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The best glow-ups in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, ranked

By Stephanie Williams

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is the third installment in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game franchise. MUA3 takes place in an entirely different universe from the first two games. Its roster of playable characters combines several elements spanning all parts of Marvel media including the comics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and animated shows. It was developed by Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja, the same folks who brought us games like Dynasty Warriors and Ninja Gaiden.

If you’ve played Ninja Cakes — I mean, Ninja Gaiden, then you know the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 characters have all gotten thicker than oatmeal and whatever grits Jill Scott was singing about cooking the morning she made two scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.

From playable heroes to anti-heroes to villains, the entire roster and cast are stacked, literally — so it's only right to compile a list of the top nine glow-ups in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3.


09. Bucky Barnes

The Winter Soldier must have gotten his Wakandan visa renewed, extended the lease on his riverside bungalow, then received the remote key to the Wakandan ADT security system because his character design screams "living my best life." Bucky Barnes looks well taken care of, like he hasn’t missed a good meal or passed on a hot oil treatment for his hair. Even the shine of his bionic arm looks like it’s been blessed by Bast. The only reason why Cap’s best friend is coming in at number nine is that he isn’t a playable character, but that should seriously change in an upcoming DLC. Do it, you cowards. Give us Bucky with the good hair. 


08. Venom

This wouldn’t be a credible list if Venom wasn’t on it. The symbiote Venom has upgraded to symbio-thicc. Our favorite anti-hero is thicker than a Snickers and ready to be the ultimate protector. Although Venom and Eddie Brock are no stranger to being thick enough to give a Popeyes biscuit a run for its money, it's nice to see of Marvel’s most loving couples prospering on our Switch screens. With Venom, you almost want to play the game on a bigger screen just to experience their full greatness.


07. Loki

The trickster god’s look is by no means an illusion. Loki looks like he’s been hitting the gym with his brother Thor, trying to be the one to put the ass in Asgard. He’s also dressed like the chaotic neutral he is, but we expect nothing less from someone with lawful evil energy. Making it goth but fashion with his black nails, faux mink shawl, and Fashion Nova boots, Loki places seventh on this list because he makes beefcake look majestic.  

Ghost Rider_MUA3

06. Ghost Rider

Hell must be doing the body good, which is why Ghost Rider is number six for the best glow-up in MUA3. Ghost Rider’s head may just be bone and fire, but that’s not stopping him from giving us serious leather daddy vibes. We've got a lot to hold onto if he ever gave us a ride on his bike that materializes out of nowhere. None of it makes physical sense, but maybe Ghost Rider really is just big-boned after all. 


05. Crystal

Who knew the princess Crystal could serve us royalty and hips all at the same time? Queen Medusa’s younger sister is not only in control of the four elements, but she’s channeling her inner Hot Girl and Tina Snow in MUA3 without her psionic abilities.


04. Thanos

P90x Grimace looks more like his comic book self and less like the MCU version, and that's actually just fine. Comic book Thanos is built like a brick wall, so it’s a wonder he was able to fit all of that in his suit. MUA3’s Thanos is in full Titan mode — but could he actually be the Hulk disguised in Thanos cosplay?


03. Storm

Storm has one of the best glow-ups, especially compared to her appearance in the first two installments of MUA — and Ororo Munroe easily secures her crown as goddess dressed in her classic X-Men suit. The silk press is flowing. Unlike Thanos, Storm doesn't need the Infinity Stones to snap.


02. Thor

MUA3’s Thor is ridiculously beefy, but we aren’t complaining. The God of Thunder has arms the size of most of the other characters' legs in this game. Team Ninja went all out to make sure that if we heard a clap of thunder in the game, we’d have to wonder if it was because of Thor summoning lightning or a side effect of those two Asgardian cheeks. Thor’s cape can’t even hide all that he’s working with. 


01. Hela

Topping this list is the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela — or in the case of MUA3, Hela Thicc. She is giving us BAWDY while catching bodies! Hela doesn’t need a pact with Death to claim souls while serving these kinds of looks. One could argue that all three of Odin’s kids are living their best lives in MUA3

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