The Legendary Marvel Comics Art of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

The Legendary Marvel Comics Art of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Earlier this week during Nintendo’s latest Direct livestream, Capcom shocked the fighting game world with the surprise reveal of Marvel vs. Capcom Fighting Collection: Arcade Classics, an unprecedented collection of seven iconic crossover games between the comics and video games publishers—including one of the most beloved fighting games of all time, Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

It marks for the first time in years that some of these games will be made legally available for purchase again, after digital versions vanished off store fronts across gaming platforms due to rights issues. Beyond MvC2, Marvel vs. Capcom Fighting Collection includes Capcom’s arcade sidescrolling beat ‘em up The Punisher, and five more crossover fighting games: X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and X-Men vs. Street Fighter. But it also includes extra features, including an art gallery collection of concept art and promotional character work developed by Capcom for each of the games—some of which has never been preserved before in such high detail, and we’re already getting a taste of how glorious that is.

MARVEL vs. CAPCOM Fighting Collection: Arcade Classics – Announce Trailer

Capcom’s official website for the collection has been updated with a suite of pages for each of the included games—and inside those pages, high-res versions of sprites and character art that has rarely been made available in this form before. Of particular note is the page for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which has high-res versions of the character illustrations for all 56 Marvel and Capcom characters in the roster by the legendary Japanese artist Bengus. A longtime collaborator with Capcom, Bengus’ illustrations across generations of games are iconic, but his work on Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is forever beloved, for good reason. The beautiful colors, the sketching, and the hatched shadows present a unified aesthetic that married both sides of the game’s roster into a cohesive cast of brawlers—but for the Marvel side in particular, Bengus’ take on some of the definitive ‘90s designs for the X-Men, the Avengers, and several of their most famous villains was a match made in heaven.

To many fans, Bengus’ versions of Spider-Man, Captain America, Cyclops, Magneto, and legions more are the versions of those characters, not just in terms of Marvel’s gaming history, but across its comics history as well. To see it rendered and preserved, at last, in this kind of quality is a remarkable celebration of one of the greatest Marvel comics artists of our time—even if Bengus has never actually had the chance to illustrate a comic for the publisher. There’s plenty more fantastic art on Capcom’s website, but click through to see Marvel’s new age of heroes in a way we’ve rarely been able to see them before.

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