Marcus Fenix

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Marcus Fenix
Gears of War character
First game Gears of War (2006)
Voiced by John DiMaggio

Marcus Michael Fenix is a fictional character and the primary protagonist from Gears of War video game series. He first appeared in the first and eponymous video game of the series.


Marcus led a promising military career during the Pendulum Wars. Ten years after E-day, he abandoned his post to rescue his father, at the Battle of Ephyra, Adam Fenix. Marcus is unable to save his father and is later court-martialed and sentenced to 40 years in a dilapidated prison.

At the beginning of Gears of War, Dom Santiago, his best friend and long-time comrade, liberates Marcus from the prison. He is recruited to help the ‘Delta Squad’ deploy the Lightmass Bomb, but the group sustains heavy casualties during their mission. When their commanding officer, Lt. Minh Young Kim is killed in battle, Marcus is promoted to the lead of the group.

He retains the position throughout the Gears of War trilogy, and plays a pivotal role in helping humanity defeat the Locust Horde and Lambent forces. He leads his squad into many battles with the Locust, serving as the COG's flagship squad. Thanks to Marcus and his father's (revealed to be alive) efforts, the Locust and the Lambent are destroyed and peace falls on Sera with Marcus delivering the final blow to the Locust himself by personally killing their Queen Myrrah. However, Marcus is left wondering where to go now as both Dom and his father are dead, but Anya Stroud, the woman he (secretly) loves, makes him see that there is now a future for the people of Sera, reminding him that his father's last wish was for him to live his life.

In Gears of War 4, Fenix, now retired from the COG, helps his son, JD Fenix, fight against a new threat against humanity called the Swarm.[1]


Marcus Fenix is a very popular character and has been voted as the 19th top video game character of all time by the readers of Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition in 2011.[2] However, his critical reception turned out to be very polarizing.

On one hand, The Age ranked him as the third top Xbox characters of all time in 2008, commenting: "This was a new hero for a new generation of consoles, and he came in curb-stomping shooting and chainsawing his way to the top of the charts. But behind all this is a clearly wounded, perhaps even emotionally deadened, human being, and that really resonates as the game progresses. Fenix’s legend can only grow."[3] That same year, IGN chose Marcus as one of the characters they would like to see in an ultimate fighting game, adding: "If giant, hulking muscles and a foul tongue are all one needs to fit in with the fighting game crowd, then we might as well hand over the trophy to Marcus Fenix."[4] In a poll conducted by Game Informer, was voted as the tenth best character of the decade.[5] In 2009, GameSpot featured Marcus as one of the 64 characters in the "Greatest Game Hero" poll, in which he lost to Duke Nukem.[6] Empire also ranked him the 45th greatest video game character, adding that "[o]f all the marines, in all the alternate galaxies, in all the fictional universes, the gruntiest, muscliest, most trigger-happy of them all is one Mr Marcus Fenix."[7] GamesRadar listed him as one of the gaming's greatest badass mo-fos.[8] In 2012, GamesRadar ranked him as the 94th "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games, saying "this dude's a legend both within the scope of his own universe as well as our own, starring in some of the best games on the Xbox 360."[9] UGO Networks placed him 28th on its list of the "coolest" headgear in video games.[10] In 2013, Complex ranked Marcus as the fourth greatest soldier in video games, stating that he is "one of the most badass soldiers in any game. The COGs wouldn't be the same without him."[11]

On the other hand, Computer and Video Games named him as the PC gaming's ninth worst character, contrasting him with Garrett (ninth best) and calling him "a mish-mash of Deckard from Blade Runner and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, constantly lamenting the situation and grumbling at any levity and delighting only in the occasional profanity" and adding: "Desperately in need of a hug, or maybe a tug, Fenix is the least likeable hero since Billy Zane played The Phantom."[12] IGN included him on the 2009 list of top 10 most overrated video game characters ("His personality consists entirely of grunting, shouting, and shooting. (...) Calling Marcus Fenix one of the definitive gaming characters of the current generation is technically accurate, but also misleading. There isn't any real character to be had here.") and listed him as one of the worst dressed video game characters of 2011, adding that "Anya must be Hellen Keller if she's attracted to that walking grime beast."[13][14] Cheat Code Central also ranked him as the third most overrated video game characters.[15] In 2013, Complex included him among the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders (for looking like a stereotypical prison rapist).[16]


  1. ^ Dalton, Cooper (2016-06-13). "Gears of War 4 Teases Return of Marcus". GameRant. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Top 50 video game characters of all time announced in Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer's Edition". Gamasutra. Think Services. February 16, 2011. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Top 50 Xbox Characters of All Time". Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  4. ^ "Players Wanted: Ultimate Fighting Game, Part 2 - Stars Feature at IGN". 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  5. ^ Vore, Bryan (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "All Time Greatest Game Hero - The Standings". GameSpot. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters". Empire. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ Towell, Justin (October 16, 2007). "Gaming's greatest badass mo-fos". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ Meli, Marissa (March 4, 2011). "Marcus Fenix (Gears of Wars series) - The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games". UGO Networks. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games,, May 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "PC Feature: PC Gaming's Best, And Worst, Characters". 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  13. ^ "Top 10 Most Overrated Videogame Characters - Stars Feature at IGN". 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  14. ^ "2011's Worst Dressed Video Game Characters - Games Feature at IGN". Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  15. ^ "Top 10 Most Overrated Video Game Characters". Cheat Code Central. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ "10 Video Game Characters Who Look Like Sex Offenders". Complex. 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-21.