Amazing Spider-Man headlines an all-new HeroClix expansion...
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2010 has been a huge year for HeroClix, the superhero miniatures game by WizKids. After its triumphant return last year and the amazing Hammer of Thor set, HeroClix saw the addition of Battle Packs, the Blackest Night Starter Set, the Brave and the Bold expansion, and the Watchmen Collector’s Set and Colossal Dr. Manhattan. Now it’s Marvel’s turn again with an all-new expansion set centered around your friendly neighborhood web-head, Web of Spider-Man!
HeroClix expansion sets are the bread and butter of the game. In a regular year there are two or three set releases, each with a lot of fanfare. Web of Spider-Man is no different, bringing a slew of new and classic characters to the game with exciting new abilities and mechanics that are sure to please existing players and those just starting out. Available in comic book and gaming stores on September 8th, Web is a 64 figure set sold in blind booster boxes containing 5 figures. The collation for this new set is a bit different, with a breakdown of 16 commons, 16 uncommons, 16 rares, and 16 super rares. Unlike recent expansion sets, Web does not have any chases, so you shouldn’t have too hard a time finding any figure!
The lineup of characters in Web of Spider-Man is really phenomenal. While expansion sets in the past have had central themes, none of them were as focused as Web. Spider-Man is one of the most popular and beloved characters of all time, and so WizKids had no shortage of Spidey versions, allies, and enemies to fill out a set. Of course, Web is not entirely Spider-Man related; there are some heroes and villains plucked from current storylines and some crucial characters to fill out already introduced teams as well. Let’s take a closer look at just who appears in the Web of Spider-Man.
Figures from the common bracket are the ones you’ll see most often when opening boosters, but don’t assume that means they don’t include some of the best. Two pairs of absolutely essential characters show up here: Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Eddie Brock/Venom! The Alter Ego mechanic used previously in Brave and the Bold and the Watchmen Collector’s Set allow you to field Parker or Brock and transform them into their costumed identities in mid-game. Also showing up in the common lineup is a powerful new version of Iron Man, great generic figures (like the Researcher, Nurse, and Symbiote), and some specific team building characters like Puma (of M.O.D.O.K.’s 11 and Outlaws) and Ironclad (of the U-Foes).
The uncommon figures delve further into Spider-Man’s history with Carnage, Firestar, Chameleon, Black Cat, and Mary Jane Watson. Parker and Brock get two additional Alter Ego transformations in the black-suited Spider-Man and Anti-Venom, while both Norman Osborn and Ben Reilly show up in their civilian identities (look for their Alter Egos below). Further sub-themes in Web are the modern X-Force team and the Dark Avengers, both starting here with great new figures of X-23, Warpath, Wolfsbane, and Daken.
Among the rares are more classic Spider-Man foes like Menace, Vermin, Scorpion, Cardiac, Jackal, and of course J. Jonah Jameson. The Alter Egos get Reilly’s Scarlet Spider and Osborn’s Iron Patriot, both of whom are tremendous figures on their own or cool additions when playing the civilians first. Victor Mancha, Noh-Varr, Bullseye, Wolverine, and X-Ray fill out more teams, respectively the Runaways, Dark Avengers, X-Force, and the U-Foes. A very special figure is Nightcrawler, designed in part by the 2008 HeroClix World Champion Ben Cheung! The X-Man is in rare form with a cool sculpt capturing the mutant teleporting through a brick wall, and his power set is nothing short of amazing. WizKids is continuing the program of allowing World Champions to design upcoming figures, and the next one will be under the control of 2010 champion George Massu who won at GenCon last week.
As always, some of the coolest and most interesting figures appear in the super rare slots. Once again Spider-Man finds himself up against tremendous opposition in the form of the Spot, Morlun, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and Mysterio. Ripped from the pages of “Fall of the Hulks” and “World War Hulks” are Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk, as well a long requested update of fan-favorite Deadpool! Meanwhile, Osborn’s insane side gets an outlet in the Alter Ego of Green Goblin, while Groot and Vapor finish out the Guardians of the Galaxy and U-Foes. One of the coolest figures in Web has got to be the duo of Iron Man and War Machine, incredibly powerful at 300 points and an absolutely stunning sculpt. The final four figures were originally planned as chases but were changed to super rares instead: Spider-Hulk, Doppelganger, Bombastic Bag-Man, and Cosmic Spider-Man. All four variations on the essential Spider-Man are guaranteed to see lots of play.
Following on the great figures in the Watchmen Collector’s Set (see my review HERE), Web of Spider-Man continues WizKids’ new strong focus on constantly improving the quality of both sculpts and paint jobs. Even some of the generic figures have great amounts of detail, like the H.A.M.M.E.R. Agent/H.A.M.M.E.R. Elite Operative. All of the “civilian” figures look really good, from the allure of MJ to the stern control of Norman Osborn, and the rage of J. Jonah Jameson to the youthful Peter Parker and Ben Reilly with their truly differentiating paint schemes. The three related Spider-Man sculpts (Spider-Men 007 and 22 and Scarlet Spider) are great, with intricate webbing and costume details on a lifelike brick wall. Looking for great musculature? Look no further than Molten Man and Red Hulk. How about a cool suit and ultra-detailed energy weapon? Cardiac will make your heart skip a beat. Other great sculpts include Chameleon pulling off his face, the massive arboreal Groot, and the mad Green Goblin leaving in his wake a pillar of smoke.
The Web of Spider-Man figures again see an improvement when it comes to paint application, especially the eyes. There are also translucent materials used to great effect on figures like X-Ray, Morlun, Vapor, Victor Mancha, and Cardiac, while metallic paint really stands out on Iron Patriot, Ironclad, and Molten Man. Some figures with particularly good paint jobs include Daken with his tattoos, Noh-Varr, all of the AEs, Wolverine, and the final four (Spider-Hulk, Doppelganger, Bombastic Bag-Man, and Cosmic Spider-Man).
In game terms, Web of Spider-Man offers several advancements and new features to the world of HeroClix. Traits are used much more than in previous sets, giving figures new and fun powers previously unavailable. These include special healing powers for Wolverine and Deadpool, incredible movement for Nightcrawler, Chameleon’s knack for blocking Alter Egos, and Osborn’s insanities! In connection with traits is the printing of more information on the figures’ bases. Now each figure’s dial has tiny red numbers on each “click” of life so all it takes is a glance to see how fresh or wounded a character is. Figures with traits now have a star on their bases, again making identification immediate. Many figures have cool Special Powers, but none more so than the Spider-Man and Venom characters who can shoot webbing and utilize new terrain markers to tie up your opponents! From the 10 point Nurse (a new staple healer) to the most powerful standard-sized single figure in the game (Cosmic Spider-Man) at 319, Web of Spider-Man has a huge range of characters from straightforward “bricks” to complex tie-up and support pieces.
Web of Spider-Man hits store shelves on September 8th, and if you’re a HeroClix player, miniature collector, or Spider-Man fan you’re not going to want to miss out on the action. But that’s not all. WizKids is offering the usual “Buy It By The Brick” promotion: purchase 10 booster boxes and you can send in the UPCs along with a receipt from the store for a special 2x2 base Spider-Man figure! In addition, stores can order special kits for prize support including Limited Edition figures, special Web Terrain Markers, and an exclusive map. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at all of these!
But, I can’t just leave you hanging. How about a first look at one of those LE figures?
To celebrate the release of Web of Spider-Man, comic book and gaming stores can order prize kits from WizKids that include five Limited Edition characters that are repaints of figures in the main set. We’ll be looking at each one over the next couple of weeks. The first is a character on many fans’ wish lists, Toxin!
The symbiote found by Spider-Man during Secret Wars would become the creature known as Venom. An alien life form that produces asexually, Venom created the symbiote Carnage, which subsequently produced Toxin. Accidentally discovering the alien birth, NYC police officer Patrick Mulligan became the host for the new symbiote. A true hero at heart, Toxin would fight his “father” Carnage and attempt to remain in control, balancing his human and alien sides.
The Toxin figure is a repaint of the sculpt used for Symbiote and Carnage, capturing the creature in mid-leap with its claws outstretched, tendrils splayed out, and toothy maw open for the kill. It has a unique paint scheme in red and black, with white eyes and teeth. The figure clocks in at a lean 57 points and is built for close combat fighting with initial Charge, Super Strength, Super Senses, and a Special Power granting Plasticity and Shape Change. Toxin has even more cool powers later in his dial, but I won’t spoil all of them today.
Check back next time as we continue our look at Web of Spider-Man!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids