The Daily Five: Superheroes That Deserve Better Games

May 8, 2013 | By | 8 Comments

If The Avengers’ billion-dollar success at the box office last year is any indication, superheroes aren’t an exclusively nerdy commodity anymore. Between saving the day and their flamboyant costumes, they also make natural targets for video game adaptations. After a lifetime of flops, Batman finally got worthy games in the Arkham series. The X-Men have gotten plenty of great games, and so has Spider-Man. Plenty of fun has been had in tights, capes, and cowls.

Then there are superheroes that don’t get the digital tribute that they deserve. They’re the ones slumming it in half-assed movie tie-ins, despite the fact that they’re perfect fodder for a video game romp. They’ve earned an honest shot, damn it.

Iron Man

Like the other superheroes on this list, ol’ Shellhead has been a part of ensemble casts in plenty of fine video games — the Marvel vs. Capcom and Ultimate Alliance series jump immediately to mind. When it comes to solo outings, however, it’s been one dud after another. The highest profile flops were the movie tie-ins for the first two Iron Man films, and considering how terrible they were it’s not difficult to understand why there’s nothing for IM3.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor can fly, fire repulsor beams, and shoot rockets — it’s a wearable, form-fitting fighter jet, for crying out loud. There should be more great Iron Man games than we can shake a stick at by now.

Green Lantern

Despite being one of the most prolific heroes in all of comics, Green Lanterns — be they Hal Jordan or otherwise — haven’t had much screen time in the gaming space. Hal Jordan has been in both of NetherRealms’ DC fighting games (Injustice and MK vs DC Universe), while others have made their way into other DC team-up games. 2011 brought us Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters as a decent movie tie-in, but the attachment to a critically panned film didn’t do it any favors.

Green Lantern rings are some of the most powerful items in the DC Universe, with the wearer having the ability to conjure constructs limited only by their imaginations and willpower. With the Green Lantern Corps’ role as glorified space cops and a rainbow of rival Lantern Corps as folly, there’s plenty for a talented developer to work with.

Captain America

The Star-Spangled Sentinel is probably the corniest superhero of them all on paper. He was clearly created as a reaction to the events of World War II, and a name like Captain America probably made finding a worldwide audience tricky. His unmatched tenacity and sense of honor, however, have made him the heart and soul of the Avengers for almost 50 years and endeared him to comic fans everywhere.

Like Iron Man, though, he’s the victim of shoddy starring roles when he’s outside of team-up games. His 8-bit offering was dull and Captain America: Super Soldier in 2011 was unimpressive. While Spider-Man is definitely the face of the company, Cap is the one that every hero in the Marvel universe aspires to be. Why isn’t there a game to match?

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  • Reneid Klein

    “…a great straight-to-video DC Animation feature in 2009…”

    Welp, there goes all your credibility.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joegarcia23 Joe Garcia

      Did you watch it? Because I did, and it was great.

      • Reneid Klein

        I saw it twice and it is still my least favorite of the DC animated movies. Maybe because I had high hope for it or because the annoying pilot character pissed me off…whatever the reason, I didn’t like it and you’re the first comic fan I know that did.

        • Josh

          WW was easily one of my favorites.

          • Reneid Klein

            Really? You’re putting Wonder Woman’s movie up there with ones like Doom, Apocalypse and Public Enemies (My three favorites)?

          • Velox

            Listen guys. Opinions don’t belong on the internet. Give them elsewhere.

          • Reneid Klein

            Lol, but we all know that he is Joe “He only hates everything” Garcia so the things he dislikes are great and the things he like usually aren’t.

  • JKSums

    I agree with all of these characters being good choices for video games except green lantern. His powers are only limited by imagination, meaning that all the powers you’d receive in a game would feel stunted and generic. although a great story could be told with gl cannon, the game play itself would be too limited to allow the full Immersion of being a green lantern. I’d nominate hawkeye or green arrow instead. Being a sharp shooting, stealth like archer with no qualms about eliminating enemies indefinitely, and having a bevy of incredible gadget laced arrows would simply be astounding.