Marvel character highlight #19: Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Name: Steve Rogerscaptainamerica-fixed

Affiliation: Formerly the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers Unity Division, Illuminati, Invaders, U.S. Army, Secret Avengers, Captain America Corps, Secret Avengers, New Avengers

Special abilities: Enhanced speed, agility, reflexes, healing and stamina comparable to a man at the apex of physical perfection. These are the result of his receiving the Super Soldier Serum, designed to create the perfect soldier who is resistant to disease and injury.

Background: Steve Rogers was a frail and sickly man rejected from the Army during World War II. After he is finally accepted through multiple attempts, he is subjected to an experimental procedure called the Super Soldier Project. During this project, the frail Rogers is intravenously and orally fed a mixture called the Super Soldier Serum and bombarded by Vita Rays, designed to create the perfect soldier. The creator of the serum, Dr. Abraham Erskine, is murdered minutes after the successful procedure and the formula is lost to history thereafter.

Rogers is then sent on numerous missions to serve the Allied wartime interests of defeating Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers. During a mission circa 1945, Rogers and friend Bucky Barnes were attempting to stop a bomb-laden plane launched by Baron Zemo. The plane exploded in mid-air, apparently killing Barnes and throwing Rogers into the ocean. Rogers then entered suspended animation, freezing into a glacier until his discovery decades later by the Avengers as they were fighting against Namor.

Rogers, now thawed in the present day, joined the Avengers and led the team through many a crisis including stopping Baron Helmut Zero and a revived Red Skull, preventing Onslaught from taking over the world and destroying reality, bringing an end to the Civil War — which led to his death at the hands of Red Skull and hypnotically possessed lover Sharon Carter — and participating in stopping the X-Men’s Phoenix Force from destroying Earth.

Relationships: James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (Winter Soldier/Captain America), best friend/partner; Sharon Carter, lover; Peggy Carter, lover; Sam Wilson (Falcon/Captain America), partner

First Versus game appearance: Marvel Super Heroes

Appearances in other media: Captain America in: The Doom Tube of Dr. Megalomann (video game), Spider-Man and Captain America in Doctor Doom’s Revenge (video game), Captain America and the Avengers (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (video game), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (video game), Marvel vs. Street Fighter (video game), Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (video game), Avengers in Galactic Storm (video game), Spider-Man and Venom: Separation Anxiety (video game), Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems (video game), Spider-Man (video game), Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro (video game), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (video game), Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad 2, Captain America: Super Soldier (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat (video game), Marvel: Avengers Alliance (video game), Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (video game), Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics (video game), Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (video game), The Great Gold Steal (novel), Captain America: The First Avenger (film), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (film), Marvel Universe: LIVE! (theater), Ultimate Avengers (animation), Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther (animation), The Avengers (film), The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (film; not yet released)

Top 5 on The Strip: Marvel supers edition

Cable-Time Flip

Cable, “Time Flip”

Cable is game-breaking. Cable is top tier. Cable is one of the few characters that can counteract himself in the game’s tier rankings. So, when his least usable super is shouted, you’re probably going to be shocked enough to get hit by it. Time Flip is useless, but it looks cool. Also, it’s taken 13 years to figure out if he’s saying time slip or time flip. We’ve settled mostly on flip. And nothing is more cool than watching Cable shake his fist angrily when he misses with the move and wastes super meter. We hate Cable.

 Spiral-Hyper Metamorphose

Spiral, “Metamorphose”

Amazingly, this super isn’t used that much if you’re fighting a lot of Spiral players. And you will, because she’s a popular girl. And by popular, we mean just about anyone who has any knowledge about tiers in MvC2 will know that she’s worth using. The Dance isn’t used that widely because why use it when you can throw a wall of Dancing Swords? But we digress. The move still looks cool as hell as she morphs into all of the Marvel roster. Protip: The move always ends with her kicking you in the face as Cyclops.

 Blackheart-Heart of Darkness

Blackheart, “Heart of Darkness”

Once upon a time, there was a team nicknamed Team Giggles. The trio was composed of Blackheart, M. Bison and Dr. Doom. Blackheart, of the demented group, seems to do the most giggling and it’s mostly because of this super. For a dude who’s the spawn of the lead demon in Marvel’s Hell, he sure seems to have a lot to laugh about. And, no doubt, if you’re able to connect this after trapping someone with a previous Inferno and watching your little demon friends come out do massive damage, you’re probably going to giggle a bit, too.

 Iron Man-Proton Cannon

Iron Man, “Proton Cannon”

It was hard to choose between Iron Man’s version or War Machine’s version of the big beam super. We love the simplicity with Iron Man’s move, but we also love War Machine throwing out that random “It’s my Sunday best!” in Marvel vs. Capcom, too. It was too cool to attempt to figure out what War Machine was getting at the first time around. And that giant super beam of doom? Good luck blocking that thing if Iron Man decides to use it. At least he isn’t using the Iron Man infinite.

 Rogue-Goodnight Sugah

Rogue, “Good Night Sugah”

Rogue doesn’t have much to go on here, but the one super she has is cute. Sure, it’s pretty obvious that she’s going to do it. And you’re going to have try to get around the crazy concept of blocking that your opponent has. But, hey, once you launch that rush and you connect with your kiss of attribute thievery, you’re well on your way. And the fact that the theft of an attribute happens is pretty amazing. You have to love this particular brand of Southern charm.

Otaku Corner: Onimusha: Night of Genesis

Capcom manga continues Onimusha saga

Brandon-2012-cutoutWelcome back to Otaku Corner, where we bring you the finest anime and manga this side of the Northern Hemisphere. Previously, I reviewed the first installment of Capcom’s samurai adventure series Onimusha. It did not take long for a manga adaptation to not only tie-in the series, but also to present new characters in the recent Onimusha game, Dawn of Dreams. This adaptation is “Onimusha: Night of Genesis.”

Written and drawn by Mitsuru Ohsaki and published by Udon Comics, “Night of Genesis” follows two new Onimusha warriors who are destined to face the notorious genma forces, but for different reasons. At the beginning of the first chapter, Hideyasu Yuki and Jubei-Akane Yagyu face off with each other. As the manga goes on, these warriors discover that while they have different adversaries to battle, they awaken the awesome power inside them that would not only destroy their respective foes, but also would remove the even greater threat of the genma destroying Japan and the world.

Night of Genesis” is a radical take on the Onimusha series that remains loyal to the games’ storyline. While reading, I

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com
Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

found that although the character’s back stories and relevant elements of Japanese history are entwined, Oshaki-san took great care to keep these elements from overlapping. This is important since fans of certain games discover that when their favorite title and characters appear in graphic novels, very little or none of the game’s story remains as the main story. I also give credit to Udon Comics’ team of Gala Ferrire and Jim Zubkavich, whose English adaptation maintained understanding of the manga’s plot; and Mike Youngberg, whose translations were helpful, especially when sword-fighting techniques needed explanation. Overall, Onimusha fans and otaku looking for a good samurai manga won’t be disappointed.

Onimusha: Night of Genesis is the first official tie-in to a gaming series that really does not disappoint its fans. This goes to show that with great stories and comic art, transitions of video games to comic format can be a successful formula if all involved parties focus on quality not quantity. Udon did it, and you can, too, Capcom. I’m looking at you, Kenzo Tsujimoto.

Brandon Beatty is editor at large of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com

Otaku #07: Devil May Cry 3 Vol. 1

Devil May Cry 3 manga a great start for Dante

Brandon Beatty, contributing editor

In this issue’s Otaku Corner, I’m taking a look at manga based on popular video games. One of these manga is based on the third installment of Capcom’s best-selling game “Devil May Cry,” which allows DMC fans, for the first time, to experience the fast-paced action of the game series in graphic novel format in English thanks to the good people of Tokyo Pop Inc.

In the first volume of DMC3, everybody’s favorite demon slayer/bounty hunter Dante is unemployed and bored until his trusty manager Enzo sets him up with a missing person case with a reward of $4 million. All is not as it seems as Dante not only takes the job, but also faces a surprise attack by unknown demons that leads our hero on an adventure beyond his wildest imagination.

When I read the first edition of “DMC 3” from start to finish, I felt that I was on a nonstop thrill ride from the opening page to the last. Author Suguro Chayamachi did not take the

Devil May Cry 3 Vol. 1 / photo courtesy of Amazon

DMC3 saga lightly and perfectly mixed great art and story plot with the elements of a high-octane game. All of Dante’s swagger and cool gun/swordsmanship came intact as he flows through each page proving that he is worthy to be among the greatest video game characters of all time.

Tokyo Pop deserves a ton of the credit as translator Ray Yoshimoto and English adaptation writer Aaron Sparrow fluently brought DMC 3 to life without a hitch. Truly, Capcom did try a new method of bringing a popular franchise to fans without the usual hitches that most companies experience. Overall, I find DMC3 Volume 1 worth re-reading, guaranteeing absolute satisfaction.

Devil May Cry 3 Volume 1 is a perfect addition to any DMC’s fan collection. Dante retains the skills that make him the living nightmare for all demons and succeeds in his first travel though manga format thanks to creative collaboration between Capcom and Tokyo Pop.

This is a bold and trailblazing move for video game developers to make on their franchise knowing the risks. Keep reading Otaku Corner for more reviews of this series as we give gaming’s elite demon slayer five-star treatment in the world of Japanese comic art.

Brandon Beatty is contributing editor of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com