Friday, September 16, 2011

Super Set!

For those of you who don't already know, Wizkids is just a week or so away from coming out with its latest set of figures of Heroclix (the superhero table-top combat game), a set focused on Superman (see set checklist poster below)

Please take down that "Doors of Georgetown" poster on your dorm room wall
and replace it with this; thank you.

Because Superman's rogues gallery is interstellar-but-less-than-stellar, the set is naturally going to have a lot of figures I'll have zero interest in/never play/give away to someone. You know, figures of characters like Lobo, Manchester Black, Darkseid, Magog, Doomsday, and Imperiex. I mean, Imperiex... really.
DC, if you me to continue to take your villains seriously, please stop designing them like something that Rita Repulsa would send against the Power Rangers.

But many other figures will be welcome additions to my "Superman" box of Heroclix figures, including villains (like Silver Banshee, Live Wire, Lex Luthor with Hope and Mercy, the Phantom Zone villains, the Composite Superman and a Libra to pair up with my custom Human Flame against the Martian Marshmallow), a passel of Legionnaires (Brainiac 5, Sensor Girl, Starboy, Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Earth Man, and sprockin' Matter-Eater Lad, of all people), and some lovable wacky supporting characters (depression-ridden suicide Element Woman, guilt-ridden genius Steel, professional victim the Human Target, crippled schizophrenic Gangbuster, and manipulative mind-controlling murderous despot Max Lord). Yet STILL no Jimmy Olsen; really, DC/Wizkids, what are you thinking...?!

In addition to all the Superman figures, there's also a new Aquaman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and a "The Bat-Man" in the Superman set; a very welcome surprise. I have been frustrated at times trying to compose JLA teams (I mean the REAL JLA, of course, not a haphazard hodgepodge of also-rans like Gongorilla, Green Flame, Aztek, and *urkgh* Geo-Force) because it seems as though there is always one of the Big Eight (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Vibe) who's not been remade recently enough to have a dial that's on par with the others. Even though these new figures are "Flashpoint" alternative universe ones, they probably are not so bizarrely out of whack with the Earth-1 versions that I cannot treat them as such. And, although I haven't seen his dial, the Aquaman sculpt has "Ass-Kicker" written all over it.

Some of figures may not see much play in my Superman games (like Bruno Mannheim and Intergang Underboss minions) but may find use elsewhere. I'm not a fan of Intergang itself, but I like anything that can be re-purposed to beef up my Gotham mobs.

VERY interested in what I hear about the OP Kit (the prize support give to tournament venues for "Organized Play"), particularly the Special Objects (3D objects that are placed on the board and have an effect on gameplay). A rainbow of power batteries, (the 3D Special Objects in the last set) I can do without; but a rainbow of frickin' KRYPTONITE? Oh, we've been waiting ten years for THAT...

Green Kryptonite, sure, that's easy to imagine how those will work: some combination of canceling the powers or changing the combat stats of any figure with the "Kryptonian" keyword within a certain range. But it doesn't stop there; there will be Red Kryptonite, White Kryptonite, Jewel Kryptonite, Gold Kryptonite, and X-Kryptonite. That's simply insane! My mind is a-whirl trying to imagine how the effects of those types of Kryptonite will be represented in gameplay.

Gold K will be like Green K, but more serious with less range. I would think it would do no direct damage, but cancel out all powers, making Superman et al. more vulnerable to attack. Red Kryptonite, well, that's where the real fun would be. It should come with eleven different (primarily absurd) possible effects, determined by roll of the die, that last only one turn!

But those others? That's where my mind stumbles badly. White K; what the hey? The only sensible effect I can imagine is letting it damage Swamp Thing and the Floronic Man. Jewel K; I dunno.... maybe granting mind control to the Phantom Zone villains?And X-Kryptonite? Well, short of providing us with a secret Streaky clix we don't know about, I cannot imagine what the heck Wizkids is going to have X-Kryptonite do. And why on Earth-1 did they make three extremely obscure versions of Kryptonite but not make BLUE K, which could be used against the Bizarro figures? It's all surpassingly strange.

Apparently, a Superman Fast Forces is headed our way in December. A "Fast Forces" is a mini-set, usually containing some of the most universally recognizable characters from the previous set and its theme, but with variant dials; such self-contained mini-sets are designed to be more accessible to beginners to the game. That will be a nice addition I think, since the dials are more likely to be all-around versions of the character rather than ones whose dials are driven by particular storylines (like the All-Star Superman version of Lex Luthor, whose dial makes no sense if you don't know that story).

While I'm happy about some of the figures, I'm still overwhelmingly mystified by some of the omissions. No Prankster but a Queen of Fables? No Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, or Lois Lane, but a Seven Deadly Brothers? The one-off Composite Superman who was a poor man's Amazo rather than the classic god-like Composite Superman with all the powers of the Legion who was the first villain to hands-down with no debate utterly defeat the World's Finest with next to no effort? Another remake of Bizarro (there have been five versions already) when there's never been, say, the Atomic Skull or Atlas or Rampage?


Steve Mitchell said...

I would cheerfully pay money for an Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen Collector's Set, featuring Turtle-Boy Olsen, Wolf-Man Olsen, Elasti-Lad Olsen, and more. Even Olsen in drag--give him a couple of clicks of Perplex and Shape Change. Really, he should have been present in some form in a Superman-themed set.

I used the Gem of Cyttorak and the Scorpio Key in my last two HeroClix battles. No one was able to take possession of them in the first game; in the second, the Skrull Emperor grabbed the Gem, but was KO'd on the next turn, while Tomar Re wielded the Scorpio Key to some effect.

Randy Jackson said...

What, no Terra Man?

And yes, I'm somewhat serious. The sheer goofiness of Terra Man plus the cool visual of a cowboy riding a winged horse has always made him one of my favorite Superman villains--despite his obvious lameness.

Scipio said...

Oh, Steve, I designed that set already:

hilker said...

Why do both Magog (#19 and 35) and Maxwell Lord (#13 and 40) appear twice on the checklist?

Scipio said...

Because there's two versions of each. Sigh.

steve mitchell said...

Oh, my--Robot Jimmy and Nazi Jimmy! I would so buy that set!

Jeff R. said...

Do they always cheap out on the characters with two versions, using the exact same model (possibly with a Checkmate logo added or a face painted over, but possibly without even that much change (Magog)?)

John said...

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Eight members of the JLA?

Oh, right. The Martian.

(And gosh, of all the problems to have with the Beyond-Anti-Galactu-Kron-iac Imperiex, I don't even think his costume was on my first page...)

TotalToyz said...

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I am still rather sad that a Superman-themed set contains almost no acknowledgement that Superman has been around longer than ten years.
No Golden-Age characters like red-haired, first-nameless Luthor, Ultra-Humanite in Dolores Winters' body, or fat Prankster; no Silver-Age like the original Brainiac (and I don't count the Legion as they are in their ugly current costumes); not even any Bronze Age like Terra-Man, Atomic Skull, or Metallo on his flying platform. And yes, why no Jimmy Olsen and his transformations? Perfect for the AE mechanic, I'd say.

TotalToyz said...

Oh, and how about a couple of "World's Evillest" duos? Luthor and Joker would be obvious; and, for those of us who remember, Anti-Superman and Anti-Batman?

CobraMisfit said...

#25: Matter-Eater Lad. Epic. I must own him.

As for Magog, I'll admit to having a bit of a soft spot for him (despite his pathetic treatment in JL:GL), but Max Lord? Come on. Let. Him. Die.

Scipio said...

Surprising comments, Cobra.

I thought you'd be itching for Max Lord as your baddy of choice, and frankly I shocked you've ever even HEARD of Matter-Eater Lad...

TotalToyz said...

By the way, if anyone wants to commission mods of the Legionnaires in their dynamic classic costumes, to replace those Project: Superpowers Runway rejects on the new dials from this set...I'm available!