You have to admit it; Telltale Games has made some of the best games based on movie/television/comic properties ever. The Jurassic Park: The Game gave us a neat new side-story that ran concurrently to the Jurassic movie and The Wolf Among Us gave us new insight into the history of Fabletown. In each case, Telltale managed to capture the essence of the original property while significantly expanding the mythology of said property.
Needless to say, with that history, we’re incredibly excited to see what Telltale can do with whatever property Marvel hands them. Instead of wait like a normal person to get more details on the recently announced game, I’m going to use my knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comics, and video games to wildly speculate about who will star in the Telltale/Marvel game. Keep in mind these are educated guesses, so I’ll be discussing material that could contain spoiler potential in the future… If I’m right.
So here are some scenarios that a Telltale/Marvel game might explore, assuming the game ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe even obliquely.
Scenario 1: Captain America: Civil War Tie-In
The cast of Captain American: Civil War has already reached upwards of 16 major characters, which makes this movie ripe for a tie-in. A game would be the perfect way to flesh out the background of any of the new Avengers (Falcon, War Machine, Black Panther, or even Agent 13)…but that’s also what the comics are for.
Instead, this might be a good time to show us a new superhero squad. A new team could show how to world is the reaction the aliens and superheroes, but it would also be fun for us to see more obscure faces from comics. In this case, those obscure faces would be those of the Thunderbolts.
The original Thunderbolts (really just Masters of Evil in disguise) were created for Zemo’s revenge against Captain America, events that could easily be set up in Captain America: Civil War.
Jolt, the only legitimate hero on the team, would be an excellent star for a Telltale/Marvel game, which would focus on her bringing out the good in her evil teammates.
Of course, there are more iterations of the Thunderbolts than the team led by Baron Zemo. At one point, Captain America creates a Thunderbolts team to rehabilitate former super villains. This team is led by Luke Cage, a reformed villain himself, with a team selected from the inmates of the raft, a jail for super villains. There’s potential here (Crossbones is a member of this team and an upcoming character in Captain America Civil War) but this is probably one of the weaker iteration of the Thunderbolts.
Instead, Telltale could use the Thunderbolt team led by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (Betty Ross’s dad).
This group of Thunderbolts was created to get down and dirty with the evil warlords of the world. With a team of known killers (Elektra, Red-Hulk, Deadpool, Punisher, Flash Thompson, Ghost Rider) this team is full of kick-ass.
General Ross is scheduled to make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, but Marvel doesn’t own the rights to all of these characters. Still, it’s been awhile since we’ve had any Hulk related material (because Marvel doesn’t own those movie rights either), so this would be very fun for fans.
Scenario 2: Thor: Ragnarok Tie-In
The Marvel/Telltale game is set to release in 2017, the same year that Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and possibly the Spectacular Spider-Man release. It’s not a stretch to assume that the Telltale game might tangentially be related to one or two of these movies.
Telltale isn’t in the habit of using significant characters from the properties it partners with, so a tie-in with Thor: Ragnarok wouldn’t directly focus on the most important characters of Asgard. Instead, perhaps the game could focus on Sif and the Warriors Three, filling us in on their adventures between Dark World and Ragnarok.
Of course, Sif and the Warriors Three may still be too close to Asgard to be viable subjects. The new game may delve deeper into the Marvel comic universe to find a suitable star. Since Ragnarok is the subject of Michael Avon Oeming’s book Avengers Disassembled: Thor, it would make sense to look at some of Oeming’s other work. This brings us to Beta Ray Bill.
After Avengers Disassembled: Thor, Oeming wrote Thor: Stormbreak – The Saga of Beta Ray Bill, a story about a horrendous-looking equine monster that has proven himself worthy of Mjolnir. In fact, the Asgardians are fond enough of Beta Ray Bill that they made him his own hammer, Stormbreaker.
With the ending of Thor: Ragnarok still up in the air (bad things happen to Asgard in the comics), Beta Ray Bill is a safe character they can distance from the MCU while still remaining close ties to Asgard.
Scenario 3: Strictly Comic Book Based Property
While Age of Ultron made a decent box-office showing, people are beginning to wonder if the public is suffering from superhero fatigue. Instead of having the Telltale game tie into the MCU, this is a prime opportunity for showcase some top-tier comics stories from recent years.
Currently in comics, there has been a push for diversity. Marvel is releasing a new Avengers title with an incredibly diverse team, and many of Marvel’s breakout hits (like Ms. Marvel) feature non-white characters. I don’t expect Marvel to make Young Avengers into a game, but this is an opportunity for Marvel to support diversity outside the comic books.
The first woman-led movie, Captain Marvel, isn’t slated until 2018 so a woman-led game might help tide us over until then. It wouldn’t be the same as a movie, but giving Black Widow the lead of her own game might mitigate some of the damage Age of Ultron did to Black Widow’s character.
Regardless, if the Telltale/Marvel property strays outside of the MCU, the sky is the limit in terms of who the lead of the game might be. Let’s hear your educated guesses. What are some Marvel characters you’re yearning to see in a story-heavy, episodic game?