I’m a huge fan of the superhero genre. I subscribe to more comics than I should, see all of the superhero movies in the theater, and often like many series that a lot of people hate (or love to hate). You want to know superhero lore? I will talk your ear off. My best friend and I even have a comic book podcast.
One would think that with all of this, I’d be gung-ho about superhero video games, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Other than the one time I dabbled with Batman: Arkham Asylum, I have not touched any superhero game.
Yes, that includes Deadpool, Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. I know that game won every award under the sun in 2018, and I’ve heard the game mechanics, particularly the web-slinging, are near flawless. It doesn’t matter. There is zero interest on my part, and that also goes for Square Enix’s upcoming superhero title: Marvel’s Avengers.
On paper, it doesn’t make sense. I love all of these characters from Marvel and DC. It’s great to see some lesser-known characters appear in these games outside of the comics, especially. Perhaps when people play as Ms. Marvel in Marvel’s Avengers, they’ll want to learn more about her and read a comic or two. That would be fantastic. I’m all for external media turning people’s attention towards reading source material.
I acknowledge it doesn’t make sense. Is it because my personal favorite characters aren’t at the forefront of these games? Actually, I’d have even less desire to play them if they did feature my girl Rogue or Nightwing or Shazam. After what Bryan Singer did to Rogue in his X-Men films, I’m reluctant to trust again.
It doesn’t matter anyway, because most of the superhero video games only cover the “main characters” of the dynamic duo of superhero comic publishers, like Batman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the Justice League. (Not Superman, because no one wants another Superman 64.) All of these characters are so entrenched in pop culture, there’s little freedom to alter their personalities, backstories, powers, and abilities.
For example, no one would dare try to rewrite Batman’s backstory (did you know his parents were shot in front of him when he was a child?) or give him laser vision. Claiming that Rogue only has those unique hair highlights because of a failed plot by Magneto is fair game, however. Keeping her as the weakest character, instead of the former badass villain she was is also fair, apparently. I’m not bitter or anything, I swear.
But what if they did make an X-Men game, based upon the best external source material: the 90s cartoon? While intriguing, I probably still wouldn’t play. There are only so many times I can read/watch the Dark Phoenix Saga, Thieves vs. Assassins Guilds, the assassination of President Kelly, or Apocalypse.
Now, when it comes to non-comic book superhero video games, count me in. Bring on the original superhero stories, such as the inFamous series, Sunset Overdrive, or Crackdown. (Speaking of that, are we ever going to get a sequel to inFamous: Second Son?) I’ll stick with comic books and movies for the traditional superheroes.
All of that said, I really do hope Marvel’s Avengers lives up to the hype, especially for Kamala Khan’s sake.