Peter Rubin writes about media, culture, and virtual reality for WIRED.Marvel Games has brought multiple titles to Comic-Con before, but never have they felt as kindred as they did this year. The obvious catalyst is the dizzying success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, itself a result of narrative rigor. Every thread in the MCU's first two decades has its own tonal identity, from Captain America's political thrillers through the ages and Ant-Man's teeny-tiny slapstick to Thor's newfound campy perfection, while still ushering moviegoers toward the same grand unified theory. Where the comics outgrew cohesion, slapping canon together as they multiplied, the movies found focus by waiting to build until the blueprints were finished.Now that focus is finally paying off in the world of games: Last year's Spider-Man was the first Marvel game in memory that felt like a spiritual sibling of the MCU. Judging from Thursday's panel, it wasn't the last. It also wasn't inevitable, as one look at the tortured history of Star Wars games makes clear. Marvel Games' efforts may not all be telling the same story, but they're doing something better: They're telling their own stories with care. And that's a recipe for a new kind of success.
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