It's been nearly four years since Marvel and Gazillion announced their intention to team up for full-on MMO (besides Super Hero Squad Online), and judging from the latest Marvel Heroes developer diary video there's ample reason it's taken so long to take the game to its current closed beta stage: Creating a character (more than 25 have been revealed so far) from scratch can take up to several weeks. Each step of the process contributes to a fully-realized character, but the Gazillion staff makes it clear in this new vid that working from actual comics has been their first and most important step.

Art and animation fans will especially appreciate seeing the development team at work on their illustration tablets working in specific programs like Zbrush, Maya and of course Unreal.

According to the dev diary, all of this attention is meant to ensure that there's a meaningful difference in gameplay between each of the Marvel Heroes playable characters. So far CA's Chris Sims and Andy Yen have both enjoyed different early builds of the game and verified noticeable differences between characters like the Thing, Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, Hulk, Scarlet Witch and Wolverine.

You can check out the latest Marvel Heroes MMO dev diary for a look inside the character creation process below.