The recent Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 news has gotten me back into reading comics again, when I can afford them. Last time I had a few spare bucks, I mostly only got back issues of Amazing Spider-Man, ahaha. UMvC3 has really gotten me thinking about Spidey lately and how I wish another Spider-Man character would've made it into the game... But I'm sure there are always future versions or sequels for that.
The X-Men: Children of the Atom game was really cool and a lot of fun. I remember first reading about it in a game magazine... "Bet you everyone picks Wolverine!" And then Marvel Super Heroes came out and I was amazed. It was based on the Infinity Gems storyline I had been reading? It had Spider-Man?! I don't even remember WHERE it was, but I remember making a few visits to an arcade to play it. I was so horrible at it, but I always played Spider-Man and kept playing until I ran out of quarters. I sucked at it, but I loved that game, haha.
Then there were the first crossover games... X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. Then came the next obvious step, the first Marvel vs. Capcom, and that one really grabbed my attention. It not only had Spider-Man, but Venom too?? And I could play with them on a team?! I was obsessed with finding it so I could play. I didn't get a chance until I took a Greyhound trip and, to my amazement, found a machine at one of the stations along the way. I only had enough coins to play maybe once or twice, so it wasn't much... And I had a hard time playing as Venom. But I couldn't stop thinking about that game anyway.
It was some time later... The Sega Dreamcast was out and Sony was doing everything in their power to crush it. It was pretty expensive for me back then, but somehow I managed to scrape together enough money for the system. And then, of course, I couldn't find anything I needed for it, haha... like controllers or memory units. I liked the Playstation, but damn you Sony, I'm still mad at you for that. Every store I went to outright admitted they were the ones choking out the Dreamcast. Some even bristled at the mere mention of the Dreamcast. "Why would you want that?! Just play Playstation already!!" That was at our local Blockbuster...
But anyway, eventually, I was able to order Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for it. I saw it online, I guess on Amazon or something? And I went for rush shipping that would take a day or two because I HAD to have it RIGHT AWAY. And later that same day I found out the nearby Target had it in stock and I could've just walked there, ahaha... Those were a painful couple of days to wait.
But everything I went through was so worth it. MvC2 was my favorite game for a long, long time. I just had so much fun with it. I still couldn't play Venom well, and Spider-Man wasn't exactly one of the strongest characters, but I was still able to add him to my team sometimes, at least. But I just enjoyed that game so much... And then I met some people and we'd have occasional game nights and I'd always bring my Dreamcast over, and MvC2 was one of the games we played every time. We weren't exactly high-skilled players, looking back... but we were all evenly matched and that was the most important part, I think.
And now, over a decade later, we have the first Marvel vs. Capcom 3 game. It's improved so much over MvC2 in so many ways. Now I can see that MvC2, for how fun it was, was sort of a happy accident of a last-minute slapped-together kind of project. While they cut a lot of corners, the end product was still amazing, though. I don't quite get the same vibe from MvC3, but I'm not complaining. MvC3 has a greater variety of characters, even if the roster size is smaller. There are more different, deeper play styles. There's a lot more polish and fan service. It's all-around a better game. But the experience still couldn't match that of MvC2...
It's not like I'm trying to fault MvC3, because I think it would've been impossible, no matter what they did, to live up to that same experience with MvC2. I do think that MvC3 has some issues, even for a casual player like me, that they're thankfully appearing to address in the update, UMvC3. I think it'll be a more enjoyable experience. Will I have more fun with it than I did with MvC2, though? I guess time will tell.
But anyway, anticipating UMvC3, I've been trying to find as much information on it as I can... just as I did with the original MvC3. This inevitably leads to discussions of many aspects of the game, including its characters. One topic is how only Spider-Man is in this game, and no other characters associated with him... None of his main villains or allies. There are Avengers and X-Men and so forth, all characters he's interacted with, but no other true Spider-Man characters.
Of course, I would've loved to see the old Venom return. Characters play so differently now than from their previous games that, if he did return, maybe I'd stand a better chance playing him? Or maybe I'd just be able to improve more now. But no, he's not returning. In the comics, that Venom doesn't exist anymore anyway... Venom was Eddie Brock, but now Brock is a new character, Anti-Venom. And the symbiote that made him Venom has gone to a different character, creating a new Venom. I'm actually liking this new Venom too, though he's a lot different from the old one. This new Venom actually seems as complicated as Spider-Man himself...
Carnage was another symbiote character, and although he seemed big back in the 90's, he wasn't exactly one of my favorite characters. He just seemed like a psycho killer with not much depth to him. But still, I thought that if he were in a game like MvC3, he might at least be interesting to play as. Other people have suggested other possibilities, like the Green Goblin or Mysterio. There were rumors that even Doctor Octopus had his name in MvC3's code, but of course, no actual playable character data. Was he intended for the game, but then scrapped due to lack of time? There are still no answers for that...
While all those villains WOULD be cool, for whatever reason, anyone other than Venom or Carnage didn't interest me too much. When people said their powers would make for interesting movesets, I would have to agree, but I just wasn't that excited for them for whatever reason.
One character I would've liked to have seen, though, is Black Cat. She's been one of my favorite Spider-Man characters aside from the symbiotes. She's even still a big part of the modern comics, too. I'm not sure how her moveset would compare to others in the game, but I think she has enough going for her to not be boring or a copycat, at least. I don't really know how likely it'd be, though... Even if Capcom thought she had enough fan support, the ultimate decision would be up to Marvel, and I don't know if they're interested in promoting her right now. Ah well.
I have this really old Spider-Man comic that seems to keep popping up every now and then. Spider-Man and Black Cat were a thing at that time, and it's an important distinction from "Peter Parker and Felicia Hardy." Spider-Man got to the point where he really trusted her, and wanted to bring her in on his life as Peter Parker. He brought her to his home, which was a crummy apartment since his crime-fighting didn't go far in paying the bills.
Black Cat was aghast. Spider-Man was this great hero beloved by the city for all his great deeds --that's what attracted her to him, after all-- so how could he live in such humble quarters? Spider-Man deserved to be living in luxury for all the good he's done, she thought.
And then Spider-Man did the most repulsive thing he could do... He removed his mask. She loved Spider-Man, the hero, the adventurer, not the mundane person behind the mask. Peter Parker and his dilapidated home was destroying that image. Reality threatened to devour the fantasy. She begged him to put the mask back on, and he complied.
So it wasn't really the most healthy relationship for Peter, but I guess it just added another layer to the "tragedy onion" of his life. When he was with Mary Jane, she loved him but hated Spider-Man. Spider-Man put Peter's life in danger. Spider-Man made him come home with bruises and scars. Spider-Man prevented them from living a peaceful life. Black Cat was the contrast to that; she was mad for Spider-Man. They fought well together and complemented each other. They were an amazing duo adventuring on the streets and fighting crime. Black Cat loved Spider-Man... but hated Peter Parker. Peter was the down to her high.
Peter Parker... Spider-Man... he just couldn't win.
Anyway... that's why she's always been one of my favorite Spider-Man characters. I suppose she was the fun fantasy for Spidey even though you knew Mary Jane was better for him. But even when they're not together romantically, they still team up from time to time, and it's still really fun, like in the recent comics during the "Big Time" arc.
I don't really have high hopes, but I DO hope they can eventually add another Spider-Man character to MvC3. I know there's a new Spider-Man movie coming soon, but I don't know too much about it, aside from it being a reboot (Spider-Man 3, why did you have to mess things up?). I wonder which characters they have planned for that...?
 Oh right, Gwen Stacy! And the Lizard! Haha and undoubtedly Flash Thompson as well.