They Made Who?!? (Or, The 10 Strangest Clix I Never Thought I’d See That Came Anyway in 2014!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5 or Night 6 just by clicking the preceding links!]

GLXMAS

Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

So, whenever WizKids announces a new set, everyone races to figure out exactly which characters will be making an appearance. They do this for a variety of reasons, but there’s a certain crowd that just wants to know how many characters are “getting Clix’d” for the first time. Well, there are only so many characters who have yet to be “Clix’d,” so eventually WizKids makes some characters that might have you scratching your head. Alternatively, sometimes they’ll prominently feature a character whose profile in the comics is marginal at best.

Well, tonight, we’re gonna take a look at the 10 Clix that actually got made this year that I, well, REALLY was not expecting.

In order of appearance…

Tellus_005

10. SLOSH048 Tellus: I’ll be honest–I didn’t even remember this guy at first. Even for the Legion, he’s kind of weird. But what really gets me is not only did he get a figure this set, his figure was so good that he showed up on the first Watchlist and had to be slightly nerfed (even though the figure that really made him go, Astral Dr. Strange, rotated out… ). When folks talk about the Legion of Superheroes, they’re usually talking about characters like Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl or even (God help us) Matter-eater Lad. They usually don’t mean the weird yellow member with the toadstools on his back that can talk with his mind.

Toyman

9. SLOSH050 Toyman: I’m not surprised that he was on the roster for SLOSH; that much seems perfectly reasonable. But the way they made him sort of the premier Super Rare of the set, what with his supporting Toy figures and all–that’s what really surprised me. And the fact that all his toys can attach to him is kind of cool. But then, after getting everyone all excited about his mechanics via their preview section WizKids went and made sure that he kind of really sucks for his points, which really goes the extra mile in making this piece a perplexing headscratcher.

Jasper Sitwell

8. CATWS014 Agent Sitwell: Full disclosure: I love Movie Clix, particularly Marvel Cinematic Universe Clix. I get the same sense of anticipation watching characters debut in the MCU that I did back when the Ultimate universe wasn’t such a huge mess and they “Ultimate-tized” a different Marvel staple character every other month. So if there’s a Marvel Movie set on the release schedule, you can bet I’ll be at Target waiting for them to unbox the cases.

There was some talk leading into Cap 2 that Sitwell would sort of become the new Coulson, which is to say that he’d be the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who would act as the connective tissue between all the MCU movies. Even then, at the most, I thought we might see ol’ Jasper here show up as a crappy Common in some far-off Avengers: Age of Ultron set (MILD SPOILER ALERT FOR AN 8-MONTH OLD MOVIE: Don’t think Sitwell will be making any more MCU appearances, so he won’t be showing up in A: AoU!).

Instead, he was an important Target (read: Mass Market) Exclusive Rare piece that is actually really useful on S.H.I.E.L.D. teams (surprise surprise) as a Perplexin’, Sidestepin’ support piece–arguably the best S.H.I.E.L.D. support piece in Modern not named Brother Voodoo (who’s really more of a Secondary Attacker anyway). Was not expecting that!

But what I really found bizarre is that his sculpt is pretty close to the picture above–just Sitwell standing there, holding his coffee mug. A somewhat strange–but not unwelcome–addition to the MCU roster of figures!

"Rawr."

“Rawr.”

7. DP001 Headpool & 6. DP003 Dogpool: Okay, honestly, most of the Deadpool Corps could have made this list, but I really thought we might see Kidpool at some point, and Lady Deadpool was almost a given. But freakin’ Dogpool?! And Headpool–not that people didn’t like that character, but he’s a disembodied head–how do you make that in Clix form? I would have thought he would end up as some sort of Bystander Token. Instead, he’s a pretty important support piece for a variety of Meta Builds.

And freakin’ Dogpool is almost as good–maybe just a tad bit overcosted. But definitely useful, especially with the right Word Balloons. The only weirder Deadpool Corps. member would have been Championpool, but we didn’t get him. At least, not yet.

Dr Bong

5. DP040 Doctor Bong: I mean, really? We really got this guy this year? This actually happened, and we’re all cool with it? Even in a set called Deadpool, this was pretty amazing. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. What’s really crazy is that ol’ Doc Bong is actually kind of sneaky-good for his points! Running Shot Pulse Wave (even with a 9 Attack) is really good, and he’s actually got a support dial (with access to Outwit and Perplex!). Bizarre character, bizarre power-set; just a really weird package.

Cosmic X-23

4. DP104 Cosmic X-23: X-23? Not my favorite character, but sure. She’s pretty popular. I get it. She would not be out of place in a Deadpool set. But Cosmic X-23?! Whaaa… ? Of all the characters who have ever been Captain Universe, X-23 is the one WizKids gives us (I realize we’ve gotten a few in the past, but c’mon!). Her 100 Point dial is insane–not insanely good, or insanely bad, just insane as in “it seems like this was designed by someone not right in the head.” The 275 Point dial is good, not great, but it looks like a lot of fun at least.

Doorman Deathurge

3. GOTG041 Deathurge: As a big GLA fan, this one kind of tickled my funny bone. At some point around the end of GLA: Misassembled, Doorman was killed, but he was brought back by an entity named Oblivion to serve as his avatar Deathurge! That’s what this figure is, complete with the GLA keyword. I really love that this figure exists in Modern; I just never thought we’d see it! Incidentally, Deathurge finally gives GLA Themed Teams a Primary Attacker (not the best, but he has multiple options for dealing penetrating damage and still, 1 option is better than 0 options).

Zombie Skrull

2. GOTG061 Skrull: The Zombie Chase no one asked for! This character is so crappy I couldn’t even find a decent image of him; instead, you get a random Zombie-ish looking Skrull who’s impersonating Reed Richards for some reason. This character is the only Zombie Chase who’s not Unique–you can play as many of these crappy Zombies as you want! Yay!!

Why this wasn’t a Chase Zombie Thanos, I have no idea. Biggest waste of a Chase slot I can think of…

zoom-blacklantern

1. FL053B Zoom: Okay, this one is kind of a cheat. If you’d asked me coming into this year if I thought we’d see a Black Lantern Zoom, I’d have said yes, so I can’t say that this character was completely unexpected. However, I would have bet dollars to donuts that he’d have come in the War of Light OP Expansion. The fact that we got him in Flash came as a complete shocker to me. A pleasant shocker (eeeewwww), since I managed to pull one. But a shocker (okay, I’ll stop now) nonetheless.

 

Okay! Those were my Top Ten most unexpected figures from 2014! What were yours? Feel free to post ’em in the Comments section below.

And be back here tomorrow night for Night Eight of the Twelve Nights of Clix-mas. Hmmm… might be time for a Weekly Roundup…

 

Defying Gravity (Or, a Prediction of What’s to Come from the Next Marvel Movie Gravity Feeds!!)

This defiance of gravity goes to 11.

This defiance of gravity goes to 11.

And now for something completely different!!

So, we know we’re getting a couple of Marvel Movie Gravity Feeds this year: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. CA:TWS theoretically releases (at least the “Core Hobby” version) on March 5, to be followed by the Target Exclusive version (or “Mass Market” version–man, I feel like an a-hole when I say “core hobby” or “mass market.” Can’t I just say “comic-shop” version and “Target” version?) at some indeterminate time in the future.

Core Hobby! Vis a vis! Mass Market!

Core Hobby! Vis-a-vis! Mass Market!

Guardians will be here in early-to-mid-July. In both cases, we have some idea of what we’ll see in terms of characters, but it’s always fun to try and predict which figures we’ll see in upcoming sets. So that’s the goal of today’s little lark–let’s see if we can predict which figures are coming in these Gravity Feeds!

Today, we’ll focus on the set that’s almost here–Cap 2!!

Cap 2

(Yes, that is the new poster.)

Okay, so let’s start with #001 and go in order. Why? Cuz that’s the easiest to predict:

CATWS#001: Captain America

Whew!! That was tough, but we got where we needed to go, people. Let’s double down. Usually, the second fig in a movie GF set is some sort of good guy generic piece. In Thor: The Dark World, it was Einherjar; in Iron Man 3 (these two sets are the most recent comps to CA: TWS, so that’s why we’re looking so hard at them for this) it was Iron Man Mark 42 (aka one of his many armors from the film–not quite a generic, but definitely a good guy piece).

With all that said, I’m going to go with:

CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agent

I suppose it could be S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier, or Technician, or Operative or any of a dozen different variations. But for the sake of this prediction (and because at least 3 different actors are credited as “S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agents” on imdb.com), I’ll go with “Strike Agent.”

Slot #3 is usually reserved for an “evil” character. In TDW, it was a couple different versions of the Dark Elf Scouts. In IM3, it was Iron Patriot–the Rhodey version, who was actually a good guy. Hmmm… I’m going to say they change it up a little here:

CATWS#003: Alexander Pierce

Pierce is played by screen legend Robert Redford and may–or may not–end up being the main villain in the movie. Which leaves spot 4 for the character who’s advertised as the main villain. TDW#004 was Malekith, and IM3#004 was the Mandarin, so this should be a no-brainer:

CATWS#004: The Winter Soldier

The fifth slot has been kind of a hodgepodge–it was a generic villain in IM3 and Lady Sif in TDW, so I’m going to say it’s a named hero in CATWS:

CATWS#005: Black Widow

We know she’s in the movie, and her piece will probably straddle the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword line like her AVM pieces did.

Speaking of, there are a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters in this movie: In addition to Black Widow, we have Jasper Sitwell, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Nick Fury and at least some sort of flashback cameos by Howard Stark and Peggy Carter. Any one of these characters could be Clix’d, along with good ol’ Phil Coulson, who I’m betting does NOT make an appearance in this movie (and this would not be unprecedented; we got “Skrulls” in the AVM GF set along with Odin and Red Skull Chases, even though none of those characters appeared in Avengers. Tyr and Duhg showed up for maybe a combined 30 seconds of screen time in TDW, and yet both got Clix’d in that Gravity Feed set–hell, Duhg was a Target-exclusive rare, and a damn cool one at that!).

So, having said all that, I’m going to go with:

CATWS#006: Nick Fury

Just feels like he should be right about here. We also have Batroc the Leaper and Crossbones showing up as villains in this film, so next we’ll take:

CATWS#007: Crossbones

Back to S.H.I.E.L.D. for our next picks:

CATWS#008: Sharon Carter

CATWS#009: Howard Stark

I know he’s already  been Clix’d, but I think he’ll get a version here where he’s the first Executive Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a dial to match. It’s worth noting that with Howard Stark’s slot at #009 we’ve moved into the Core Hobby Rares section, so I guess he’s my first “rare” prediction.

CATWS#010: Batroc the Leaper

He’s kind of obscure and probably won’t have a huge role in the movie–Duhg anyone? I think he’ll be a Core Hobby rare.

CATWS#011: Maria Hill

Another high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officer who I think we’ll combo well with other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. So that’s

CATWS#012: Falcon

He’s gotta show up somewhere. I could also see him being a common and this slot going to ScarJo’s Black Widow, but on movie sets like this they like to make popular returning characters like Widow a Common, so more people will get her. Falcon (as the new blood with a ton of dial possibilities) seems like a much better bet to be a rare. We’ll see! By the way, that’s four Core Hobby exclusive rares, which means we can go right into the Target rares!!

CATWS#013: The Winter Soldier

Yep. I’m expecting them to double down on the Winter Soldier. At least. Why? Well, firstly, his name is in the title. And secondly, the main villain (I know, we’re expecting him to be a good guy by the end, but that’s not really relevant for this prediction) always gets a Common and Rare version (at least).

CATWS#014 Peggy Carter

Just as there will be a Howard Stark rare fig, I’m predicting we’ll also get a Peggy Carter Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. fig (with the Past keyword as well, obviously).

CATWS#015 Machete

This slot could go to any number of figs–they could opt to do a Rare Widow, a Rare Nick Fury or some Hydra henchman (or just general bad guy henchman) that’s impossible to predict until one has seen the movie. Still, I’m going to try. There are a bunch of Russian soldiers listed in the credits, so it’s possible that they’ll take up a generic slot or too. But there’s also a dude named Machete, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he’ll get a slot here as a “named” bad guy. Jasper Sitwell, another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who will kind of act as the Phil Coulson of this movie, I’m guessing, could go here too, although he feels more like a common. Of course, if Coulson cameos in this flick this spot could go to him, too.

CATWS#016 Captain America

This is almost certainly Cap. Each main hero of the single movies so far has gotten at least one Rare version in their set.

CATWS#017: Captain America and Winter Soldier

The first Chase slot (Core Hobby). These aren’t always Duo figs, but it would make sense here. I’ve mentioned before how kickass it would be to get a single-based S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier as a Chase fig, but it well never happen (hey, if Yu-Gi-Oh! can have an entire floating castle on a single base…). Which, I believe, leaves ONE MORE FIGURE!!

CATWS#018: Captain America and Falcon

Well, the only thing better than one Duo Chase is two, right? This would be similar to what they did with Iron Man 3 (and both of those Duos turned out to be awesome).

There’s a remote chance we get another Red Skull Chase if he makes a cameo, or if Alexander Pierce somehow becomes the Skull (there’s, uh, some justification for this in the comics–SPOILER ALERT, I guess), that could be a possibility as well.

So, to recap, my prediction–which is sure to go wildly wrong in just a couple days–is:

CATWS#001: Captain America

CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agent

CATWS#003: Alexander Pierce

CATWS#004: The Winter Soldier

CATWS#005: Black Widow

CATWS#006: Nick Fury

CATWS#007: Crossbones

CATWS#008: Sharon Carter

CATWS#009: Howard Stark

CATWS#010: Batroc the Leaper

CATWS#011: Maria Hill

CATWS#012: Falcon

CATWS#013: The Winter Soldier

CATWS#014 Peggy Carter

CATWS#015 Machete

CATWS#016 Captain America

CATWS#017: Captain America and Winter Soldier

CATWS#018: Captain America and Falcon

If my prediction is even remotely accurate, we should be getting a little boost to Avengers teams (just in time for the end of AvX!), a HUGE boost to S.H.I.E.L.D. teams and a small bump to HYDRA teams.

Good Luck with your pulls, and Happy Building!!

Ninwa and I will be back later this week with some tourney reports and more SLoSH coverage!