A Sailor Scout Squirrel Girl backed up by Deadpool and Ghost Rider in Marvel: Snap PC trailer.

I Don’t Actually Want ‘Marvel: Snap’ but I Want What This Trailer Is Giving

When I’m reminded that Marvel: Snap exists I feel a strange mix of reactions. Curiosity because there are shiny cards featuring new and old Marvel characters. Anxiety over the thought of having a game with addictive microtransactions on my phone. (I already own Munchkin: Marvel Edition—do I really need this?) Finally, there’s Dread over getting into yet another card game. I’m in an off-again-on-again relationship with Yu-Gi-Oh and a more stable but still spotty relationship with Magic: The Gathering. (Both the physical card game and Arenas.)

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Now I’ve got a new emotion thrown into the mix: Awe. And that’s because of the latest game trailer.

Marvel has now released the fast-paced card game on PC via Steam. It’s not uncommon for stunning cinematics to serve only to color the game rather than reflect playable actions. Apex Legends releases cinematics to give the story around the characters you’re playing. After all, voice lines and the environmental storytelling only go so far when Apex is ultimately a battle-royal style game. Also, not everyone played Titanfall. Even within the card game realm, MTG creates fantastic cinematics ahead of each release—the Throne of Eldraine trailer from 2019 being one of the best. While very different, Marvel: Snap may have just topped it.

The story starts with Ghost Rider and Deadpool duking it out over the tesseract. As if the battle weren’t tense enough, a zombie life arm bursts through and it’s SQUIRREL GIRL?! While many of the characters are almost glitching (reminiscent of Into The Spider-Verse), Doreen puts them to shame with a Sailor Scout-style moment. I’m not a Sailor Moon girly (barely missing the window as a child), but I love a well-animated magical girl transformation! The trailer ends with a team up against a big familiar boy in robot form. I’ve watched the trailer four times today.

Jaw-dropping, show-stopping

Lunella, Devil, and Casey strike a pose in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
(Disney+)

While I think there’s too much going on in Phases 5 and 6 of the MCU across too many mediums, I would watch the hell out of an animated Marvel show or movie that was as creative and fun as this. The closest we’ve got to this with an established American IP was Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I adored watching artists share the animatics and process of the thrilling fight scenes. You get a taste of these anime-inspired battles My Adventures With Superman.

Disney needs to let artists make exciting and experimental work. I want them to prioritize projects influenced by other art and people’s own personal experiences, even within existing IP, without being so obviously made to push toy sales. Beyond 2013’s Mickey Mouse, the recent Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur come to mind. That show is actually lacking in available licensed merchandise. (Unsurprising, as the company drops the ball a lot with stories featuring female leads.)

There are exceptions coming out of Pixar, but other studios in and out of the company are leaving the mouse behind. Many of the most interesting family-friendly animated projects of the last year were once connected to the company. However, many of those have been side-lined or parted ways because of a prioritization of “brand identity” and “corporate strategy” over creativity and innovation.

With Disney, it feels like too much is bound up into basing style and story by measuring taste-clusters. It would rather frame art as “content” and let projects like Star Wars: Visions and its animated shorts collection get buried in the Disney+ platform. More of this beyond card game trailers, please!

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)


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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.