ADVANCE REVIEW: WizKids DC Comics HeroClix Batman OP Kit
Limited Edition Batman-Related Figures, Objects, and Maps...
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Last week we took an in-depth look at the upcoming Batman HeroClix Fast Forces pack, bringing you six members of the Batman Family in their fight for justice in Gotham City (check it out HERE). Also debuting on November 14th is the full booster set of more than 50 figures, featuring plenty of Batman allies and villains, Outsiders, WildC.A.T.s, new “prime” figures, and much more. The Batman set is also the first component in the new No Man’s Land tournament series storyline starting later this year. Batman boosters will be available everywhere, but there’s a great reason to play at your local venues: the Batman Organized Play Prize Kit. Let’s take a look at what’s included in this very special promotion.
Intended to promote HeroClix through in-store tournaments and giveaways, the Batman OP kit is only available to venues and includes multiple copies of four figures, three objects, and a new double-sided map (you can’t get any of these anywhere else). Since it’s a Batman set, it should come as no surprise that the prize figures are made up of Bruce Wayne identities as well as some of his allies. Coming to stores next month are Dick Grayson as Deathstroke’s sidekick Renegade, Bruce Wayne in his undercover disguise as Matches Malone, Bruce Wayne as The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, and Michael Lane’s Azrael! A very interesting mix, this kit gives players the first ever HeroClix versions of Zur-En-Arrh Batman, this Azrael, and Renegade, while updating Matches for the current tournament scene.
As varied as the characters are, their looks are even more interesting. Working for Deathstroke, Grayson adopted a red and orange version of his Nightwing costume, complete with dark gray gloves and boots and equipped with his familiar Eskrima sticks. WizKids brings back the Nightwing sculpt from the DC 10th Anniversary set for this figure, but swaps out his head for a new one outfitted with a mask and long, flowing hair. The dynamic roof-leaping sculpt looks just as good in this color palette. Matches Malone, the identity Wayne uses to infiltrate the criminal element, is for all intents and purposes just a shady looking character. His figure is a repaint of the Hired Goon (previewed as part of the Batman primer gravity feed), a typical tough wearing heavy clothing with his arms crossed menacingly. Malone switches up the outfit with black pants, a green jacket, and white shirt, while the vigilante stands out with his distinctive moustache - perfect for blending in with Gotham’s worst!
Azrael is a name that’s popped up several times throughout Batman comics, with several people taking on the mantel of the holy warrior empowered by the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas or Order of Purity. Lane was the latest Azrael, wearing the powerful Suit of Sorrows and wielding twin alchemical blades to mete out justice. The Azrael figure appears to be a unique sculpt for this OP kit (at least based on what we've seen thus far), featuring the holy warrior crouched at the ready with both Sword of Sin and Sword of Salvation pointed at his enemies. His Knight Templar-influenced uniform is pure white with a bright red cross on his chest, silver chainmail arms (with armored gauntlets), black cloak, black and red collar fringe, and white and red mask. The Sword of Salvation is painted with a light coat of white over translucent plastic, while the Sword of Sin appears as a clear blade of flames. Finally there’s the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, one of the most interesting tidbits of Batman history. In 1958 he appeared as a crime-fighter on the planet Zur-En-Arrh, but in Grant Morrison’s run in 2008 he was revealed to be a hidden personality in Wayne’s mind that would take over in case of his incapacitation. Either way, this Batman is a flamboyant character with a brightly colored version of the normal in Bat-suit in red, yellow, and purple! The sculpt used for this figure is the main set 053 Batman (but without the rocky base), Wayne stepping forward menacingly as his cape curls around him protectively. The bright colors are spot on to the Zur-En-Arrh version, accurate down to the unique “crazy” bat logo on his chest.
The dials and powers of these figures are as distinctive as their back stories and appearances. Matches is a 60 point Alter Ego figure (able to transform into either 001 Batman or 053A Batman) with plenty of tricks up his sleeve from Improved Movement (hindering and figures) to the Underworld team ability, and a trait granting Shape Change and Perplex against opposing figures. Malone has Outwit for three clicks, Stealth at the outset then two clicks of Mind Control, mid-dial Combat Reflexes, and the Alter Ego power on his last two clicks. Finally, Batman Family and Gotham Underworld keywords provide two very different team building options. Renegade has a lot of the usual powers and abilities you’d expect from Nightwing with Indomitable, 6 range, Leap/Climb then Charge with Toughness, some mid-dial Flurry and Outwit, back half of the dial Combat Reflexes, and closing Close Combat Expert. As a villain Grayson has the Calculator team ability, but he’s still an exceptional leader with two opening clicks of a special power granting Leadership and a +1 modification to a friendly character’s damage as a free action. Notably, this preview of Renegade marks him as an Alter Ego figure, which theoretically means we’ll be seeing a Dick Grayson figure in the Batman set!
The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is a unique 153 point Batman Ally figure with not one but two traits: “Spirit of Tlano” lets him use Super Strength and Toughness while “Emergency Backup Personality” gives him Probability Control that heals him when the re-rolled result is a hit with doubles! His dial is packed with powers but pretty straightforward. He starts with two clicks of Charge, then three with Leap/Climb, and finally two clicks of Flurry. The first five clicks of his ever-rising attack have the special power “The Bat-Radia Sees Through All Deception” that ignores other characters’ Stealth and prevents his targets from using Mastermind, Shape Change, or Super Senses! For defense this Batman has a full dial of Combat Reflexes, and in the damage slot two opening clicks of Perplex and then three clicks of Outwit.
While most previous OP kits have had two different objects, the Batman version comes with three! Mr. Freeze’s Gun is a 5 point relic captured in 3D form as a complex silver gun with two handles. Any character that successfully picks up the Gun can use Barrier, and when it does it can follow up with Incapacitate targeting all opponents adjacent to a Barrier marker. Next up are two items that can be used on their own or in conjunction with the Utility Belt from the upcoming No Man’s Land event. In regular play the Sonic Transmitter is a 7 point relic that looks like a sonar or radar scanner tucked into a yellow utility belt pouch. Any character that picks it up can be given a power action to give a move action (as a free action) to each friendly Flock of Bats with half speed. As a resource attached to the Utility Belt the Transmitter activates on a double power action and gives each Flock of Bats a move action AND a close combat action, each as a free action. Finally, Azrael’s Suit of Sorrows is a 5 point relic appearing as chainmail armor covered by a bat symbol-emblazoned tabard on a small clear stand. As a standalone object it can be picked up, giving a character Battle Fury and Super Strength. Placed in the Utility Belt costume slot the Suit offers the same benefits.
Last up, of course, are the OP kit maps. You’ve asked for it, and WizKids has delivered: the first is the Batcave! An indoor map, the cave has a long central corridor with hindering terrain Batmobiles flanked by increasing elevations on the sides and at one end. The map is littered with vehicles and classic Batcave references including a Batboat in a corner of water terrain, Batplane, a hall of costumes, Batcomputer, medical bay, equipment room, giant penny and Joker card, T-Rex, and more! Teams start in opposite level 3 corners, one at the Batplane and the other adjacent to the computer. Flyers and figures with Leap/Climb or Improved Movement (like many members of the Batman Family) will have no trouble traversing the multiple elevation changes to get to their opponents. There are also two orange squares of special “Bat-pole” terrain; if you’re playing with the Wayne Manor map as well a character in one of those squares can be given a power action to use the pole and relocate there.
While it may not be as iconic as the Batcave, the other map is going to be a big hit with players and Batman fans. Lazarus Pit recreates Ra’s al Ghul’s mystical healing caverns with a very cool indoor map. The map is comprised of concentric sections of elevations; players start on either narrow end in elevation 1 where you’ll find rocks and statues for hindering terrain and four stairways leading up to the next section. The next ring is level 2 and features symmetrical walls, blocking terrain, and hindering terrain to break up any approach. The center of the map drops down to level 1 again and in the very middle are four squares of Lazarus Pit terrain; it functions as water terrain and any character in it can use Regeneration. But, a character that successfully heals while there possesses Battle Fury until it takes damage!
On November 14th the Batman booster set will hit comic book and game stores everywhere, and participating venues will add the Batman OP kit to their prize support. While the specific limited edition characters will obviously attract Bat-fans, they’re all fun and very useful. Same goes for the objects, especially those that you can use with your Utility Belt once No Man’s Land starts. Expect the maps to go very quickly with the awesome Batcave on one side and fun Lazarus Pit on the other!
Visit HeroClix.com for even more info as well as downloads of rules and maps!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids Games