I have to admit that after my initial splurge of comic fanboyism at the end of The Avengers earlier this summer, I was filled with fanboy rage when I saw so many blank faces at the enemy reveal. So many people were left in the dust about how big this was. I heard plenty of people saying, “who is that?” Now, let me say that if you have not seen The Avengers yet, first off shame on you, and secondly I’d skip down to the first header.
I was standing there looking at my group of friends saying, ” how do these people go to The Avengers not know who Thanos is?!” To which, a buddy of mine shrugs and replies with, “Dude, not everyone reads comics and not every comic reader has read the space stuff.” Now, that first part about reading comics is very true. I know that many people don’t read them. I also know that these movies serve to bring more fans under Marvel’s roof in a way that appeals to them. Which is great. However, I did not agree with his point about comic readers not reading Marvel’s “space stuff”. Why don’t I agree with it? I mean, why shouldn’t I? It’s true, right? Not every comic reader does read the “space stuff”. I can’t agree with it because I don’t want to believe it. It’s too hard to comprehend that because Marvel Cosmic houses some of the best comic books and events in comic history.
That “Space Stuff”
When you talk about that “space stuff” you’re talking about Marvel Cosmic and if you haven’t gotten into it yet, I implore you to stop reading this right now, get down to a local shop, and pick up some trades. I’d recommend the Infinity Gauntlet for nostalgic purposes and introductions to some big guys. I’d then tell you to skip forward to when Marvel Cosmic because so integral to the Marvel house: Annihilation. No, not Annihilation Classic. I’m talking about the 2006 crossover headlining Nova. That is when everything flipped turned upside down and slapped every reader in the face who honestly did not expect a story this engrossing, epic, and unforgettable. Annihilation not only jumpstarts Marvel Cosmic but also introduces/reboots/features so many fan favorite heroes and villains that it single-handedly created a whole branch of Marvel comics that is still going on today and still riding strong.
Now we have Marvel Cosmic beginning to hit the silver screen in “Phase Two” of the company’s movie projects. We saw Thanos at the end of the Avengers. We heard the announcement of the Guardians of the Galaxy getting their own movie. Thor: The Dark World will be showing off more space. Also, Nova will be seen in the Guardians movie. Marvel Cosmic is truly being introduced to the masses now. Why not take it a step further? Get together some dedicated teams and make some big budget games. Mass Effect really showed the gaming world how great space games can be. Plus, you know that Marvel loves to focus on heroes and villains who are in the movies. Here’s what I would do to fix that and then warrant the games being made.
- Re-release the Marvel Cosmic trades (at least Annihilation) to promote them: Get the books back out there and in more hands. Sell them in Wal-Marts. Put them in movie stores. Shove them up people’s asses in Best Buy and other shops. Not only do stories like Annihilation deserve to be read but it will get people excited to see guys like Nova, Peter Quill, and Drax on the big screen. Right now the movie audience isn’t going to know who they are. Fix that and don’t wait until closer to the movie’s release. Plant the seed now and push hard at next year’s Comic Con.
- Follow up with this with a heavy marketing campaign lasting a full year before the movie: Again, not everyone is going to buy the trades. Launch a campaign to increase awareness through posters, character guides, tons of trailers with character breakdowns, cartoons, direct-to-DVD animated movies, and do something at Disney World like a ride or something.
- Finally, get a game out there: At this point people should be talking about Guardians of the Galaxy and getting hyped up. They should know who Nova, Rocket Raccoon, and Thanos are. Now win the demographic with a game.
Making a Mass Effect
Marvel Cosmic has such potential to be just as good if not better than Mass Effect. The story outlines are there. You don’t even necessarily have to follow the comics 100%, either. Obviously with the movies we’re going to see a custom Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and Thanos. This isn’t going to follow Richard Rider become Nova Prime and go to war with the Annihilation Wave along with the rest of the galaxy. However, for video games, you could take what the comics did and build onto that.
Nova is a great main character. He is built on tragedy and a need to go from lowly C-, maybe even D-, list hero to the galaxy’s only hope. That’s what Marvel did with Richard Rider. He was nothing to fans. He was just another face in a crappy selling comic book until he went back to space and saw everything he knew outside of Earth destroyed. All of a sudden, Nova is one of the best selling comics and Annihilation makes him a fan favorite.
Use that for the game. Make Nova’s tragedy and call to arms a focal point for the video game version of the Annihilation War. I could see Annihilation and Nova’s epic become a trilogy in gaming. I can see it being some of the best games out in those years and talked about for quite some time, just like Mass Effect. Marvel just needs to throw money into it and give it a great developer. Maybe even attach BioWare and tell them their headed back to space and this time without the Normandy.
Annihilation Is Just Step One
The main Annihilation gaming series isn’t the only thing that this industry can do with Marvel Cosmic. There are plenty of characters and stories to pull from. In fact, even after thr Annihilation trilogy is over, there are plenty of large events to cover such as Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings, Realm of Kings, and the Thanos Imperative.
Fans of Marvel Cosmic know just how expansive and epic this side of comics is and can be. Having a big budget gaming series follow a story like Annihilation would be a godsend for comic and space fans. There are plenty of those to go around now, too. We can thank Mass Effect for that.
So Marvel, you have to realize the uphill battle you have to make the Guardians of the Galaxy movie a hit. Games can help you but you have to put the effort in. Mass Effect was a huge project for EA and BioWare. You have to treat it like that or not only the project fail, your upcoming movie could flop, too. Us cosmic fans don’t want to see that happen. You’re beginning to take some of our favorite characters into new mediums. Now we don’t want you to just stop at movies. Give us a new Mass Effect. Give us Nova Prime and company in an epic video game series to match the emotion of Mass Effect and the high octane action of Kingdoms of Amalur. Marvel Cosmic deserves every bit of effort you can give.
Oh and before I finish here, if you enjoyed this article or just enjoy superheroes and villains in general, you’ll be excited to know that soon we will be beginning a Showdown series feature two comic book characters pit against each other in a series soon to be started by staff member Caleb Sawyer. Stay tuned for this and my first showdown which features two space greats: Nova (Richard Rider) vs. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan).