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    WizKids HeroClix DC 75th Anniversary Expansion Set

    Celebrate 75 years of DC Comics with incredible miniature set...















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    Without a doubt, 2010 has been a momentous year for comic book fans. Beyond all of the great films, television shows, and of course comic events, this year marked the 75th anniversary of DC Comics! With a variety of celebratory events and products already released, there was just enough time left in 2010 for one more, and that brings us to WizKids' HeroClix. The superhero-based miniature game has been celebrating its own amazing year with a huge lineup of products including new Battle Packs, the Blackest Night Starter Set, Brightest Day Action Pack, Watchmen Collector’s Set (see our review HERE), Colossal Dr. Manhattan (review HERE) and two expansions in the form of DC’s Brave and the Bold and Marvel’s Web of Spider-Man (review HERE). While that would have been more than enough to please most fans, WizKids wasn’t done. Just last week they released the HeroClix DC 75th Anniversary expansion set that is filled to the brim with classic and current characters no collector can resist!


    HeroClix is an ever-growing miniatures game using high-quality figures pulled right from the pages of your favorite comic books. In a “normal” year of product releases WizKids puts out two or three full expansion sets. Starter Sets and Battle Packs are fun, but it is in these large releases that the game evolves with dozens of new figures, exciting abilities and game mechanics, and more. Available in stores since last week, DC 75th is sold in blind booster boxes containing 5 figures. Designed both for existing players and those just starting out, anyone can pick up a booster and start collecting and playing right away. While most sets have about the same number of figures (divided into several “rarity” levels), this one is a bit different with a breakdown of 16 commons, 16 uncommons, 16 rares, and 12 super rares. And while there aren’t any chase figures, there is an additional rank of 10 ultra rare White Lantern figures that appear about once per ten boosters!


    Some expansion sets have very strict themes that lead to a lot of related characters while others are more varied. For DC 75th, WizKids got to plumb the depths of the comics giant and pull a wide range of characters that include classic heroes as well as current superstars, and everything in between. Have a hankering for the Golden Age and the All-Star Squad? This set has you covered. Or are you a more modern fan keeping up with Brightest Day and the Green Lantern series like me? Boy, are you going to be excited! Let’s take a closer look at the figures in DC 75 according to their rarities.


    When you open up your booster boxes you’ll be seeing a lot of commons, but don’t equate common with boring. It’s here that you’ll find several time-honored characters like the Easy Company Soldier, Crimson Avenger, Johnny Quick, Mr. Terrific, and the original Atom! Along with the Soldier are a few more sturdy army builders like the Zamaron, Dominator, and Gorilla City Warrior, while beloved characters get much needed remakes in the form of Deadshot, Ice, and Bart Allen. DC 75 also introduces a brand new game mechanic called “Morph,” which lets Beast Boy transform between various animal forms. Just for that purpose the common bracket includes a humanoid Beast Boy as well as bear and cheetah forms!


    The uncommon selection repaints the initial four figures as Sgt. Rock, Queen Aga’Po, Ruling-Cast Dominator, and Solovar giving you tons of team-building potential whether you’re a fan of WWII grunts, the power of love, vicious aliens, or super smart gorillas! More lesser known (but with their own loyal followings) characters appear here like Warlord, Detective Chimp, and Sargon the Sorcerer along with a trio of aquatic heroes and villains (Ocean Master, Mera, and Aquaman). This bracket closes with a new incarnation of the “DC Trinity” that includes a long-anticipated Dick Grayson Batman and great economical versions of Wonder Woman and Superman.


    It’s among the rares that this set really shines for faithful Green Lantern fans like yours truly! Before we get to that you’ll find several figures that players have been clamoring for like the elusive Black Alice, Ragdoll, and Captain Comet. Starting at #038, though, the rares are pure Blackest Night! Here you’ll find the battlefield leaders of new fewer than five of the Lantern Corps (blue Saint Walker, indigo Indigo-1, red Atrocitus, orange Larfleeze, and violet Carol Ferris) along with three more Green Lanterns, another red and yellow, and Scar, the Guardian of the Black Lanterns! Not only are these some of the best looking figures in the set, they’re also powerful, versatile, and fun to play.


    The last of the standard rarities is the super rare, and in this lineup you’ll find some of the most innovative figures in recent HeroClix history. The first three bring to life a quartet of some of the most iconic comic book covers of all time with the early appearances of Green Lantern (All-American Comics #16)) Superman (Superman #14), Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman #1), and Batman (Detective Comics #27). This lineup doesn’t include only heroes; check out some of the DC Trinity’s deadliest enemies in all new versions of Ares, Doomsday, and Bane who’s captured breaking the back of Batman! They’re joined by updated versions of Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and an incredible Sinestro. Beast Boy too returns with a final animal form, that of a huge dual-based Tyrannosaurus Rex. Finally, Super Friends fans will rejoice at the first HeroClix addition of the Wonder Twins!


    In the thrilling conclusion to this year’s DC-spanning Blackest Night Hal Jordan harnessed the power of the Life Entity and took the fight directly to the Black Lanterns in a miniature corps of White Lanterns. Ten in all, this group was made up of heroes who had previously died and came back to life (at least once): Ice, Bart Allen, Donna Troy, Hal Jordan, Animal Man, Superman, Barry Allen, Wonder Woman, Superboy, and Green Arrow. WizKids celebrates this epic event with an ultra rare sub-line of White Lanterns in DC 75! Each brick of ten booster boxes contains approximately one White Lantern, so it’ll take a bit of hunting to capture them all. The ten figures are repainted versions of their base set counterparts with brilliant white and silver paint schemes and exclusive white bases that stand out dynamically from the rest!


    With this year’s HeroClix figure sets WizKids set new benchmarks for sculpt and paint quality, and that continues right into DC 75. Like Web of Spider-Man before it, this new set is chock full of intricately sculpted heroes and villains in miniature, and best of all you don’t have to hunt down only the rarest figures to see that craftsmanship. Check out the level of detail on the Easy Company Soldier or Deadshot with clothing, accessories, and weapons cleanly defined. The musculature on many of the new figures is fantastic, from the lean Johnny Quick and Green Arrow to the fearsome Mongul.


    Beast Boy’s various forms have textured “fur” or scaly skin, as do the gorillas and even Mera and Aquaman’s clothing. Several of the figures have additional terrain elements or “accessories” that really stand out like the tombstones of Black Alice and Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner’s chainsaw, Indigo-1’s staff, or Larfleeze’s minion Glomulus. While great sculpts can be found at all rarity levels, it must be said that the super rares include some of the best HeroClix has ever produced. Superman with his eagle will bring out the patriotism in anyone, while Doomsday and Bane ripple with muscles and pure evil. Last but certainly not least is Sinestro at #060, a great looking figure accented by a detailed uniform, lantern, and yellow mace construct!


    With great sculpts come matching excellent paint applications, and DC 75 doesn’t disappoint in this department either. Uniform and costumes are painted with precision, and the set shows the same marked improvement in eyes (with pupils!) that Web of Spider-Man began. Colors are appropriately bold and bright on the Golden Age heroes and various Lantern Corps members, ranging to dark and gloomy on the villains and monsters. Translucent materials are used on several figures like Captain Comet, Guy Gardner, Saint Walker, Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Ganthet, and more, while metallic paint looks awesome on figure like John Stewart, Deadshot, and Isis. You’ll find more great paint jobs on Mr. Terrific, Aquaman, Batman, Green Lantern, Bane, Ares, and more of the super rares. All of the White Lanterns are resplendent in their white and silver, truly bringing “light” to the world of HeroClix.


    DC 75 cements several new HeroClix game mechanics rolled out this year. More than half of the figures in this set have traits which give them new and fun powers or abilities. These range from the “A” series of Hal Jordan-related characters (Hal’s the Aviator, Carol Ferris is the Adored, Guy Gardner the Antagonist, etc.) to Beast Boy’s morphing to the aptly titled “Wonder Twins Powers, Activate!” The deadly Sharpshooter ability returns on Deadshot, John Stewart, and both Green Arrows, while three of the army builders have buffing Minion powers that activate when partnered with their commanders.


    Special Powers are abundant as usual in modern HeroClix, with the usual cool, funny, or informative names like Warlord’s “.44 Auto-Mag,” Ragdoll’s “I’m Not the Funny Kind of Clown,” Larfleeze’s “Orange Lackeys,” and Hal Jordan’s “One-Man Justice League.” Point values are nicely diverse, offering the slim 30 and under Easy Company Soldier and Crimson Avenger to the one man armies of Ares, White Lantern Superman, and Ganthet. In fact, this set has nine figures over 200 points for great tent pole action right out of the booster!


    While DC 75 boosters are on comic book store shelves right now (go get them!), the fun doesn’t stop there. With ten UPC codes, a receipt from a brick and mortar store, and a certificate that’ll be available on the HeroClix site you can send away for the exclusive “Buy It by the Brick” White Lantern Sinestro! The first of the White Lanterns, Sinestro took control of the white Life Entity and attacked Nekron directly with a massive white construct sword. While the power didn’t last very long, the iconic image of the power-boosted Sinestro proclaiming himself the “greatest lantern of them all” has stuck with readers and fans.


    The Brick figure is not just a straight repaint of the super rare, unlike the other White Lanterns. Instead, his sculpt perfectly captures the comic book artwork. Like the other members of his corps Sinestro is mostly bright white and silver with black details and purple skin. Riding on a translucent flying effect Sinestro wields his massive white sword construct. At 249 points the White Lantern champion is a powerhouse in combat with Quintessence and an intense two-part dial. He starts out as a fearsome ranged combatant and then takes a break partway through with regeneration and healing powers before focusing on brutal close combat. Expect to see Sinestro leading the White Lantern charge on a battlefield near you very soon! You can read more about the Brick figure HERE.


    DC 75 doesn’t even end there! Participating comic book and gaming stores are carrying exclusive OP (organized play) kits full of special items you can’t get anywhere else designed to promote HeroClix through tournaments and giveaways. In this kit you’ll find five Limited Edition figures, two Special Items, and an exclusive DC 75 map. Each LE figure is a repaint of a base set figure, with Grodd (repainted Solovar), Gleek (unique figure from the Wonder Twin base), Troia (repainted Donna Troy), Impulse (repainted Bart Allen), and Icemaiden (repainted Ice). The items add a White Lantern to the existing rainbow set and a fun Bucket of Water!


    The villainous Grodd offers a mid-priced villain to lead your Gorilla City army while Troia’s increased power level is close to her White Lantern incarnation. Impulse is a character long missing in the HeroClix lineup, and Icemaiden brings another solid member to Global Guardians and Justice League teams. And then there’s Gleek who brings a level of craziness to your games; he helps out as long as the Wonder Twins are on your team, but without them he buffs your opponent! The Bucket of Water can be used to make water terrain (great for figures with powers that require it) and works hand in hand with Zan’s water powers, while the White Lantern assures that nearby figures can heal or be healed (with Support or Regeneration) without those powers being countered.


    DC 75’s exclusive map is double-sided, offering two brand new battlefields. Hawkworld, featured in the Brightest Day series, is a land of floating terrain and vast chasms. Inhabited by beastmen in constant combat, it’s the perfect place for a pitched battle. Its map has wide open spaces and special “Open Air” terrain where figures can “fall,” suffering damage and reappearing in their starting areas. Look out for White Lanterns with their Force Blast powers and take advantage of the Open Air for activation clicks. And then there’s the Airport Terminal, where you can practically hear the muzak and feel the delays sucking at your soul. Thankfully in this airport you can really tear things up in HeroClix combat, taking advantage of rows of seats, kiosks, doorways, and more. There are even cool “Moving Walkway” strips where figures can slide (one direction per walkway) without using move actions! Note that neither map has any water terrain which will mean your aquatic figures will love that Bucket of Water.


    The year may be rapidly closing on DC Comics’ 75th anniversary, but the day of the DC 75 expansion set is only just dawning. Already hailed as one of (if not the) best DC sets ever, DC 75 has already sold out at the manufacturer level, but you can still get yours at your local comic book store. With its incredible lineup of great characters and awesome-looking figures, toy collectors will be snapping up this set to display while players will be rapidly adding to their forces. Whether you reminisce about the daring exploits of the Crimson Avenger or want to recreate the War of Light, there’s truly something in this set for everyone. Just don’t wait too long to get yours as everyone will be hunting for those White Lanterns!

    Visit HeroClix.com for even more info as well as galleries and downloads of rules and maps!


    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

    Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids


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