Marvel and Telltale Games: Theorizing the Possibilities
This week, Marvel announced they will be partnering with the episodic game wizards over at Telltale Games for a new project in 2017. That’s about it. No other details came with the announcement other than “AWESOME” and “#seeeekrits”, so yeah, not much. Well, it got me thinking about what some of the great things this partnership could produce. I’m by no means a Super Marvel Expert, so consider these incredibly personal opinions and sound off in the comments or on our Facebook as to what you would want!
Considering the sudden rise to popularity that the character is experiencing thanks to the well-received Netflix show, is it any surprise this popped up first in my mind? I would guess many Marvel fans were thinking of the same thing and for great reasoning. It was a great treatment of the street justice character that offered great writing, a dark yet Marvel-appropriate humor filled tone and very well-choreographed action. The combat system and street-level approach would lend itself well to what we typically see with Telltale’s games. Additionally, it would give the opportunity to continually flesh out and expand the villain base, such as Bullseye and Alexander Bont.
There’s also the potential to not just focus on Daredevil, but make a full-on Defenders game, with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist making their way to Netflix within the next two years. However, it’s exactly that which may stop any game development on the characters. It’s very well possible that Marvel may silo the big time characters within their verticals. We aren’t necessarily seeing Iron Man around the streets of Hell’s Kitchen anytime soon, or Daredevil going up against Thanos (well, there’s always hope). The game(s) could stick to some characters we may not have seen much outside of the comics. Characters like…
Kamala Khan, the newest Ms. Marvel, has been gaining popularity since becoming Marvel’s first Muslim character to headline her own series. It’s done wonders to expand Marvel’s diversity and win over many audiences not simply because of what she is, but how she is. A normal type of teenager who struggles not only with gaining the shape-shifting abilities of the Ms. Marvel mantel after getting hit with Terrigen mist, but with social issues based on labels and stereotypes.
Her story could make her another strong female character for Telltale, up there with the likes of The Walking Dead’s Clementine. With her more street-level approach, similar to Daredevil and The Defenders, it could be a far more grounded superhero situation for Telltale to embark on. I can also see it as somewhat of a safer bet for Marvel to introduce Ms. Marvel to non-comic audiences. It wouldn’t be as big of a risk to throw the character into the movies, or even step on any toes of the upcoming Carol Danvers-focused Captain Marvel, but something that starts to grow the character in media.
Agent Carter and/or The Howling Commandos
So this one kind of goes against my theory that Marvel may not use already popularized characters in various mediums, but I think Agent Carter would have one of the best shots. Her show was immediately loved by most Marvel fans when it took over for Agents of SHIELD during its winter hiatus. The period piece was smartly written and packed in just enough action. Carter’s workplace struggles could make for prime decision-driven content in a Telltale game, but not limited to the “woman in a man’s world” situation. It could expand to seeing the formation of SHIELD.
There’s also some room for earlier Carter content that could very well involve the Howling Commandos. While in the comics, they were commonly led by Nick Fury, the Cinematic Universe has already changed things up to show the Commandos working alongside Captain America during World War II. The Agent Carter series was able to show her relationship with the Commandos and it would be great to see Telltale get into the a war situation.
The Inhumans franchise has already been announced to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we won’t see Black Bolt and the Royal Family on the big screen until 2019. There were concerns about how well the oddity of Guardians of the Galaxy would go over with general audiences (which proved to not be a concern at all), but perhaps even bigger questions about Inhumans. That could very well be why Agents of SHIELD has already begun to introduce the idea of Inhuman characters with its current storyline without actually using the term Inhuman (well, at least not as a direct label). A Telltale game that focuses on a growing base of Inhuman characters and how they keep themselves open yet hidden within the “normal” world could extend the bridge to the eventual film and make for a very interesting game. A budding society who may be looked upon as freaks while offering a wide range of superpowers to show off. If anything, it could take place of a MCU-connected game that can’t feature the X-Men Fox has ownership of. However, they’re be almost no way of actually seeing the primary characters likely to be featured in the film or even fellow Inhuman Ms. Marvel, who would get her own game if anything.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is kicking off its Phase 3 activity in 2016 with Captain America: Civil War. We’ll see the seeds planted with Age of Ultron, but the full blown battle will be featured in Captain America. It won’t be following the comics closely, but it will likely split up the superhero community for the foreseeable future. With the Telltale game not releasing until 2017, the timing might be a little off, but I can see Mystery Game playing out like this:
You play as a superhero that must navigate the highly-politicized landscape of superhero registration. This would likely not be one of the major superheroes, like Spider-Man, Ant Man or Captain Marvel. Rather, you would play as a more minor hero, or even a brand new one, that must decide whether to side with Tony Stark’s ideology or Steve Rogers’. While that does sound a bit similar to how the Game of Thrones series has been coming along so far, in terms of building up allegiances, but it could certainly bring fans a more personal connection to what is surely going to be a situation splitting up the fans just as much as the heroes.
So, those are just a handful of ideas based on the simplest of announcements. Again, I’d love to hear what you would like to see from Marvel and Telltale Games in 2017!