Marvel’s Avengers, which is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal and NIXXES, is still set to arrive this fall and we’re slowly learning a few new things about the game. The action-adventure title brings together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including most of the team you know from the recent MCU movies as well as Ms. Marvel, to fight a new threat to the planet, the dastardly terrorist organization known as AIM and its army of robots.
While publisher Square Enix will reveal more about the game in an upcoming live stream in June, the company has unveiled a new non-playable hero featured in the game who represents Marvel’s Avengers emphasis on accessibility. Cherry Thompson, an accessibility specialist, provided wheelchair-based motion capture for a new character named Cerise, an Inhuman who will have a supporting role in the story. Not-so-coincidentally, “Cerise” is French for “Cherry.”
“Our goal is to normalize representation within our game world by reflecting the diversity of the real world,” the team’s senior community & social media manager Meagan Marie explained in a blog post. “We have scenes in the game like A-Day which is essentially a comic book convention – having representation in a crowd of people who are all there sharing a passion for superheroes is important to us.”
Here’s your first look at Cerise:
Interestingly enough, there is already a Marvel character named Cerise. Introduced in 1992 in the pages of Excalibur, she’s a Shi’ar warrior who became a member of Excalibur and used to date Nightcrawler. As far as we know, the game’s Cerise has nothing to do with the character from the comics.
The fact that video game Cerise is an Inhuman is particularly interesting. Marvel’s Avengers has a quite a few nods at the Inhumans. Not only is the Avengers’ helicarrier is powered by a Terrigen but Ms. Marvel herself is an Inhuman. This game appears yet another attempts by Marvel to make the Inhumans relevant.
The creation of Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel is the best thing that came out of Marvel trying to replace the X-Men with the Inhumans back when Fox owned the movie rights to the mutants. Kamala gained her size-changing powers due to Terrigen exposure, but her ties to the Inhuman property are loose enough that it doesn’t restrict her to stories about that faction. She spends more time hanging out with Spider-Man and Falcon than Black Bolt and Medusa. She’s even been recruited by the Avengers in recent comic book stories.
It’s not much of a secret that Marvel thinks of Ms. Marvel as one of their future big players and she even has a Disney+ series on the horizon. In the game, Ms. Marvel featured prominently in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, but her starring role in Marvel’s Avengers has the potential to do for her what the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did for Miles Morales.
Hopefully, Cerise will bring yet another interesting angle to the Inhumans and a new way to tell stories about accessibility and representation in video games.
Marvel’s Avengers is out on Sept. 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.