The best Marvel gaming experiences online

The universes of DC and Marvel have become a cultural phenomenon’s in recent years, permeating cinema, gaming, pop culture and television.

Avengers: Endgame was one of the biggest movies of 2019, making $2.8bn (£2.1bn) at the box office. Unlike the title suggested, it was far from the actual end, with TV shows featuring the characters of the universe becoming popular and further films planned.

The DC Universe also boasts some blockbuster films, and with characters such as Batman and Superman, it has sustained mainstream popularity for many years. Whichever superhero universe you turn to for your enjoyment, you will find plenty of material to feed your hobby.

Films draw in the big money, TV shows deliver a longer, more involved experience, whilst gaming puts you in control of your favourite superheroes, living their lives through their powers. Gaming is big business – the world’s gamers will spend around $159.3bn (£119.6bn) in 2020, on new releases and digital-only games too, which makes it an obvious industry for Marvel and DC to explore.

Not all games that use the imagery and themes put you in control of the powers, but they do all give a fan some sort of experience they find enjoyable and, in many cases, social.

Marvel fans are certainly well catered for, with a wide range of online experiences available to fans of Iron Man, Hulk and the rest of the roster. We have selected three genres of online Marvel games which you can enjoy online right now and the best titles for each genre.

Mobile simulations

"Marvel Contest of Champions" - NYCC Trailer

Mobile gaming is on the rise, with technology allowing increasingly complex games to be played on the go. One of the best gamers have enjoyed in recent years is Marvel: Contest of Champions, a fighting game in the Street Fighter 2 mould. It boasts a huge array of playable characters, almost 200 across the different tiers and challenges. It is free to play and whilst it is the front-runner in Marvel mobile games, it is by no means alone in putting you in control of your favourite characters.

Slots & alternative genres

⭐️ NEW - Iron Man slot machine, feature

Some mobile experiences do not draw directly from the abilities and experiences of a superhero, rather they use their images to merge with another genre to gives fans an alternative option when gaming.

For instance, Marvel Puzzle Quest uses the characters in the context of a neat puzzle game, whilst Marvel Strike Force is a turn-based role-playing game. Deviating further from the core mechanics of a superhero game, online providers have also used the characters in online slots to open another avenue for Marvel fans.

Leading European gaming platform Tuxslots has several titles that are linked to the Marvel Universe, including Iron Man 3 and Incredible Hulk, which use popular characters in a completely different game genre. With variety for the customer often at the core of a successful provider, having a range of Marvel games is attractive to both parties.

Online console experiences

MARVEL AVENGERS - ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAMEPLAY (2020)

The last quarter of 2020 saw the next generation of consoles released, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox S Series.

Both take gaming to the next level and it is only fitting that the ultimate Marvel experience is available through the powerful new technology. In the past, the likes of Spider-Man and Hulk had tested consoles capabilities, but the September release Marvel’s Avengers pushes the boundaries with four-play online cooperative play.

Online gaming can mean several things – gaming on the move, gaming for physical rewards and, of course, gaming with friends. Boasting a roster that includes Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Captain America, it is perhaps the ultimate online Marvel experience you can enjoy right now.

Marvel related: A Marvel Comics character database on Tableau and Tom Comitta’s parody essay about Marvel and Martin Scorsese.

A Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture timelapse video

A Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture timelapse video

We’ve featured Steven Richter in an article about his custom Jumanji board and here he is making a Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture.

Richter opted for the live-action Eddie Brock from 2018’s Venom rather than the Topher Grace rendition from Spider-Man 3 (and probably for the best). I particularly like this comment from the video:

Every sculpture starts off as a very rough Easter Island head.

But it doesn’t take long before Richter gets the face looking more realistic before he starts on the Venom half of his face. The symbiotic detailing is the real highlight of the sculpture. In fact, it was so good, he put it on his Etsy shop and it sold but you can request a custom sculpture if you want a Venom of your own.

For Venom-related objects that are in stock, check out these Venom socks.

Venom Sculpture Timelapse - Venom

(Un)productivity or death?

dinos and comics is “a comic about depressed dinosaurs who find hope in each other”. I follow the Twitter account and find their comics light-hearted and amusing.

Today’s comic was particularly clever with the white dinosaur giving Rainbow T-Rex the mantras of capitalism (productivity or death), COVID (unproductivity or death), and the government (simply death).

Sounds about right.

For previous entries, follow @dinoman_j on Twitter and dinosandcomics on Instagram.

What if Clark Kent was a cartoonist?

Soft Lead Clark Kent

2020 sucks hard. I feel like I’ve said or written that a hundred times but it bears repeating. So finding any glimmer of light or hope means more than usual and I found one on Sunday night.

Chan Chau (they/them) is a cartoonist from in Minnesota and they tweeted one of their comics about Soft Lead Clark Kent, in a world where he’s a cartoonist for the Daily Planet rather than the reporter we know on this earth. He visited his Bruce Wayne at his home for breakfast and expressed his fear that his work was “pointless”.

[…] You know drawing cartoons. Well, making comic strips about my cat for the Daily Planet, to be precise. It seems so… ugh, silly.

Bruce offers his opinion and it reminded me that sometimes you need something for you rather than what you think other people want or need and I felt that. Hopefully it can offer some respite and clarity for anyone who reads it.

You can either read the full thread of panels on Twitter or Tumblr.

What if Batman was Black?

Wayne Williams as Batman

Of all the Black superheroes I asked for on Twitter, one that caught my eye was Batman. When was Batman Black? Once, 19 years ago.

In September 2001, Stan Lee and Joe Kubert created Just Imagine Stan Lee with Joe Kubert Creating Batman with Bruce Wayne replaced with Wayne Williams, an African-American man.

Like the original Batman/Bruce Wayne, he had no superpowers, was an expert detective, skilled fighter, and super-rich. But Wayne Williams’s backstory differed from Bruce Wayne’s. Williams’ father, a cop, was killed in an ambush and he was then framed for a crime by a gang leader called “Handz”. While in prison, he made friends with a scientist called Frederick Grant and started bodybuilding. He got a full pardon after rescuing the warden during a prison riot and sought revenge on Handz who had also killed Williams’s mother while he was incarcerated.

To earn money, Williams becomes a wrestler, under the name of Batman, and became a wealthy celebrity. He found Grant and they became partners and turn to fighting crime. Batman finally found Handz and fought him which lead to Handz’s accidental death from a fall. He then vowed to protect innocent people.

However, not everyone enjoyed the story arc.

Stan’s Batman operates out in the open, and his goal is only to get payback. But the major crime is how Stan basically just repurposed old ideas into something that came off like a polished turd. It’s kinda like if you submitted old homework to fulfill (sic) a new assignment, and still only managed to get a C.

William B. West for The Nerds of Color

And this from Tim Webber of CBR.com, who ranked it #12 (last) in his ‘Just Imagine…’ Stories list:

While other Elseworlds tales have twisted and stretched the concept of Batman into fantastic new shapes, Lee delivers a perfunctory take on Batman that doesn’t feel compellingly different from anything that’s been done before. His attempts to write street-level dialogue come across as clumsy and dated, and do little to define one-note characters. Kubert’s art looks fine, but Lee’s script just feels disappointing. A lot of the hype for the “Just Imagine…” project rested on this first book, and the squandered potential here casts a shadow over the rest of the line.

If those reviews don’t deter you, you can buy the full novel on Amazon or stream the video below where someone has kindly displayed every page to read.

Just Imagine Stan Lee With Joe Kubert Creating Batman v2001 #001 #comics

Over It

Over it

2020 is the year of being “over it”. Over what? Specifically everything.

Reza Farazmand is the creator of Poor Drawn Lines and draws comics 3 times a week for our amusement. For yesterday’s edition, we see a pigeon claiming they are “over it” to which their feathered companion asks what they’re over.

“All of it.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Specifically everything.”

I’ve never felt so connected to a pigeon in my life.

Marvel Comic Characters on Tableau

Marvel Comic Characters on Tableau

Thanks to my friend Soph for putting me onto this.

Pradeep Kumar G made a Tableau workbook using data on Marvel comic book characters:

Did you know that the first Marvel comic book was published in 1939 by Martin Goodman? Today, the number of Marvel comic books published is over 30,000. Check out this #IronQuest visualization by Pradeep Kumar G to learn about all of the “good” and “bad” characters that have appeared in Marvel comics over the years.

As Soph pointed out, only ~25% identified as female and ~6% agender, genderfluid (only 1 character) or unknown. There wasn’t any racial demographic data but I’m sure the disparity would have deepened further. For info on Black superheroes, check out my ongoing list.

Nancy is not a fan of virtual schooling

A Nancy comic about virtual schooling

Today’s Nancy comic was very much “classic Nancy”. Kids in the US have gone back to school and while some of them are conducting class in person, other schools are doing them virtually.

In this comic, Nancy and her two classmates were asked to answer a question from their teacher but none of them wanted to. The teacher reminded them that if nobody answered, she’d call someone at random and that’s when Nancy’s quick thinking kicked in.

If you missed our other Nancy features, you can read about her mother’s meta to-do list and a puzzling comic from a few weeks ago.

P.S. Stay safe out there and keep social distancing.

Shuri as the new Black Panther?

Shuri from Black Panther

We Got This Covered is suggesting—based on intel from a credible source—that Shuri might be the next Black Panther.

There will likely be a delay to Black Panther 2‘s May 2022 release date as Boseman’s friends, peers and collaborators come to terms with his passing at the age of just 43, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Ben Affleck would be returning as Batman in The Flash and that a She-Hulk show is coming to Disney Plus, both of which were correct – that Marvel still want to proceed with the second installment as a tribute to the leading man’s legacy, and the film will see Shuri become Wakanda’s permanent protector and assume the mantle. At least, that’s the plan right now.

This makes sense and it’s not the first time We Got This Covered has claimed Shuri will take T’Challa’s place. The clearest reason for this idea is based on the comics, where Shuri became Black Panther for the first time in the Dark Reign series from 2008.

That volume opened with Doctor Doom brutally attacking T’Challa after he refused to join Norman Osborn’s cabal. Barely alive, the king returned to Wakanda before his wife, Queen Ororo, took over leadership duties and immediately nominated Shuri to become the next Black Panther.

We’re all still grieving the loss of Chadwick Boseman and I’m not trying to think about Black Panther 2 or 3 (even though I’m writing about it) but this would be the best transition if it happened.

Black superheroes

5 Black superheroes

A few weeks ago, I sent the following tweet:

I left it open-ended as not to restrict the potential answers. The purpose of the tweet was to see which Black superheroes people knew without looking them up. Here are the results:

SuperheroCount
Black Panther17
Storm16
Luke Cage11
Spider-Man10
Static Shock9
Falcon8
Green Lantern7
Nick Fury6
War Machine6
Bishop6
Spawn6
Cyborg5
Mister Terrific4
Black Lightning4
Blade4
Ironheart3
Shuri3
Misty Knight3
Icon3
Bloodwynd2
Steel2
Batwing2
Catwoman2
Monica Rambeau2
Bumblebee2
Martian Manhunter2
Lightning2
Thunder2
Deadshot2
Human Torch2
Vixen2
John Diggle2
Okoye2
Starfire2
Black Vulcan1
Jakeem Thunder1
Rocket1
The Herald1
Forge1
Superman (Val-Zod)1
Apocalypse1
Pixie1
Rage1
The Signal1
Batman1
Goliath1
Amenadiel1
Blue Marvel1
Bat-son1
M’Baku1
Michonne1
Hardware1
Deathblow1
Battalion1
Killer Croc1
Sister Night1
Blood Syndicate*1
Max (from Batman Beyond)1
Bronze Tiger1
Lunella Lafayette1
Frozone1
Domino1
Butterfly1
Valkyrie1
Hancock1
Victor Stone1
Hawkgirl1
Firestorm1
Darwin1
Amanda Waller1
Dr Mid-Nite1
Dr Manhattan1
VooDoo1
Cloak1
W’Kabi1
Heimdall1
A-Train1

I will be updating this periodically if any new responses come in but, unsurprisingly, Black Panther came out on top (although he was neck-and-neck with Storm for most of the time).

For any of the pedants out there, some of these aren’t technically superheroes but I didn’t try to correct anyone because 1) my Black comic book knowledge is poor and 2) I wanted to see what people’s interpretation of Black superheroism was. Do you need to have superhuman powers to be a superhero? That’s a question for another day.

Grab a pair of Venom socks

venom socks

Does your sock drawer lack panache? Cachet? Any other superfluous French word to describe taste? Then you need a pair that stands outs amongst your black and white socks and, ironically, a pair of Venom socks has both with hints of blue, red, and pink.

Okay, cheesy sales pitch over. These Venom socks are cool AF and, according to the Amazon listing, doesn’t require batteries which is what you want in a pair of cotton socks. They’re also safer than wearing a symbiote suit and becoming a homicidal anti-heroish alien-human hybrid monster. But if you were one already, wouldn’t a cosy pair of socks be the best thing ever?

And if you don’t believe me, check out some of the reviews:

Great print, great quality. These socks are soft, warm, have cushion, and a great classic tv version of Venom from the 90’! They are a bit tight at the first and the second times, but become more comfortable over the time. After 3-4 uses, they are now perfect and so comfortable! Love the print, love the quality. Worth the price!

Super qualité!

I bought these for my 8 year old son and he loves them… I’m sure these where ment for a man but my son used them for crazy sock day and they fit comfortable

Buy a pair on Amazon today.

(h/t Steph)

Black Adam and the Justice Society revealed at DC FanDome

black adam film poster

The upcoming Black Adam film isn’t set for release until December 2021 but who knows if that’ll delayed further. Until then, Dwayne Johnson revealed a new promo with awesome artwork to whet the appetites of fans.

What we also got was a look at some characters from the Justice Society of America including Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and Cyclone (Atom Smasher was already confirmed). Yep, the JSA will be in this one. And there was a warning to Shazam and the Justice League:

“Things will never be the same. The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.”

The Rock knows how to cut a promo and despite his reputation as a babyface, he can play a mean heel. BUT I’m not sure how to feel about this. I was excited when he announced he’d be playing Black Adam as I’m a huge fan of the JSA and Black Adam as a villain but I worry it’ll become Another Dwayne Johnson Film™ with a comic theme rather than a fantastic entry point for the JSA and one of their toughest enemies.

Watch the teaser below.

Black Adam - Official Teaser (2021) Dwayne Johnson | DC FanDome

A to-do list of a Nancy comic

Today’s Nancy comic follows the theme of the last one I posted on Cultrface but with more subtlety.

I don’t know how old Nancy’s mother is but this screams millennial burnout to me and I’ve certainly felt it and unconsciously done this myself during lockdown. In fact, when I do a Google search of “to do list millennial”, a list of articles on millennial burnout come up, including:

But let me not turn this into a personal diatribe. It’s another clever self-referential Nancy comic and I’ll mark “read Nancy” as done on my to-do list for today.

A clever Nancy comic styled as a jigsaw puzzle

Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for August 14, 2020

I don’t follow Olivia Jaimes’s Nancy comics often but the ones I catch are always really clever and this is no exception. The comic from 14th August plays on self-reference and the power of comprehension with something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle. You’ll need to read it a few times to get it.

And as Jason Kottke pointed out, this isn’t the first time Jaimes flipped the script so to speak:

This is the part where I subscribe to Nancy on Go Comics.

Nnesaga's top 5 DC animated movies

Justice League

It’s been a hot minute since I last watched a DC animated movie but I’m almost certain it was a Batman movie. I’ve not watched enough DC animated movies to form a balanced top 5 but Stephanie Ijoma of Nnesaga has and, in May, she went through her 5 favourites.

If you want to know what they are, check out them out in the summary (below)

Nnesaga’s top 5 DC animated movies (click the triangle to open the list)
  1. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
  2. Batman: Under The Red Hood
  3. Teen Titans: Judas Contract
  4. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
  5. Justice League: Doom

Who is Nnesaga?

Nnesaga is a media platform founded by Black gamer Stephanie Ijoma. It champions diversity in the form of events, media and workshops in comic book media, gaming, and anime.

As Steph says, there are a lot of films in the DC animated universe (which includes the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, the DC Animated Movie Universe, and any animated films made before 2007) so it can be tough to pick a top 5.

But that didn’t stop Steph laying down the Bat-gauntlet so to speak:

If Flashpoint Paradox & Batman: Under the Red Hood isn’t in your top 5, what are you still doing here?

I better leave and rectify that error in judgement!

What are your favourite DC animated movies? Let us know in the comments.

Soo.. WHAT'S YOUR TOP 5 DC ANIMATED MOVIES?

Socials