Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Marvel Christmas

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits! Finally, we listed some of our other favorite Clix content creators on Night 11!]

Welcome to the final night of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Like we do every year, we just want to close out the last post of the season with a hearty “Thank You” to all of our readers and commenters.

There will be some great Clix and movies and games coming our way in 2019, and we plan to continue to do what we’re doing–just hopefully more often!!

We hope that you and yours have a great holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all, even.

Thank you all so much for sticking with us! We’ll see you in the new year!

–The Staff at Critical Missives

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The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: The One Sub-Theme I Want… (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

X-Men 2099

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary!]

Welcome to the Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!

Tonight’s post is really more of a question:

With news dropping a few days ago that we’re getting the Elders of the Universe and the Infinity Gems back in Modern with next year’s Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati set, which past sub-theme (figures, mechanics or equipment) do you want to see return to Heroclix?

For me, it’s pretty easy (especially now that we’re getting a new Infinity Gauntlet, so that’s off the list):

X-Men 2099 spread.png

I want new X-Men 2099 pieces!

Yes, the 2099 corner of the Marvel Universe isn’t always remembered as fondly as other stories 0f the 90’s, but having grown up during that era I recall actually really liking this series as much or more than any other X-tales.

(For the record, Spider-Man 2099 and Doom 2099 were actually better than folks remember as well.)

Anyway, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim still stand in my mind as one of my favorite creative teams of all-time.

How big of a fan was I?

Well, when I got a little bit older, I started buying X-Men 2099 covers straight from the artists! I spent money I probably didn’t really have back then to have them custom-framed, and they still hang on my walls to this day!

So yeah, I like these characters a lot!

And Wizkids hasn’t completely ignored them. There was a special limited edition release in December of 2006 when they made seven characters from the 2099 universe–including two from X-Men 2099 (Junkpile and Mean Streak).

Since then, we’ve gotten a really good version of Miguel O’Hara (in ASM), but nothing 2099-related since then. That’s five X-focused sets (counting the two Deadpool sets but not counting wider sets like AvX) since GSX in 2011 with not even ONE X-Men 2099 sub-Theme!

I doubt that we’ll see them show up in X-Men Adventures either, but please Wizkids! Xi’an Chi Xan, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Metalhead, Shakti… these characters and stories are too much fun too just leave unclix’d!!

So which sub-theme or equipment from the past would you like to see updated for Modern Clix? Sound of in the Comments below, and then come back here for Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

The Ghost of Christmas Present… uh, PRESENTS… The Marvel Heroclix Set We Should Have By Now, But Don’t!! (Or, The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

 

 

New FF Intro.jpeg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces!]

Welcome back for Night Four of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Tonight we’re going to look at a (for now) imaginary set that, when you think about it in the abstract, we should have gotten already, but for whatever reason, Wizkids has yet to produce.

FF Tortured

Yup… getting the FF back in Clix has indeed been a torturous endeavor.

Whew! That’s as awkward an article description as any I think I’ve ever written. Nevertheless… here we go!

The Marvel set we should have gotten by now but haven’t is…

New Fantastic Four.jpg

THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR:

There’s been no shortage of articles detailing Marvel’s alleged (wait, is it even still “alleged” anymore? Hasn’t it been proven?) reluctance to allow any licensed merchandise featuring the X-Men or Fantastic Four. But the weird part is, this shadowban of FOX movie properties seems to have expired some time ago for the X-Men. How long ago? Well, long enough ago that their big return to Clix, Uncanny X-Men, HAS ALREADY SHIFTED TO GOLDEN AGE!

When you consider that the first Deadpool set and the DoFP comic book Gravity Feed (which itself was essentially just Marvel using Wizkids to send Fox a giant middle finger) both came out in Spring 2014, we were really only without Marvel’s Merry Mutants in Heroclix for about two years. Meanwhile, Marvel’s First Family hasn’t had a core character appear in any set since Fear Itself in 2013 (the Super Rare FI033 Angrir) and a regular set since Chaos War in 2012. 20-FREAKING-12!!

So this leaves me with two questions:

1.) Why are the FF (and their related characters) being withheld from Clix while the X-Men have basically had a green light to appear for going on three years now when their respective licenses were both being held by the same competitor?!

2.) IF the FF were to ever be allowed to front another Heroclix set, which version of the team would I personally like to see as the focus of such a set?

The answers:

1.) Nobody knows.

Seriously. At this point, I’m really not sure if anyone even freaking knows. And even if someone deep inside of Marvel or Wizkids did know, I doubt they’d ever tell us.

2.) Hmmmm… how about…

All of them?

And thus, I would simply call this hypothetical set “New Fantastic Four” (from the famous Walt Simonson run) and plaster the box art with both the traditional Reed-Sue-Johnny-Ben lineup AND the Hulk, Spidey, Wolverine and Ghost Rider lineup.

I mean, did you know that if you look up the FF all-time roster on Wikipedia there are 17 names BEFORE it even gets to the New Fantastic Four entry?

So this set would still have a ton of Marvel Heroclix staples like Spidey and Wolverine WHILE AT THE SAME TIME finally giving us Modern Age designs for the traditional lineup! I’d even add in a “Fantastic Five” sub-theme from the MC2 Universe.

Add in some Doctor Doom and a Latveria sub-theme along with a new Surfer and Doc Strange-led “Defenders” sub-Theme, and you’ve got more than enough pieces for a full five-figure set.

Hell, if you want to ensure that this set would literally blow off the shelves and sell out everywhere nearly instantly, Wizkids could meme us all and make the Chase theme for this set “Fox-owned figures that played starring roles in the stories other sets were based upon yet never showed up.”

Chase figures like:

Sue Storm AOU Best

–Invisible Woman (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

Wolverine and Wolverine.jpg

–Wolverine and Wolverine duo fig (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

The Silver and Golden Surfers.jpg

–Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock duo fig (from the famous Infinity Gauntlet series and the Avengers: Infinity set)

Molecule Man slice

–Infinite Molecule Man (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Black Priest Doc Strange.jpg

–Black Priest Doctor Strange (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Rabam Alal.jpg

–Doctor Doom as Rabam Alal (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

And, of course, the special Ultra-Chase that fans have been demanding for almost four years:

God Emperor Doom

God. Emperor. Doom!

Boom. Mic drop.

This set would not sit on shelves. These are the characters fans want in Modern right now!

What do you guys think? Would you get hyped for “The New Fantastic Four?”

Let me know in the Comments below!

And next time the Ghost of Clix-Mas Presents appears, he’ll have a theoretical DC set to talk about that WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN YET!!

And come see us tomorrow night for Night Five of Clix-Mas 2018!

MCU 10 years

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally, this article was going to be about the TWO Marvel sets we should have by now but haven’t gotten yet. The other hypothetical set that people have been clamoring for is a MCU: Tenth Anniversary/Infinity War set. But this was a little bit harder to pin down for two reasons: First, it’s unclear whether we will be getting an MCU set for Avengers: Endgame. I don’t think anything’s been announced, but Captain Marvel’s MCU Clix set was sort of thrust on us in a low-key way, and I’m not sure we’d hear for certain either way until January or February. Secondly, a MCU Tenth Anniversary set seems to mean something different to everyone. Some folks just want the movies we never saw Clix’d from Phase 2 on (Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man 2, etc.). Others really just want the (well, formally, now I guess) Netflix heroes Clix’d. So it would have been harder to articulate exactly what people would want from that set, even though it’s an expansion theme that I hear people requesting all the time!]

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at Critical Missives would like to wish all of our American readers a safe and happy holiday weekend!

On a personal level, I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with my own recovery from surgery on my leg, ankle & heel back in October.

I’m still not able to walk without crutches, but I should be able to accomplish that sometime around the New Year.

And so I am so thankful for the unending support of my family and friends as they help me through a difficult year. My wife in particular should be nominated for sainthood!!

On the Critical Missives front, we should have two new Top Tens coming next week, and a Special Project that I’m working on should drop shortly after that!

Now that I have a little more mobility, I can get to my computer again and start writing once more!

Have a great Holiday Season everybody! We’ll see you soon!

Yup! It’s the Ghost of Christmas Present, Back Again!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas 2017!!)

Star Wars Christmas

Welcome back to the gimmick that never dies!!

Yup! It’s our annual Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas event, wherein we try to bring you twelve articles in twelve days, or die trying feel really bad about ourselves!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Some quick rules clarifications:  this doesn’t necessarily mean one article a day. Some days might have none, some might have two or three. The goal is twelve articles in twelve days!]

Will we succeed? Probably not. We’re batting like 1-3 with these things.

But we will have fun? Uh, … hopefully?

This year, we’re going to separate each article into a “Ghost” subcategory: either Past, Present or Future. What exactly that means will be explained as we go on…

Still, all of us here at Critical Missives want to thank each of our readers and supporters for another great year of content!

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018!

See ya tomorrow!

 

Patriotic Captain America!! (Or, Happy Fourth of July!!)

Cap 4th

Too obvious? Probably, but hey, with $400+M in domestic grosses, $1.15+B in worldwide box office and a starring role in this summer’s 4 month long OP series, it’s a Captain America summer–we’re just living in it.

So I’m finally, FINALLY approaching something that could be called “healthy,” which means it’s time to get back to a more regular (or at least more frequent!) posting schedule, after missing most of June.

Next up is a belated Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review, followed by a few thoughts on the Civil War OP figures and some Build articles, all of which should take us right to the doorstep of the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!! I’m really looking forward to that one.

I’d also like to give a big tip of the cap to all the servicemen and women who keep my country safe every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So stay safe, watch where you draw your lines of fire (especially with actual fireworks) and meet us right back here later this week!!

 

Patriotic Steve Rogers!! (Or, Happy Memorial Day 2016!!)

Patriotic Cap

Once again, I would like to wish a Happy Memorial Day weekend to our American readers!

For our international audience, as we mention every year, Memorial Day is an American Holiday wherein we celebrate the sacrifice of those who have fallen in defense of our country and in defense of the many freedoms we enjoy here–like going OFF in a Comments section when a certain comics company does something asinine with one of their best characters!

<Ahem>

I’ll be back later this week with a TV column about the Flash Season 2 finale (I have some thoughts on Season 3), and we also have the Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review in the hopper!

Until then, Thank a Veteran or Active-Duty Serviceman, Stay Safe… and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

Who Watches the Watchlist: Part Deux!! (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here! Night 6 is now up, and can be found here. Night 7 showed up right about… here.]

Hot Shots Part Deux

Hello again!

Two nights ago, we reviewed the Watchlist changes from the beginning of the year. Now we’re gonna take a look at the most recent Watchlist from July 27th of this year. Did these changes make the game better? Or did they go too far in some cases? Let’s take a look!

2015 Q2 WATCHLIST:

AKA “The Felix Faust” Watchlist! Who, it so happens, is our first corrected piece to review! Let’s take a look:

Felix Faust

  • Felix Faust: There were two main changes wrought by Faust’s World Championship dominance. First, all of Faust’s nastiest d20 abilities now have a maximum effectiveness range of 7 squares. What’s that, you say? 7 squares is still pretty damn good? Well, normally I’d agree, but considering that before the Watchlist these shutdown abilities had an effective range of THE ENTIRE MAP, so I supposed I’d have to say that this was a step in the right direction. Pieces that are meant to shutdown the opponent’s pieces are always going to be hard to balance. In this case Faust was just ungodly for his measly 70 Point asking price. The second change that came in the wake of Faust running roughshod over THE WORLD is that d20 rolls can no longer be rerolled. Yup. Rerolling d20’s was a thing in the summer of 2015, since it enabled you to lock your opponent down completely. No more! Verdict: Having played against Mr. Faust since these changes came down, I can say that they probably didn’t do enough. He’s still able to dominate a game if his controller has ANY kind of dice luck!

Doc Strange

  • Doctor Strange: No changes to the good Doctor, which isn’t that surprising given that Doctor Strange here costs about 80 more points. Verdict: This was the right call. Why Faust was so much cheaper is beyond just about everyone.

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

  • Scarlet Witch: This one’s a little harder to discuss, since her problematic ability is written like a phone book. For the record, this is how her power now reads: HEX MAGIC: Once per turn, after an attack roll has been determined, Scarlet Witch may give the attacker up to 3 Hex Magic tokens if the attacker is within range. A character may not be given Hex Magic tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card. For each token she gives the attacker, reduce the attack total by 1. Opposing characters may be given a free action to remove a Hex Magic token and modify any friendly character’s attack value by +1 this turn. Basically, they added the “A character may not be given Hex Magic Tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card” bit. Verdict: Her ability was worded veeerry loosely originally, so I’m not surprised it got changed. Pretty moderate change, too. And definitely necessary.

Yellow Power Battery

  • Yellow Power Battery: No change. Verdict: Nor should there have been. This Battery works just fine.
  • Orange Power Battery: Ditto. Verdict: Ditto.

And there ya go! This Watchlist wasn’t as packed as the last one. Does that mean WizKids has learned their lessons and taken the appropriate measures to make sure we’ll never have to deal with another Watchlist ever again?

Uhh… no. But that’s okay. At least WizKids is quicker to own up to a huge failure now and do whatever it takes to fix it. It seems like they’re making a concerted effort to achieve a modicum of transparency.

Having said all that, I’ll see ya tomorrow night for the 9th Night of Clix-Mas!!

Merry Christmas… Eve!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here! Night 6 is now up, and can be found here.]

SH S2

And now for something completely different!!

While we still have a bunch of Heroclix content in the pipeline, tonight we’re actually taking a night off from Clix content to bring you one of my pet projects. It’s a series of comedy shorts on the web called Suburban Heroes.

The Premise: In a world where superheroes exist, two slackers decide to form a superhero team to get their hands on grant money from the government so they don’t have to get real jobs. But in order to qualify for the funding, they must have a team member with a real power, so they decide to recruit one in the most natural way they know: while  filming the whole thing as a reality TV show.

The Trailer: Can be found right here.

The Pilot: Check it out right here!

And we’ll see you later for more Clix-Mas 2015!!

 

 

Coming Soon… Again!! (Or, We Rip Off the 12 Days of Clix-Mas Gimmick… Again!!)

DC Christmas

So, Christmas is sneaking up on us, and once again, Ninwashui and I are mixing our metaphors, flying high with our training wheels off and jumping into the deep end without a net.

Yup. We’re gonna try doing the whole “Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas” all over again this year. That means that one of us will post an article every day for twelve days straight, with the last one appearing on Christmas day.

This, of course, is assuming that our fingers don’t fall off as we keep typing for 12 straight days.

(To see how it all ended up, here’s the last entry from 2014. It contains links to every article we wrote during the first “Clix-Mas” last year.)

Some articles will be short little rants or observations; a few may be long continuations of some of our popular staple columns; many entries will fall somewhere in-between.

So we’ll see you right back here real soon for the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!

God help us.

(Every one.)

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw You lines of fire!