In case you've been on holiday in Asgard for the past six weeks or so, know that Marvel has been seriously upping their game when it comes to their female characters. First there were the variant covers -- drawn exclusively by female artists -- celebrating characters like Ms. Marvel and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and now MTV News can exclusively reveal the “Women of Marvel” initiative with Marvel Games, which will add multiple badass (playable!) lady characters to the Marvel gaming universe.
"Part of Marvel’s history has always been how diverse we are," Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann told MTV News over the phone. "We’re not always perfect, but we’re trying our best to authentically let everyone tell their story, and to say that everyone can be a hero... So March is Women’s History Month, and I saw that Marvel was doing a really cool variant cover program to celebrate the Women of Marvel.
"A lightbulb went off, and I just thought 'Hey, I wonder if we can share this news with all of our partners in Marvel Games, and see who would be excited about having events in March that would put the spotlight on and celebrate the Women of Marvel.'"
Marvel Games (and their partners) will be adding a diverse slate of female heroes -- like She-Hulk, Spider-Girl, and Squirrel Girl -- to their existing line of adventure games, action combat runners, player versus players, and RPGs. (Check out the full list below.)
Additionally, the game "Spider-Man Unlimited" will boast a weekend-long, female-driven Spider event for International Women’s Day on March 8-9, featuring Spider-Gwen, Spider-Girl, Silk and Spider-Woman; and the popular "Marvel Heroes 2015" will introduce a new costume for Rogue -- an element that Rosemann says is extremely important for Marvel moving forward.
"We’re rethinking how we design the female characters," he explained. "It was very apparent when we re-designed Spider-Woman’s costume... We looked at what she was wearing, we looked at what a lot of our characters were wearing -- like Carol Danvers -- and we said, ‘You know what? It’s not very practical to run into battle wearing a bikini, on high heels. It’s not exactly comfortable.’
"We just kind of said, ‘Hey, let’s approach them as we approach our male heroes. What are they wearing into battle? What is comfortable, what is cool, what is stylish? What would our female creators and readers want to wear?’"
This led to many of the new and improved costumes you'll be seeing in the games, as well as some of the new designs you've already seen on the variant covers. And as for the lasting legacy of this Marvel March Madness, Senior Communications Manager Keith Mutzman says he only sees more female inclusion ahead on the horizon.
"Obviously we can’t speak for publishing or consumer products or any of the other divisions, but what we can speak for is games," Mutzman explained. "What we’re talking about is more female characters being introduced, [and] more female characters being recognized in these products -- whether it’s for the individual characters themselves, their alternate costumes... we obviously see the popularity of these characters, and they’re just having more and more of a focus in our games."
Check out Marvel Games' full slate of "Women in Marvel" offerings -- as well as the trailer for the "Spider-Man Unlimited" event -- below!
"Marvel Puzzle Quest": This free-to-play mobile match-3 adventure game will be launching new variant covers from Marvel comics. All these covers have been created by female artists. In Marvel Puzzle Quest the covers players can win and earn represent the characters themselves that players can take into battle. The covers include:
Amazing Spider-Man #16
Captain Marvel #13
Legendary Star-Lord #10
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #
Marvel Puzzle Quest is also launching an all female PVP tournament entitled “Women of Marvel” to begin on March 3.
"Spider-Man Unlimited" is a mobile free-to-play action combat runner where player collect the various Spider-Men from across the Marvel Universe. This game is celebrating “Women’s History Month” with a weekend female Spider event for International Women’s Day on March 8-9 featuring "Spider-Gwen, Spider-Girl, Silk and Spider-Woman" (in both her classic and new costumes).
"Marvel: Avengers Alliance" (our popular Facebook RPG which is celebrating 3-years of combat and activity) just began their latest PVP season which will have the angelic character "Angela" as the reward for the highest league. This game will also feature “Worthy Spider-Woman” costume when they launch Chapter 8 of their story-based adventure content.
"Marvel Heroes 2015" is the free-to-play online action RPG created by the maker of Diablo, David Brevik. This month they plan on launching "She-Hulk” as a fully playable character. Being an attorney she has the full suite of lawyer-related moves, such as “bar exam” where she picks up a metal bar and bashes the baddies. “Rogue’s Age of X” costume is also coming online. Rogue was just added as a character a few months ago as a playable character; this costume, based on an alternate reality found in X-Men comics a few years ago, brings her and her amazing abilities to the forefront again. With the launch of She-Hulk 12 out of the 46 characters are now women and this doesn’t include the female variants of Heroes, like Lady Deadpool and Lady Loki.