At Gamescom 2021, 2K Games had a surprise announcement: Marvel’s Midnight Suns a new XCOM-style turn-based strategy game. While rumours about the game had poured in for months, nobody had fingered which comics team the series would feature — and folks, there’s a reason why. It’s a pretty strange choice.
In Marvel Comics, the ‘Midnight Suns’ team is actually ‘Midnight Sons’, a group of supernatural anti-heroes who take care of monsters and everything that goes bump in the night. They experienced the height of their popularity in the mid-90s alongside the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider run, and went on to make sporadic appearances in the early and late 2010s — but it’s been a good long while since the Midnight Sons were a big deal in Marvel.
Expect that to change with the release of the new game.
Who’s on Marvel’s Midnight Suns team?
Surprisingly, Marvel’s Midnight Suns game features a character roster that only includes one original member of the Midnight Sons: Blade. While two Ghost Riders were originally part of the team (Blaze and Ketch), it’s the Robbie Reyes version of the character that appears in the game (notable for his more mechanical, hotrod style).
Instead of the original lineup, we’ll see Wolverine, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, Magik, Nico Minoru / Sister Grimm (of The Runaways), Captain Marvel, and a mystery new character called ‘The Hunter’ take on evil queen Lilith in a battle for magical supremacy. As mentioned, they’ll also be joined by Blade, Ghost Rider and a bunch of other, yet-to-be-seen characters.
They’ll all play an important part in the game’s story, which seems to adapt Rise of the Midnight Sons, a 1992 comics mini-event which saw Lilith rise to power by using her Lilin demon spawn to take over the Earth. One of these, Blackout, was actually included in 2011’s Nicolas Cage-starring Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — so Ghost Rider fans may already be familiar with the character.
The original 2007 Ghost Rider film also featured a similar plot line, with Mephistopheles summoning his own demons in a similar way.
To deal with the threat in the comics, Doctor Strange summoned nine supernatural heroes to deal with her, and the team later became known as the Midnight Sons. It’s likely this key story will feature heavily in the upcoming game.
Who’s in Marvel Comics’ Midnight Sons?
The original Midnight Sons featured basically every major supernatural hero from early 90s Marvel.
That includes former Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze in his ‘hellfire shotgun’ phase, actual Ghost Rider (and Johnny’s brother), Danny Ketch, Blade, Frank Drake (a relation of Dracula), Hannibal King (made famous by Ryan Reynolds in Blade: Trinity), Morbius and the Darkhold Redeemers (Louise Hastings, Victoria Montesi, and Sam Buchanan).
They each came together at the secret behest of Doctor Strange, who summoned them to fight against the demon Lilith.
Throughout the years, the team has expanded and shifted, mostly in response to supernatural threats like the appearance of the dark spell book the Darkhold (seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also briefly at the end of WandaVision), or the return of Lilith’s demonic children.
Since their formation in the early 1990s they’ve only featured sporadically in Marvel comics story, and rarely in ‘big name’ events — but as one of the coolest, goth-est teams on Marvel’s roster, it’s great to see them finally getting the attention they deserve.
The team lineup may be wildly different, but seeing Marvel heroes teaming up to face off against the darkness should be a blast anyway. Marvel has a great, untapped lineup of supernatural and magical heroes that deserves better. Between Midnight Suns and the upcoming weirdness of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, now is the time for supernatural Marvel to shine brighter than ever.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns does not currently have a release date, but we’ll see more from the game on September 1. In the meantime, you can check out the flashy CGI trailer below, and decide if it’s something you’re keen on.