Marvel vs. Capcom is a franchise that seems like it shouldn't fail. These are two universes with legions of fans and the crossover potential between those fanbases is high.
These are two epic worlds being pushed together into one ultimate showdown.
With Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite sitting just over the horizon, it is time to look at how the rosters for this fighting series have fared. After all, with literally hundreds of characters to pick from —and bearing in mind the pedigree of the two houses that are bringing their troops into this war— there is no way that there could have been any failure along the way right?
While there have been plenty of hit characters in the series, there have also been a number of missteps along the way. If we include X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter as titles in the series (and we will because they are) then the upcoming release of Infinite will mark the eighth game to date. Eight games to populate with characters to please every fan. Not everyone can be Guile and keep their cool after so many iterations. Without further ado: here are the 8 coolest (and 7 lamest) characters in the series:
15 Coolest: Deadpool
Deadpool is the definition of cool, so much so that even Ryan Reynolds couldn't kill him.
There is something about a hyper self-aware superhero that makes Deadpool stand out from the rest of his peers. There is a reason that he is almost always found in the top three of any superhero list, no matter if that list is covering movies, comic books, or lunchboxes — Deadpool is always the answer.
It doesn't hurt that he is also a badass character in the series. His patented ability to break the fourth wall somehow still works despite all the insane action happening on the screen. He also has an ultimate move where he literally grabs his health bat and uses it as a weapon. I can't even handle how cool that is as a concept.
14 Lamest: Bone Claw Wolverine
In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, we see one of the worst offenders of palette swapping in the history of fighting franchises. When you consider some of the reskinned combatants in all the series out there, well it takes some doing to be this bad.
Playing as Wolverine made sense. He was (and is) one of the most revered characters in the Marvel Universe, so having any game of this type without Wolverine would be nonsense. Did we really need two almost identical versions of Logan, however?
Clearly, someone within the studio thought that we did, as not only can you play as Wolverine, but also as the 'drastically different' Bone Claw Wolverine. That would be Wolverine with claws that are bones as opposed to claws that are Adamantium. It doesn't matter how cool a character Wolverine is himself, when a blatant rip-off like this is sitting on the character screen it automatically becomes one of the lamest entries in the series.
13 Coolest: Ghost Rider
Anti-heroes are always cooler than do-gooders, and Ghost Rider is one of the best anti-heroes ever created on page or screen.
The former Johnny Blaze (once a carnival stuntman) is now a flaming, skeletal figure who's very soul is merged with the Spirit of Vengence. The result is a biker leather clad demon-being who wants to punish the guilty for their sins.
In short, Ghost Rider was made for this series. The games so far have only really touched on Ghost Riders seemingly endless supernatural abilities, but there is still enough there to make him a dominating combatant. His cool factor is just off the charts, and everything about his move set just looks incredible, especially when his penance chain is involved.
12 Lamest: Iron Man
The problem with Iron Man in the Marvel vs. Capcom Universe is that he just isn't as good as he should be as a character. In the comic books and movies, Tony Stark has a seemingly endless array of abilities (because of his endless array of money), but in the game, his character feels super limited compared to what you would expect.
It isn't as if Iron Man is a horrible character, it is just that nothing he has in his arsenal really stands out. There are other characters within the franchise (specifically Doom, Nova, and Magneto in UMVC3) that do everything that Iron Man does, but they do it way better. With that taken into account, the only reason Iron Man would be selected is through fanboyism, which is a very easy way to get yourself beaten in a fighting game.
11 Coolest: Captain America
Disliking Captain America is probably the most unAmerican thing you can do.
There was a time when the Captain would have seemed a little overly Patriotic, a bit too much of a try hard, but in the world we live in today, Captain America is one of the coolest superheroes out there.
Much of the reason for this falls squarely on Chris Evans and the way he has portrayed Captain America in the recent Marvel films. That stoic, cool-headed leadership that Cap throws down is enough to make even the most stringent anti-war protester follow him into battle with guns blazing.
In the games, he also has the bonus of throwing down some of the best (read: corniest) one-liners this side of an 80s Schwarzenegger flick. Finishing off an opponent while hollering "Stars and stripes!" manages to be even more American than drinking light beer on the Fourth of July.
10 Lamest: Marrow
Marrow was a playable character in MVC2, and to this date, few people have any idea why exactly that was the case.
A *shudder* 90s era Marvel character, Marrow initially did just about as well as the rest of the class of new entries into the comic books during at decade. She debuted as a punk-rock inspired mutant, about a decade after that movement had hit its peak. None of this is good.
That is why her inclusion in the game made such little sense. The powers here are interesting enough, Marrow can control bone growth and speed. In fact, the move set features the sort of bone growing weaponry you would expect (with the bone scorpion stinger attack being a personal favorite.)
Among a who's who of characters from other legendary franchises, however, she just doesn't fit in.
9 Coolest: Rocket Raccoon
Rocket Raccoon was way closer to being on the lamest character side of this list than most may think after his appearance in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The reason for this is that smaller statured characters are the most annoying things on the planet regardless of game genre. Oddjob has been banned on Goldeneye in my house for years because of this.
Then Rocket pulled out more weaponry than the military, and he became one of the coolest characters of all time.
There is a worry that his coolness factor will dissipate a little in Infinite as he is set to lose his strong —yet somehow fitting— Cockney accent for a Bradley Cooper soundalike. However, Groot has been recruited to fight in Rocket's corner. And everyone can admit that Groot is cool.
8 Lamest: Dan Hibiki
It might be a little like beating a dead horse, but the whole concept of Dan Hibiki is just stupid.
Dan was created by Capcom entirely as a way of poking fun at rival game company SNK. He is a pure rip off of the Ryu/Ken/Akuma school of characters, albeit designed to be way worse at everything than any of those guys. SNK's The Art of Fighting and, in particular, the two characters that drive its story (Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia) basically combines to give you Dan's look and move set.
Strangely, Dan became so much of a parody of himself that he became popular, especially with players who like to humiliate their opponents by winning with his garbage moves. This explains why he is in the game, but he still sucks!
7 Coolest: Dante
Dante is another character that achieved his cool factor in a different series and manages to bring that with him to the MvC franchise.
Anyone who played Devil May Cry was immediately struck by just how different Dante was to control than most video game protagonists. His ability to be light on his feet while wielding both a sword and a gun made him completely unique and a blast to play.
When he was added to the fighting game, Dante retained his agility and his weapons (and just as importantly his badass coat) creating a twirling, whirling, blur of a character that could do some serious damage with his blade and bullets. While other characters from the DMC world have since been added to the game, it is Dante that is the standout.
6 Lamest: Sakura
The most fun characters in the Marvel vs Capcom series are the fun ones, the wacky ones, the ones with insane move sets and even more insane backstories. Sakura has none of this. She took up fighting to get close to Ryu to train under him. Thus her move set is another in a long line of Ryu clones. Basically, aside from the school girl titillation, there is nothing about Sakura that stands out. She's as boring, tired, and cliché as they come.
She was obviously inclusion in the game because of her general popularity. Cosplay fanatics adore Sakura, for example. Sadly, there is just worthwhile in her figher prowess.
5 Coolest: Amaterasu
Amaterasu is both one of the coolest characters in the MvC series, and —in MvC3 at least— one of the most overpowered.
Part of Amaterasu's 'cool factor' comes from the story behind the creature. Yes, this is a wolf, but she is also the Japanese Sun Goddess. That is not a combination you see all that often (ever) in games outside of Okami on the PlayStation 2, throwing down hundreds of cool points for the sheer weirdness involved.
Adding to the crazy nature of the character are the three interchangeable weapons that must be mastered to play successfully as her. Each one harness a different element of nature to make her more powerful. There is just something about playing as a wolf that is strangely satisfying and, unabashedly, cool.
4 Lamest: Charlie Nash
It is time for another Attack of the Clones as Charlie Nash is basically Guile with dumber hair.
This just revisits the old cliche of adding fighters that are basically the same, just with different skins, to inflate the roster numbers. Nash's story is that he is a friend of Guile before he is killed at some point in the past by M. Bison. Take all that with a pinch of salt though as at this point it is doubtful even the writers behind the Street Fighter series could realistically explain what is going on.
Even if Nash had a move set that was totally different from everyone else in the game, he would still suck. It is just impossible to get past that hair, and that is in a game full of mutants, robots, and Zangief.
3 Coolest: Anakaris
Let's get one thing out of the way before we start this breakdown of why Anakaris is one of the coolest characters in the MvC universe. People hate him because he is almost unplayable unless you are skilled with big, lumbering, slow, damage magnet-type characters. That combination means that almost no one plays as the good ol' mummy and that is a shame. Because Anakaris is awesome.
The truth is that his move set and specials are all kinds of crazy and this is especially true if you go back and see what he was able to do in the Darkstalkers series. Designing moves for a mummy, complete with his bandages and sarcophagus must be like a license to do whatever you want, hence giant coffin drops and snake arms attacks. Brilliant.
2 Lamest: Roll
Roll is a character that seems to have been introduced with good intentions, but that doesn't really help push her away from being super lame.
Mega Man is under-represented in Capcom crossovers, but why would you introduce a character such as Roll when trying to build the brand. There are plenty of robots in the Mega Man series that can actually fight, so why weren't they added instead?
Instead of a little house robot, imagine fighting as one of the big bads from Dr. Wily's robot army. An obvious inclusion would be Fire Man or Skull Man. Hell, even Centaur Man would have offered some unique and cool moves and a potentially different fighting style to anyone else on the roster.
But no. We get Roll and her ultra move that involves giant missile-launching boobs. For some reason.
1 Coolest: Morrigan Aensland
It can be argued that Morrigan is not only one of the coolest characters in the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, but that she is also one of the coolest characters in the entire history of video games.
Starting life in the bizarre gothic horror world of Darkstalkers, Morrigan has endured and succeeded to far greater heights than any other character in that game. The Succubus lives for the excitement of battle, with her vanity and striking looks making her a favorite of cosplayers in particular.
Her coolness in this series is either upgraded or ruined depending on your play preference. Her projectile ability Soul Fist is a bit controversial (given how easy it is to spam in UMVC3). This ability to send a wall of fire against her opponent makes Morrigan almost unplayable, and it will be interesting to see what tweaks to her build are to be made for Infinite.