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The most accurate/inaccurate comic book games

The Horrifically Bad, Yet Faithful

Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis

The terribleness of this game and the overall lameness of Aquaman have been covered pretty extensively by the internet, and while I'd defend Aquaman the character - to a point - Aquaman the game is as horrible as they say. With rock-bottom production values, repetitive gameplay and some of the lamest box art ever, the game left me with a feeling of sad emptiness akin to what suicide victims must feel right before they jump off the ledge.


Above: Perhaps the box art was an improvement 

Maybe King Arthur was left off the cover because in the game, he looked nothing like the Aquaman fans love - or tolerate, anyway. Instead he looked like the then-current ruler of the sea, with long hair, a beard, a gladiatorial non-shirt, and a hook for a hand. Aquaman has been missing an appendage ever since Aquaman Vol. 3, #2, when his fish-talking powers failed him and piranhas ate his left hand. He replaced it with a mechanized hook soon after, as all amputees wish they could.


Above: How we ended up with the gritty, bearded Aquaman 

On top of that, Atlantis looked much like its comic counterpart, and Battle for Atlantis had some of the supporting cast from the time, including his former sidekick Aqualad in his current incarnation, Tempest. Plus, the antagonist of this hideous misfire was Aquaman's half-brother, Ocean Master, sporting the look he's had since selling his soul to the demon Neuron back in 1995. The accuracy is worth recognition, and some could even say it stayed true to the very spirit of Aquaman adventures, in that it was dreadfully boring.


90s Arcade Games = Continuity Headaches

Obviously, arcade games of the early- to mid-‘90s lacked the depth required to be really true to the source. But most didn't even try, as this analysis of some of the brawlers and fighters of the time will prove.


Spider-Man

This Sega-developed brawler was fun for its time, and featured many classic Spidey villains, but the three other characters left much to be desired. There were Green Arrow-wannabe Hawkeye and testy anti-hero Namor, both of whom were, at the time, casual acquaintances at best to Spidey. Rounding out the group was Black Cat, who incidentally had lost her powers and temporarily quit heroics in Amazing Spider-Man #343, right around the game's release. Coincidentally, the game's storyline of Dr. Doom taking New York via symbiotes was strikingly similar to the aforementioned Venom Bomb comic that inspired Web of Shadows.


X-Men

Most of the problems with this one stem from the source. Despite seemingly being based on the comics at the time, the roster and the look are actually taken from the failed, if well animated, X-Men cartoon pilot. This would explain why Juggernaut would team with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, why Kitty Pryde was so young and useless, and why the lame glam rocker/mutant Dazzler was with the team, as was Nightcrawler, who was on British X-team Excalibur at the time.


Captain America and the Avengers

This one’s the exception to the rule, as this was pretty dang accurate. Captain America, Hawkeye, Vision and Iron Man were all Avengers members at the time, and Vision and Iron Man are wearing their then-current costumes. Add the game’s use of cameos by other current members and accurate representations of most of the enemies - Juggernaut was a bit off – and this one teaches us that the less popular the characters, the more accurate they can afford to be.


Justice League Task Force

Made by Blizzard Entertainment(!) this Street Fighter wannabe never even made it to arcades, instead stinking up the consoles of the time. Looking at the cover, some might mistake it as being close to the comics, what with Superman’s "hip," post-resurrection long hair from 1993, and Green Arrow's faithfully lame costume. However, the actual mid-‘90s Justice League Task Force had almost none of these characters, instead being populated with D-listers Gypsy, Mystek, Maxima and Bronze Tiger. Now, if they had been in there, the game could only have been better, right?

60 comments

  • pikachu2000 - August 13, 2009 6 a.m.

    You want inaccuracy? Try playing The Incrediable Hulk for the SNES. Here is this big bad boss, The Leader, standing near the edge of a cliff, standing there doing absolutly NOTHING just waiting for you to uppercut his ass off the cliff and that's it. No defense, no resistance, no balls. No villian worth its salt would just stand there and get his ass kicked like THE LEADER did (that's even more of an insult that you are called "THE LEADER" of all people). Show me a page where this kind of BS ever happened. This kind of crap will never happen in the comics, ever.
  • Felixthecat - August 12, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    Very good article, kudos.
  • yobro03 - August 12, 2009 12:03 p.m.

    I played the demo for arkham asylum on pc and have to say it looks and plays great. I'm not too fussed about all this comic canon crap
  • metalgatesolid - August 12, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    Im confussed. So is Bruce Wayne dead? Here in England the newspapers said Wayne dies fighting his father who faked his death is now a crime kingpin. Or something like that.
  • Seabread - August 12, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    *yawn* how boring. dont you think this article is a bit redundant? i mean, you know how long it takes for a game to be developed. how can they possibly stay up to date with canon if comics are being released during development? this is like me coming back to this article in a few years time and saying "hey, you forgot about this game or that game". i could have sworn i heard an interview that said Batman:AA had taken influence from the comics and not the films.
  • TheWebSwinger - August 12, 2009 8:31 a.m.

    It's like you wrote this article specifically for me. I salute you, Hank Gilbert.
  • BurntToShreds - August 12, 2009 6:08 a.m.

    I would play a beat 'em up based on Blackest Night, the current DC event. Blackest Night is basically: Black Lantern rings are given to dead people (Mostly superheroes), making them intelligent zombies. Fighting zombie superheroes would be so awesome.
  • rafa_slash - August 12, 2009 5:28 a.m.

    Damn, and i thought anime was convoluted as fuck!
  • H311DUCk - August 12, 2009 5:04 a.m.

    Good Aqua man's here "Aqua man go get batman!"
  • Harmon20 - August 12, 2009 4:18 a.m.

    I had a feeling that the new Batman game would stray from the comics. But at least the creators are coming up with something semi-original, right? And besides, I think being able to be the predator/detective that is Batman, in a really great game mind you, is reason enough to let the lack of canon slide a bit. You can definitely tell there is rip-offs from the Dark Knight movie, but it also makes Batman seem a little bit more realistic. At least to me, anyway. But this is all my opinion on this.
  • Defguru7777 - August 12, 2009 2:50 a.m.

    What about Ultimate Spider-Man? I demand a follow-up article!! LOL I don't read many comics. I usually get the compilation books (Wanted, Ultimate Spider-Man, Halo: Uprising).
  • uz_mike222 - August 12, 2009 1:14 a.m.

    @norid: i doubt it dude but i don't know, could happen or not happen at all. @Hexer: Dude, i own a newly released issue of the new Star Wars Comic series: Invasion, a couple of comics based off of a fantasy book series and a preview for Max Brook's The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. and if your in San Diego and Comic Con is going on, get a F***ing pass and get your ass in that convention center. you'll find a lot of comics that are not about super heroes in tights. But good article Henry, you should have a feature or at least something that pits between you and Brett in a comic Trivia event. that would be great for this Week of Geek
  • brazmanoqk - August 12, 2009 1:10 a.m.

    Honestly, who cares if it's faithful to the comic book stories? The reason so few media crossovers are good is that they require different things to be effective so who wants a crap but faithful game instead of a great game with discrepancies? And wasn't Arkham Asylum already in development for a long time by the time Dark Knight was revealed?
  • norid - August 12, 2009 12:45 a.m.

    hmmmm will Marvel Utlamate 2 feature the death of Carptian America? Oh and bout time somebody mentioned why Hal went gray
  • Ravenbom - August 12, 2009 12:39 a.m.

    Actually, I'd like to point out that fairly recently a graphic novel, iirc, called "Joker" took the a lot of the Nolan design for the Joker. I only played the demo, but I really liked the compromise between comic Batman and Movie Batman with emphasis on Comic Batman. I think post-Crisis they'll take the chance to update the character designs a little.
  • Yeager1122 - August 12, 2009 12:37 a.m.

    oh i meant to say dont read comics not dont read articles.
  • dweller - August 11, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    Spider-man chose Aunt May over Mary Jane?!! Glad I've been out of the Spider-man comic loop for a while.
  • LeeCarvallo - August 11, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    You can't blame Web of Shadows for ignoring One More Day. Everyone hates One More Day. Spider-Man didn't recover in terms of quality until Joe Kelly's run.
  • lovinmyps3 - August 11, 2009 10:38 p.m.

    @Hexar YOU'VE NEVER READ A COMIC BOOK!?!?! What is wrong with you?! Didn't you have a childhood?! You need to go out and get a comic RIGHT NOW!!! You can't judge a material saying it's just about "men in tights" when you've never read one!
  • lovinmyps3 - August 11, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    I always thought Brett was the biggest comic nerd there. I guess not. And also you shouldn't knock points off Arkham Asylum for having an "undead" Batman. They started the game before Bruce Wayne was killed and I don't think people on the team were saying, "Oh fuck! Bruce Wayne is dead now we gotta wait for the comics to bring him back before we release our game!" I liked the article though. Nice job Hank "Motha-Fuckin Tank"!!

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