The 39 characters of Marvel vs Capcom 3

About twenty months ago, in the lead up to the digital release of Marvel vs Capcom 2, I wrote a guide to the dozens of characters in that game and thought how cool it would be to have some new blood in that series. I knew it was foolish, as both Marvel and Capcom made it clear that there were no plans for a sequel, that this rerelease was a onetime deal. So I forgot those dreams until much later when Marvel and Capcom shocked the world in announcing a third MvC, and I dreamt of the possible roster once more.

Above: The super cool Japanese box art 

Now that the full roster has been revealed, it has its highs and lows, and probably everyone has a favorite they wish was included, (seriously, where the F*** is Mega Man?!?!), but I think it’s a satisfying and surprisingly deep group of characters. So deep in fact, that you may be at a loss to understand just where every character came from. That’s why I devised this primer that will make everything clear, even if you’re a Marvel Zombie that’s never heard of Darkstalkers or the type of person glued to every EVO live stream and has never read Giant-Sized X-Men #1.

Big thanks to Brett Elston for his help


First Appearance: Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Arcade)

Also known as Gouki, Akuma is the not so nice brother of Gouken, Ken and Ryu's aged sensei. Until Gouken’s return in Street Fighter IV, it was assumed Akuma had killed his brother, though Akuma definitely did kill his teacher after discovering the dark powers that fuel him, and as tribute he wears his late master's prayer beads around his neck. Though he’s a brutal fighter, Akuma is fueled by an urge to be the strongest, not to terrorize society. He's normally cast as Ryu's main enemy in the Alpha series, and perennial loser Dan sees Akuma as a rival, while Akuma just ignores him. Akuma is closely linked to the MvC series, having appeared in basically every Marvel fighting game Capcom has produced.

Albert Wesker

First Appearance: Resident Evil (PlayStation)

Chosen by the Umbrella Corporation at a young age for his intellect and guile, Wesker worked within the company until ultimately joining the S.T.A.R.S. team of Raccoon City Police as a double agent to make sure they never found out Umbrella’s secret plans in the area. After betraying the team, Wesker escaped death by using an experimental virus that game him incredible speed and strength. After Umbrella’s defeat, he swore revenge on all those he blamed for his troubles, including Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and ultimately the rest of the world. His plans for global genocide were eventually foiled, as he met his end after falling into a volcano and then being blown up with rockets, which was too much even for his incredible healing powers.


First Appearance: Okami (PlayStation 2)

Ever heard of Okami, a game we keep telling you is awesome no matter how much you don’t play it? Well Amaterasu is the star of that superlative title, and we couldn’t be happier to see her finally make a return to gaming in MvC3. An ancient Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu came to earth in the form of a white dog to battle and ultimately destroys the evil spirits that were returning to the earthly realm. She travels old Japan with a celestial paintbrush that creates whatever she needs in a few brush strokes, dispatching any demons that stand in her way, as she returns life and beauty to a world that has lost it.


First appearance: Ghosts ‘n Goblins (Arcade)
We’d like to say Arthur is a powerful knight armed with all manner of divine weaponry, but in reality he’s one of the frailest heroes of all time. Ever since his arcade debut (and subsequent NES, Genesis, SNES and PSP adventures), he’s had to deal with armor that explodes into nothingness after one hit, at which point he valiantly continues fighting in nothing but his boxer shorts. Naturally this makes his games among the most difficult in history. As far as MvC3 goes, he’s nowhere near as flimsy – Arthur can power up his lances, daggers and axes until they’re brimming with energy, and his odd size and jumping ability make him a hard one to pin down.

Captain America

First Appearance: Captain America #1

A patriotic but sickly kid, Steve Rogers wanted to serve his country in WWII, and was finally able to when given an experimental super soldier serum that put him at the peak of physical perfection. When that was joined by a colorful costume and an indestructible shield, Captain America was born, and he was punching Hitler regularly. At the war's end he was accidentally frozen in ice and awoken in modern times where he consistently lead Marvel's premier team, the Avengers, when not keeping America safe solo. Seen as an inspiration to all the heroes of the world, Cap leads with strength and humility, and is one of the best fighters on the planet, with or without his shield.

Chris Redfield

First Appearance: Resident Evil (PlayStation)

A member of the S.T.A.R.S. team of special operatives, Chris Redfield probably wasn’t expecting to end up stranded in a mansion fighting zombies, but that’s exactly what happened. Chris and a few members of S.T.A.R.S. barely survived the ordeal, and they weren’t helped by the betrayal of teammate Albert Wesker. Eventually, alongside his close compatriot Jill Valentine, Chris destroyed Umbrella, the corporation responsible for the outbreak, but it took him even longer to stop his arch enemy Wesker. The strong and silent type, Redfield has killed hundreds of zombies all over the world, and will continue to do so until the dead stay dead.

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  • Deutero - February 12, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    great stuff Henry, i love these types of articles
  • Afrodisiac39 - February 12, 2011 4:57 a.m.

    While X-Men is obviously an important part of the Marvel Universe, I really wish we got more varied characters from Marvel (Storm, Magneto, Sentinel, Jean Grey, Wolverine AND X-23?!). I would have loved to see Whiplash, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer or even just some villains of the characters in game. I know Marvel limited the roster on their side but it would have been nice. Regardless I am still loving this game. Also, who else would want to buy the Zombie Slayers DLC with Frank West and Ashley J. Williams in it?
  • JamesT - February 11, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    These kind of articles are very useful. I can link them to my friends who have no idea who a certain character is. Also a slight correction: According to Capcom "Dmc" is a reboot not a prequel. although they have been flipping back and forth on that so I guess it doesn't really matter either way.
  • kibbles0515 - February 11, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Question. In the background (the circle thingie) who is the character above Hulk on the right? At about 2 o'clock?
  • nyef - February 11, 2011 4:05 a.m.

    WHAT??!?!?! NO SERVBOTS!?!?! ...How else will I utilize my fine dining skills during a fight??? set tables at a boxing match? I don't think so >:(
  • Sleuth - February 11, 2011 2:29 a.m.

    Please put Sentry or Fantomex in this!
  • darkraichu34 - February 11, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    Why is Chris always in fighting games? My favorite Resi Character is Leon, so I am disappointed... But still, AMATERASU!
  • CoppertopJohnson - February 10, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Holy shit, Dormammu!
  • Solid_Gabriel - February 10, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    I'm saving all these pics for myself, ok?
  • Ridureyu - February 10, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    OKay, see, MVC2's ginormous roster was partly because they could recycle the graphics, sounds, and movelists for 90% of the challengers. The "new" characters made from scratch were actually pretty scant. MVC3? They had to make everybody from scratch from the beginning. Everybody is new. No shortcuts. Now, MVC4, if it runs on the same engine, could undoubtedly keep this roster and then pile on more characters afterward.
  • philipshaw - February 10, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    This is comprehensive to say the least
  • cell989 - February 10, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    This is a FAIL!! roster. Where the fuck is Ken Masters!!! and why the Fuck is there nothing but Resisdent Evil Characters? CapCom did this on purpose to give Resident Evil more exposure. Where is Megaman, BB Hood, Strider, and Guile? Where is Venom, The Punisher, Thanos, SaberTooth, Omega Red, and Cyclops? Why the fuck do we get C.Viper? She Hulk? Sentinel? Trish and Gil Valentine are practically the same shit, and for the love of God where the fuck is CAPTAIN COMMANDO?
  • BurntToShreds - February 10, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    The problem with some of the characters people want in the game is that they're outdated and/or irrelevant. Jin, Strider, and Captain Commando are all awesome, but I'm pretty sure that players new to the series don't know who they are. also, their game are all 10+ years old with no sequels or remakes in sight. Like I said, you can't please everyone.
  • FirLocke - February 10, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Wow. Really? Dude, this list could be so much better. First of all, why the fuck are both Akuma AND C.Viper in this game? They both have their own fighting game series in the first place, come on now. Three representatives are enough. Chris Redfield is great but really, Leon S. mothafuckin' Kennedy is where it's at. And no Mega Man? Are you SERIOUS? X would have been fantastic but not even a single version of Mega Man at all? That's like spite againt Keiji Inafune, sheesh. Zero and Tron Bonne are really nice, but seriously? And don't forget Venom, Nick Fury, Cyclops, Daredevil and Ghost Rider. Where are they huh? And the blue wolf dude from DarkStalkers. You know the one.
  • Turboash - February 10, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    Do-up your damn boots Dante.
  • JPorFavor - February 10, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Hopefully Megaman will at least get some DLC.
  • Phoenix4 - February 10, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    I bet my ass that they keep more kewl heroes on the next DLCs
  • Nazcom555 - February 10, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Gotta say, I'll aways take DC over Marvel. BUT Marvel's characters lend themselves to a fighting games alot better then DC's.
  • Scammeleon - February 10, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    OBJECTION! Where's Megaman and Phoenix Wright? :-( And Venom?!
  • EdDeRs1 - February 10, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    im hopeing for crossover DLC to the world of 2000AD (the comics moron) to bring in the most deadly creature in the multiverse, the unkillable Judge Death (fools! you cannot kill what dose not live!) and Meaga City One's greatest lawman, Judge Dredd, a dude who has faced every imagninable threat, killed his univers's version of Superman, crossed dimension and travaled in time on more than one occasion, and even beaten up and arrested Batman