Ben PerLee and I have put our heads together, taking in the available facts, our understanding of the Marvel and Capcom Universes, and our own personal opinions about what would work for Marvel Vs. Capcom 3's roster, and we've put it all down for you in this post. Consider this article a massive conversation starter. We want to hear about who you think should be in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and so does Capcom. They'll be checking this post out for sure, so make sure you sound smart in the comments.
Returning Favorites: Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Magneto, and Doctor Doom
These are eight Marvel characters that cover the most ground in terms of play-styles, and have the most mainstream popularity as well as comic clout. Every single one of them has been or will be in a Hollywood blockbuster film, none of them play much alike, and they have all developed fan bases of their own.
All these characters are pretty much locks to return in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, with potential movie-style/Ultimate Universe makeovers. Others mainstays like Storm, Iceman, and Juggernaut may come back as well, but these are the eight that are almost guaranteed.
The Thing/other Fantastic Four rep -- The Thing appeared in two (weirdly) successful Fantastic Four movies, played by world-famous bald man Michael Chiklis. More importantly to Marvel fans, the Hulk/Thing rivalry always brings the crowds. Capcom fighting games tend to focus on maximizing rivalries, so it would make sense for them to embrace this long-standing feud.
The Thing could work well to fill a gap in the MvC3 roster: the mid-sized durable brawler. He could fit the role that Alex held in SFIII, and which Abel filled in SFIV. There's also the chance that some other member of the FF could take his place. The Human Torch could surely kick out the jams, and I'm sure Mr. Fantastic could do an awesome Dhalsim impression. Either way, someone from the FF will be in this game, though my bet is still on Mr. Grimm.
Ghost Rider -- Another hit movie, another sure bet for inclusion in MvC3. They could go with '70s Ghost Rider, '90s Ghost Rider, or movie Ghost Rider; people will play him regardless. His chain attack, cycle super, and Penance stare 360° throw attack would surely wow the crowds.
If they get Nicolas Cage to reprise his role, there could even be a "your Goddamn honey" and a "how'd it get burned?" combo super chain. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm sure that I would love it.
Thor -- Thor's got a big-time movie on the way, and even if he didn't, he'd be a sure bet for inclusion in MvC3. Ever since his appearance as an assist character in MvC1, fans have been dying to play as the guy. His recent triumphant return to comics doesn't hurt either.
The only problem with Thor is that, just like with Thanos, there is really no way to put him in the game without underpowering him. He's a god, after all. Still, give him some of Storm's weather-based moves, combined with some good old-fashioned ass-kicking, and you got yourself a winner.
Deadpool -- The guy stole the show in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and his popularity in comics is at an all-time high as well. He may look like a lame Spider-Man rip-off with a sword, but the character actually has some worth. With a healing factor, skills with hand-to-hand and ranged weapons, and no real boundries around what he will and won't do, Capcom could take Deadpool and turn him into a truly excellent fighting game character.
I see him turning out to be the new Cable: scrubs will flock to him, but he'll still take some skill to master. It's a totally '90s thing, I guess.
Iron Fist -- Marvel has been working on an Iron Fist movie for a while, and the comic had a resurgence a few years back that really built the character's fan base. More than that, he's perfect for a fighting game. In case you haven't heard of him, Iron Fist is an expert martial artist who can channel his life force into his fist (for massive damage) or into his body (for healing), and God knows what else. He's also dating a hot girl with a bionic arm and a giant afro, and is best friends with a bullet-proof Shaft look-a-like.
Capcom's Vs. games need combo-heavy, rush-down-ready characters, and Iron Fist could fit the bill. With such a vague power, there is also a lot of room for Capcom to flex their imagination in putting together his move set. I don't think there is a high likelihood that Danny Rand will end up in MvC3, but if he is, I'll be main-ing him.
Hit Girl -- This one would be a sure thing if 1) Marvel owned the character, and 2) the movie came out six months earlier. As it stands, Marvel only published the Kick-Ass comic. Its characters are owned by its creators, Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. Also, Capcom may not have enough time to react to the character's instant popularity, which is less than a week old at the time of this writing.
Still, these things can be worked around, if the right amount of money and time are spent. I think it would be worth the effort to make Hit Girl in MvC3 happen. There has never been a character quite like her in comics or videogames, and fighting game fans on both sides of the ocean would surely appreciate the inclusion of an 11-year-old girl with purple hair and the ability to decapitate 10 men per second.
The Punisher/Franken Castle -- Here's the thing: I hate The Punisher. He's a relic of an era that I'm glad has ended; one that videogames are in danger of getting stuck in now. It was a period where -- in efforts to prove how "grown up" and "hardcore" they'd become -- comics went in a soulless and boring direction: they betrayed the qualities that made them great and ignored all of the medium's inherent strengths, in favor of copying lame '80s action movies. That's what The Punisher means to me.
Or should I say "meant" to me, because now, The Punisher is a half-man, half-monster, Frankenstein-style being who hangs out with Man Thing and fights Japanese monster hunters. Basically, he went from a bland vigilante cliché to something totally batshit insane and awesome. It's also been a hit with comic book readers nationwide. The Franken Castle storyline is selling like hotcakes, with no signs of slowing. If Capcom wants to capture a current trend in comics, while doing something truly unprecedented for their Vs. series, they'll put Franken Castle in the game.
Green Goblin/Norman Osborn -- The character who has long been an albatross around Marvel's neck has recently become cool again, in both comics and films. As Willem Dafoe in the films, and as a Tommy Lee Jones-looking guy in the comics, Green Goblin/Norman Osborn is kind of a big deal these days. For years, the character was considered unfilmable in the movies, and passé in the comics. Due to a severe case of lameness, he was replaced by the Hobgoblin and the Demogoblin. Only recently has the character returned to grace.
If Capcom wants to incorporate current Marvel events into MvC3, then an appearance by Green Goblin/Norman Osborn is a must. It would also be fun to play as a character who'd yell "Pumpkin bomb!" over and over again. It's not quite as awesome as yelling "Tiger!" or "Yoga flame!", but it comes close.
Returning Favorites: Ryu, Chun-Li, Morrigan, Zangief, Strider, (one of the) Mega Man(s), Felicia, Chris Redfield
It wasn't as easy to come up with this side of the "returning favorites" list as it was for the Marvel side. Other than Ryu, Chun-Li, and Morrigan, there are no real constants in the Vs. series. With everyone else, I'm guessing based on popularity, frequency of use in past games, and appearance in the MvC3 teaser trailer, either explicitly or through silhouette. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong on a few of these, like if Haggar gets switched out for Zangief, or Zero tags out Mega Man. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Dante -- There are people who can beat me in a Capcom fighting game who are younger than the first video that ever hit the Internet featuring Dante in MvC3. The video was fake, of course, but that just shows you how long people have wanted to see this character in a Capcom fighting game. Surviving four games of his own and multiple cameos (Viewtiful Joe, Namco X Capcom, Shin Megami Tensei III) is the sign of becoming a true Capcom icon.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the guy, but there is no doubt that he'll be in MvC3, and that he'll be fun as hell to play. Like Deadpool, his sword-and-gun fighting style combined with his anything-goes school of martial arts techniques is sure to make for some fun beatdowns.
Bionic Commando -- It took about twenty years, but Bionic Commando has finally proven to be a lasting and worthwhile Capcom property. The dreadlocked, gravel-voiced version of the character may have gone over like a lead balloon, but the original, sunglasses-and-smile version of the character has proven to make bank. Bionic Commando Rearmed is getting a sequel, and what better way to keep people aware of that than to give the character representation in MvC3?
More important than all that, Bionic Commando would be really fun to use in a fighting game: part Omega Red, part Scorpion, part Yatterman, all awesome. That's just me being unimaginative. There are plenty of new moves that Capcom could give Radd Spencer to make him fun to use. The versatility of the Bionic Arm is basically limitless, though I expect to see plenty of long-distance grabs and devastating beatings.
Monster Hunter guy -- Do the Monster Hunter gang even have names? Since I know them through Monster Hunter Tri, they don't have names, and are instead known by their weapons. My favorite is probably Switch axe, but that's beside the point.
Monster Hunter 3 outsold Super Mario Galaxy in Japan, and the PSP games continue to sell like crazy even now. For better or worse, Monster Hunter is a major part of who Capcom is today, and I highly doubt they'll ignore that fact with MvC3. A Monster Hunter character could be cool, equipped with plenty of traps, weapons, and weird poop-bombs. Still, we're including him/her on the list not so much because we want him/her in the game, but because their inclusion feels inevitable.
Arthur -- The Ghosts 'n Goblins series refuses to die. It's one of Capcom's oldest and most evocative franchises. Although not everyone can tolerate how difficult the games can be, no one can tell you with a straight face that they don't like the little beareded knight who is reduced to battling zombies in his boxer shorts after taking just one hit of damage.
I expect to see a version of Arthur in MvC3, but not the version we're most familiar with. The character was remade into a bad-ass for the little-played top-down co-op shmup Cannon Spike, and that's the version we may see in MvC3. While retaining the spirit of the original character, this new Arthur had the physical proportions, the weaponry, and the sense of power necessary to function in a fighting game. Hey, maybe he'll even get a new home console game after that. One can dream.
Mia Fey -- The whole staff got together to try and figure out the characters on the Capcom side of the MvC3 logo. There was still some debate over all of the characters, but the one that we really couldn't make up our minds about was the woman in the middle. Some figured she was Kyoko, the sexy teacher from Rival Schools; others guessed it was Morrigan with her hair down. But in the end, we decided it was Mia Fey from the Ace Attorney series.
At first, the idea seemed stupid. For one thing, Mia can't fight. For another, [SPOILERS] she's dead [END SPOILERS]. Then it dawned on me: Mia is a psychic lawyer with huge boobs who is always showing cleavage... always. Why wouldn't she be in a new Capcom game? Why wouldn't she be in every Capcom game?
The Killer7 -- This is a real long shot, as Killer7 pretty much tanked at retail. Still, the game has slowly but surely built up a small but die-hard fan base that will buy anything even vaguely related to the title. More importantly, Harlan would make for an extremely interesting fighting game character. Led by a handicapped man in a wheelchair, the Killer7 personas include a masked wrester, a blind teenager, a wrist-cutting woman, and a knife-wielding albino who can teleport by taking off his sunglasses. They are just as uncanny and astonishing than anything ever conceived for the Marvel universe.
Not only would the Killer7 be a perfect fit for a battle against the violent and surreal world of Marvel comics, but they look the part as well. The teaser trailer for MvC3 reveals an art style that looks remarkably like Killer7, but much cleaner and shinier. If the Killer7 are to ever get another shot at the limelight, there is no better place for that to happen than MvC3.
Gene -- God Hand is another Capcom title that never got a fair shake. It was just the wrong place at the wrong time for the Fist of the North Star parody. Everything about the game was dripping with style -- particularly Gene, the game's bad-ass protagonist. With his prosthetic God Hand and the will to beat down cosplaying midgets, poison chihuahuas, and demonic Latinos named Elvis, Gene showed that a hero could be hilarious and bad-ass at the same time.
In MvC3, Gene would be the perfect Capcom equivalent to Marvel's Iron Fist: a fast, furious brawler utilizing a combination of eye-blazing kung fu and one glowing, overpowered haymaker. He also does a little dance during his standing animation. Not playing MvC3 with Gene would clearly be worse than playing with him, CONFIRMED.
Chibiterasu -- I just realized that these last three characters are all from 2nd party studios that garnered critical success but failed to make much money for Capcom. Hey, this is the long shots section, right? No better place for characters that deserve some underdog respect.
Unlike Gene and the Killer7, Chibiterasu is already the representation of a character getting a second chance. The super-deformed iteration of Okami's protagonist, Amaterasu, Chibiterasu has yet to make an official appearance in a videogame. The painfully cute god-puppy is set to star in Okamiden on the DS, which will hopefully be released sometime soon.
Combining the multiple abilities of Amaterasu's celestial brush with the powers of puppy-face may end up being more than most people can handle. Regardless, Chibiterasu would be an interesting and potentially exciting character in MvC3. Like with the Killer7, the game's graphics engine would be a perfect fit for Chibi's hand-drawn character design, and in a game stuffed to the gills with tough guys and explosions, wouldn't in be nice to throw a puppy in there to keep things interesting?
Now that Disney has bought Marvel, are they going to throw some of their characters in the game just to f*ck with us?
With Capcom being one of the major zombie game publishers on the planet, and the Marvel Zombies spin-off series continuing its years of retail success, is there a chance that MvC3 could get a full-on zombie mode?
Will Capcom borrow characters from the Wii-exclusive Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom for inclusion in MvC3? Capcom has a long history of borrowing characters from one of their fighters and lending them to another, but will they do that with these two similar, but extremely different looking games? If so, would that cause less people to buy TvC and more people to buy MvC3, or both? Would it be worth it for Capcom to detract from TvC's worth by spreading its fan-favorite, exclusive characters to a new fighting game if it made MvC3 a more interesting game?
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