HOW THE MCU’S AVENGERS INFLUENCED THIS SITE AND ITS BODY OF WORK

One of the more engaging Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame reviews I’ve seen has been from Victor Lucas of The Electric Playground. In it, Victor compares the journey these movies have taken over the past eleven years with that of his own, how his team was invited to do the making of documentary for Sega’s Iron Man and how the success of 2008’s Iron Man allowed him to pitch to Canadian media company Rogers the idea of a daily version of The Electric Playground to cover this newly forming cinematic universe. Though many of course are not as big as convincing a company to fund a daily TV show, people have gone on social media to reflect on their lives since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 until now. In many respects, I owe the success of the MCU as part of the inspiration for the creation of this site and some of the structure it would follow over the years.

As I’ve mentioned before in the past, the origins of wanting to cover comic book games came from getting back into comics for the first time in a very long time when DC rebooted their line in the fall of 2011 with the New 52 and the release of Batman: Arkham City, a game that proved that its predecessor was no happy accident and made me want to deep dive into the world of comic book video games. What I’ve never really said before is that the day I picked up Batman: Arkham City from my local EB Games, I picked up another game along with it: Iron Man 2 on the PSP. I can’t exactly recall the deal, but the clerk informed me that because I was buying a new game, I could get a previously played game at a discount. Not really knowing what to grab, I decided what the heck, I’ll grab Iron Man 2 because who knows, maybe it will be a surprise gem like Captain America: Super Soldier on Xbox 360 and Thor: God of Thunder on the Nintendo DS were a few months ago. Besides, if anything it would help scratch that superhero game itch while I was at work and unable to play Arkham City. 

I miss when new games were $60 in Canada…

Iron Man 2 unfortunately was not a hidden gem, but it still made me want to experience the rest of the MCU tie-in games I had written off over the years. I just simply wanted to be in that universe however I could because it was also about that time that the first trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers dropped, kick starting months of hype and anticipation. 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers seems quaint now when compared to Infinity War and Endgame, but it was something that honestly I thought would never happen, even after the tease at the end of Iron Man and its success. “Some producer will mess it up” or “eh, actors and their big personalities will never allow something like this to happen” were I’m sure things I said aloud to people, but to be proven wrong was terrific, as not only was an Avengers movie happening, but it was being guided by Joss Whedon. This was like hearing for the first time that Sam Raimi was putting together a Spider-Man film in the early 2000’s all over again.

It was close to the release Marvel’s The Avengers that I did my first ever series of reviews leading up to a major film event. Prior to its May release, I had committed to playing and reviewing all of the Phase One tie-in games: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America: Super Soldier on the at-the-time current generation of hardware. As these pieces were some of my early work, they’re not quite that good – I even removed some pieces I didn’t care for in favor of doing them better – but the lead up to a major film, in particular a Marvel film, would be one that I would use for this site a lot:

Not all of the films in the MCU have featured characters with at least one game with their name in the title, and in those instances I had to get creative in how I tied them together with the theme of this site which caused me to learn things about comic book games I had never realized before.For instance, I had been playing Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems in some capacity since 1996 but really paid no mind to the second to last boss, Nebula, until I realized it was her first appearance ever in a video game when looking for anything to cover before Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014. An astonishing revelation came about in early 2018 when thinking of something to craft for the release of Black Panther is that it took forty years for that character to appear in a video game. Now, because of the success of Black Panther, he’s a lock for every major Marvel Universe game going forward and I’m sure there has to be talks about bringing the character and his home of Wakanda to the interactive medium.

So I guess my answer to the question “how has your life changed since the MCU started?” is, like The Avengers, I’ve assembled a body of work that I’m very proud of and even have made friends from all over the world that share a common love of comic book video games. I wouldn’t know someone who worked on some of my favorite Marvel games if not for a new found passion to write about Marvel video games because of the MCU and never saw myself writing a book about my favorite superheroes video game legacy. I got very emotional while watching Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame because of seeing the culmination of years of stories I’ve been deeply invested in, and also because I’ve managed to be a part of it in my own small, special way that may need mean much to the world at large, but it sure means more to me than anyone will ever know.

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