Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is essentially the ninth game in the crossover fighting game series, starting all the way back in 1994 when Akuma showed up in X-Men: Children of the Atom. Despite the amount of reused resources in the games, plenty of recognizable characters have shown up for both sides.
We’ve seen classic characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Ryu, Mega Man, Jill Valentine, and so on. We’ve seen the entertaining B-list fighters such as Captain Commando, Viewtiful Joe, Mike Haggar, Deadpool, Venom, and Super-Skrull. There are even some downright obscure folks like Son-Son, Marrow, Shuma-Gorath, and those unused Darkstalkers designs Amingo and Ruby Heart.
Yet there will always be the feeling that it’s not enough. Here are some names that haven’t had an opportunity to show up in any of the Marvel vs. Capcom games, at least not as playable characters. Some are surprising in their absence while others are folks I really wish could’ve been added somewhere along the line.
For the sake of equality, I’m going to go back and forth between Marvel and Capcom. I’m also going with characters who have been around for a while. While it would be nice to see Gwenpool, the current Ms. Marvel, or Jack Baker pop up as Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite DLC, I’m not going to go over them.
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At most, Daredevil has appeared in a background and as a card in that Heroes and Heralds nonsense from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. That’s it. We have guys who have dressed up as Daredevil, but never the real deal. That’s kind of crazy. You’d think Capcom would at least have made Danny Rand Daredevil an alternate costume for Iron Fist.
He’d bring the Spider-Man agility with some offense probably reminiscent of Captain America. Hell, give him boxing skills while you’re at it. Too bad his powers don’t exactly translate into a fighting game all that well.
Of the original 12 Street Fighter II characters, only seven have shown up in the Marvel crossovers. The ones who sat it out include Sagat, Vega, Balrog, E. Honda, and Blanka. Having Blanka on the sidelines during all of this seems kind of questionable. He has the most ridiculous, inexplicable design with an actual superhero origin.
Sure, he appeared in Hulk’s Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter ending to have a quick conversation, but you’d think that would have led to something bigger. He’s Capcom’s own personal green monster, only instead of throwing tanks, he rolls around like a ball and summons electricity. He’s practically Hulk mixed with Wolverine, but with the mind of a child. Amp up his abilities and toss him into the melee!
First off, Red Venom/Hyper Venom from Marvel vs. Capcom totally doesn’t count. Don’t @ me.
Carnage is like Blanka in that he was huge in the 90s, but his star has since died. Then again, Marvel vs. Capcom isn’t TOO different and those games were coming out when it would have made sense to toss Carnage in. After all, not only did he have his own video game complete with red cartridge, but he was the final boss in the sequel (despite having ZERO to do with the story), and was partially the final boss for one of the best Spider-Man games of all time.
It probably didn’t help that Capcom’s depiction of Venom focused more on Carnage’s morphing gimmicks than just being a bulkier Spider-Man. Carnage’s boss battles in non-Capcom games show how easy he fits into this kind of mess, what with his giant claws and axe-hands.
Ah well. He may not have shown up in a Capcom fighter, but he did get to be on Broadway, so good for him.
Revisiting the original 12 of Street Fighter II again, I have to call Capcom out on the lack of Sagat representation. Not only is he the original Street Fighter boss and a playable character in the three main Capcom/SNK crossover games, but he’s #1 on this site’s list where I ranked every Street Fighter character. Sagat’s the best, man. Let the King of Muay Thai beat up some Skrulls.
It is interesting to consider how Sagat would fit into this series. Would he have been given beam attacks? Maybe a barrage of Tiger Shots that fire in all sorts of directions? I’m not entirely sure how a less-grounded Sagat would work, but I’m bummed we’ve never found out.
THE SENTRY/THE VOID
How awesome a boss fight would it be if you took on the Sentry in the first round, then he freaked out and became the Void and you had to—
Wait, that’s not right. Sentry was a secret boss character in the first Street Fighter back in 1987. Heh! My mistake! Totally forgot that happened.
So we’ve had Mega Man, Mega Man’s sister, and now Mega Man’s Reploid brother. Strangely, his rebellious brother has never received his day in the crossover spotlight. Sure, there’s not too much that differentiates him from Mega Man, other than cosmetics and his stationary shield, but Mega Man’s move list is built on stealing weapons and there are so many other Robot Masters to steal from.
I guess what makes it so shocking that Capcom didn’t include him in, say, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is that Proto Man would be such an easy addition. Eighty percent of his sprites would just be edits of Mega Man and going the easy way is Capcom’s MO for these types of games.
Ah, well. We’ll always have Power Fighters.
Speaking of robotic relatives, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite emphasizes Ultron as one half of the big threat and Vision’s nowhere to be seen. The last playable team member from the Captain America and the Avengers arcade game probably deserves a spot somewhere, especially now that he’s the movie team’s hardest hitter (since Thor and Hulk aren’t around).
Not only is Vision a fitting inclusion, but he’s also very versatile. You can give him simple beam attacks but you can also pull off some unique moves and gimmicks with his mass-changing. Have him fly around while phasing, have him become so dense that he has super armor and doesn’t block. There’s a lot of potential there.
Yes, they just gave us Sigma, but of the classic era of Mega Man, it felt wrong that they never put any villains in these games. I never really cared for Bass (Racer X Mega Man > Vegeta Mega Man) and Robot Masters don’t feel like great additions due to their disposable henchman nature, so there’s not much to choose from. Dr. Wily in some kind of robot suit could MAYBE work (especially in his alien “final form” from Mega Man 2), but for my money, give the spot to Yellow Devil.
The big blob is the bane of my childhood, and as a recurring boss in the Wily stages, he always felt like a step above the more memorable Robot Master villains. He was Wily’s personal Goro with a body like Clayface. Having a goopy tank face the Marvel heroes would be novel and he could make for a fun rivalry with either Sandman or the Awesome Android.
THE PUNISHER/NICK FURY
It’s INSANE that they haven’t put Frank Castle in a fighting game yet. Absolutely insane. Not only is he one of Marvel’s A-listers, but he starred in the first Capcom-created Marvel game, his 1993 self-titled arcade classic. Wait, second game. Remember the Sentry was in Street Fighter. He totally was.
With Chris Redfield around as of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you do have to get a bit more creative coming up with a moveset for “hardened soldier who uses every gun he can get his hands on.” But if Capcom were to come up with something new for Frank, they could also lean into history further by adding in Nick Fury. As a callback to the Punisher game, have Nick Fury as an alternate Punisher skin that happens to have its own personality and quotes.
I’m going to level with you. I’ve never actually played Red Earth. I know maybe one person who actually has. It’s a very beautiful-looking game with some wonderful designs. It’s also a game that Capcom likes to think back fondly on when crossovers come into play. More specifically, when it comes to Tessa, who they consider the best character. Tessa has shown up in Pocket Fighter, Capcom Fighting Evolution, and SNK vs. Capcom, yet has never gone toe-to-toe with Marvel.
She’d fit in wonderfully, too, especially now that Dr. Strange has more public visibility. Tessa’s deal is that she’s a witch who studies sorcerology. While Strange may study magic purely out of duty, Tessa simply has a passion to understand the science of how magic works in all of its forms.
It took a hell of a lot of time to get Thor as a playable character. He probably would have made it eventually, even if he weren’t part of a cinematic juggernaut that made him a household name. But you know who else came out of the Marvel movie experiment with higher stock? None other than Loki, the guy responsible for there being an Avengers team in the first place.
Too bad character morphing went the way of the dodo after fighting games went 3D because Loki would have made a perfect Shang Tsung type. Regardless, his trickery wouldn’t be impossible to translate into a fighter and when your power is generic magic, the sky’s the limit.
Capcom has a cornucopia of fighting games, and the fact that some of them haven’t been represented in their money crossover series is more illegal than kidnapping Jack Black. Take Power Stone, for instance. It had two flawed, but fun installments and an anime, but it’s been all but forgotten. And while Capcom’s like, “Hey, remember Red Earth? You don’t? Well, we do!” they’ve left Power Stone in the dust. Which is funny because now they’re doing a game where a completely different “Power Stone” is a weapon you can activate.
I will grant that Power Stone’s cast seems fairly half-baked, but if anyone deserves a shot at the mainstream, it’s Falcon. Depicted as the English Indiana Jones, Falcon is an adventurer and old-timey pilot with a zest for treasure hunting. He’s practically too on the nose to show up in Infinite where powerful treasure is the gimmick of the game. But he also comes with a special flying armor form, which would make for a rad super.
Luke Cage used to be about as big as a comic character could be without actually appearing in anything non-comic for a long time. I mean, Nicholas Cage named himself after him. Luke having a guest appearance in an Avengers cartoon felt like a big deal at the time for me, contrasting with how he was one of the main characters when Brian Michael Bendis had his endless Avengers/New Avengers comic run. Nowadays he’s become a mainstream figure due to the success of his Netflix appearances, so I can understand why he wasn’t in any of the older games.
That is, until you remember that Iron Fist was in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 first! I know they’re supposed to be “partners” and theoretically equal and all, but come on. If you were to ask which guy was the sidekick of the two, most would point at Iron Fist. For like a ten year stretch, his identity was “Luke Cage’s friend hanging out in the background.”
Give us a blaxploitation grappler with super armor already.
The other Capcom game that doesn’t get enough love is Rival Schools, the Teen Titans to Street Fighter’s Justice League. While Batsu is the go-to choice for many because he’s the protagonist, I find Batsu and his running buddies to be duller than…I don’t know, whatever the opposite of cheddar is. There’s a whole pile of characters from this game that are more interesting.
Personally, my choice would be to go with Akira the Kung-Fu Rider, Capcom’s answer to Samus Aran. Her deal? Her badass brother got kidnapped and brainwashed, so she dressed up as a biker to hide her identity, recruited her brother’s gang member flunkies, and went to go crush those responsible. Only in her ending did she remove her helmet to reveal that she was a girl.
Anyway, enhance her moves and have the likes of Daigo, Edge, and Gan show up in her attacks. Besides, Infinite already suffers from a lack of female combatants as is.
Namor predates Captain America. He’s been a Defender, an Avenger, a member of the Illuminati, an X-Man, and the Steve Urkel to the Fantastic Four’s Winslow family. With DC Comics constantly trying too hard to make Aquaman cool, you already have a sexy, aquatic king ready-made with the Submariner. Why he has yet to show up in any Capcom game is beyond me.
Even as a guy whose deal is that he hangs out in the ocean, Namor’s capable of so much that you could easily build a fighting style around him. He’s strong, he flies, he’s fast, and he can sometimes shoot electricity. I can’t help but smile at the thought of someone pulling off a Namor super at Evo while thousands of audience members yell, “IMPERIUS REX!” in unison.
*sigh* Face it, we’re never getting that new Darkstalkers game. The only way we’ll ever get to see these guys in action again are in crossover games. That said, Talbain has yet to appear in one of these games for some reason, despite the fact that he’s fun to play as. I want my martial artist werewolf, damn it! Ryu’s Capcom Fighting Evolution ending is essentially: “How awesome would Ryu vs. Talbain be?! I know, right?!”
Yet here we are. I need my howling cannon attacks, man…
Because of the whole X-Men movie rights issue, Marvel is constantly trying to figure out their female hero situation. Who is their star if it can’t be Storm, Rogue, or Jean? They tossed Black Widow into the Avengers movie while kind of treating her as the bottom rung member. They’ve spent years insisting that Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel is totally a thing we should be into. But really, why not just focus on Songbird for once?
Songbird went from one of the ugliest villain designs to a lovable, redemptive hero as part of the Thunderbolts. Her powers are half Green Lantern and half Sindel and she has a history with pro wrestling. Actually, to hell with Marvel vs. Capcom games, they need to announce Thunderbolts as a Phase 4 film already!
Hey, I know I touched on Street Fighter characters earlier, but Alex is a fantastic protagonist that Capcom never truly champions. He’s the main character of the Street Fighter III games, which are awesome, but rarely revisited. Even while the other Street Fighter III characters appeared in Street Fighter IV, Alex was barely given a cameo in Street Fighter V in which Dhalsim tells him, “You’ll be important one day, but not now.”
He represented Street Fighter in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, but apparently he’s not good enough to powerbomb Dr. Doom.
The way I see it, Capcom’s side is a bit more versatile due to its roster of chibi fighters, including the Mega Man characters, Arthur, and Viewtiful Joe. The only tiny guy Marvel has to play with is Rocket Raccoon. Seems the House of Ideas could use a cartoonier and shorter warrior.
Spider-Ham is a concept that only works well in limited doses, and being a single character in an ensemble fighting game is perfect. A sillier take on the Spider-Man moveset would win over many.
Otherwise…perhaps Howard the Duck with the same attacks as Scrooge McDuck from Capcom’s Ducktales? I’d main it.
Lastly, the hero of the near-forgotten sidescroller from the 80s would fit in perfectly in a Marvel vs. Capcom game. Trojan is essentially Mad Max if he rocked a sword and shield to fight evil. In his world, the post-apocalypse has led to the resurrection of various warlords and it’s up to Trojan to go around and re-kill them.
Outside of showing up in an arcade collection or two, Trojan’s fallen into obscurity. We’ll never get a new game starring the character, but perhaps Capcom could have him do some punk swashbuckling against Ryu and Iron Man? Kind of a shame that a guy from the future is stuck so far in the past.
Any other missed opportunities in Marvel and Capcom’s rosters? Let me know in the comments.
Gavin Jasper was going to include Black Widow on the list, but then they went and announced her for Infinite. Go figure. Follow Gavin on Twitter!