REVIEW: WizKids Marvel HeroClix Deadpool Expansion Set
The Merc With A Mouth Headlines His Own Set Complete With Deadpool Corps & Zombies...
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In recent years a lot of the main HeroClix expansion sets have evolved from following a theme or event to focusing on a specific character and his or her world. The latest set from WizKids Games focuses on a particular and peculiar Marvel Comics character who is more than a little popular: Deadpool! A fourth wall-breaking anti-hero who’s been on more teams than Wolverine, Wade Wilson first hit the scene in 1991’s New Mutants #98 as a villain, and he’s never looked back. The new HeroClix set celebrates the regenerating assassin’s long and storied career with multiple versions of the character (including the Deadpool Corps!), his friends and allies, a small selection of people who want to kill him, and more. There are also cool sub-themes like the Thunderbolts and even the start of a new batch of Marvel Zombie Villains as chases! Deadpool also brings some new mechanics like the Merc’s Word Balloons and lots of unique traits and special powers, as well as great looking figures that include long-awaited remakes as well as lots of characters who have never been clixed before. Read on for a complete look at the Deadpool set which you can find right now everywhere HeroClix is sold!
Deadpool follows the standard product scheme as seen most recently with DC’s Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The main event is the booster set arriving in ten-packs of blind boxes containing five figures of different rarities. Separately you can get some of the best and most popular characters from the set (along with some generic army builders) in a ten-figure “Primer” Gravity Feed of single figure blind packs with new dials. Alongside the Deadpool blind packs is the Thunderbolts Fast Forces set, a pack containing six figures and new maps. Finally at your local participating game store you’ll be able to play for elements from the Deadpool OP Kit featuring limited edition figures, special objects, and another double-sided map! Let’s start out by checking out the booster set figures, broken down into 17 commons, 17 uncommons, 17 rares, 13 super rares, 8 super rares, and 2 small “puck” figures added to the mix.
As always, Commons are the figures you’ll be seeing the most when you tear into your Deadpool packs. So what’s in store there? The Wade Wilsons start early with two Deadpool Corps members here in Headpool and Dogpool, each with their own unique Word Balloons. Heroes and villains alike populate the ranks with good guys like Daredevil and a batch of Heroes for Hire including Silver Sable, Humbug, and Daughters of the Dragon duo Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. The bad guys are represented by Maggia’s Hammerhead, Femizon Anaconda, The Professor of Weapon X (the common Prime), and generic army builders Secret Empire Agent, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. Soldier, Hand Ninja, and Weapon X Scientist. Two mercenary Deadpool acquaintances include Agent X and the rocket hand-launching Weapon X, and the commons end with the monstrous Animus that connects directly to the uncommons...
Starting off the Uncommons is the alter ego of Animus, the 70’s martial arts vixen Vamp! Wilson infests this next batch of figures with Kidpool, the main set standard Deadpool, and his Prime alternate version in the Frankenstein monster-like Evil Deadpool made from discarded parts. More characters from Wade’s world include Blind Al, Deadpool fan Weasel, cowgirl Outlaw, and former Maverick Agent Zero. The Secret Empire and U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. get leaders in the hooded Number One and mace-wielding Flag-Smasher respectively, and Lady Bullseye represents the Hand. Black Cat and Siryn ensure the good guys are on hand along with Domino and Thunderbolts Paladin, Elektra, and Punisher.
Expecting to see more Wade among the Rares? Well, instead you’ll find Wanda Wilson as Lady Deadpool! Out of Deadpool’s distant past come the Six Pack’s G.W. Bridge, “Mr. Tolliver” Genesis, Copycat, and more plus a more recent villain in Doctor Bong. More villains abound with new versions of Bullseye and Black Tom Cassidy alongside the... uniquely costumed Black Talon and alternating bad guy/antihero Constrictor. The remaining three members of the Thunderbolts team celebrated in the Fast Forces set show up here and include a mighty Red Hulk, current Flash Thompson “Agent” Venom (in two versions, one with a buttoned up mask and the other with a nasty tongue sticking out!), and the energy-limned Mercy. Rares are rounded out by several distinctive characters including Deadpool’s Great Lakes Avengers teammate Grasshopper, Marvel Fan Vote winner Blink, Avenger and Marvel Knight Shang-Chi, and the Wild Pack member Cat as the Prime based on the latter.
Super Rares add not one but two more Deadpools with a duo of Deadpool and Bob and the Asgardian-enhanced Deadpool (also known to fans as “Thorpool” but keeping the regular name for game effects). Three figures bring us four heroic mutants with the X-Force duo of Wolverine and X-23 and long awaited new versions of Banshee and Cable. Bad guys round out most of this bracket, though, with weird robot body Arnim Zola, awesomely 90’s T-Ray, fan favorite Kingpin, and the set’s biggest beat stick in the dual-based Tiamat. The dual natured Typhoid Mary returns to HeroClix with a unique SwitchClix function utilizing both Typhoid and Bloody Mary dials, while the Spider-Man in this set is Ock’s Superior incarnation with a ghostly Peter Parker looking over his shoulder (his base also utilizes Spider-Bots which you can find in common and uncommon slots in your boosters). The Prime pairing in the super rares features a regular Speed Demon with the rarer green-ringed Whizzer.
And then there are Deadpool’s Chases, which everyone and their mother are trying to acquire by hook or by crook. DC may have Black Lanterns, but Marvel has Zombies and they’re out in force with the villains taking over this selection! Eight undead baddies are lurking in boosters: Kingpin, Rhino, Green Goblin, Electro, Doctor Octopus, Venom (Brock), Sabretooth, and Juggernaut. Gruesome, bloody, and missing parts of their bodies, the chase figures come on easily spotted brown bases and are all SwitchClix that can be mounted on their upcoming Marvel Zombie Villains Team Base! You’ll get your chances to win that when it comes in the OP kit for the comic Guardians of the Galaxy expansions, a set that will include eight more Zombie Villain chase figures.
When looking at the figures in Deadpool, you’ll notice that like the titular character a lot of them are over the top in terms of pose, sculpt, and paint. There are some really great interpretations of characters and powers along with traditional superhero poses and comic book cover inspirations, and even the more “mundane” characters get their due with attention paid to detail and how they’ll look on the battlefield. Nowhere is that more apparent than with the Weapon X Scientist/Professor/Adamantium Specialist. A figure that’s rumored to be based on an actual person, the sculpt captures all the clothing details you could want on a generic scientist. On the more militaristic side you’ve got figures like Agents X and Zero who stand at the ready loaded down with guns and ammunition. Weapon X captures the unique look of the 90’s character with his skintight pants, high-waisted shirt, metal arms, and rocket fist shooting out with an explosion. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight both come to the fight in cool martial arts poses, while Outlaw saunters in her detailed cowgirl duds. Armor is done very well in this set as evidenced by figures like Paladin, Genesis, and the high leaping Grasshopper. Some of the best sculpts include the high flying Siryn and Banshee, Cable with all of his intricate gadgets and weapons, the leaping form of Shang-Chi/Cat, Speed Demon and Whizzer with their speed trails and slide effects, and of course the chase zombies with rotting and missing chunks of flesh (including Venom who has a hole straight through his chest!). All of the Deadpool are solid with the same basic shooting pose, and you’ll notice that different figures incorporate elements like different secondary weapons and gestures for the other arm. No discussion of this set’s sculpts would be complete without mentioning Superior Spider-Man, a simply fantastic figure that captures the intricate details of the Superior suit as well as the spirit of Peter.
In a Deadpool set you may expect to see a lot of red and black, and you wouldn’t be mistaken here. But there are all sorts of interesting paintjobs on these figures including lots of metallic and translucent materials. Naturally among the Deadpool Corps you’ll find the main color pairing, and especially on the uncommon Deadpool the lines are very crisp and accurate with even the tiny Deadpool logo on this belt. Alternate versions like Evil Deadpool and the OP Kit X-Men Deadpool change things up with the patchwork style of the former and the yellow and blue of the latter. Figures we looked at for sculpt like Agent X, Agent Zero, and Cable are matched with paint that accents those details, especially when it comes to all of the weaponry and military equipment (and tiny notes like the red on Cable’s face). Misty Knight looks great with her color scheme that’s nicely offset by her golden hand, while the detailed line work on Venom really brings out the symbol on his torso and the symbiote eyes. One of my favorite figures in this set is Mercy; her costume is almost understated but the colors work so nicely and she looks awesome hovering inside the translucent blue energy. Then there’s Doctor Bong, bright and colorful in his red, blue, and shiny gold with the huge “BONG” text floating above him on a translucent effect. Another stand out is Black Tom Cassidy, who coincidentally also rocks the red and black with a cool chest symbol and neat facial hair. The chase zombies are all horrifically painted (in a good way) with pasty or graying skin and gory insides like bones and flesh; Venom is awesome with the marked contrasts of his costume and tongue but I think Kingpin actually takes the undead cake. You’ll find lots of metallic paint used on weapons and armor in the Deadpool set, as well as translucent parts for flying bases, Animus’ club, and powers like Blink’s.
Each new HeroClix expansion set brings with it new mechanics as well as tweaks on existing ones, and Deadpool is no different. There’s a little bit of most of the current fun stuff like Improved Movement and Targeting and some Tiny characters, and the new duos open up a lot of options with splitting and merging for Wolverine, X-23, Cable, Bob, and of course Deadpool. Team bases are all the rage, and with the AvX tournament series WizKids opened up a whole new world of picking and choosing which figures you wanted to use rather than being stuck with a specific lineup as on most of the previous. Both Avengers and X-Men team bases gain new options with Deadpool, both literally and figuratively. There are six figures that interact with those bases: two Daredevils and a Red Hulk for Avengers with Cable joining his fellow X-Men, and that leaves two Deadpools that can join either team! Meanwhile, all of the chase zombies will be able to function with the upcoming Zombie Villain team base. And while not operating with a team, the unique Typhoid Mary has the ability to switch back and forth between her two included dials. Of course, the big new mechanic in the set is called “Merc with a Mouth” that enables Deadpool figures to utilize Word Balloons. Each one has its own specific effect, but they’re all crazy and silly like “I Never Miss with the Sheep Gun” that lets Deadpool launch sheep or “My Common Sense Is Tingling” that provides a slight chance to avoid attacks with a Super Senses only on a roll of 6. There are 12 total word balloons including those that come with Deadpools in the Gravity Feed, Fast Forces, and OP Kit (where there’s another bonus balloon as well).
As always with a new set, I like to take a look at the unique traits and special powers among its members, and as you might imagine there are some pretty wild ones with Deadpool. Chief among the new abilities are the traits concerning the Z-Virus shared by the chase zombies and Headpool. All of the chases have the same two traits; one gives them Food tokens when they damage enemies and which they can later use to heal and the other applies Virus tokens to enemies they damage. Any figure with Virus tokens that’s KO’ed returns to life on your side! Headpool has a limited version of the latter; he can spread the Virus but only uses it to hinder an infected character’s speed and range. Three figures in the set (and the Sheep Gun) spawn additional elements for your team including Arnim Zola and his Gwen Stacy clones, Weapon X with his Detachable Rocket Hands, and Superior Spider-Man who creates Spider-Bots. There’s more body switching going on with Vamp and Animus, offering great flexibility if you’ve brought both to the battle. Other notable traits and special powers include the Hand Ninja’s “Return from Death” that does what it says, Evil Deadpool’s “Backwards Arm - For Better Shooting!” that gives him a free backward shooting attack after punching someone, Lady Deadpool’s random power generator via her “Bottomless Interdimensional Satchel,” Copycat’s “Infiltrate My Enemies” that lets you switch her with an opponent’s figure at the beginning of your game, the anti-relic/resource silver bullet of Cat’s “Replaced It with a Broken Forgery,” Blink’s teleportation abilities, the “Champion and Steed” of Tiamat that allows it extra actions and token removal, and Bill, Agent of A.I.M.’s “My High-Energy Finder Thing” that lets an ally target your opponent’s biggest threat without line of fire! Oh, and for that breaking of the fourth wall that Wade loves so much check out the power descriptions on the Gravity Feed Deadpool; they directly refer to HeroClix, his own dial, the PAC, and more.
That in a nutshell is the Deadpool booster set, though as I pointed out at the top there is more to the Merc fun in the form of other products. On shelves (and probably right next to the five-figure boosters) are boxes of Deadpool Gravity Feed single-figure boosters that contain ten figures in equal rarity: Deadpool, Daredevil, Black Cat, Secret Empire Number 9, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. Major, Snakeroot Clan Ninja, Adamantium Specialist, Silver Sable, Domino, and Hammerhead. These ten feature the same sculpts from the booster set but different dials; some are more powerful and some are less, there are different keywords, and they interact differently with allies and enemies. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts Fast Forces pack brings you additional versions of Deadpool, Elektra, Punisher, Red Hulk, Venom, and Mercy, again with the same sculpts but different dials, keywords, powers, and the like. This set also comes with a two-sided map bringing you the battlefields of the Mall and the Thunderbolts’ Submarine (pictured above)! Somewhat reminiscent of the airport map, the Mall has various rooms, walls, and hindering terrain and if you look closely you’ll see a comic/game store complete with Deadpool comics and HeroClix! Meanwhile the Sub takes you below the sea with a very cool mechanic simulating flooding from stray shots that hit the hull.
The last component to the Deadpool release is one you have to go to your local shop to enjoy: the Organized Play kit. Sold only to stores for use in tournaments and giveaways, the kit includes unique limited edition figures, special objects, and maps. Here you’ll find Deadpool as an X-Man, Bill, Agent of A.I.M., Wolverine, Agent of HYDRA, Cosmic X-23, the Omega Drive, a Straightjacket, and a blank Word Balloon! One of the most dynamic LE collections in recent history, these vary from the 30 point support of Bill to the ultimate power of 275 point X-23. Each figure is based on a sculpt from the main set, most from the super rare duos. As for the objects, the Omega Drive lets a character Outwit with near impunity, the Straightjacket severely limits a figure’s ability to do damage and gets transferred when the wearer succeeds at an attack, and the “...” word balloon turns its user into a wild card. The OP kit’s maps take you to Hellhouse (pictured above), a neat indoor/outdoor mercenary establishment in Chicago, and Deadpool’s House, a pretty normal establishment... if you ignore the blood stains, death traps, pizza boxes, weapons, and Deadpool comics and costumes!
The Deadpool set has several major things going for it: it’s the latest Marvel expansion, it has a ton of cool characters, it features zombies, and IT’S DEADPOOL! Come on, do you really need more reasons to jump in? HeroClix players everywhere are tearing into boosters at an alarming rate looking for those zombies, so don’t miss out on the action and get in the game. Even if you don’t pull any chases you’ll find fun, versatile figures and maybe learn something about Deadpool’s world (it’s his; we just live here). Head to your local game/comic book shop and ask for the Merc with a Mouth!
Visit HeroClix.com for even more info as well as downloads of rules and maps, and check Figures.com regularly as we continue our reviews of new HeroClix!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids Games