It’s really a great time to be a comic book fan. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has blown up and has turned previously unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Winter Soldier into household names. However, while Marvel is killing it on the big and small screens, there’s a serious lack of good video games featuring Marvel characters.
Square Enix looks to remedy that problem with their recently announced “Avengers project,” and while not much is known about it yet, this could be the announcement that comic and gaming fans have been waiting for. Yeah, we know about the poorly ported Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Game and the massively successful Marvel vs. Capcom series, but we feel that certain Marvel characters deserve the limelight in their own solo games.
So while we impatiently wait for Square Enix to deliver, we’ve put together our wish list of the eight characters that we would love to see star in their own video games and seven we don’t ever want to see grace our consoles or PCs.
15 Should: Hawkeye
The often-cited “weakest” Avenger doesn’t seem like he should be the star of his own game, but forget the Jeremy Renner version of Clint Barton. Instead, grab a couple volumes of Matt Fraction’s take on the former circus-performing archer and you’ll see why Hawkeye is one of Marvel’s elite heroes in and out of his flashy purple costume.
We think a Hawkeye game would work best as a first person shooter and, thanks to Overwatch’s Hanzo, we already know firing arrows from the player’s point of view can be just as lethal, and maybe more accurate, as any firearm. Oh and a great co-op option would be to have either Kate Bishop as a second player or his loyal pet dog Lucky.
14 Shouldn’t: Wolverine
You would think that a character as popular as Wolverine would already have a killer game all to himself, but sadly that’s not the case. Yes, there was that weak effort based on the equally weak X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, but surely some publisher can do better. And even though his new movie Logan looks incredible, we still don’t see the fun in playing a game in which the main character is literally unkillable. Yeah, he died in the aptly named Death of Wolverine series, but how many enemies in a game can you run into who can dump a vat of liquid admantium on him?
Death in gaming needs to come with consequences and an admantium skeleton and healing factor would make it impossible to ever lose a life. That just doesn’t sound like a rewarding game we’d want to play.
13 Should: Thor
The resident powerhouse of the Avengers (yeah we see you Hulk, but come on) is prime to feature in his own action game and we think a studio like Platinum should be in charge of putting us in control of a God. Just think if Platinum got their hands on the license for the character: Fantastic fluid combat like Vanquish, giant boss fights like in Bayonetta, and huge action set pieces like Metal Gear Rising, all starring the God of Thunder.
Skins for the character could range from the current Jane Foster female Thor to the wielder of Stormbringer himself, Beta Ray Bill. The options are endless and everyone loves skins, just as long as we don’t have to pay for them.
12 Shouldn’t: Venom
When Peter Parker came back from the original ‘80s era Secret Wars storyline, he brought back a black suit that turned out to be an alien symbiote. Eventually, it bonded with Eddie Brock to create Venom, a character trying so hard to be cool and edgy that even though he’s outfitted all in black, his attempt at being a bad ass is completely transparent. Venom is a victim of an era when villains were so popular that comic companies tried to profit from them by turning them into antiheroes, which actually just watered them down and washed away all their initial awesomeness. Sorry, but we’d rather stick (see what we did there?) to swinging around an open world as the more likeable and original Spider-Man.
11 Should: Luke Cage & Iron Fist
Marvel’s resident Heroes for Hire are currently starring in their respective Netflix shows, so it’s only right that they get the AAA video game treatment. A co-op brawler is the perfect way to go with the pair and it could even accommodate up to four players with the inclusion of Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.
The duo is the perfect balance between raw power and deadly finesse. Players could take Luke Cage and worry less about speed while you smash heads, or choose the Iron Fist of Danny Rand to harness the power of K’un-Lun to karate the heck out of enemies. We’d also love to be able to combine powers to unleash some devastating combos in a Double Dragon-style beat em up.
10 Shouldn’t: Cable
The poster child for huge guns and impossibly skinny lower torsos, Cable is so ‘90s it hurts. Although the Rob Liefeld-created Cable will have a role in the upcoming Deadpool movie sequel, which was revealed at the end of the first movie in a hilarious vignette featuring The Merc With a Mouth, the big gun wielding alternate universe son of Cyclops (sheesh) used to be a bad ass, but is now nothing more than a relic out of time. We think that any game starring Cable would consist of walking in a straight line and shooting anything that moves; the gameplay would be as lame as the character himself. Cable is the perfect example of all style and no substance.
9 Should: Daredevil
The original Marvel Netflix star, Daredevil is long overdue for a starring turn in his own video game. Although one was planned and unfortunately canceled by Sony, we think a game that has players in control of Daredevil as they battle The Hand, fight Bullseye on the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen, and eventually confront the Kingpin is the perfect recipe for an action platformer. Just the thought of using DD’s radar sense to suss out a situation, before deciding to go in stealthy or just drop in and beat up every ninja in sight, has our thumbs twitching.
Alternatively, how about a Phoenix Wright-like Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson lawyering game that has players guiding them through murky court cases? Yeah, action platformer sounds better.
8 Shouldn’t: Iceman
As a founding member of the X-Men, Bobby Drake certainly deserves respect from the comic community, but we don’t see him being the solo star of his own video game. Our mouths aren’t exactly salivating at the thought of playing as a glorified Mei from Overwatch.
While creating and riding ice slides actually sounds like it could be fun, it would get old pretty fast, and freezing and bashing enemies into pieces and repeating that process for six to eight hours doesn’t help. Iceman is the perfect example of a supporting hero, someone that can help complete a team, but left on his own isn’t all too exiting to read about, let alone play as. When it comes to most X-Men characters, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
7 Should: Black Widow
Just like with Hawkeye, it’s tough to initially see how Black Widow can measure up to the rest of the powered Avengers members. Joss Whedon certainly helped her raise her profile with her star turn in The Avengers, and we feel she deserves both a solo movie and a solo game.
Natasha Romanov is a Russian spy, which means she’s cold and calculating and her spy skills and ability to sneak into enemy territory would put Solid Snake to shame, which is why we think a stealthy Metal Gear style Black Widow game would be a tense and rewarding experience.
6 Shouldn’t: Ant-Man
Although he’s more powerful than “ordinary” Avengers Hawkeye and Black Widow, that doesn’t mean he’s more interesting. Paul Rudd’s take on the character has certainly upped his status in the eyes of fans, but we just don’t think that a video game where you shrink down, ride some bugs and fight a lame villain like Yellowjacket would be compelling. A hero is partly great because of his adversaries (just look at Batman) and Ant-Man just doesn’t have a rogues gallery that would make playing him interesting.
We’re sure that he’s gong to show up in a game soon, most likely the upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and we’re equally as sure that any Ant-Man game would have you transform into Giant-Man for an awesome set piece at some point, but he’s still Ant-Man, meaning he can be crushed by a size seven Doc Marten.
5 Should: Doctor Doom
Although constantly a miss when it comes to his portrayal on film, Doctor Doom is still one of the coolest, and most evil, characters in Marvel history. Since hatching a plot to control the universe in the recent Secret Wars event, he’s been flying around as the Infamous Iron Man in his own series, but think how fun would it be to play through the game on some noble quest as Victor Von Doom, only to be told at the end you’ve been doing bad in a Braid-like twist? Or how about a team-up with Doctor Strange in an adaptation of the famous Triumph and Torment story, where both Doctors travel to hell in order to get the soul of Doctor Doom’s mother back from Marvel’s version of the devil, Mephisto? Yeah, sometimes it feels good to be bad.
4 Shouldn’t: Dazzler
The last X-Man on our list (we swear), Alison Blaire is a mutant disco singer that can convert sound into energy beams. If that sentence alone doesn’t differ you from ever wanting to play a Dazzler video game, it’s time to reprioritize what you consider entertaining. Sure, she was one of the character choices in the classic ‘90s Konami game, but we’re sure if there were stats on which character was chosen the most, Dazzler would be dead last.
However, if you need a little more convincing, you needn’t look further than the horrible silver jumpsuit, popped collar and roller skates. We can’t even begin to hypothesize what kind of solo game she could star in. Maybe a Dance Dance Revolution game set to disco music? No. Just no.
3 Should: Captain Marvel
Carol Danvers is poised to be the next big thing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Brie Larson prepares to don the costume in 2019 (or maybe in the next Avengers movie, Infinity War, next year if you believe the rumors), but comic fans already know that she’s one of the company’s most powerful and likeable characters. Currently, Captain Marvel is up in space leading a team called The Ultimates serving as heralds for the world eater Galactus, as well as leading Alpha Flight in her own monthly series.
We think her current situation would make a great space opera in the vein of the Mass Effect series in which you can make up your own squad to save the universe. This also means we’d get to see Ultimates member Black Panther in a video game, which is pretty freaking awesome. Say it aloud, “Black Panther in space.” So. Freaking. Awesome.
2 Shouldn’t: Ghost Rider
Although aesthetically awesome, Ghost Rider as the star of his own video game would be a terrible idea. The character works best when in a vehicle and whether it be Johnny Blaze on a motorbike or Robbie Reyes in a muscle car, The Spirit of Vengeance needs wheels or else he’s just a walking, talking flaming skull with a chain. Also, we can’t even name one cool Ghost Rider villain (I mean, The Orb? Seriously?) to serve as a worthy adversary in a game and certainly none in a vehicle of any kind. Ghost Rider walking around, jumping and punching demons just sounds like a bore.
The only genre of game we could think of that would require you to be in a vehicle the entire time is a racer, and we just don’t think that “Super Ghost Rider Kart” is the badassery that the character deserves.
1 Should: Iron Man
Nobody is more deserving of his own game more than the character that kicked off the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. We can’t believe that Iron Man hasn’t been the star of his own game yet, but hopefully Square Enix can pull it off.
Just think how much fun you can have controlling both Iron Man and his alter ego Tony Stark through a GTA-like open world game. Glamorous dates and parties during downtime, creating new upgrades in your lab between super villain fights, and then soaring through the skies as the Armored Avenger taking on major threats like Whiplash and The Mandarin.
Just don’t get too caught up in the downtime part of the game or else you might end up playing through the infamous Demon in a Bottle storyline, and trust us when we say that wouldn’t be fun at all.