflicting damage quicker than the eye can see all make him a very potent threat in combat.
Skaar is the son of the Hulk, from the latter’s exile in the “Planet Hulk” arc. He eventually returned to Earth, seeking to bruise his father for abandoning him, and he eventually found his way into “Dark Avengers,” double-crossing Norman Osborn for Steve Rogers. His hate for his father took some time to quell and despite their tempestuous history, Skaar proved his worth as a hero in “Chaos War,” subsequently retreating to the Savage Land which reminded him of his old home.
While he was eventually de-powered by Doc Green and sent to Paris to live a normal life, fans haven’t forgotten how much of a mammoth he can be when unleashed. He also has the Oldstrong alien power, passed down from his mother, Caiera, which adds a new dimension to his game. Like his father, he has superhuman endurance, regenerative abilities, superhuman strength and durability, which all increase when he gets angrier. He can boost his strength further using a synthesized form of the Power Cosmic, after a tiff with Silver Surfer and Galactus, and draw power from the planet to harden his body. Skaar is also resistant to intense heat, as he was born in a lake of lava, and packs a big sword to carve enemies up.
2. The Vision
The Vision is the robot Avengers who also benefitted from getting a role on the big screen, magnified further by a very visceral and thoroughly entertaining solo comic series from Tom King. As a creation of Ultron in both the comics and the film, he became the Avenger many would argue had the most heart and soul, ironically due to his Scarlet Witch romance. Unlike in the comics, his MCU counterpart was created thanks in part to the Mind Gem in “Avengers Age of Ultron,” which would make him a perfect candidate for the Infinity Stones-themed game.
Vision has the ability to alter his body’s density and phase through solid objects. In the movies, he also harnessed the power of the aforementioned Infinity Stone and channeled its power to shoot energy blasts at his opponents, which sadly left War Machine out of commission. The vibranium composition of his body also allows him a high degree of invulnerability and he displays super-strength, speed, and, of course, the ability to fly.
1. Black Panther
King T’challa’s high-octane appearance in the “Civil War” movie left fans giddy with anticipation for his solo flick. A video game call-up here would cement a whirlwind year for him. In the comics, he’s been married to Storm (even popping up with a cameo in her “MvC3” ending) and taken part of major events like “Civil War” and “Secret Invasion.” Most notably, his row with Namor has been quite the blowout after the latter waged war on Wakanda, showing that T’challa taking over the Black Panther mantle from his father isn’t easy because of constant and similar threats against his technologically-advanced nation.
He’s also been involved in key Illuminati schemes that shows that he’s willing to risk it all, even his own reputation, to save those dear to him, which could again offer a crucial tie-in to the Infinity Stones in this game a-la what he did in “Secret Wars.” In combat, he’s very effective thanks to his mystical connection with the Wakandan Panther God, which grants him superhumanly acute senses, enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, healing, and reflexes. His vibranium claws make him all the more dangerous and are a big reason why you’d want to proceed with caution when going up against him.
Thoughts on our picks? Have other Marvel heroes or villains you’d rather play in the game? Let us know in the comments!
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