Now that all the issues of Marvel Avengers video game prequel comics are released and done with, it’s time to delve deep into the story leading up to the game. While this won’t spoil or divulge a lot of the Avengers game story, it will give us a background on what to expect come the game’s launch.
We’ve been pretty light on news around the game, so I thought I would do a write up summarizing the prequel comics so you can get an understanding of the backstory to the game. In addition, you’ll find a list of characters introduced from each Comic that will be canon to the game verse. As to whether they’ll actually appear is yet to be known, though many of these characters do have a background with A.I.M., the main organization that the Avengers are up against.
The start of the prequel comics ironically begins with Iron Man. In the first issue, we see the Avengers facing off against the villainous group known as Lethal Legion. The team makes quick work of them, though Tony (a.k.a. Iron Man) quickly takes notice of some of the advance technology the Lethal legion was using. Tony investigates to eventually discover that Spy Master has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been stealing their secrets, which happens to have hidden surveillance of Tony. This prompts him to confront Nick Furry on the subject of trust and priorities, forcing him to delete any related information on himself that S.H.I.E.L.D. may have.
- Absorbing Man
- Nick Furry
- Monica, scientist and in relation with Banner
This issue opens up with Thor, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner conducting tests on a new transportation device. Things don’t go exactly as plan, causing the device to explode and Bruce lashing out at Tony about this. Tony eventually leaves, leaving Thor and Banner to clean up the mess. As it turns out, however, the malfunction in the teleporter device was caused by none other than Loki, the God of Mischief and Thor’s half-brother. Seeing Thor and Banner now alone together, Loki takes the opportunity to manipulate them, causing the Hulk to emerge and battle against Thor. The two exchanges nearly equal blows, with the Hulk appearing to have a bit of advantage over Thor. As it begins to rain, Thor notices Loki’s figure. Pointing this out to Hulk, the two make work of Loki and sends him back to Asgard. Later that night, Thor, Banner, and Stark go out to celebrate, though Banner isn’t too happy about the situation with the Hulk and Thor causing all that damage, but gets brushed off by both friends.
- Heimdall mentioned by name
- Odin mentioned by name
It’s no secret that Bruce Banner isn’t too fond of his alter ego, Hulk. There’s a rough history between the two and in the comic verse for the game, it appears that Banner has yet to come to terms with him. In the first panel, we see Hulk exiting from an experimental chamber of some sort, returning back to Bruce Banner. It is revealed that Bruce is working with Monica to try and cure him of the Hulk. Monica, however, has other plans as she wants Banner to gain control rather than eliminate it. This prompts Banner to make it clear that he means to eliminate the Hulk. A bit later he has a run-in with George Tarleton, another genius scientist who is working on a solution to the energy crisis. Bruce, being tired of everyone coming to him for answers, tells George that testing for his project is not yet ready and he will have to wait for weeks. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with George, so he takes matters into his own hands and does the test himself, which goes wrong and accidentally creates an entity known as Zzzax after a burst of electricity absorbs two bodyguards. Things get ugly fast as it confronts Banner who then turns into the Hulk. The entire fight we hear thoughts from Banner, about him losing control and fading away as if he’s in a dream, hoping that this monster could end it. Hulk eventually defeats Zzzax and Banner wakes up in the hospital to see the news report on TV, blaming the Hulk for the power outage caused by Zzzax. He and Tony talk, with Banner unsure if he turns again whether or not he will be able to come back from it. The issue ends with Tony being approached by George and reviewing his energy project.
- George Tarleton aka M.O.D.O.K. in the other comics
Captain America storyline is a more interesting one, as it doesn’t deal with trust issues like the last three, but Captain American wanting to bring changes to the Avengers. It begins with Captain America attempting to foil a vehicle heist by Batroc the Leaper. He successfully does so but is too far distracted to apprehend Batroc as he is running late to a funeral of the last remaining unit he fought with back in World War II. He later catches up to Batroc from a tracking device he places on the damaged heist vehicle, which was brought back to its base for repairs. He makes quick work of Batroc, and as he leaves he contacts Tony, telling him they need to talk about an old friend from Captain’s past and the future of the Avengers. The issue ends with Captain driving off towards the sunset.
- Batroc the Leaper
- Possibly Professor Zola in a short flashback
This is the final issue of the prequel comics. Black Widow is the latest member to join S.H.I.E.L.D. though other members don’t trust her as she kept her original Russian call sign instead of the S.H.I.E.L.D. one. Regardless, Nick Fury places a lot of faith in her and introduces her to Tony Masters for additional training. Later that day, a cargo carrier filled with Hydra prisoners arrives and Nick takes them to be locked up. However, that very same night someone hacked into the security and released all the Hydra prisoners. Tony Masters tries to put the blame on Black Widow, going so far as to falsify evidence, but Widows proves her innocence, prompting Masters to escape on a Hydra carrier. However, Nick uncovers that Black Widow was indeed a mole and attempts to arrest her. She comes clean, stating that she wasn’t working with Masters and only wanted to break out her childhood mentor who didn’t have long left to live. Furry complies and releases him to live out his last days peacefully and free. Trust is formed between Fury and Black Widow, prompting her to stick around S.H.I.E.L.D. Five years pass, and Tony Masters, now taking the mantle of Taskmasters reappears. Fury makes mention that he has copied moves from Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawk-Eye. Window says she is ready for him and their next confrontation will be their last, leading up to the events of the game.
- Tony Masters aka Taskmaster
- Iosif Stephanov (Black Widow ballet mentor)
- Hawk-Eye mentioned by name
What do they all have in common?
The overall theme that all the issues have in common evolves around trust. As we can see, the team clearly has major issues and these comics are meant to highlight the forming cracks. It all leads up to A-Day, which as we saw ended up breaking the team apart after the disaster that took place. The comics also seems to be setting up some major plot points, with the possibility of some of these characters returning in the game itself. We suspect Bruce’s girlfriend Monica and M.O.D.O.K. to both make an appearance and most likely working with AIM. Hawk-Eye will also most likely make some sort of appearance, though he will not be playable like Ant-Man. Hawk-Eye involvement was teased once before, so chances are high for him. This tease comes from VP of Marvel games.
— Bill Rosemann (@BillRosemann) June 12, 2019
As for what’s next? Well, we aren’t sure, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic going around and E3 being cancelled along with several other events, Marvel’s Avengers news has been pretty slow. In addition to the game’s delay, the prequel novel was also pushed back from it’s March release to August of this year. There also hasn’t been any updates on the game itself nor the online Beta that is still set to happen. Guess we are stuck playing the waiting game, and hopefully it’s not a long one. We’ll be sure to keep you all updated if any news around the game comes up.
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