REVIEW: WizKids Marvel HeroClix Amazing Spider-Man Expansion Set
Spidey-Themed Set Brings Monsters, Magicians, and More...
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Marvel HeroClix fans, rejoice! While the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 saw WizKids releasing both the Batman and Streets of Gotham sets, now it’s time for Spider-Man in a big way. The last Peter Parker-themed set was the very popular Web of Spider-Man in 2010, and now the web-slinger is back and headlining a new expansion set called Amazing Spider-Man that releases next week! And while it features quite a few versions of the title character as well as his enemies and allies, it also brings fans some other cool sub-themes like classic Marvel monsters, Marvel Knights, magic-users, and more. Read on for a look at the entire Amazing Spider-Man lineup, including the Gravity Feed figures that you can win in our exclusive giveaway (enter for free HERE).
Like last year’s Chaos War and Galactic Guardians, Amazing Spider-Man follows a long line of HeroClix sets featuring high-quality miniature figures pulled right from the pages of your favorite comic books. These large expansion set releases bring to the table dozens of new figures, exciting abilities and game mechanics, and more. Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) follows the standard release pattern with the main booster set (blind boxes containing 5 figures) as well as a ten-figure Primer set (single blind-packed figures). Boosters are designed both for existing players and those just starting out, and anyone can pick one up to start collecting and playing right away. Like all “collectible” games HeroClix has different rarity levels with ASM featuring 17 commons, 14 uncommons, 13 rares, 11 super rares, and 8 hard to find chase figures.
While they’re the most prevalent in your boosters, the commons of Amazing Spider-Man include a lot of fun and useful figures. As always there are some solid generic army builders, but in this case they all follow a very “monstrous” theme: Zuvembie (Marvel’s way of getting around the “Zombie” limitation in the Comics Code Authority all the way back in 1938), Vampire, and Werewolf. They’re joined by additional, specific characters like Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster. At just about all rarity levels you’ll find the titular character, and WizKids tripled the fun with three versions of the 001 Spider-Man (black with green, orange, or blue); each has its own unique dial and powers based on the different “frequencies” of his suit. Other familiar faces in the common bracket include Blade, Dagger, Dr. Strange, Shocker, and Daimon Hellstrom. Like the Batman set before it, ASM has a “Prime” figure (a green-ring alternate version of a standard character) at each rarity level, and for common that takes the form of Frank Drake and his “Midnight Sons” ally Prime figure Hannibal King.
The uncommons of ASM number 14 and follow the trends of heroes, villains, monsters, magicians, and of course Spider-Men. There are only two repainted figures from the commons and they’re both specific monsters: the frighteningly powerful Dracula and brown furred Werewolf by Night! Spider-Man appears again as an uncommon (this time in his traditional red and blue suit), and he’s joined by fellow do-gooders Cloak, Spider-Girl, Wong, and Scarlet Spider. On the other side of the law, the supervillains gather with classic Spidey opponents like Vulture, Rhino, Electro, and Mysterio! Finally, in the uncommon rank we have the first appearance in HeroClix of Dr. Voodoo and his Prime version Brother Voodoo.
Amazing Spider-Man’s rares delve even deeper into the mystical and monstrous with Satana Hellstrom, Jennifer Kale, the Ancient One, Morbius, and Man-Thing. The heroes are fewer at this level, though there is a new version of Moon Knight and the triumphant introduction of Miles Morales’ Spider-Man in HeroClix! Peter Parker’s enemies continue to gather at this rarity level with Demogoblin, Lizard, Kaine, Carrion, and Kraven the Hunter alongside his Prime son Alyosha Kraven.
In the super rare slots is a big variety of characters covering all of the themes of this set plus some surprise appearances. Mystical teams get huge new weapons in Blackheart (an awesome double-based figure with removable Gargoyles), Nightmare, Ghost Rider, and Baron Mordo. Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery is complete with two new versions of Hobgoblin, the Roderick Kingsley version in the regular spot and the bat-winged/flame-sword Phil Urich version as the Prime. On the pro-Spidey side are the mysterious Madame Web and the future savior of mankind Spider-Man 2099. Rounding out the super rares are Galactus’ herald Terrax and two fun new duos: Man-Thing and Howard the Duck and Colleen Wing and Misty Knight.
It has become customary when a set focuses on a single character to find the chase figures representing different versions of that hero (see Superman, Batman, and most of Captain America). This time, WizKids took that idea and ran even further with it with no fewer than eight different versions of Peter Parker! Thanks to different suits he’s worn and different identities he’s used over the years, there was no shortage of options for these figures. From 1998’s “Identity Crisis” storyline come Hornet, Dusk, Ricochet, and Prodigy. Then there are the armored versions of Spider-Man (3 versions - Mark 1, Mark 2, and “Ends of the Earth” Anti-Sinister Six) and the always popular Iron Spider from Civil War. All eight Amazing Spider-Man chase figures feature really cool red bases decorated with a web design.
There are a lot of really good sculpts in Amazing Spider-Man, capturing the dynamic looks and motion of the beloved characters. Right off the bat you’ve got the trio of 001 Spider-Man figures swinging into action on a convoluted strand of web (and an unobtrusive clear rod stand). You’ll see a similar mechanic used to excellent effect on other figures like uncommon Moon Knight, rare Miles Morales Spider-Man, and the chase Mark 1 armor Spider-Man. There are some great textures like Shocker’s padded suit, Frankenstein’s Monster’s groovy fur vest, Living Mummy’s wraps, Man-Thing’s complex vegetation, and Kaine’s scars.
Some of the figures with the most interesting poses include the two Werewolves howling at the moon, Spider-Girl in an attack stance, the Kravens lunging with their weapons, the two different but equally dynamic Hobgoblins, Nightmare’s realistic lounging on his bone throne, and the leaping Spider-Man 2099. Other standouts include the awesome Blade with his intricate weapons, Dr. and Brother Voodoo with his mystical accoutrements, Scarlet Spider beating up on a mook, Manphibian with a phenomenal texture as well as a cool water effect, the energy-wielding Satana and Jennifer Kale, the energy and flowing clothing of the Ancient One, Blackheart with his gargoyles, Ghost Rider, Madame Web‘s web, the “Ends of the Earth” Spider-Man leaping over a mass of Sinister Six attacks, and even more!
In the paint and color department there’s a lot of cool stuff in the Amazing Spider-Man set. There’s plenty of darkness and gloom among the monsters, but even there you’ll find cool stuff like Zuvembie’s rotten flesh peeking through his tattered clothing, crisp apps on Daimon with the pentagram on his chest, the understated but solid looks of Frank Drake and Hannibal King that really differentiate them, Dracula’s devious sneer and goatee, Morbius’ sleek modern look, the animal prints on the Kravens, the beautiful Jennifer Kale, multi-colored Ancient One, and all of the chases (especially the Mark 2 and Mark 3 armors). Dusk in particular combines a great sculpt with an all-black paint job that looks incredible. Metallic paint is used on several figures, from Shocker’s gauntlets and Blade’s weapons to Hornet’s wings and harness, Prodigy’s costume’s metal bits, and Iron Spider’s “waldos.” Even better are the frequent uses of translucent plastics in webs (many of the Spider-Men), energy effects (Shocker, Electro), magic (Dr. Strange, Satana, Baron Mordo), flames (Ghost Rider, Demogoblin), flight effects, attacks (Dagger, Terrax, Ricochet), and even a stealth suit (Scarlet Spider)!
One of the most exciting things about a new set is all the cool mechanics and powers that translate comic book heroes and villains into playable game pieces. The best ones let you do fun things in the game while retaining the spirit of the characters. A perfect example is the multitude of Peter Parker figures in Amazing Spider-Man. The three commons, one uncommon, eight chases, and one gravity feed figure all have “Morph” Traits that let you switch between them in play. Whether it’s the “Changing Frequencies” of the 001 figures, “Identity Crisis” of four chases and the gravity feed Spider-Man, or “Spider Armor” of the uncommon and the four final chases, your Parkers have lots of options! Brand new to this set is the concept of the “Wild Dial,” seen on several of the monsters. The Vampire, Dracula, and Morbius each start a number of clicks into their dials, and by damaging opponents can heal to even more powerful levels. Meanwhile, the Werewolf, Werewolf By Night, and Moon Knight have the “Full Moon” trait that gives them different powers depending on a roll of the die. Other cool traits include Living Mummy’s “Shambling Along” that shuffles him one square at the beginning of your turns, Scarlet Spider’s “Ledge Dangle: Spill Your Guts or Take the Fall” which is totally accurate to the character and should be a lot of fun to play, Ancient One’s “You Are Now the Sorcerer Supreme” that bequeaths his power on another Mystical figure when he is knocked out, and Madame Web’s “Cryptic Choices” that determines her starting line/abilities with a roll of a die. Special Powers appear on many of the figures in this set, with such varied effects as Zuvembie’s “Zombie Plague” that can create more Zuvembies when they KO opponents, Satana’s “Soul Collector” that lets her heal and charge up when damaging enemies, Man-Thing and Howard the Duck’s “Waaaugh! No One Understands Us...” that makes their values unmodifiable by others, and Spider-Man 2099’s “Humanity’s Ultimate” and “Worthy to Wield Mjolnir” that transform him into a powerhouse!
Point values in Amazing Spider-Man range from the miniscule 25 point Zuvembie (though multiple copies of Mysterio can be played at only 15 points for two clicks of life) to the hugely powerful Terrax at 265, and everything in between. There are no fewer than nine figures with the Mystics Team Ability (causing damage to your opponents when they’re hurt), and plenty of Spider-Man and Spider-Man Enemy figures with a couple Power Cosmic and Avengers thrown in. Several of the more powerful figures have multiple starting lines for more flexibility (Daimon, Man-Thing, Carrion, Nightmare, Terrax, and Spider-Man 2099), while new Alter Egos include Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider and Kaine/Scarlet Spider. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight represent a unique duo with a divided 12 click dial giving you options to play them as a duo or as one or the other heroine. Finally, several figures generate additional elements on the battlefield, from Blackheart’s removable gargoyle figures to Alyosha Kraven’s lion Gulyadkin, Jennifer Kale’s Nexus terrain, and The Zombie’s Amulet of Damballah relic that lets other figures control him!
To promote the game through tournaments and giveaways, brick and mortar stores were able to purchase an exclusive OP (organized play) kit for Amazing Spider-Man. Each kit contains three copies of two figures only available here: Franken-Castle and The Zombie! Frank Castle spent years hunting down bad guys as the Punisher until he met his match in Wolverine’s son Daken. But even death and dismemberment couldn’t keep a good man down when Morbius and the Legion of Monsters resurrected Castle as a Frankenstein monster fueled by the Bloodstone. Franken-Castle makes his debut in HeroClix with a 102 point indomitable figure that’s big on offense with powers like Charge, Running Shot, Super Strength, and a Special Power that lets him shoot “drill-drones” into opponents for ongoing penetrating damage. Good old Frank has looked better, appearing here like a miniature Frankenstein’s monster (complete with neck bolts) with steampunk-like joints and armor, and of course a massive revolver. The other Limited Edition OP kit figure is The Zombie, a character whose origins go all the way back to classic Marvel horror in the 1950s. Simon Garth was a businessman who got mixed up in a voodoo ceremony that turned him into a zombie controlled by the Amulet of Damballah. The figure is a repaint of the Zuvembie with slightly darker skin and all black clothing. The Zombie clocks in at 71 points with indomitable, plenty of Super Strength and Toughness, some end dial Flurry and Regeneration, and a Trait dropping the Amulet of Damballah that other figures can use to control him.
Also included in the kit are two new special objects: the mystical Eye of Agamotto and Dr. Octopus Arms! Each a relic requiring a roll of 5-6 to pick up, the 12 point Eye (a cool flaming eyeball on a little stand) offers a slew of boons that increase if its wielder has the Mystical keyword while the 8 point “Arms” (Doc Ock’s full harness and tentacles) grants a minimum range of 4, three targets, and two uses of self-Perplex on your turns!
Finally, the kit has a new double-sided map with the Bell Tower (indoor/outdoor) on one side and Dr. Strange’s Mansion (indoor) on the other. A Bell Tower is of course where Peter used loud sounds to rid himself of the Venom symbiote, and makes for a cool battlefield with multiple elevations, a unique layout, lots of blocking but no printed hindering terrain, and special “Open Air” squares; if a standard movement figure occupies one after actions resolve it suffers damage and is placed back in its starting area! Meanwhile, the Mansion is a hip magician’s bachelor pad with two levels, multiple rooms for entertaining guests, and a large space on the upper floor with a couch, chairs, and loads of magical paraphernalia. A few walls and a nice smattering of hindering terrain and some blocking will make this an interesting arena for stealthy and mobile figures.
Beyond the full booster set of Amazing Spider-Man, players and collectors can also find ten of the figures offered in another form (with all different dials) in the Gravity Feed! Already released in stores, this set brings Spider-Man, Cloak, Dagger, Rhino, Electro, Mysterio, Blade, Shocker, Scarlet Spider, and Spider-Girl in single figure blind booster foil packs. With highly effective dials and no characters over 99 points, these figures offer additional options for some of the most popular and long-awaited characters in the set. There are plenty of Special Powers among them, as well as a few Traits and Improved Movement. And except for Mysterio, every single one has either the Spider-Man or Spider-Man Enemy Team Ability. Want some Amazing Spider-Man Gravity Feed figures? You’re in luck because Figures.com is partnering with WizKids to give away 6 foil packs each to four different winners! Entrance in the giveaway is free; go HERE for all of the details.
Spider-Man fans are of course going to be excited about this set, with its huge array of Spidey figures as well as many of his most popular and enduring enemies. Add to that the really fun sub-themes of monsters and magic users, not to mention the incredible eight chase figures to track down, and you’ve got something for everyone and a lot of interesting characters - both new to HeroClix and those getting long-awaited new versions. Get your Amazing Spider-Man Gravity Feed foil packs at your local comic book or game store, and watch out for the full booster set to hit shelves Wednesday, February 6th.
Visit HeroClix.com for even more info as well as downloads of rules and maps!
Don’t forget to enter to win Amazing Spider-Man Gravity Feed figures! Go HERE for more info and to get entered now.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids