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The Real Reason Fans Are Blasting Square Enix's 'Fake' Avengers

By all accounts, Marvel fans should be tickled pink. They're getting a new Avengers game, with a completely original story, and the chance to play as their favorite Marvel superheroes. What's not to like about that?


Apparently, the Avengers themselves.

We got a good look at Marvel's Avengers during Square Enix's E3 2019 press conference. And while many fans were psyched about a new game starring the comic book superhero squad, not everyone was particularly pleased with the way the Avengers looked; especially in light of their portrayals in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

One fan on Twitter labeled them the "off-brand Avengers." Another praised Marvel for "[giving] the stunt doubles their own game." And another still made reference to the cast essentially being knock-offs, calling them "The Great Value Avengers" and giving them new-but-similar names.

These Avengers are the Dr. Bob to the real squad's Dr. Pepper, it seems.


But screenwriter Gary Whitta, best known for writing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, hit the nail on the head with why many feel shortchanged by the team on display in Marvel's Avengers.

"The problem, for me at least, with that Avengers game trailer," Whitta said, "is that for the past ten years the MCU actors have become so synonymous with those characters that any on-screen version that isn't them just kinda feels fake.

Coming right off the back of Endgame doesn't help," Whitta added.

In that context, it seems entirely understandable why fans might be miffed at what they consider "dollar store versions" of these iconic Marvel characters.

Robert Downey, Jr., for instance, has worn the Iron Man suit since 2008. That's over a decade of seeing Iron Man and knowing that Downey, Jr. is the man underneath that armored exterior. The same can be said for Chris Hemsworth, who has carried the hammer as Thor since 2011. It'll take a long time for these characters to be played by different actors, and for those actors to take a hold of these roles with the kind of grip Downey, Jr. and Hemsworth did in their respective parts.

You need only look at the James Bond films for proof. Everyone still has their favorite Bond, even though Daniel Craig has played the role of 007 since 2005's Casino Royale.


At the same time, though, the criticism seems a tiny bit hard to swallow, because it hasn't always been applied evenly.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum released in 2009, no one was up in arms about how Batman didn't look like or act like Christian Bale. This is in spite of the fact that The Dark Knight had released a year before, doing gangbusters at the box office. And last year's Spider-Man on PS4 had absolutely nothing to do with the MCU, even though Spider-Man: Homecoming had released the year prior in 2017. Peter Parker wasn't voiced by Tom Holland. Aunt May, well; she was not Marisa Tomei, we'll just say that. And the game told an entirely original story, using the Spider-Man license to create a universe unique to the video game.

You know, kind of like Marvel's Avengers is trying to do.

We'll admit that the timing isn't great. Marvel's Avengers sits in the unenviable spot of having to capitalize on the Avengers license after the MCU's biggest movie release ever, but without the MCU stars. And when that film cast has been delivering record-breaking movies for over a decade, there's never been a truer utterance of "that's a tough act to follow."

But there's still a great cast in Marvel's Avengers regardless, even if you might not know their faces. Video game veterans like Nolan North, Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey are lending their voices to the project. And if you've ever played through their past works, you'll know that these stars are capable of delivering some truly epic performances in their own right.


So no, these are not the Avengers that you might have grown up with these past few years. That team exists in the world of cinema, and you should be thankful for that; video games and movies don't mix well. But nothing we've seen so far should scare you away from Marvel's Avengers, especially if you've played and enjoyed other licensed games in the past.

This game wants to be its own thing. And we should let it.