Though comics themselves are still a niche market, superheroes have exploded in popularity thanks to television shows, movies, and, of course, video games. Batman’s Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are great examples of not only superhero games, but also video games in general. When playing, you almost feel like Batman. There are, however, thousands of heroes out there, many of whom deserve their own games. Others have appeared in terrible or mediocre games, but still should’ve had a great solo title. I’ve selected only heroes who have never starred in a quality game and I think could easily be given an exceptional title. Who do I think should make the cut? Read on to find out!
The Invincible series from Image Comics has enjoyed wild success during its run. Though I’ve only touched on my love of this series before, it’s one of the best comics out there. Mark Grayson’s story would make a great game, and could easily follow the central plot of the comic while including extra missions to flesh out the game. It’d work well since, although Invincible’s powers are much like those of Superman, it took him time to develop and get used to them. Thus, the player could unlock powers as the game goes, starting with just the basics of flight and increased strength, and gaining improved toughness, speed, and more as the game goes on. The opportunity to play as other superheroes from the Invincible universe would be awesome as well: playing as the likes of Allen the Alien or Rex Splode could add in even more storylines and styles of play.
4. Black Panther
Black Panther is a stellar hero who could be an amazing way for Marvel to create an answer to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Black Panther is basically a combination of Batman and Wolverine: he’s a wealthy monarch, master martial artist, carries some cool gadgets, and has enhanced senses. It’d be very easy to place Black Panther in a game involving a mixture of stealth and combat. Another positive aspect of a game about Black Panther is the ability to set the game in his home country of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced nations in the Marvel Universe. So far, most Marvel games have been set in New York or other areas in North America, so setting a game in Africa would be a step in a new direction. Though he’s not the most well-known Marvel superhero, Black Panther could definitely be a star if placed in a proper game.
Ah Magneto, you’re arguably the coolest character Marvel has to offer. Magneto is nothing if not totally badass. Developers could easily design a game where you go around as the Master of Magnetism destroying entire armies and leveling cities, crushing any paltry resistance humanity can offer. Yet, what could make such a game even better is exploring the complex character of Magneto: he’s been everything from an evil mastermind to a reluctant hero to a peacemaker seeking redemption.
A game moving through Magneto’s life could be very cool: start off when he was a child prisoner of the Nazis as he slowly masters his power, move into his early adulthood as he works with Charles Xavier, transition to his mid-life as he attempts to eliminate humanity and runs afoul of the X-Men, before finally concluding as he seeks penance for his sins by allying with his former adversaries. My only fear would be making Magneto seem either too strong (able to destroy just about anything, deflect all bullets, etc.) or too weak (having buildings with steel frames as obstacles, for instance); even so, I think developers could probably balance things enough to make a truly exciting, enjoyable, and interesting Magneto game.
2. Haunt Ghostly superhero Haunt may have some powers reminiscent of Spider-Man, but he couldn’t be more different from the wall crawler. I’ve talked about my love of Haunt in the past, but liking a character isn’t reason enough to make a game about him. No, I think the Haunt comics could form the basis of a great video game, or even video game franchise. Haunt’s style of moving across rooftops would add some fun parkour-esque elements to the gameplay, while the ectoplasm that extends from his body could form the basis of a novel fighting style.
Given the covert-ops aspect of the comic, there could be some emphasis on stealth gameplay (albeit I don’t think it should form the basis of the game). There could even be flashback missions where one plays as Kurt; these could take more of an FPS vibe, offering missions decidedly different from superpowered combat. It also could be good to have a side to game where you play as Daniel, moving around the real world and interacting with his friends and colleagues; these interactions could, in turn, influence future plot events and form a way to lead to multiple endings based on one’s choices. Ultimately, Haunt could, and should, star in a multi-layered game with a variety of gameplay styles.
1. Green Arrow
Yes, I’m a Green Arrow fanboy, but hear me out: the Emerald Archer deserves a quality game. A Green Arrow game could easily focus on him working his way up from low-level street crime to the supervillains behind the plot. Upgrades could involve new and better trick arrows. The game would also differ extensively from most superhero games by encouraging ranged combat: GA is no slouch in hand-to-hand, but if the game put emphasis on fighting at a range and avoiding fisticuffs it’d be unique. Stealth elements would of course be present. Green Arrow also has a strong enough rogues gallery to make the game fun: Merlyn, Constantine Drakon, Onomatopoeia, and many more could be included. Plot points could focus on GA’s liberal leanings and perhaps even reference some of his classic storylines. There you have it! Do you think any of these heroes deserve games? What other superheroes should have their own titles?