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Marvel Vs. Capcom: here come the new challengers?
by Joey Núñez

I imagine San Diego Comic Con to be something along the lines of Oz: a place filled with magical creatures, lively colours, and odd-looking munchkins. If you're unaware of this colossal event, and you're too lazy to Google it, picture E3, but comic-themed, with panels on everything comic-related, from movies to TV series to videogames. It’s comic-geek heaven. This year, the San Diego Comic Con will take place between the 21st and the 24th of July, and there's plenty we gamers can look forward to. But there is one panel in particular has me salivating at the mouth: Capcom’s Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 panel. Game producer Ryota Niitsuma is set to reveal some “fantastic news” regarding the future of the franchise, and I am set to go into some full blown cardiac arrest depending on just how “fantastic” this news really is.

If I have my way, Ryota Niitsuma will be announcing shiny new DLC characters. What characters would I like to see, you ask? Well, I've spent months trying to decide that. After careful deliberation, and considering what characters could best serve to add diversity and balance to the roster, I decided to screw all that logic-infused reasonable stuff, and just wish for the characters I want to play with the most.

These are the few. The proud. The wishlist.

1: Emma Frost

If there is one thing that the boys and girls at Marvel Comics are good at, it's creating strong female characters, and Emma Frost is probably the fiercest bitch you will find in the colourful pages of the X-Men comics. The quintessential ice-queen, Ms. Frost is a former villain and foil to the X-Men. Emma has seemingly left her evil ways behind her, working her way up the ranks of the team until she eventually became co-headmistress of the Xavier Institue, alongside her boyfriend Scott Summers, better known as Cyclops.

As for her power set, Emma is a world-class telepath, with a secondary mutation which allows her to turn her skin into diamond; these two disparate power sets would allow Capcom to really create an interesting move-set. Emma’s telepathy could make her perfect for confusing the enemy or setting up traps, while her diamond-hard skin could give her some real powerhouse moves. Not to mention, she’s a total knockout.

2: Megaman X

A robot bounty-hunter of the future, the blue bomber's 'mature' incarnation, simply known as 'X', gives you everything you love about the classic Megaman, whilst oozing both style and charm.

The classic Megaman has been featured in both previous Marvel Vs. Capcom games, but Megaman X has never made a proper appearance in the series. We were all lucky enough to have X’s partner, Zero, included in the original roster but - alas - a Marvel Vs. Capcom game without Megaman just doesn’t seem right. This is Capcom’s chance to undo this wrong.

Can you imagine just how cool a Zero and X team-up would be. Yeah, you just nerdgasmed.

3: Iron Fist

Daniel Rand: world-class businessman by day, The Immortal Iron Fist by night. Iron Fist is arguably Marvel Comics' most popular and prominent martial arts character, currently serving on the New Avengers, alongside heavy hitters like Wolverine and Spiderman. Gifted with both superb martial arts skills and the power of the Iron Fist, Danny Rand is able to focus his Chi directly into his fist, granting his hand superhuman power and making it impervious to injury, not to mention the ability to heal himself and others.

To recap, he is basically Bruce Lee with superpowers. You can see why Iron Fist is a perfect fit for this game. I can imagine Iron Fist being a quick character which you play fast and hard, something along the lines of a mix between Chun-Li and Ryu. The thought makes me giddy.

4: Ryu (Breath of Fire)

Capcom’s main claim to fame is undoubtedly the Street Fighter series, as well as the myriad of action-orientated titles the company has produced over the years, spanning everything from Megaman to Resident Evil. This is probably why many are quick to forget all about the small RPG series that could: Breath of Fire.

Although the games in the Breath of Fire series are not directly related – much like the Final Fantasy series, the stories in each BoF game are stand-alone adventures – all the games in the series put you in the role of a blue-haired boy named Ryu who, besides being able to handle a sword or two, can freaking turn into a dragon.

Yeah. You read that right. The kid turns into a dragon.

I rest my case.

5: Spiderwoman

Jessica Drew débuted as Spiderwoman back in 1977, and after some popularity in the early eighties, the character remained largely unused, right up until author Brian Michael Bendis brought her back in a very big way, featuring her in the roster of the New Avengers in 2005. Since then, Jessica has proved to be one of the most compelling characters the House of Ideas has to offer.

Besides wielding a host of superhuman powers - including Venom blasts, superhuman strength and reflexes, flight and a form of pheromone control – Spiderwoman is a highly trained Shield and Hydra operative. If you’re not fluent in Nerd, that means she’s basically a superspy who could kick your ass from here to next Sunday without batting an eyelid. With all of the above combined, Spiderwoman has the potential to be a real powerhouse in the game. Are you picturing Super Venom Blasts and Pheromone traps? I’m right there with you.

6: Strider Hiryu

He is a member of an elite clan of 'cyber-ninjas' from the future, and he will bring the pain.

Hiryu is the main character of a very well-loved 1989 Capcom side-scroller platform game, but the character doesn’t require much introduction for anyone who has ever played Marvel Vs. Capcom 1 or 2. A mainstay of the series, Strider’s popularity - and awesomeness - know no bounds. You read that first part where I said he was a cyber-ninja, right? Quick, powerful and undeniably flashy, Strider is not simply a perfect fit for the style of this game; he helped define its style. You really can't ever have too many ninjas.

7: Elektra

Oh, Elektra. Words escape me. With a past shrouded in tragedy, Elektra has emerged not only as a formidable assassin, but as the premier assassin of the Marvel Universe, and with her omnipresent va-va-voom factor, she redefines the phrase "looks that kill".

A take-no-prisoners ninja-for-hire who straddles the line between hero and villain, Elektra is definitely a gripping character and her skill set makes her a perfect fit for a fighting game. I can’t imagine Elektra would be a very powerful character, but I’m sure she could give the quicker characters of MvC3 a run for their money.

8: Vergil

The yin to Dante’s yang, Vergil is the evil twin brother you never wished for. Débuting in Capcom’s first Devil May Cry, Vergil really came into his own as the main antagonist of Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening. Throughout the course of the game, we learned that Vergil has two defining traits: the first is his lust for power, and the second is that he's a badass who can rival even Dante’s cool-factor.

Although Vergil and Dante share the same demon powers, the way those powers are channelled are quite different. Dante is kind of a no-holds-barred, in your face fighter, whilst Vergil has a certain finesse to his moves. Don’t you worry about Vergil simply being a new 'skin' for the already-existing Dante character.

9: Ms. Marvel

Tall, blonde, and tough; what more could a comic geek ask for? Ms. Marvel has been gracing comic book fans with her presence since way back in the sixties. Her popularity and relevance have not always been constant, but during the last decade she has truly come into her own, arising as what Wizard Magazine would call Marvel’s premier superheroine.

With a power set that could make Superman blush, Ms. Marvel comes packing flight, invulnerability, super strength and energy blasts. There isn't a single character currently on the MvC3 roster which she couldn’t take on. Like I said at the top, Marvel has a knack for creating tough females, which is why it’s so depressing that there is real lack of female fighters on the MvC3 roster, and that those who are present (with the exception of She-Hulk) are all of X-Men fame. It’s time for Marvel to bring out their femmes fatales in force.

10: Cyclops

Expecting another Capcom character, were you? Well, tough cookies. No way was I going to conclude this list without adding the leader of my favorite comic book team, the X-Men.

Wolverine may be the most popular X-Men-man, but Cyclops has proven to be much more than the 'boy scout' he was originally perceived as. In recent years, Cyclops has come to be a true leader in the pages of Marvel Comics, not only for the X-Men, but for all of mutant kind. As for his pedigree as a fighter, the character has proven his worth in both Marvel Vs. Capcom 1 and 2. Cyclops has yet to make his presence felt in the wiring and plastic of my PS3, and I think it’s time for Capcom to do something about that.

Well there you have it; my DLC wish list. Hopefully one or more of these characters is announced by Mr Niitsuma during the San Diego Comic Con, if any DLC characters are even announced at all. What do you think Mr Niitsuma will announce, and what characters would you like to see added to the MvC3 roster? Comment below, gamers.

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- Joey Núñez

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