Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is an amazing, once in a lifetime game that brings together over 50 characters from wildly disparate worlds and franchises. So, in an effort to pay tribute to one of the games I believe to be the greatest of all time, please enjoy day three of a five-day, 100% complete, generally alphabetical look at every fighter in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Let’s suit up, and look to…
Anthony “Iron Man” Stark
The basic, most driving force for Marvel comics creations in the Stan Lee era was that everybody had “real world” problems to complement their fantastic superpowers. Sometimes these problems were mundane (Mr. Fantastic had some less-than-fantastic family dynamics to deal with, Spider-Man with great responsibility yada yada yada), and sometimes they were more metaphorical (Hulk was a rage monster, Thing’s literally rocky exterior did not match his big heart). Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, started with a pretty basic problem: if he wasn’t Iron Man, he would die. Thanks to some errant shrapnel from around when the first Iron Man suit was created, businessman Tony Stark had to wear an Iron Man chest plate at all times to keep his heart beating. This served the dual purpose of guaranteeing Tony Stark was always “stuck” being Iron Man, and also granted the “battle” weakness of setting a battery-based timer on all of Iron Man’s supervillain fights. Iron Man is invincible! Except when he has to duck out for a recharge! Sorry, Mandarin, this millionaire has to wrap this up and hit a gas station.
And this “weakness” has existed in various forms throughout the years. At one post-shrapnel point, Iron Man had “extremis” on his side, and he was powered by nanite-based armor and abilities that put his powers firmly in the futuristic category. But he once again had to rely on tech (this time repulsor-based) to keep the whole thing working and not murdering the poor billionaire. Similarly, Tony Stark’s big demon in the bottle, alcoholism, has been a consistent weakness that is a real-world problem that works not unlike his batteries of old. Instead of a stressful battle requiring a battery charge, now he has to charge his mental batteries by calling a sponsor. But by this point in continuity, the likes of extremis has fallen by the wayside, and Iron Mans Anonymous can only fuel so many stories before “nobody wants to watch a dude be sad all the time” sets in. So, now, what is left as Iron Man’s current weakness?
Well, he’s kind of a dick.
This appears to be the one constant in Iron Man’s characterization over the last twenty years. Iron Man is a brilliant futurist, and, implicitly as a direct result of that, he’s a jackass. Iron Man is invincible once again, but, more often than not, he is going to get into trouble thanks to some combination of hubris and vaguely self-serving intentions. Yes, Iron Man is going to save the world. Unfortunately, after doing so, he may have also brought back some interplanetary technology that he is going to study/watch destroy the world in a whole new way. Tony Stark has outright created about half of his rogue’s gallery, and when he was brainwashed (more or less, long story, involves Nazi Onslaught) into being an evil tech billionaire that sold people microtransactions to live, it was kind of hard to tell if this was a result of the whole brainwashing thing, or just his latest bright idea. Couple this with his current origin merging with his movie-based story of being a superpowered version of Lockheed Martin, and we come up with a Tony Stark that might be a hero, but is definitely not going to be invited to anyone’s birthday party.
Iron Man: you may enjoy his unibeam, but don’t make the mistake of talking to the trillionaire. He’s probably going to try to sell you on Starkcoin, and then tank the stock just in time to get a new paintjob on his armor. Do not engage this dick.
The Resident Evil franchise started with a basic story about a handful of mundane cops investigating a mysterious mansion. This is an extremely well-trodden premise, and, give or take the threats being supernatural or superscientific, this is literally just the same concept as a haunted house. Or a generic horror movie! And Resident Evil, at its core, plays out like a horror story. There are characters that are not going to get out alive, a betrayer, and a pair of protagonists that will survive not only through brute force, but also the ingenuity of employing unusual skills (like lock picking, jewel sorting, or sandwich aversion). Jill Valentine was one of those survivors, and her second starring role, Resident Evil 3, ultimately cast her in the familiar “final girl” role as she made her exit stage left while pursued by a bear(-sized zombie).
And then the Resident Evil franchise got weird.
Look, let’s learn a lesson here: if you want your plot to be complicated, it is going to absolutely trash your characters. Jill Valentine appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 as a beret wearing “super cop” that could occasionally summon a rocket launcher. There were zombies that were part of her attacks, but she was not “in charge” of these biomutants, and her comedic reactions indicated they were uninvited cameos. Other than that? She was an everywoman who could survive a Tyrant, so why couldn’t she punch the Juggernaut? But when Jill returned to the franchise as DLC in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, she had completely changed; transformed into some kind of berserker monstrosity that moved a lot more like Venom than Roll. What happened? Well, her home franchise decided to include a plot twist…
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica mostly focused on a Resident Evil 2 protagonist’s adventures, and then Resident Evil 4 dealt with the other RE2 protagonist on the worst European vacation you could ever imagine. Resident Evil 5 finally returned to the good ol’ days of RE1 protagonists, but it cast off the “just a slasher movie” trappings and went for a much more… let’s charitably say “mature” plot. Resident Evil 5 features twists, turns, and the apparent death of Jill Valentine. But, shock, she isn’t dead! She was captured by the nefarious Wesker, experimented on for her repeated exposure-based immunity to the T-Virus, and gradually transformed into some kind of freaky mutant all her own. Now she is a Winter Soldier-esque bioweapon that Chris must fight!
And, yes, this is a huge change for Jill’s status quo, and it is hard to say it happened “for” Jill. Chris, Jill’s former partner, was the protagonist of Resident Evil 5, and it is pretty clear that Jill went through all this (literal) torture so Chris could feel really bad about what happened. It wasn’t enough that Chris had to have man-pain over Jill dying! Now he has to man-pain all over the place all over again when they fight! And, while Jill did actually survive that whole mess without much of an issue (give or take her cyber-heart being torn out), she has been benched through Resident Evil 7, without so much as a tall vampire mommy to keep her company.
The point of all this nonsense? Well, other than “sucks to be Jill”, maybe consider how continuing plots can impact franchises in the most annoying ways. Jill was one of the most familiar faces of the Resident Evil franchise, but, just between two fighting games, she became plainly unrecognizable in the name of supporting plot twists. And now she apparently is not allowed to do anything but email from her hospital bed. As a result of all this, she is probably not going to be making an appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Inifinity + 1.
Maybe longform franchise stories should consider who they are marring before they go full hog on ridiculous plots.
… Looking at you, Kingdom Hearts.
Jin is a pilot for “Variable Armors”, which is just a fancy way of saying “giant robots” in the world of Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness. For the unaware, Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness is a fighting game from 1995 that was itself a sequel to a beat ‘em up with the same basic theme, Armored Warriors. Jin did not appear in the “first” Armored Warriors, though, so Cyberbots is definitely his home game. Regardless of the existence of his world having a “Before Jin” period, Jin is unmistakably the protagonist of Cyberbots, and he is the character that went on to appear in Marvel vs. Capcom (1) and Tech Romancer.
Jin is also kind of an idiot.
Cyberbots basically starts from a position of homage/parody. This is normal for Capcom! Mega Man is Astro Boy, M. Bison is Washizaki from Riki-Oh, and most of the cast of Cyberbots can be traced to giant robot media and other traditional anime tropes. The big miniboss of the game, Princess Devilotte de DeathSatan IX, and her two henchmen are clearly just the Doronbo Gang in a new costume (see also: Team Rocket). In a similar way, the giant robot pilot searching for a mysteriously “dead” family member through giant robot punching journeys is Domon Kasshu of G Gundam in all but name, so one would assume that his BX-02 BLODIA will eventually be burning red. But Jin is more visually inspired by Kakugo Hagakure from Apocalypse Zero, as our pilot hero is equipped with what appears to be a “futuristic” version of Japanese fighter pilot uniforms from World War 2. Couple this with Jin literally wearing a quarter of a Japanese Imperial Flag, and how his clothes occasionally explode to reveal fundoshi underwear, and it is clear that Jin is supposed to harken back to the “old days” of Japan.
Note that I did not say “good old days”, though…
Strip out the sci-fi trappings of Jin, and he is basically an exaggerated version of a World War 2 Japanese air force pilot. He is a nationalistic representative of a period in Japan’s own recent history (particularly recent in 1995). He is brash, hot-headed, and way too naturally inclined to make poor decisions. Suicidally so, in fact, like in his lethal Marvel vs. Capcom ending. And, with his various exaggerated attacks, he also comes off as angry and goofy. You don’t see Captain Commando stripping naked for any of his attacks…
Jin Saotome has all of these whacky, undesirable traits, and he is also a clear reference to Japanese soldiers in World War 2.
And he fights in two games that include Captain America, the paragon of righteousness that is meant to represent the best an American World War 2 soldier can be.
Draw your own conclusions.
Cain “Juggernaut” Marko
Dr. Charles Xavier is an iconic part of the Marvel universe. He is a peacemaker, a kindly, bald man in a wheelchair (that may be able to fly), who only wishes the best for his children, his race, and the whole of Earth 616. While there have been many interpretations of Chuck over the years (remember that time he transformed into a psychic monster and fought the cast of Marvel vs. Capcom 1?), one thing has been consistent: he’s the biggest brain in his universe. He is smart. He is educated. He is telepathic. As has been proven in multiple bad futures and alternate dimensions, Professor X could be reduced to a brain in a jar, and he would still be about twenty times more effective than Dazzler. Xavier is, in short, “brains” personified.
So Charlie’s brother, naturally, has to be the brawn to match those brains. And damn does he meet expectations by being 110% raw beef.
The not-at-all-subtly named Cain Marko has had a varied life in his comic-based history. Everyone knows him as the guy that runs up and wrecks the X-Mansion on a monthly basis, but his curators got bored with the same ol’ “everybody go for his hat” antics somewhere around the 80’s. Yes, the unstoppable dork in red powered by the dark god Cyttorak fought everyone from Spider-Man to Dr. Strange, but somewhere in there he became best friends with a surly Dublin dude, and the big guy softened up a bit. From that point forward, you had about equal odds on Juggernaut appearing as an unstoppable monster man or a dedicated member of a “spin-off” group of X-Men, like the British Excalibur or a fourth tier X-Men: Purple team. This change of heart was often associated with whether Cain was currently possessed by his magical rage gem, but, whether he was actively sniffing Cyttorak fumes or not, he was still huge and marginally invincible. Even when Juggernaut gets chumped (see that time Prof X. became a supervillain again), he usually isn’t so much beaten bloody as tossed across the planet.
And why is that? Because he’s the Juggernaut, my bitches.
Juggernaut is in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the same reason he has appeared in nearly every other videogame that happens to include Wolverine: he is the biggest chunk of man-meat in the X-Men butcher shop. When he is a villain, he is one of the most powerful bosses. When he is an ally, he is the strength stat personified. His motivation does not matter one iota, what is important is that his biceps are as thick as the entire New X-Men graduating class combined. Cain never learned to drive because he picks up and carries cars. You can’t take the bus when you are legally classified as a train! He has serious transportation issues!
Juggernaut has had shifting allegiances over the years, but whether he is helping Magneto or a random construction company, he is still reliably the biggest guy in the room. And damn is that useful in comics or videogames.
Ken Masters, “the original echo fighter”, started as a copy of Ryu that rapidly grew into his own character. While he has not been present for literally every tournament Ryu has ever entered (go ahead and check out how quickly Ryu’s crossover credentials can directly connect him to Jesus), Ken has been playable in every numbered Street Fighter game that has ever been released. Ryu and Ken are the only characters that can brag about such, and the likes of Akuma or Chun-Li can only hope to retroactively be inserted into a Street Fighter fan edit.
So it is more than a little weird that Ken was canonically removed from Street Fighter 1.
The full story? Ryu won the “World Warrior” tournament of Street Fighter 1 by delivering an uppercut to Sagat that was so powerful, it left the former champ with a cool reason to never wear a shirt again. This led directly into Street Fighter Alpha (2), where the plot of “Ryu has some rage issues” powered any number of evil twin, evil mentor, and evil dictator stories. Ryu is something of a focal point of Street Fighter 1 and Street Fighter Alpha, and Ryu dealing with his own murderous instinct is basically the overarching theme of the early (their timeline-wise) Street Fighter games. Ryu eventually gets his groove back, and then he can move over so Necro can be the star of Street Fighter 3. Easy peasy.
And, while Ken is centered as Ryu’s friend and confidant (aka sidekick) in Street Fighter Alpha, it is also canonically established that Ken did not participate in Street Fighter 1. He was meeting his wife! In America! Ken was participating in a parallel, American tournament, and he lost to the ultimate victor of that tournament, Charlie Nash. Ken got booted out of Japanese Street Fighter 1, and he didn’t even win American Street Fighter 1!
Admittedly, this does make a certain amount of sense, as Ken kind of cannot participate in the Street Fighter 1 tournament in Street Fighter 1. Ken is the second player exclusively for the purpose of Ryu having the most boring versus mode available (there’s a reason people remember Street Fighter 2 as starting the genre, kiddies), and you could easily claim that Ken’s participation in Street Fighter 1 was limited to unsanctioned sparring matches with Ryu before the tournament. But! If Player 2 wins the Ken vs. Ryu duel, then Ken goes on to participate in Ryu’s steed, and Ken can conquer the whole of the Street Fighter 1 cast. And, look, I’m not saying that Ken should be granted all of Ryu’s canonical glory, but could you throw our favorite not-Barbie’s-boyfriend a bone here? Let Ken be the guy that kicked Joe, Mike, and Geki out of the franchise forever. Maybe allow him to be the one that addled Adon while Ryu scarred Sagat. Let Ken be in Street Fighter 1, Capcom!
I mean, if he’s good enough to fight Mr. Game & Watch to a standstill, Ken can certainly canonically handle friggen’ Retsu.
Behold the duality of man.
M. Bison is the greatest villain in the Street Fighter franchise by a pretty great margin. Street Fighter attempted to follow up Bison with a literal demigod, and followed that with a fighting dude that knew how to fight like all the dudes. Neither of ‘em stuck. In the end, M. Bison is the face of villainy in the Street Fighter universe. He is the perfect combination of evil dictator, evil person, and evil fighter. He has magical powers that can help take over the world, but are generally more useful for kicking Zangief’s panties off. He has been responsible for the murders of the friends and family (and one elephant) of about half the cast. M. Bison somehow coalesces into the ideal villain for a franchise based primarily on jump kicks, and that is no small feat (feet?). Go ahead and ask anyone in the Dead or Alive franchise who their final boss is this week. Some kind of tengu? Get out of here.
Master Bison has also proven to be something of a master planner. He identified a long time ago that he was in a field with a generally low life expectancy, so he began preparing for his inevitable demise. He has spare bodies lying around. He has brainwashed “dolls” that can serve as spare soul receptacles. He trained Rose to be a master of psycho and spirit energy so he could possess her as need be. He even got S.I.N. into the act on bioengineering even better, super-powered, incidentally blue (Bison is a huge Watchmen fan) bodies for eventual use. Hell, the whole of the Street Fighter 2 tournament was ultimately another Bison ploy to possess the ultimate body (dang, really wondering what would have happened if Blanka had won that one) that incidentally earned a lot of coin off merchandising those World Warriors. M. Bison always finds a way to win, even when he literally dies!
Unfortunately, M. Bison has some… personnel issues.
Let’s look at M. Bison’s inner circle. You have Balrog, a disgraced prize fighter. On one hand, he is a super strong punchman in a world that is based entirely on punching. On the other hand, he is a guy who will do literally anything for the biggest payoff, so, unless Bison is keeping those paychecks steady, he is probably due to be betrayed the exact moment he decides to leave one of those giant bags emblazoned with a dollar sign on the counter. Vega is a sadistic ninja killer that brings a certain Spanish je ne sais quoi to the proceedings, but everyone has to know he is going to duck out when he gets to sharpen his claw on some random yokel’s face. Sagat has killed at least one Hibiki and won one fighting tournament, but he is only in it for a rematch with Ryu, and when that doesn’t happen, ol’ eye patch drops out for a smoke and never comes back. And Bison’s chosen successor for Sagat is F.A.N.G., a character better known by his given name, Betrayer McStabhisownmom. In short, there is not and has never been a single member of Bison’s “Four Heavenly Kings of Shadaloo” that was ever going to be more reliable than a 1972 Ford Pinto. It is a wonder Shadaloo ever got anything done without descending into complete chaos!
Or… uh… did they ever get anything done? They didn’t ever conquer the world, that’s for sure. And I guess they had a few minor successes in, like, Thailand, but it’s not like Shadaloo is a household name in the Street Fighter universe. And, while they may have successfully murdered a number of auxiliary Street Fighter citizens, they’ve only ever effectively taken Charlie out of the picture… though that only gets half-credit, as Charlie returns with only minor cosmetic surgery. If you really stop and think about it, M. Bison and his big, scary organization has accomplished exactly nothing.
Except, ya know, effective, tested, proven immortality for M. Bison. That’s a pretty big get.
So M. Bison is either the most effective dictator to ever live (multiple times!), or a completely incompetent dullard. No in-betweens there.
Max Eisenhardt aka Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto aka Michael Xavier (but we don’t talk about that)
You ever consider the arc of the Marvel universe?
By all accounts, Universe 616’s World War 2 was (more or less) just like it happened in real world. Or, to be clear, while there were certainly Nazis that were attempting to subjugate Norse gods in 616 WWII, the average “beats” of the greatest war ever told were the same as in our universe. This means there were concentration camps filled with persecuted Jews, Romani, homosexuals, and other “minorities”. This means there was extreme suffering on a scale that we have collectively agreed should never be seen again. And, in the Marvel Universe, one of people that suffered in a concentration camp was Max Eisenhardt, the Jewish boy that would grow up to be Magneto, the Master of Magnetism.
And that boy would grow into a man who has a magical grandson that is half robot on his father’s side.
The Marvel Universe has existed since World War 2 (and before), but it has been leeching off a sort of continuous continuity ever since Stan Lee decided that the Fantastic Four were going to have human feelings exploding all over that mole monster. And, while it is easy to say that the continuity of the Marvel universe has been gradually pruned and condensed over the years, you also have to consider that some Marvel characters have not had a month off for nearly a century. Practically, this means that Peter Parker can be found in comics that take place over “three years of his life” wherein he needs to find a payphone to call his Aunt, “months” later quips on how these new fangled cell phones cause cancer, and “a year” after that payphone, plays Candy Crush while waiting for Electro to start robbing a bank. You can watch our world progress through various comics that were produced across multiple epochs, and this is likely to continue as long as the Disney corporation allows it.
However, this does create some weird continuity dissonance. Peter Parker is generally meant to be not-quite 30 in the 616 Marvel Universe. This means that this guy that once pranced around in bellbottoms is currently firmly a “kid” that doesn’t remember the world before 9/11. And that’s pretty impressive, as Peter Parker was at the collapse of the towers (it made Dr. Doom cry!), but now must be a New Yorker that never even knew a city where you didn’t have to check your backpack at the Met. But at least 9/11 happened in the Marvel Universe! There will come a time in the not too far future where Spider-Man is quipping about wearing a mask or “social distancing”, even though the contemporary Marvel universe (wisely) isn’t going to try to tie corona virus into a company-wide crossover. The point here is that the present Marvel Universe generally doesn’t touch modern events, but, give it a few years, and everything “real” that has ever happened is also the past of ol’ 616.
And Magneto has lived through it all.
Magneto has become inextricably tied to the Holocaust. It is his comic book origin. It is his movie origin. It is somehow referenced in even the most “kiddy” of X-Men cartoons. You can take Tony Stark out of Vietnam, but Magneto and Steve Rogers are always going to be part of World War 2. And, while Steve Rogers took a frosty shortcut to whatever happens to be the modern version of 616 continuity, Magneto took the long way around. Magneto has lived through the last century of Marvel’s history, and, give or take that time he died and became a baby (mutant lifecycles really are something), is somehow toeing around nearly a hundred years’ worth of just plain being there for everything from Martin Luther King Jr. to two separate President Bushes. Is it any wonder the poor guy is usually portrayed as a villain? Man has had to watch Mitch McConnell ghoul around the senate for nearly 40 years!
But Magneto perseveres! He was once a mundane Jewish boy in a concentration camp, and then he learned he was a mutant. Then he met his super psychic super best frenemy. He had children! One was married to a robot for a time! They had kids that were stolen by Satan, but eventually returned! And maybe Magneto’s kids were never his kids in the first place! Family strife thanks to a copyright issue! Point is that Mega Old Man Magneto (though now not technically an old man because the same freak that may or may not have bioengineered his “children” also de-aged him) has lived through an equal number of horrors as wonders. And he lives in a world where he can leave the world for months at a time. Way to go, 616 Space Program!
Anyway, point is that even if everything seems like it sucks, and you come from literally the worst childhood imaginable, it is still a good idea to stick around as long as possible. You might be pleasantly surprised along the way.
And then you might try to conquer the planet once or twice.
Sarah Rushman the Bony Little Lass aka Marrow
If there is a Marvel name on this list that you do not recognize, it is likely Marrow. Marrow is occasionally a member of the X-Men, but rarely appears in other media. She showed up in the animated Wolverine and the X-Men as a persecuted mutant in a “bad future”, and she made a cameo in the comic book tie-in to the Deadpool movie. That is… almost like being in the movie. Kinda! Other than that, she was replaced with a boy with bone powers in X-Men Evolution, and has only appeared in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and two X-Men Legends titles (and that second one is just kind of a mention of “yes, Marrow is alive but she can’t come to the phone right now”). Bonemerang or no, Marrow is not the most marketable mutant.
But that’s the point!
Marrow started as a Morlock. The Morlocks’ whole deal is that they are mutants that cannot remotely “pass” as regular humans. And this is huge! The X-Men get the powers of literal gods (see the Weather Witch or Pheonix: Destroyer of Galaxies) and they get to have perfect hair while they wield these unparalleled abilities. The Morlocks, though? The Morlocks get such superpowers as “a skin condition” or “is always on fire”, and they have codenames like “Skids”, “Sack”, or “Tar Baby” (seriously!). Their (usual) leader gets to be a badass sewer pirate, but the rest of the Morlocks are exactly what people think of when they combine the word “mutant” with “radioactive”. And, as you can probably guess, they are a living example for all those parts of mutant metaphor that are unpleasant. When there is a virus that impacts the X-Men like AIDS, it is the Morlocks that are wholesale slaughtered by it. When the government enacts regulations that imprison mutants, it is the Morlocks that are gathered into camps. And even the concept of “passing” seems to draw a parallel between the X-Men that can be metaphorically queer, but be as closeted as they like, while the Morlocks are forced to be out and not proud of how the rest of society sees them. Angel gets to be a religious symbol for everyone, Caliban is an albino gnome that subsists mostly on discarded rats (not even fresh rats!).
Marrow is a Morlock through and through. Her power seems initially useful (healing factor! Like Wolverine!), but she must live through the constant pain of growing extra bone protrusions all over the place. Her skin is some kind of pink/purple, and her bone spurs have a tendency to grow into noticeable back protrusions and a “bone crown” that does not make a lick of sense (is her skull, like, growing extra roots?). In short: her power is pain, and her general look isn’t going to score her any job interviews.
But, again, that is the point of Marrow. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, she is the sole representative of all the mutants that are mutants. Ryu knows a bunch of dudes that can toss around fireballs or fight with claws, so of course he is cool with the likes of Cyclops or Wolverine. You have a Russian that turns his skin to steel, too? Yeah, Zangief does that all the time! But Marrow? Nobody is shaking hands with Marrow. Marrow is popping out of a manhole to join the fight, and she smells like what happens when you leave Amingo’s spawn in the sun too long. This is a franchise that features multiple races of creatures that seem to originate from a tangible Hell, but they’re not touching the woman that has freaky bone tendrils sticking out her wrists. That broad is nasty, Felicia, don’t touch her. You don’t want to catch whatever she has.
And it’s good to be reminded that not all heroines are pretty. It’s good to be reminded that not everyone wins the genetic lottery. It’s good to be reminded that sometimes great power does not come with shiny teeth and perfect posture. Sometimes there’s Marrow. Sometimes you’ve got a good guy that doesn’t look very good. Sometimes those mutant “freaks” look like actual freaks… but that doesn’t mean they are any less of a person.
It’s a good thing that Marrow is here being Marrow, and it kind of sucks that nearly every other X-Men medium has left the poor gal behind.
Event: Two men meet at college, and share their mutual love of robotics.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 2.0%
Event: Over the years, the two men develop a lifelong friendship, though jealousy does begin to impact their relationship.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 2.2%
Event: The two men pool their abilities and create nine initial “robot masters”: robots designed for specific tasks, such as cleaning, demolition, and Racer X cosplay.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 4.1%
Event: Jealousy finally completely takes grip of one of the men, and he steals six (or eight) of the freshly created Robot Masters. They are now used for destruction.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 8.3%
Event: One of the last remaining robots, a simple cleaning bot, apparently was programmed with a strong sense of justice, and asks to be converted into a super fighting robot. This robot is transformed into the venerable Mega Man.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 8.1%
Event: Mega Man singlehandedly defeats his former brothers, and stops his nefarious uncle. Everlasting Peace is temporarily achieved.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 7.2%
Event: The evil scientist returns again and again, ultimately being accountable for robot wars involving at least 88-120 other Robot Masters of various origins. Mega Man is responsible for quelling every uprising.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 9.6%
Event: After multiple defeats, the evil scientist creates his “Number Infinity” robot. It is stronger than previous robots, and contains a virus that, if “copied” by Mega Man, would ruin everyone’s day.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 15.42%
Event: Presumably in response to Number Infinity, Mega Man’s descendant is created. However, fearing this robot’s inordinate power, this new creation is sealed in a capsule for untold years.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 21.82%
Event: Well after both engineers had perished, this new “Mega Man X” is unearthed by an archeologist. He reactivates X, and also begins to produce replicated versions of Mega Man X. These “Reploids” thus become the dominant form of robots on the planet.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 33.33%
Event: Unfortunately, the Reploids are flawed copies of X, and many “go Maverick” and attack humanity. A new Reploid is created with the express purpose of hunting Mavericks, programmed to be wholly immune to other Reploids’ flaws.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 24.0%
Event: This Maverick Hunter, Sigma, encounters an unearthed Number Infinity, and is immediately infected. He goes Maverick, and marshals his own Maverick army.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 43.63%
Event: Mega Man X and Number Infinity, now ironically renamed Zero, fight repeatedly against these Mavericks in hundreds of years’ worth of Maverick Wars.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 40.99%
Event: Eventually, the Maverick Wars subside with the help of “Cyber Elves”. Naturally, said Cyber Elves go berserk about seven seconds later.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 51.76%
Event: As the world is ravaged after centuries of robot wars, a prodigious eight-year-old constructs a plan wherein a Reploid/human utopia is founded with a new copy of Mega Man X as its authoritarian leader. This plan goes about as well as you would expect for something designed by an eight-year-old.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 67.82%
Event: A spiritual copy of Zero fights against the Copy X. Eventually he learns much of the Cyber Elf nonsense was the result of the machinations of another errant mad scientist. Battling against this scientist leads to an unhealthy amount of space debris crashing into the planet.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 72.6%
Event: In an effort to finally quell Reploid hostilities, mankind begins to “share parts” with the Reploids they have been living with for years. As a result, Reploids will now have set lifespans, and humans will have the ability to transform their hands into guns. Oddly, this leads to the greatest sustained peace in the history of the world.
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: 99.8%
Event: Humans and Reploids “share” more and more with their respective selves, and, eventually, there are no longer purely biological entities on the planet. Also, the whole place flooded at some point, but that’s another story…
Relative chance of obliterating humanity: ∞
Morrigan is one of the original Darkstalkers, and arguably its most recognizable/popular character. She is, in her way, the “Ryu” of Darkstalkers, and she has a résumé of crossovers to prove it. However, Morrigan is not emblematic of her parent franchise in one important way: she’s not immortal. Many of the Darkstalkers are immortal through the concept of their species (Pyron the fire god, Hannya the armor of hate) or through some manner of undead resurrection (Lord Raptor the zombie, Anakaris the complicated kind of zombie). And, while there are certainly mortal creatures running around (Rikuo the creature from the black lagoon, Sasquatch the… sasquatch), those beasts are generally more… beastly (sorry, Sasquatch messed up by describing skills). Morrigan is firmly entrenched in the whole “Darkstalker royalty” plotline that concerns immortals like Dimitri, Jedah, and others, but she is also distinctly noted as an aging, “mortal” succubus.
In short, despite her status, Morrigan is not going to be around forever.
Though, for the record…
Her sprite has not aged a day.
During World War II, there was Project Nietzsche, an Axis organization that attempted to create the first super soldier in the Marvel universe. They ultimately failed when Dr. Erskine defected to America. However, they did find the time to create The Ubermensch, a supervillain that was so not super, as he lost to a fledgling “Winter Soldier” before he ever got out of his Bucky shorts. Germany had absolutely no luck in the super solider business.
Dr. Erskine survived to kick off the American super soldier program, Project: Rebirth. This culminated with the creation of Captain America, a previously frail wiener of a boy who was transformed into the peak of human perfection by Erskine’s unique super soldier serum. Captain America was an enormous success, but the assassination of Erskine immediately after Cap’s birth guaranteed that America would be chasing that one-time success for the next century. The United States could create an amazing super soldier, but they could only do it once.
Arkady Rossovich was a mutant born with a “death factor”. This mutant ability has been catalogued and redefined repeatedly over the years, but, long story short, it seems that Arkady could release deadly spores that cause… well, let’s just say they’re a little more potent than typical allergies. Arkady, naturally, decided to become a serial killer, and that whole “spreads death everywhere he goes” thing was eventually noticed by the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti. You do not want to be noticed by the KGB. Arkady was enrolled in the Russian (or USSR, depending on the continuity year) super soldier program, and was transformed into Omega Red. Now, Arkady could touch someone with his death factor from across the room via radical tentacles, and the only drawback was that Russia completely screwed up the entire cyberization process. Omega Red was now forced to drain the life force of everyone in his immediate vicinity, or the bootleg adamantium (carbonadium, true believers) that was used in his creation would introduce Arkady to a very different kind of death factor. Basically, Omega Red was a wonder of Russian engineering that was also broken as all hell and ultimately fatal to damn near everyone involved. And speaking of Hell, Omega Red eventually died from being a Russian science experiment, went to Hell, and was revived by dark magics. While that proves some impressive staying power, it is hard to credit Russia with an external, hellfire-based win here. And then their next attempt was a dude that just turned into a bear? No, Russia did not have a decent super soldier program.
Department K was Canada’s mutant outreach/army program. It recruited the likes James Howlett/Logan, and Peter Parker’s parents. For years, it was canonically responsible for Weapon X, the super soldier program that created the Wolverine and Deadpool. You know, the two most popular “mutants” ever, and the entire reason Disney needed to buy Fox’s movie studios? Without question, this makes Weapon X the most successful super soldier program in the Marvel universe. You don’t see Omega Red getting Mickey Mouse’s attention, do you!?
So America got jealous, and retconned Weapon X to be an offshoot of the original, “Weapon I” Captain America project. Canada’s biggest success was all American ingenuity all along! See! That “X” is a roman numeral! It all makes sense!
The moral today is that the U.S.A. is so damn jealous of Canada, it isn’t even funny.
Next time on FGC #600 Marvel vs. Capcom 2: Part 4: Rogue ‘n Roll, Ryu!