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Friday, September 07, 2018 

New Marvel-approved Spider-Man video game censors Black Cat's cleavage

In this topic, I'm going to bring up two comics-based video games, one to be released soon that will hopefully fail due to the censorship apparently cast upon it, and another that's already flopped, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. First, about the new Marvel's Spider-Man game from Insomniac Corp, and what was done to Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum's famous creation for the Spidey cast:
Insomniac Games’ upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man release for the PS4 sports post-launch DLC in the form of missions featuring Black Cat. Not only is she far more covered up in this rendition (since sexy women baring cleavage are no longer allowed in Western AAA games) but the announcement of the DLC ahead of the game’s launch on September 7th did not go down well with non-fanboys at all. [...]

But that’s no surprise given that one of the writers for the game is the ultra-feminist Sam Maggs.

Yes, the same Sam Maggs who claimed she was virtually raped in Grand Theft Auto V.
Would she happen to find mid-2000s embarrassments like Identity Crisis offensive due to how they minimize serious issues? Or even the Kevin Smith-penned BC miniseries from the early 2000s which was similarly insulting? Why do I get the strange feeling that wouldn't concern her at all? Anybody who can't distinguish between a woman's own sexuality and sexual assault is not very convincing in their grievances, I'm afraid. This game's approach is honestly an insult to the memory of artist Cockrum, who went to all that trouble to design the outfit with the fur fringes.

And this game has already been given Marvel's very own approval seal:
Marvel has had no shortage of games based on its superhero universe, but Marvel’s Spider-Man is reportedly the first game to gain Marvel’s seal of approval with the instantly recognizable flipbook opening featured in the game. [...]

Speaking to FANDOM, Stevenson said that the partnership between Insomniac Games and Marvel was a close one with Marvel reported being “so impressed by the title and what it did for the character that it gave the game its official seal of approval.”

Stevenson went on to say that even the people working for Marvel realized that the game was something special, something more than past games based on the Marvel universe. He said that the “main person” in charge of Marvel’s video content in New York said that they weren’t even fond of video games, but after seeing the Spider-Man presentation during E3, they said they’d have to buy a PlayStation 4 just so they can play the new game.
Hmm, that's eyebrow-raising, considering they sold out to the deity of licensed merchandise long before, and don't like the famous creations they're now in charge of back in comicdom. One can only wonder if it's because there's more political correctness in this decidedly needless game than meets the eye. And that's why nobody should buy it anyway. Besides, it's hardly the first Spidey-based game ever produced.

And now, while we're on the subject of video games based on comics, I also thought to address the failure of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, which did not sell what the gamemaker was hoping for, but I only paid attention to this more recently. Let's start by highlighting this report from Eurogamer (via eTeknix):
So, what went wrong for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite? As I mentioned in my review, while the fighting systems were solid, the art style was depressingly bland, with little to catch the eye. The whole game just felt low budget.

But perhaps the worst thing about Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite was its disappointing lineup of playable characters. No X-Men characters, for example, felt like a devastating omission that doomed the game before it even came out. From my review:

There are 30 characters - 30! - but so many fail to set the pulse racing. This is in part because we've seen loads of them before in previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, and in part because many of them are uninspired, both in art style and design.
If I looked at reports correctly, there's only 4 female fighters in a cast of at least 30, which makes it only less underwhelming than Marvel Super Heroes vs. Capcom from 1997, which didn't feature any superheroines at all, and only 2 girls from Capcom's stables, Chun Li and Sakura. I think in hindsight Marvel totally botched the permits they were willing to give Capcom on what characters they could use for the games. Or, why wouldn't they allow superheroines who weren't part of the X-Men per se? Because that's what seemed to be the case at the time, and no superheroines other than X-woman were allowed (even Iron Man wasn't allowed to be used in the 1st Marvel vs. Capcom from 1998, and it had something to do with the disastrous Heroes Reborn, resulting in War Machine substituting). How can you make a convincing game if they're not willing to take challenging paths and allow a wide range of choices for Capcom to try out?

Anyway, regarding what Marvel heroines do appear, here's one they sure didn't work out well:
Now granted, Carol Danvers' hair is long, in sharp contrast to the SJW-influenced horror-fest of the last few years (and they've apparently restored her more feminine looks of recent too, simply because of the movie, I assume). But the character design is still very uninspired, as is the costume itself, and goes by the very Captain Marvel moniker that's decidedly ruined her as a character; IMO, the codename should've been left to Monica Rambeau or even the Genis-Vell character Peter David was writing in the late 90s-early 2000s, and Carol should be allowed to have the Ms. Marvel moniker, which works better. Though based on how she's illustrated here, it's clear even Marvel knew their nasty masculinized design from 2014 would be a commercial disaster if they'd used it here. Which, once again, demonstrates the peculiar disconnect between how comics are marketed, and how their licensed counterparts are.

If the video game was a flop, one has to wonder what this means for the upcoming movie with Brie Larson, she who said she didn't want just white dudes being the ones to opine, and it doesn't sound like she apologized convincingly. I've seen the chatter already on social media, and it also doesn't sound like many people are encouraged, and not just because of the dull-looking costume, which looks worse in real life than on 4-color panels. Why, Larson's declarations alone could undermine what looks to be a very politically correct film, and could be the first after the Ghost Rider sequel that'll be the least successful.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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