The multiverse, as we know it, is collapsing. Time is falling into itself, cascading down and creating a new reality. Heroes die, powers beyond our comprehension are unleashed. A new challenger approaches.
This could be the first issue of a DC Comics event or a round of Super Smash Bros. The thing is, if you read enough superhero comics and you play enough Super Smash Bros., you’ll start to notice a convergence. (Or to put it in DC Comics parlance, a Convergence). The Smash Bros. games often, perhaps unfairly, get written off as fighting games with no real story to speak of. Truth is, the games represent a Crisis – with a capital C – event for the Nintendo Universe.
The Story Mode of the later entries in the Super Smash Bros. series play out like a DC Comic event that’s been crafted by Grant Morrison. Heroes travel through different realms, realities converge, and our champions eventually battle a giant, disembodied hand. “Death” or failure for the characters is often represented by our heroes becoming toy-like action figures, acknowledging their reality as pieces of entertainment and symbolizing their fight for relevancy. Their battle to stay alive is also a battle to be more than just a toy. They are battling to exist.
For comparison, DC’s last major Crisis, and event called Final Crisis, saw the superheroes fighting to save reality from an ultimate evil that was enslaving the multiverse. The entire series is peppered with acknowledgements of the superhero genre, including a limbo-like void filled with forgotten characters waiting to be rebooted or reimagined. These characters fight alongside Superman in a battle for the right to exist. It’s weird enough that had Mario been there punching vampire gods and ancient evils, it wouldn’t seem that out of place.
Even Marvel’s latest event – Secret Wars – reads like a pitch for a Marvel Comics’ version of Super Smash Bros. Actually, somebody needs to get on that right now because, with the severe lack of Marvel vs. Capcom in our lives, we want to play that game.