THE MARVEL ROSTER
The ending left a bad taste in my mouth, but overall I think the Marvel roster has room to improve.
Actually, since it just happened, I'm gonna get the ending out of the way. ahem
I actually like She-Hulk. I voted for her, actually- she's mine 3rd in line after Warlock and Namor, and I actually have her as a replacement for Hulk in my fan MvC4 roster! (Though that would never fly for Infinity Crisis lol). And on her own, she's a good option!
But this is just... so weird. There's not a lot of hype for this character in the general Marvel audience, and like... yeah, Warlock and Namor were right there. I was atleast expecting Namor to actually win the Second Chance round, though I was personally shooting for Warlock. But She-Hulk is just another "why this character?" It's baffling to me. We have plenty of tanks (it may not seem like it but we do), we already have the Hulk IP represented well, and she just has the least
interesting moveset potential out of the other characters who were on the table for this job. Actually... every other character for the Second Chance round would have been more interesting.
And in the grand scheme of things, she's just not a proper send-off for Marvel; neither in terms of recurring nominations in this thread or in the context of the Marvel univese. Namor was a huge want for a long time, Warlock is one of the most important cosmic characters in Marvel and very specifically fits into our Infinity narrative; The X-Men to me are still underrepresented and Nightcrawler would've been the best next choice, and I could go on about the other 3 as well. This just kind of feels like a really lame option and I can't justify making this a real game, getting to the final character and then saying to the audience "by the way, instead of Adam Warlock, Namor, Ant-Man and Nightcrawler, we have 2 Hulks!"
I'm not very intrigued by what her moveset could potentially bring. The 4th wall breaking is already done by Deadpool and
Gwenpool, the civilian archetype is already in use with Lois, and so many characters have very generic super strength attack-moves as is. I probably would've made one for her if she got in via an Avengers round or something but as the final character and losing out on all the more interesting power sets brings my disappointment for her potential moveset up by a lot.
So, overall, yeah, poor taste in my mouth.
As for the Wildcard round, I'm fine with Gwenpool winning over Adam. It feels very fitting for the people who have been here since the beginning to have the character they always wanted.
And yeah, I still like the She-Hulk character and I want her to see proper justice in the MCU and surrounding media (the show really made a mockery of her character), and yeah she's sexy (that statement still stands lol) but for this specific fighting game roster, this was not the route to go imo.
NINJA FROM THE FUTURE: Guardians 3 trailer released after I typed this whole She-Hulk essay (I started this yesterday morning). Look at him!
Okay, so, that's out of the way. How about the other 36 on this huge roster?
The base game I think ended up going... pretty well! Actually, I'd say it's near perfect!
There are some quams with having 2 Spider-Man, but I think Miles' inclusion is very justified and stands on his own a lot more than other shared identity characters (Kate Bishop, Jane Thor, Brawn, etc.) do. The rister wouldn't have been complete without him.
Some people may been confused about Cyclops, mostly outsiders to the X-Men, or people who've only seen the movies, but like, there's no debate. He is THE leader of the X-Men, and I very much dislike how recent media has been throwing him under the bus. He needed to be here and it's good that he is.
Wasp may have seemed like a weird choice for the final Marvel character, but she was needed. She's an icon of the Avengers line-up; Sure, her character started out very one note during the 60s, but she developed into a beloved hero in Marvel's line up and was always a staple of the team. But because of the MCU, Marvel has kind of been erasing her existence (they tried the same with the X-Men), but I am not having that. Give me Wasp or give me death. Also yeah, we needed more women rep and atleast someone from the Ant-Man franchise. She can also act as a representative of the classic Avengers, which I think works better because the roster already has a lot of modern rep.
I think Doc Ock is an underrated choice so I'm glad he got in. If we had just done Spidey, Miles and Venom, then all the Spider-Man characters would have just been different variations of the same power. Doc Ock is refreshing and a grappler playstyle is nice.
I think everyone else is pretty straightforward; All the base game characters were basically required for our roster and they're all unique and bring variety.
The Marvel DLC is where things fell down a little for me, but not by much.
First off, the X-Men: Gambit and Magik were I think the best case scenario for more mutants. We needed another core member of the main X-Men team and Gambit is stupid popular, so it adds up that he'd be the next one. Magik hits a lot of niches in one go: New Mutants rep, X-Women, obscure character, basically everything needed to diversify the X-Men lineup beyond just being the most standard picks. Plus, she's another one of those characters where nobody plays at all like her, which is good. I'm really proud of the moveset I made for her and I love Infinity Sorcerer's improvements.
Squirrel Girl makes sense, we needed a comedy relief character and she's the most popular one. Ultron is... honestly I think he is a really basic/safe pick BUT I think he deserves the spot and he's a good villain in general. I like that we did an Avengers villain before doing another member for DLC.
Speaking of which Hawkeye! Somewhat controversial, but I didn't mind Kate. I 100% would have preferred Clint but Kate is a nice change of pace, though I wouldn't consider he "Power Girl instead of Supergirl" levels of genius; it still is a bit weird. But, as long as we have a Hawkeye, though, we're good, and this was at least a unique idea. And she brought a dog with her!
Sentry was also somewhat of a controversial pick... but I'll still defend it, because it was the right pick. Everything I said about Sentry back then, amazingly, still holds true; Nobody does what he does on the roster at ALL, out of 80
characters; he represents his own series, he represents a Marvel variant of Superman, he's a deep dive pick from the superhero catalogue; really, he has it all. Plus, 2 of the characters people complained he got in over (i.e. Blade and Moon Knight) got in, so really he shouldn't even be controversial anymore. He's not really, honestly.
I'm very proud of Sentry's inclusion regardless. Again, I character I fought tooth and nail for, and it worked out for the better.
Speaking of those previous two; Blade and Moon Knight made sense to include, Blade especially. Moon Knight, I was a bit eh. I kind of dislike the way he was included; I didn't want an Avengers member round to begin with, because our roster was chalkful of them, especially in comparison to the other teams, but Moon Knight kinda circumvents that since, while he has been a member before, especially on the West Coast, he is 90% of the time a solo hero and that's more of what he's representative of with his inclusion, and not really his tenure with the Avengers. So I guess in that way it was good, but at that rate, what was the point of the Avengers round? That round was super weird anyway. Nominations were in the low levels for such a large team and then we nominate the guy least associated with them. Kind of unorthodox, but in the end this is about Moon Knight and he deserves his spot. Plus, both he and Blade were PoC, so it was huge to have both included back to back.
So, who exactly is left? Star-Lord, who doesn't even need to be explained. And that brings us to the ending... Gwenpool! Aaaand she's okay. I'm indifferent to this character; It's not really a secret I wanted other characters. She's like, there. Very happy for everyone who lobbied for her, though, because this feels like a proper vindication for her character.
So what exactly is my problem with this roster? I can't exactly justify cutting any of these 36 characters.
Maybe it's just that the DLC ended up being very safe, functionally most of them aren't as interesting as their DC counterparts (though there are highlights like Star-Lord, Sentry and Magik), and I dislike how we tried to lean more into the Avengers constantly when I felt we needed to stay away from the team.
I just can't put my finger on this. This should be fine but I feel like we missed out on making the best Marvel roster we could; I suppose this is a consequence of there being too many Marvel characters.
I do have to say the ending disappointed, though, for me, between Gwenpool and She-Hulk, even if the former is nice.
As for statistics:
characters have not been in MvC. This is a big bigger than DC's 9, though that's due to a lot of major characters just inexplicably being missing from that series to begin with. Very glad to have these characters in particular, too.
Out of 37 characters, 15
are not present in the MCU/Sonyverse. Obviously half of these are the Fox characters, but I am very thankful we got non-MCU characters in here and there. Though, that number is on the cusp of changing soon: Blade, Wolverine and Deadpool are all about to make their big MCU debuts in 2024.
10/37 characters are women, which is more than a quarter. These characters are all pretty justified too, but I'd probably cut Gwenpool and She-Hulk lol. Atleast one of them in favor of someone else; I kinda secretly wanted X-23 at some point. Shuri has become a new favorite of mine too, although really I'd trade these for Adam Warlock and Namor and you all know that.
11 of these characters were core Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Hawkeye, Sentry. This is on top of heavy associations with Loki and Ultron as villains, making for 13 Avengers-specific characters. This, is a lot for how small the roster is and how little the X-Men and Guardians had. Actually, if you combined all the X-Men, Guardians and F4 members into one, we would still have more Avengers. Crazy to think about.
This is what I'm most proud of: the PoC rep. ahem
. Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Storm, Ultimate Spider-Man, Blade and Moon Knight as standalone characters; covering the Premiere Costumes, that adds War Machine, Killmonger, Monica Rambeau, Robbie Reyes and Spider-Man 2099. Eleven!! This is awesome! The specific characters are awesome too!
Unfortunately, despite how big the team has gotten, we have only a whopping 2 Guardians. Our cosmic character count on Marvel's side is very low (It's only Thanos and Captain Marvel after the 2 Guardians) and we could've done better on that front