Moving outside the MCU
Advisory: The game featured in this article has microtransactions that exceed $10.
The return of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after a COVID hiatus has meant ample inspiration for Marvel Puzzle Quest’s ever-expanding roster of characters. Eternals such as Sersi and Ikaris have joined the fray in recent months along with Hawkeye addition Echo and a No Way Home inspired Doc Ock.
What If?, meanwhile, gave the team at d3GO and Demiurge the opportunity to turn a boss character into a playable in the form of Ultron and see one of their created characters join the MCU proper, as happened with a Captain America-like Peggy Carter. Otherwise, many of last year’s character additions took the form of Spider-Man’s villainous counterparts, with few exceptions.
Seemingly recognizing this, Marvel Puzzle Quest’s latest fan poll offers an array of choices that are wholly unique characters and largely untethered in the current MCU. Only Black Knight has a serious role in Marvel’s film line-up after being portrayed by Kit Harrington in Eternals with hints dropped in the film that he may play a major part on screen going forward.
Abomination, meanwhile, debuted in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, took a decade off, and re-emerged as a bit player in Shang Chi. It would certainly be fitting to have the MCU’s oldest baddie join the roster in Marvel Puzzle Quest, perhaps using various Hulk builds as inspiration for a more aggressive take on the character.
And Deathlok – a cyborg with a grudge – has had a prominent role in a forgotten corner of the MCU: Agents of SHIELD. Whether borrowing inspiration from the television show – and serving as a worthy back-up to Quake and Agent Coulson – or leaning into an explosive array of comics powers, Deathlok should shake up the game.
The rest of the potential roster lacks immediate ties to the film and television landscape but they’re no less interesting. Hercules – the guy from Greek myth – has appeared in countless Marvel tales and we imagine the developers bringing his bragadocious nature into his powers. Blink could bolster Marvel Puzzle Quest’s contingent of S.W.O.R.D. agents, perhaps serving as inspiration for a new storyline or army of grunts, while delivering on high offensive capabilities.
Night Nurse seems like she might fill the role of novelty character as Howard the Duck, Taskmaster, and Spider-Ham have before, given her debut as a Marvel romance character. Since the halcyon days of the ‘70s, though, the nurse has matured, serving as a literal lifeline to many of Marvel’s heroes, and would fit in as a potential support character. While the Night Nurse doesn’t have a direct counterpart in the MCU, some consider Doctor Strange’s Christine Palmer to be an iteration of the character, just as they consider Defenders mainstay Claire Temple to fit the role. There can be only one.
Finally, Dani Moonstar might also fit either a support role ala the Night Nurse or pure offensive power like Blink, representing the New Mutants alongside in-game companions Magik and Wolfsbane. It’s easy to imagine the developers adapting Nightcrawler into a purple-driven character that hits hard, strengthening a colour that often plays defensively, while creating abilities that synergize with the other mutants.
Fans have until January 19th to cast their ballot with the top vote-getter joining the game in the first half of 2022. Favourite hero shards will be rewarded later in January for those who participate.