Flash Fact #2: SPOILERS (Or, A Brief Intermission About the Flash Season 2 Finale!!)

Flash Zoom Race

So, I swear, I’m hard at work on the Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review (hopefully by the end of next week, but I can’t promise anything… yet!), but today we’re gonna take a break from our regularly scheduled programming and talk about some good ol’ fashioned superhero TV.

Why?

Well, the 2015-2016 TV Season just ended, and there’s a few things that need discussin’!

A year ago, I thought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was pretty consistently solid while The Flash (in its first season after spinning off from Arrow) was kind of cheesy, at least initially. I thought the show really found itself during the back half of that debut season and (like A0S) had a dynamite finale.

Fast forward a year, and both shows have just finished firing off their best seasons. When considering all the great comic-based TV we have these days, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had probably the best episode of the season (that would be its fifth episode, 4,722 Hours), but The Flash turned in an extremely solid run of 23 episodes that didn’t really have any turkeys in the bunch. The finale, in particular, is what I want to write about today.

ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE

You were great, Agent Simmons, but we’ll talk about your show in a different post. (ABC/Tyler Golden)

At this point, like all other bloggers, I am contractually obligated to note that the rest of this post will SPOIL much of the Second Season finale of The Flash. If you wish to proceed from here and have not seen this episode yet, you have been warned. We’re jumping in:

5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

 

Okay!! Still with me? Good. So, if you made it to the end of the finale, you know that after defeating Zoom, Barry went back in time (again) to the scene of his mother’s death (again) and finally decided to do something about it.

Flash Reverse Flash

In the process of beating up the Reverse Flash, Barry SEEMS to have done some possibly irreparable damage to the Timeline and changed both the past and the future in ways we’ve yet to see. What does it all mean?

Essentially, it seems like we’re headed for “Flashpoint” in Season Three, or at least the Berlanti-verse version of it. The Flash has become the most interesting DC show on television, and the ramifications of this finale are potentially mind-boggling.

WHAT WE KNOW:

-There are four shows in the Berlanti-verse: Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Of those four, the first two are closely connected and part of the same extended universe; Legends of Tomorrow is primarily populated with DC characters who were previously introduced as supporting characters on either Arrow or The Flash. It is seemingly connected to Arrow and The Flash, although it’s unclear even–or perhaps ESPECIALLY–if time travel on Legends of Tomorrow works the same way that time travel on The Flash works. For this discussion, it’s not really important though.

Supergirl is set on a completely different Earth where there is no Flash and no Arrow; this may be important later. Flash did randomly journey to Supergirl’s Earth during Supergirl’s first season, so the two characters have met at least once.

-All four shows were renewed for the 2016-2017 season.

DC Shows

All four shows will crossover with each other at least once during the season; currently, the big crossover event doesn’t have an exact date (it’s still at least 5-6 months away), but sometime in mid-November would be a good bet.

-The presumed source material for The Flash‘s third season, Flashpoint was a major DC Comics crossover event from 2011 that completely changed the status quo and introduced the “New 52” universe (I’m not a huge fan of the New 52–I liked DC fine enough the way it was, but there are those who really dig it). One of the benefits for DC of remaking their universe was the opportunity to fold in Jim Lee’s recently acquired Wildstorm characters (WildC.A.T.’s, The Authority, etc.). Basically, DC used Flashpoint to incorporate an entire, newly acquired universe in the main DC hierarchy.

This may be important later…

WHY FLASHPOINT CAN’T JUST BE A STRAIGHT ADAPTION:

-So if you’ve made it this far, then you’ve probably either read “Flashpoint” at some point or else you just read the Wikipedia (read: Cliff Notes) version of it.

And you know that there’s an awful lot of folks who play major roles in that story who haven’t been introduced yet… and–(NOT REALLY A) SPOILER ALERT–are not getting introduced into the Berlanti-verse anytime soon.

For Example:

-Batman ain’t coming (he’s being portrayed as a petulant little twerp over on FOX in a show called Gotham). Moreover, there seems to be an edict from DC that Berlanti can’t introduce any of the Trinity characters on his collection of shows. Or at least that’s the rumor.

Its worse than you know

It’s worse than you know.

It usually is

It usually is.

I actually think it’s even worse than that.

I think Berlanti is forbidden from using any of the seven main Justice League folks except the Flash, since he’s already established, and I think if Warner Brothers could find a way to take back Barry Allen, they would, despite the show’s success. Why? Because unlike Marvel, DC wants their TV universe separated from their (theoretically) burgeoning film universe. There’s a few reasons why they prefer things this way, and a host of reasons why this is dumb. But that hasn’t stopped DC and Warner Brothers before, so why should it now?

Even though Batman V Superman was greeted with a critical thumping, it still performed juuuust well enough at the box office to keep DC from completely pulling the plug on this iteration of their movie-verse (we’ll take a page from the internet here and just call it Zach Snyder’s “Murder-verse” for short). And as long as they’re going to continue with that continuity, most of the big-name DC heroes (and even C-list characters like Booster Gold, who now has a Zach Stentz-penned movie in development) will remain completely out of reach for the Berlanti-verse.

-Thomas Wayne (Batman in the Flashpoint universe) ain’t coming (for the very same reasons Batman isn’t);

-Martha Wayne (and her Joker turn) ain’t coming;

-Wonder Woman and all the Amazons? Ain’t coming;

-Aquaman and his Atlantean army? Nope. His profile has gone way up since Smallville. I’m betting he’s off-limits too.

-Booster Gold was mentioned above; he had a big role on the periphery of Flashpoint… and I’m pretty sure he ain’t coming (it would make no sense to cast an actor to play Booster for TV when you’re dead-set on recasting the role for the movie version in a couple years anyway–if everything pans out, that is).

-Cyborg has a movie on the docket. He’s not gonna show up;

-Pick a version of Green Lantern. Who’s your favorite? Hal Jordan? John Stewart? Guy Gardner? Kyle Rayner? Guess what: none of them are coming, despite the fact that any of them would kill on the CW (“Blackest Night” done over the course of a 4-show crossover on the CW? Yes, please! Too bad it will never happen).

-You get the point. Despite all of the those characters making very specific and important appearances throughout “Flashpoint,” I’d bet dollars to donuts that not a single one will show up in the Berlanti-verse next year.

But here’s the surprise twist: you don’t need ANY of them to faithfully adapt “Flashpoint” on The Flash. Not a single one.

WHAT WE THINK WILL HAPPEN:

-When you think about it, Arrow on the CW is really just the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman–it just doesn’t have Bruce Wayne or Batman in it. But Oliver Queen in Arrow is a rich playboy who suffers the trauma of losing his parents and decides to dedicate his life to stopping crime and saving his city. Oliver Queen would be a perfect stand-in for Bruce Wayne in the Berlanti-verse.

“But won’t Stephen Amell be hella-busy shooting his own show?” you might ask. Yes. Yes he will be. But remember, Bruce Wayne pretty much just showed up at the end of the story, so Amell really only needs to show up for the end of the “Flashpoint” storyline (which may or may not happen during that already-planned November crossover that Amell will be doing anyway).

Besides, the producers may already have a different actor in mind to play Green Arrow on The Flash:

Robert Queen

Me?”

Yes you, Jamey Sheridan. Thomas Wayne was the man in the Batman costume during “Flashpoint,” and similarly, Robert Queen could be the man under the cowl in the new, altered timeline. In fact, I think the producers hinted at this possibility during one of the Earth 2 excursions we witnessed during Season Two, where Robert Queen was unmasked as Green Arrow during a news report.

Bringing back Robert Queen for a few episodes to actually be the Green Arrow would be pretty slick for two reasons: firstly, it would bring back a somewhat under-utilized Berlanti-verse supporting character for an awesome final run. Secondly, it would still maintain the original spirit of Thomas Wayne’s “Flashpoint” storyline.

And best of all, it would allow them to do that final envelope scene from “Flashpoint” where Barry puts the universe back together again (more or less) and then hands an emotional, handwritten letter to Bruce Wayne from his dead father, Thomas. That scene was a beautiful coda to the whole saga and is, frankly, one of the best reasons to try and adapt this particular storyline. Probably THE best reason, actually (“Heart, Humor and Spectacle,” indeed!).

But the only way that final scene lands is if the producers can get Mr. Sheridan to come back and suit up for a few guest-starring roles as Green Arrow on The Flash.

-In “Flashpoint,” Martha Wayne’s grief over losing her son Bruce eventually twists her mind until she becomes a psycho-Joker. Once that’s revealed, she pretty much just falls in a pit of bats and then dies.

If Berlanti’s team wants to bring back Moira Queen and have her do a similar heel turn, that would be fine. Could actually make for a cool sort of one-off “Villain of the Week.”

-No Aquaman and no Wonder Woman is trickier, since their respective nation’s escalating war threatens the whole world and without them, a major source of environmental tension would be gone. But once again, you really don’t need those specific characters–indeed, having them show up out of nowhere at this point would probably be kinda jarring.

What you really need is two large organizations fighting with each other on a scale that could threaten the whole world with how out-of-control their conflict becomes. What about the assassins of Nanda Parbat versus the shadowy intrigue of The Hive? Could one not argue that, if left unchecked by Oliver and his team, both of these organizations would have been on a super-powered collision course by Season Four of Arrow?

-And since we brought it up before, wouldn’t this all have to have a big effect on Arrow, Legends and Supergirl?

Yeah, to really hit home, it probably would. But Arrow could actually pull a fast one and basically start telling their Season 5 story without really acknowledging The Flash but showing subtle differences between the Season 4 status quo and the Season 5 status quo. Then, after the crossover, we find out the differences are because on Arrow, we’ve been watching the post-Flashpoint continuity all along!

Legends is already a time-traveling show and its central characters could show up at some point in November to help Flash put right those things that once went wrong, but they exist outside the normal flow of time to begin with, so, in theory,  they don’t really need to worry so much about the repercussions of “Flashpoint.”

And Supergirl? Well, Supergirl’s universe would suddenly and inexplicably–or perhaps even splicably–find itself on Earth 1 or Earth 2, ready to adventure with our

Flashpoint

CONCLUSION: This is all wild speculation, of course, but isn’t that what makes the internet so damn much fun at the end of the day? Anyway, whether Season Three of the Flash goes even something like what I’ve predicted here, or if it turns out to be completely different, I will be watching the CW this Fall with great interest.

 

And don’t forget to join us next time as we get back into Heroclix with our Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review!

Until Then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

 

Upcoming Games: Clix TV!! (Or, The 2nd Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 2! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here!]

Clix TV

Welcome to Night 2 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!

Another quick local game announcement for SE Michigan Clix’ers…

On Wednesday, December 16th, at Comics & More in Madison Heights, we’ll be playing: Clix TV!

In honor of all the great comics-based TV, we will play a 300 Point, Golden Age game with a $5 Entry Fee.

Prizes will come from the “Arrowette” Monthly OP Kit, although…

IMPORTANT PRIZE NOTE: IF WE GET THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN KIT WIZKIDS HOLIDAY KIT IN TIME, WE WILL AWARD PRIZES FROM THAT INSTEAD!!

The Stipulations: Each character on your team must have appeared on a Network, Cable or Streaming LIVE ACTION Television show. Animated appearances don’t count, but the show does not have to currently be on.

As long as piece shares a real name OR a character name (ie, Clark Kent or Superman) with a character from a TV show, that piece is eligible.

Now, if you don’t watch a lot of TV but want some examples, you can build your team from Clix’d characters who have appeared on such shows as:

(DC)

Supergirl (2015: Notable characters include Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Hank Henshaw, Lucy Lane, General Lane, Red Tornado, etc.)

Flash (2014-Current: Flash, Firestorm, Jay Garrick, Vibe, Killer Frost, Zoom, Reverse Flash, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Vandal Savage, Heat Wave, Captain Cold, Golden Glider, Girder, Jesse Quick, Captain Boomerang, Rainbow Raider, Gorilla Grodd, Weather Wizard, Dr. Light, etc.)

Arrow (2012-Current: Green Lantern, Black Canary, Arsenal, Mister Terrific, The Atom, John Constantine, Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Merlyn, Huntress, Brother Blood, etc.)

Smallville (2001-2011: Clark Kent, Bizarro, Lex Luthor, General Zod, The Martian Manhunter, etc.)

And so on…

(Marvel)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-Present: Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Agent Ward, Nick Fury, Lady Sif, Agent Fitz, Agent Simmons, Absorbing Man, Skye/Quake, John Garrett, Mockingbird, Deathlok, Victoria Hand, Major Glenn Talbot, Eric Koenig, Mister Hyde, Graviton, Blackout, Blizzard, etc.)

Marvel’s Agent Carter (2014-Present: Peggy Carter, Dum-Dum Dugan, Jarvis, etc.)

Daredevil (2015-Present: Daredevil, Kingpin, etc.)

Jessica Jones (2015-Present: Jessica Jones/Jewel, Luke Cage, The Purple Man, Hellcat, etc.)

You get the idea.

Clarifications:

Ninwashui and some others have brought up certain pieces to inquire whether they’re eligible.

To wit:

Zoom (Black Lantern): Eligible. Remember, the parenthetical information doesn’t actually count when determining whether certain game effects work or don’t work.

Batmobile: Eligible. Vehicles are still characters, so yes, the ol’ Adam West show qualifies the Batmobile.

Thor (any version): Eligible. A live action Thor appeared in The Incredible Hulk Returns, which, while technically a TV Movie, still premiered on network television and was, in fact, a continuation of the Incredible Hulk TV series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.

 

Okay! Hope to see you down at Comics & More for some good ol’ fashioned boob-tube mayhem!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for another Night of Clix-Mas! We’ll be taking a closer look at what sets, intellectual properties and characters YOU want in the upcoming year!

(Actually, it’ll mostly be what I want in the upcoming year, seeing as I’m writing the article!)

Flash Fact: This Top Ten Is Better Than Ninwashui’s!! (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash!!)

Flash Family

 

What’s that? You thought you were only getting ONE Flash Top Ten Review just because it’s been, like, seven weeks since the set released?! Think again! Better yet, THINK FAST, cuz a second opinion is coming right at ya’… RIGHT NOW!!

Let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies...

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies…

–These sculpts are beautiful! In particular, Black Lantern Prime Zoom, Abra Kadabra, Kingdom Come Flash, Reverse-Flash, Mirror Master, Dark Flash and Captain Cold are some of the best looking sculpts and paint jobs they’ve put together in some time!

–Overall, the Power Level of this set is a slight notch below Guardians, but it’s pretty close. There’s a lot of great Supporting Pieces and Secondary Attackers in here; Meta-worthy Primary Attackers are few and far between here (see the end of this list for details on exactly who does make the cut!).

No joke--this time the Primes and Chases were all in the "Zoom" packs...

No joke–this time the Primes and Chases were all in the “Zoom” packs…

–This set was a lot of fun to play in Sealed formats. It almost seems like Sealed balance was a priority with this set more so than with the last 3 three main sets (SL0SH, Deadpool and GotG; not counting WoL as that set was theoretically designed primarily FOR Sealed) combined. Not really a criticism of those other sets; just an observation. That said, while Sealed play doesn’t necessarily matter in these evaluations, I will occasionally touch on that aspect if I think a figure happens to be extremely good in that format.

–The designers did a great job with figure selection on this set. The Sub-Themes (particularly the Rogues and Authority) are EXTREMELY well developed–much more so than in previous sets. You want to put together an Authority team? You have 11 different dials spread among 9 different characters for you to choose from. And if you’re a Rogues fan? Make that 27 different dials among 22 different characters–and that’s not counting the other six versions of the Rogues you get in the Fast Forces Pack (not technically part of the set if you go strictly by numbering, but still!)!! Only the Suicide Squad really didn’t get much to play with here (outside of Amanda Waller, who can induct folks into the Suicide Squad, which, as Ninwashui explained previously, is fairly useless, since there’s only, like, two or three playable Moderan Age Suicide Squad-ers).

Now, compare that with a set like Deadpool, which had a decent representation of Thunderbolts and Heroes for Hire, but really fell down with Sub-Themes like the Secret Empire (um, 3 characters doesn’t really make what I’d call an “Empire.”) or U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. (again, most hate groups have more than three dudes in their membership…). Not every keyword needs to be able to produce a Meta-worthy team, but there should be enough members to at least make a single 300 Point Build!!

 

–Alright! Enough with the Notes! Now for MY list! This is what Ninwashui SHOULD have told you. We’ll start with…

 

5 Honorable Mentions!!

 

Pied Piper

5. FL021 Pied PiperUncommon76 Points: This guy really took me by surprise. I pulled him in Sealed and he absolutely wrecked house. His top dial Pulse Wave Special is just awesome (HYPNOTIC TONES: Pied Piper can use Pulse Wave. When he does, hit characters modify their damage values by -1 [minimum 1] until your next turn and he can immediately use Mind Control as a free action to make a close combat attack with an area of effect that includes any hit opposing characters.), and the fact that he has Improved Movement (Ignores Hindering AND Elevated) is the cherry on top. Even if you NEVER get to use the Mind Control part, just the fact that you have a 76 Point Secondary Attacker running off rooftops and Pulse Waving is something that’ll bring a smile to your face every time.

He also offers a bit of support with top dial Enhancement before he totally switches gears to Mind Control, Willpower and Poison late dial. He just has the Rogues keyword, but if you’re only going to have one keyword in this set, that’s a good one to have. Finally, he has the Calculator team ability, which I was using to copy Mystics (from Abra Kadabra) during my Sealed games. PP very nearly cracked my Top 10, but if you’re playing Rogues, he’s practically a must play for me. Having a Secondary Attacker that costs under 100 Points who can also ignore all game effects (via Pulse Wave) is almost unheard of.

 

Elongated Man All this Trouble

4. FL051 Elongated ManSuper Rare81 Points: If you can get him safely to his second click, he is a tie-up monster. A crazily effective improved Plasticity Trait (GINGOLD SODA: Elongated Man can use Plasticity. Opposing characters within 2 squares and line of fire treat Elongated Man as adjacent for movement purposes.), Stealth and one of the best Outwits in the Modern Age game (MY NOSE IS TWITCHING: Elongated Man can use Outwit as if he had a range value of 8 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters.) means that Ralph Dibny is going to be a nightmare to deal with if he ends up next to your best attacker.

His second click brings a Defense Special that grants him Willpower, Barrier and Combat Reflexes to go with his native 18 Defense value. Good luck hitting that, especially when he’s countering your best power every turn. Now, a 9 Attack value with 2 Damage means he isn’t doing a ton of damage back, but with his power set he could easily tie-up some really good figs who are almost double his points! Besides, improving Attack and Damage values–even in a No Tactics environment–is waaaaay easier than finding someone with his tie-up skills and Special Outwit.

It’s a little early yet to know exactly how this massive influx of Speedsters (read: Hypersonic Speed pieces) is going to affect the Meta, but if Speed Demon continues his dominance (or if people start adopting Prime Zoom and others of his ilk en masse) expect to see more and more folks playing Mr. Dibny here as a legit countermeasure.

 

The Doctor Authority

3. FL016R The DoctorCommon50 Points: Whenever a Modern Age figure costs 50 Points even, I perk my ears up a little bit and pay attention. Going all the way back to FFCW006R Scarlet Witch, WizKids has a history of producing some EXTREMELY useful and EXTREMELY under costed pieces at that exact point level.

Now, the good Doctor here isn’t Fast Forces Chaos War Scarlet Witch. He isn’t even Fast Forces Deadpool Rookie Mercy. What he is, however, is a great Tertiary Attacker/Supporting Piece.

His Attack Value is subpar at just 9, but he comes packing Running Shot (with a 5 Range) and Pen/Psy top dial. He also offers Barrier and Probability Control to complete the package. Four clicks of life at his point value is pretty good, even if the last two are completely useless (Force Blast? Really?).  Lastly, his Mystical keyword ensures he’ll fit on a large array of Builds.

He’s not overpowered, and Prime Abin Sur from WoL won’t be losing any sleep over his place in the Meta, but The Doctor IS really efficient for his Point level, and is definitely worth a look.

 

Rainbow Raider

2. FL026 Rainbow RaiderUncommon68 Points: So, you’re probably not gonna go to the Finals at Worlds with this guy, but honestly, if I told you I had a fig that had seven clicks of life, Stealth down his WHOLE DIAL, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, 7 Range and a minimum of 2 Damage his whole dial AND he cost less than 70 Points, you might be interested in playing him just based on that information. But then if I told you that that same character has access to no less than FOURTEEN MORE STANDARD POWERS, your brain would probably explode.

Then imagine what would happen when I told you that his Trait (MY FAVORITE COLOR (TO DRAIN) THIS WEEK: Give Rainbow Raider a power action and choose Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Blue, or Purple. Opposing characters possessing a power of that color on their dial modify their combat values by -1 until he chooses again, if not already modifed by this effect.) allowed you to nerf the combat values of any opposing character you wanted by -1 (and in some cases, more than one opposing character)!

For his Point cost, he’s probably got as much going on throughout his dial as any character ever. He’s at his best on clicks 2 and 3, where he can access Energy Explosion and Toughness with an 11 Attack (Click 2) and Pulse Wave with a 10 Attack and Defend with a 17 Defense Value (Click 3).

The Raider is kind of a jokey character, but if you think about throwing an Entity like, say, Ophidian on him, he starts to creep into Meta territory, especially with that Trait.

 

Rival 2

1. FL001B RivalCommon PRIME105 Points: He has the Speed Force Trait, and he can ramp up in a hurry, but he’s only an Honorable Mention for me because of what he lacks versus the other top end Speedsters. He just has Charge top dial (he only gets Hypersonic Speed AFTER he gets a Speed Force Token, and that only works on his first four clicks); no Willpower or Indomitable; and he still costs 105 Points AND takes up the Prime slot in your Build. Still, he weakness (Charge) actually becomes an asset on those first few clicks because it means he can still move and attack once he gets a Speed Force Token even if his Attack Special that gives him Hypersonic is Outwitted (he’s the only character in the game that I’m aware of that has the potential for move and attack powers on two different slots simultaneously).

 

And now, for the MAIN EVENT!! These are…

 

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FIGURES IN FLASH!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Ninwa actually gave you a Top 12 Review, I had to do one better!! After all, this review is better than Ninwashui’s–that’s a FLASH FACT!!]

[NINWASHUI’S WEIRDLY OBTUSE PETER JACKSON’S HOBBIT-REFERENCING RESPONSE: Do better than MY list? Those are Rhosgobel Rankings–I’d like to see you try!]

 

Apollo Midnighter

10. FL048R ApolloRare125 Points AND FL049R MidnighterRare100 Points: Same #10 character as Ninwashui, but a different dial. AND THEN I ADDED ANOTHER AWESOME FIGURE ON TOP! Boom! Already I’m winning!!

APOLLO

As far as Apollo goes, I like his Rookie version just a little bit better than his Experienced dial for the points. For 75 points less, he still starts with Invincible (just with an 18 value instead of a 19), Running Shot, Precision Strike and Ranged Combat Mastery (with a native Damage Value of 4!), and he tops it all off with his Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain.

Basically, Rookie Apollo approaches Primary Attacker combat values but for a price that’s not unheard of for a great Secondary Attacker. But he also brings a lot more to the table.

Firstly, his Trait (I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING: Telekinesis can’t be used to place opposing characters in squares within Apollo’s range and line of fire.) will do wonders for slowing down Alpha Strikes; doesn’t make them impossible, but such a maneuver will often require even more planning on your opponent’s part–which means his Alpha Strike suddenly becomes a much riskier play. Secondly, yeah, he only has five clicks, but the Defense Special on his last two clicks has the potential to grant him FREE Regen (JUST NEED TO RECHARGE: Apollo can use Toughness. During the beginning of your turn, if Apollo occupies a square of outdoor terrain that is the highest elevation on the map, he can use Regeneration as a free action.). If he’s on click 4, you have 33% chance to get him top dial at the beginning of your turn–for FREE! Did I mention that it’s FREE?

The one caveat is that he really needs to be played on an Authority Themed Team that features Midnighter, as that’s the only way he can gain Willpower. This isn’t much of a handicap, though, since Midnighter himself is just as good–and he also made this list!

MIDNIGHTER

For 25 less points than his Experienced dial (which merely substitutes Super Senses for the Rookie’s Combat Reflexes–which is a trade you wouldn’t make anyway, given how you’re probably gonna play him), Midnighter’s Rookie dial is clean and efficient–he is a close combat tie-up nightmare, and he’s hard to hit on approach because he’ll usually be equipped with Stealth if he’s on one of his top three clicks thanks to his Movement Special (CYBERNETIC IMPLANTS: Midnighter can use Charge, Flurry and Toughness. When Midnighter doesn’t have 2 action tokens, he can use Stealth.) which also grants him both of the best close combat Movement-slot abilities.

He Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and he has not one but TWO Traits [(I KNOW WHAT YOU’LL DO: When an opposing character uses Close Combat Expert, they can only use it to modify one value by +1.) AND (WE’VE FOUGHT THIS FIGHT IN MY HEAD ALREADY: When Midnighter targets an opposing character with a close combat attack, until your next turn modify that character’s defense value by -1 and ignore any other modifiers to that character’s value.)] that ensure his triumph even when based with much higher-costed figures. Finally, his Damage Special (GO FOR THE SOFT SPOTS: Midnighter can use Exploit Weakness and Outwit. If he uses Outwit to target an adjacent character, Midnighter can use Plasticity and can’t be ignored for movement purposes.) ensures that his quarry won’t get away, either.

The ability to lock down almost any Primary Attacker in the game is well worth 100 Points, methinks.

 

Thorn 2

9. FL030 ThornUncommon65 Points: One of the better Secondary Attackers in Modern right now only costs 65 Points! On just her first click, Thorn brings Charge, Flurry, Stealth, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Shape Change. You want a better tie-up piece? You just got one! She doesn’t have Willpower, but who cares? Her second click is even better than the first, since her Defense Value actually goes up a notch and her Shape Change goes Special (MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES: Thorn can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When she does and succeeds, heal her of 1 damage and she can’t be targeted with an attack this turn.). So, 50% of the time, not only will her Shape Change succeed, but NO ONE else can attack her either.

The amount of annoyance you can cause by using her to tie-up your opponent’s best ranged attackers is almost endless.

 

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

8. FL046 Harley QuinnRare65 Points: And speaking of 65 Point-ers… Harley has to be the best of the bunch (EDITOR’S NOTE: What is with all the good figures in this set that cost exactly 65 Points? Even Murmur is really good for 65 Points–and he didn’t even make this list! Weird.) from this set at that Point level. She was designed by a World Champion to be a solid supporting piece that could also come through with some damage when needed, and that’s exactly what she turned out to be.

Mobility won’t be an issue in most games since she Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters during movement, and if she has no action tokens she can use Sidestep. Her support is primarily provided by her Trait (MY PUDDIN’: Once per game, choose a friendly character with a higher point value. The chosen character is Harley Quinn’s Puddin’. Harely Quinn can use Perplex and Probability Control, but only to target her Puddin’. When her Puddin’ is KO’d, modify all of Harley Quinn’s combat values by +1.), which is both flavorful AND incredibly useful! She also starts with Stealth in her Movement slot and Outwit in her Damage slot, so she should be quite the enabler for whoever you pair her with.

Top dial, she has an Attack Special (NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY: Harley Quinn can use Poison. When she does, if she is adjacent to only one opposing character, the damage dealt is penetrating damage.) that can dish out some Penetrating Poison if you position her correctly, and she rounds out her resume with Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and the Calculator team ability.

She’s also very playable at 50 Points, but her top dial at 65 is so good that I had to go that route for my list.

 

Flash Running Laps

7. FL202 The FlashCommon (Gravity Feed) — 149 Points: The best of the Gravity Feed figs, he’s got the Police team ability, the normal Speed Force Trait, an 11 Attack, 18 Defense Value with Super Senses and Outwit. But once he starts building Speed Force Tokens, his Movement Special causes him to become something else entirely (RUNNING LAPS AROUND THE WORLD: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. Remove a Speed token from this card and once this turn, The Flash may consider squares on edges of the map to be adjacent to each other for movement purposes, as long as they are in the same row or column.). If you think it’s hard to hit speedsters now, with their ability to hit you and run away, just wait ’til you’re try to hit a guy who can Close Combat you from across the map!

He’s pricey, but I like him for 149 Points waaaaaay more than Wally West’s dial, which has the exact same cost.

 

Turtle

6. FL031 TurtleUncommon50 Points: I gotta be honest–for awhile, I thought this guy might finish at #2 or #3 on this list. In a No Tactics, No Entities Format (like the one that’s winding down in the ROC right now) he can be downright DEADLY when combined with Iron Pharaoh (there are a couple other ways to go, but that’s the main Build that strikes fear into people’s hearts!).

Zombie Chase Super Skrull and a few other pieces who have/can gain Invincible don’t care as much, because Turtle’s Trait (SLOWNESS AS A WAY OF LIFE: Turtle can use Plasticity. When another character moves at least 5 squares and actions resolve, give them an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.) only deals PENETRATING damage if they already have an action token, not UNAVOIDABLE damage. Still, as we talked about before, if you team him with someone like Shaman, you can force all your opponent’s flyers to the ground AND make them move 4 spaces or less a turn (unless they have Sidestep, which is a huge boon against a figure like this). Then, if you win Map Roll and choose Apokolips, Wundagore Mountain or R’yut, forget about it. You’ll be bombing your opponent before his best character can even see you!

This piece does what it says on the box:  he slows cats dooooooowwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn. With a Trait that good, his Outwit and Quake are just gravy. Definitely useful, but not why you play him.

 

"Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!"

“Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!”

Weather Wizard

5. FL038 Captain ColdRare100 Points AND FL040 Weather WizardRare100 Points: I’m grouping of couple of the Rogues together in the five slot because, frankly, I can’t decide which one I like better. But the best part is, you usually won’t HAVE to decide–they share a named keyword and they’re each just 100 Points, so you can play ’em both and still have room for more!

CAPTAIN COLD

The Rogues Leader [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ha! Quasi-Star Wars reference/joke! See what I did there, Ninwashui? That’s how you make an obtuse sci-fi/fantasy movie reference in a Heroclix blog!!] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Uh… noted?] comes packing with one of the most annoying Traits for an opponent to have to deal with since Iron Pharaoh’s Golden Falcon, Sharting (FROZEN FIELD: At the beginning of your turn, you may place an Ice Block special terrain marker within range and line of fire. When a character occupying or adjacent to one of these markers attempts to move, it must attempt to break away as if the marker was a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Captain Cold.). That’s right, baby, every turn until he’s KO’d, Captain Cold will fill up the map with those things. This is an insanely good power, and the fact that you get to do for free every turn is just stupid and wrong. You want board control? He is the CAPTAIN of board control.

He also brings some Running Shot, Toughness, Rogues-keyword-based Special Leadership and the Calculator team ability to the table, along with an Attack special (ABSOLUTE ZERO: Captain Cold can use Precision Strike. When he hits with an attack, you may place an Ice Block terrain marker in that square.) that grants Precision Strike and the ability to drop more Ice bombs when he hits!

WEATHER WIZARD

Weather Wizard is almost like “A Tale of Two Dials.” On his first three clicks, he offers a 7 Range with two Bolts, Running Shot, a 17 Defense Value with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Perplex! Plus, one of the coolest Special Attack Powers in the game (POWERS LIKE THE SEASONS: At the beginning of you turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Weather Wizard can use the power indicated by the result on the back of this card.
1 – Spring Storms: When Weather Wizard makes a ranged combat attack, it generates knock back and if the target occupies outdoor terrain, damage dealt is increased by the target’s elevation level.
2 – Summer Lightning: Weather Wizard can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.
3 – Autumn Winds: Weather Wizard can use Quake as if he occupied a single square of outdoor terrain within range. Characters with “standard damage symbol” or “tiny damage symbol” can’t ignore knock back during this attack.
4 – Winter Chill: Weather Wizard can use Smoke Cloud. When he does, after actions resolve, he can use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting all opposing characters occupying one or more of these markers with a close combat attack.
5-6 – Weather Wizard may choose any single result.).

Sooooo… y’know how people have been playing Bill, Agent of A.I.M. or using Zombie Chase Electro JUST to set up situations where they can attack opposing figures within Range no matter what Terrain lies between them? Yeah, Weather Wizard has a 50% each turn of being able to do that on his own. For free. On a d6 roll of 2, 5 or 6, you get his Summer Lightning power. Plus it combos with Running Shot, which means you can actually run Weather Wizard out of harm’s way and STILL make a ranged attack. This is beyond awesome.

The back half of Weather Wizard’s dial is a bucket of poo-poo with no top on it. He becomes almost worthless (until you get to his last click, where there’s no almost about it–he is worthless).

But those first three clicks? Man…

Taken together, this duo will really present board control issues for your opponent.

 

Jenny SParks

4. FL061 Jenny SparksSuper Rare125 Points: Running Shot/Pulse Wave PLUS her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.) = A LONG DAY for your opponent.

She basically the Honey Badger Meme given clicks form:

Oh, you have special power that gives you Charge AND Flurry. Jenny Sparks don’t care. Now you can’t move and attack at all. Aww, you have some cute lil’ Stop Clicks? Well Jenny Sparks DON’T GIVE A $#!T!

She has above-average t0 great native combat values plus a dial that’s a robust 8 clicks long. The only things that keep her from being even higher on this list are a lack of Indomitable (she eventually gets a couple of clicks of Willpower down dial though) and no Improved Movement or Flight (hmmm… I wonder if there’s a Resource that grants the flight of the Phoenix… ).

I don’t think she’ll dominate the Meta, but I would not be surprised to see her show up quite often on some Top 8 ROC rosters (particularly since she’s an absolute Kyle Rayner assassin). And for some special fun (and a great taxi), try teaming her up on a Scientist Theme with Prime Captain Marvel from GoTG. You’ll thank me later.

 

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other

3. FL064 The QuestionChase100 Points AND FL062 PandoraChase125 Points: Two great flavors that taste great together!

THE QUESTION

Ninwashui had The Question as his number one piece in the whole set, which was clearly wrongheaded and stupid [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Hey! I’m right here!]. Still, The Question is a damn good piece. Top dial he features Charge, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison AND Precision Strike (and after using them, he can use Smoke Cloud for free), Indomitable, Super Senses (with a native 18 Defense), a special version of the Wild Card team ability and Outwit. And if he successfully Outwits an opposing character, he gets to take off an action token, which means you’ll essentially be using this guy every turn. And did I mention he only costs 100 Points?

The last Question we got was a con-exclusive that still features on a lot of Meta squads to this day. This Question is better.

PANDORA

Sort of the Ranged version of the Question. Pandora buffs her Range and Bolt number by the number of teammates she has with the Warrior or Trinity of Sin keyword. She has Sidestep, 6 Range, the Sharpshooter ability, Precision Strike, Indomitable, Super Senses, the Mystics team ability and Perplex. If she uses her Perplex to target an opposing figure, she too can remove an action token, so she, too, will probably be acting every turn. Especially since her Improved Targeting allows her to see through both Hindering AND other characters.

Great on their own, these two only get better when played together!

 

zoom-blacklantern

2. FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern) — Super Rare Prime —120 Points: In a set of speedsters, you’re looking at the one piece that’s arguably as good as DP053A Speed Demon. Zoom offers the Speed Force Trait, Indomitable (rare on speedsters), Hypersonic Speed, an 11 Attack (also rare on speedsters), Super Senses and a native 3 Damage. Additionally, his Attack Special (A NEW BLACK FLASH: Remove a Speed token from this card and choose either Exploit Weakness or Flurry. If you do, Zoom can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and the chosen power as a free action instead of making a close combat attack while using Hypersonic Speed this turn.) has the capability of just RUINING opposing strategies.

Need to take out a key support piece? Remove a Speed Token, choose Flurry and go to town for a possible six Damage–and then put another Speed Token on his card for hitting a character. And on and on. Unlike almost all speedsters not named Speed Demon, Zoom here actually gets better as he takes damage, picking up Steal Energy, Special Regeneration and Toughness.

Yes, he costs you your Prime Slot, but you weren’t gonna use that anyway if you’re playing a Black Lantern Themed Team. Zoom is a monster in a sub-150 Point body. Be very wary if you’re ever lined up against him.

 

Kingdom COme Flash

1. FL050 The Flash (Kingdom Come) — Super Rare195 Points: Criminally underrated by Ninwashui [NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Hey! I had him at # 8!!], this version of the Flash is the best Primary Attacker in the set. He has the normal Speed Force Trait (which, when fully active, punches his top dial Movement Value up to 20), the Kingdom Come team ability, ANOTHER TRAIT (HE NEVER GETS TIRED, HE NEVER STOPS MOVING: The Flash’s speed powers can’t be countered.) that ensures he’ll always be able to move and attack no matter how much Outwit your opponent is packing, Indomitable, a Hypersonic Speed Special that almost breaks Hypersonic Speed (PATROLLING BOTH CITIES AT ONCE: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, you may remove a Speed token from this card and he may then make a second close combat attack or use Outwit as a free action during this move and then continue his movement.), Super Senses (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value) and Probability Control (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value and you screw up your Super Senses roll).

Down dial (assuming your opponent ever gets The Flash down dial), he picks up normal Hypersonic Speed, Exploit Weakness, an Attack Special (WHO WOULD DARE BE A CRIMINAL IN THIS CITY?: Up to three times per turn, give The Flash a free action and remove a Speed token from this card. When you do, lock his damage value at its current value until the end of the turn and give him a close combat action as a free action.) that can absolutely pulverize even the heartiest of figures in one turn, and a Defense Special (HE’S JUST A BLUR: The Flash can use Super Senses, but succeeds on a roll of 3-6. This roll can’t be rerolled.) that makes him even tougher to damage.

Now add the Yellow Power Battery to your force (including the Yellow Decoy) and Possess The Flash with Parallax. Suddenly, after you give him the Decoy to start the game, The Flash has 18 Movement, Indomitable, 12 Attack, 20 Defense with Super Senses and (assuming you choose to up his Damage with Parallax) 4 Damage with Probability Control. Then you can either choose Stealth or the ability to gain the Quintessence team ability plus a Special Perplex (that only Perplexes values down). Then, assuming your opponents figures all cost 194 or less, they’ll have a -2 to each of their attack rolls against the Flash.

This is what you will look like every time your opponent makes an attack roll against the Flash:

"Oh, you're attacking me? Good luck."

“Oh, you’re attacking me?”

I mean, is your opponent REALLY gonna beat your Shape Change, Super Senses, 20 Defense AND Probability Control? As always, Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t think so:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And Jerry Seinfeld is always right!!

That’s why he’s a stupidly good Meta choice once Tactics rotate back in during the upcoming ROC season. And that’s also why, after 5000 words and 2 glasses of Oberweis chocolate milk, I can confidently say…

HE’S THE BEST FIGURE IN THE FLASH SET!!

Until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

Saving People – In a Flash! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Flash!!) (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Three of the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives, where we’re providing 12 straight nights of ‘Clix content! If you missed Night One, click here! The Second Night of Clix-Mas can be found here.]

"So we've had sets for  Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who's ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously... "

So we’ve had sets for Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who’s ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously…

Some General Notes About the Set:

Uh, did everyone else catch the irony of the HeroClix set centered around the fastest man alive arriving like three weeks late? Or that my Set Review is equally as late?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Eh, this is about the elapsement of time from release to review as our GotG Top Ten Set Reviews, so I’m going to say its more of an editorial choice than pure laziness on our part.]

Some Flash Facts about the set:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh… are all the italics supposed to make the words seem faster?]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes. And it’s totally working!!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually… that’s not a bad gimmick for this.]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you. Now shush!!]

  • This set brings a new “Speed Force” shared Trait, but the effectiveness of the Trait varies greatly by character. For example, FL001B Rival gains Impervious, the ability to deal Penetrating Damage, Energy Shield/Deflection and Hypersonic Speed after gaining just 3 Speed Force tokens. FL202 The Flash can literally run off the edge of the map to the other side AND BACK AGAIN by removing just a single token. Meanwhile, FL003 Jesse Quick needs three Speed Force tokens just to get Toughness and Super Strength. You can see a real difference there. Something else to consider is that by the time you’ve built up enough Speed Force tokens to use some of the bigger powers, the game might well be over. Professor Zoom has a power that requires ten freaking tokens. In a 300 point game you will probably have either lost or won before you have more than 3 tokens. Most opposing teams won’t last long enough for you to get 5 hits in with a single character.
  • Flash has some real stinkers (FL002 Max Mercury) and some real winners (FL046 Harley Quinn). Overall, most of the set is pretty playable. With only 2 characters in the 200 point range it seems like it should be great for Sealed, in particular.
  • The set delivered a bunch of Hypersonic pieces, but it also delivered a lot of anti-speedster figures as well. FL028 Tarpit and FL049R Midnighter will stop a speedster or keep him in place, respectively. FL042 Fallout and FL015 Rag Doll punish Hypersonic attackers in particular. FL044 Savitar will cripple anyone who relies on the Speed Force as a way of life and FL031 Turtle will cripple any strategy that doesn’t involve going really, really freaking slow (or using a lot of TK to move around the board).
  • On the negative side, wouldn’t it have been fun if they had more of a Black Lantern sub-theme in this set to go with FL206 Captain Boomerang and FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)? FL051 Elongated Man was already in this set. There was space at the end of his dial for a Black Lantern resurrection the similar to what Captain Boomerang has on his dial. It’s a real missed opportunity. It also would have been a great way to include several characters in the set that needed Modern versions. They could have had 2 point costs with a normal dial and then a Black Lantern dial at the end. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Firestorm come to mind right away. These could even have filled in the “missing” chase slots. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I LOVE this idea!! A Black Lantern Chase sub-theme definitely would have had me buying more packs. I hadn’t thought of this, but now that you bring it up, it’s probably all I’ll be able to think about during my next Flash Sealed Event. Damn! I mean, did we really need more Trinity of Sin versions ONE SET BEFORE THE TRINITY WAR SET?! Man. I also like this idea because Flash was such a huge part of Blackest night. Ninwashui, this might be your best idea ever.]
"Hello! We should have been your Chases!"

Hello! We should have been your Chases!

 

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Elongated Man: One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days! Booster Gold: No you didn't. Elongated Man: Okay, maybe not. Who'd want to anyway? Booster Gold: Doesn't Plastic-Man do that all the time?

Elongated Man: “One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days!
Booster Gold: “No, you didn’t.”
Elongated Man: “Okay, maybe not. Who’d want to anyway?”
Booster Gold: “Plastic-Man. Usually in a women’s bathroom.”

5. FL051 Elongated Man – This guy is surprisingly good for his points. Admittedly he won’t be on next year’s Worlds team and you may never see him KO anyone, but he can be a fun support piece. He doesn’t have Willpower, so push through his first click to get him into position. His second click is where the magic happens. That’s the click you’ll use to tie up the opposing team. He shares a power with Groot from the Guardians movie set that lets him tie up characters that aren’t adjacent to him. Combine that with his super Outwit that let’s him draw lines of fire almost anywhere and there are some close combat characters that will be completely powerless against him. For example, if you are facing FL019A The Flash, you simply have to move within one space of him and then you can continuously Outwit Hypersonic Speed. Without outside help, it’s likely Flash won’t move again for the rest of that game.

Captain Thunder

4. FL052 Captain Thunder – This guy has a long dial, lots of damage reducers, and a Stop Click, and each of those attributes go well with his Mystics TA. Unfortunately, in HeroClix it’s very difficult to field a piece that costs 200 points or more that doesn’t also have Outwit protection built-in. Zero range also makes him even more of a risky play. However, in an environment where you aren’t likely to see much Outwit (like Flash sealed), he can really shine.

"Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?"

Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?

3. FL025 Golden Glider – For only 60 points she makes 6 squares of hindering terrain every time she moves. These hindering markers last until this character is KOed. You can use this for your team to hide in and your opponent can never make use of these squares at all. Beyond just being normal hindering terrain, they require an opponent to break away when they are adjacent to one of these squares. In a long game your opponent’s movement options could be very limited. If you can find a way to let her ignore characters for movement she could be really nasty. Also, she gets bonus points for being Captain Cold’s brother. I’d forgotten about that.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

2. FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician – Pop quiz. Who is the cheapest TK figure in Modern HeroClix? It’s this guy. Okay, now, who is the best cheap medic in modern HeroClix? That’s actually DOFP016 Moira MacTaggert, but I would say this guy on click 2 is in second place. Add to that his ability to give someone Precision Strike and we have a real winner in the support category.

Hmmm... why wasn't this the sculpt?

Hmmm… why wasn’t this the sculpt?

1. FL030 Thorn – With a first click that has Charge, Flurry, BCF, Combat Reflexes, Shape Change, and Stealth for only 65 points she was an easy inclusion on this list. The fact that her Shape Change gets better and starts healing her once she takes a hit is just gravy. The only thing keeping her out of the top 10 is that FL046 Harley Quinn is also 65 points and fills a similar role.

 

Sadly there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed...  [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sadly?!]

Sadly, there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly?]

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

 

Apollo

10. FL048 Apollo – Any time you see a printed 19 Defense for under 300 points, you should pay attention. Apollo also brings Outwit protection that is sorely needed given his high cost. What sets him apart is that he has Hypersonic, Improved Targeting, Precision Strike, Invincible and Super Senses on his first click. The lack of Willpower on a 200 point character is frustrating, but you could do a lot worse than a team up with FL049R Midnighter.

"Boys, my ocular units are up here."

Boys, my ocular units are up here.

9. FL060R Engineer – With her ability to choose her own powers, she makes a wonderful support character. Running shot and Pulse wave or Hypersonic and Super Strength are great on offense. On defense you can still use Stealth and Shape Change to go along with her Toughness. I recommend the 90 point version over the 175 point version due solely to the existence of GOTG062 Super Skrull. At that 170+ point level Super Skrull is just better.

Kingdom COme Flash

8. FL050 The Flash – This guy can have up to a 20 Movement and he’s dangerous all the way through his dial. With Willpower and his incredibly high Movement there are characters who literally won’t be able to catch this guy. His double attack up front also helps justify his point cost. He’s good on his own, but with some Perplex to his Damage value he should end games very quickly. He’d make a real good Puddin’ for Ms. Harley Quinn.

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns’s REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

7. FL026 Rainbow Raider – For a character with 7 range, a full dial of Stealth, and 7 clicks of life, he’s very cheap by today’s standards. I think he plays best by Pushing to click 2 off the bat and being a ranged sniper. An 11 Attack and 3 Damage Value is great for sub 75 points. And then there is his Trait. If I told you that he gave your best figure a mostly permanent +1 to all stats, you’d be wondering why he isn’t on the watch list. Consider that what he really does is give your opponents best figure -1 to all its stats and you’ll see that his Trait is just about as good as the crazy broken Trait I just made up. Then he really gets nuts when you realize he might affect your opponent’s whole team.

Jenny SParks

6. FL061 Jenny Sparks – She is a capable attacker for her point cost, but it’s her Trait that really gets my attention. She is the one way in this game to get past powers that “can’t be countered or ignored“. Think about how often you see that phrase on really good powers that are on really good figures. The IIM103 Absorbing Man that is made of Uru metal folds like tin foil against this piece. WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) and WOL026 Sodam Yat might not ever see their Ion clicks when they are facing Jenny Sparks. That’s right, she disables all Stop Clicks! Think about that. I mean, really, THINK ABOUT THAT!!

"Man... why does every portal end on top of Batman?"

“Man… why does every portal I go through always end on top of Batman?”

5. FL045 Etrigan the Demon –  If you are paying 135 points for just the six Demon Clicks, he’s not that impressive. At least not until you realize the Demon’s self healing potential. Your opponent might see those 6 clicks several times over and take Mystics damage for every hit. No matter how hurt the Demon gets, if he is alive, he can be back to full health in 2 turns. When you consider that he has Invincible to start, your opponent will need to focus fire or risk not being able to KO the Demon at all. Best of all, the sculpt kicks butt.

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

4. FL046 Harley Quinn – With Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and Stealth, she has great defensive options at her disposal. She is also the second cheapest figure in the game to start with Penetrating Poison (behind only Red Lantern Recruit). She also has Outwit with 5 Range, so you could try to stay hidden and make them come to you. Best of all she falls in love easily. Her ability to make anyone her Puddin’ turns a very good figure into an outstanding figure.

Captain Cold

3. FL038 Captain Cold – When you look at his dial without his Trait you see 10 Attack and 3 Damage and you’d think that was a pretty good 85 point dial. Then you do look at his Trait. Then you realize the Ice Block Markers don’t go away. What? I’ve played against him once where I was fielding a Hydra Team lead by DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra. Captain Cold moved into Range and ice blocked Wolverine without needing to make an Attack Roll. Wolverine never moved for the rest of the game. There are a lot of characters out there who can literally be Ice Blocked and just plain ignored thereafter. Captain Cold is well worth his 100 points.

zoom-blacklantern Rival Flash

2. Prime Speedsters (FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern), FL037B Dark Flash, FL001B Rival) – Listed in order from best to worst. I cheated a little with this entry but it’s not like you can ever play them all on the same team. And if I had listed them separately they would have all made my top 10 and pushed other figures out. Here they are in a Flash:

  • FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)– The best all around Prime. He has three ways to heal himself and Willpower for only 120 points. He also has great offense when you can remove a token. He also has the great monster and Black Lantern Keywords. His major weakness is that you’ll want to remove a Speed Token for the extra damage every attack and that will make it impossible to save them up for better Speed and Regeneration.
  •  FL037B Dark Flash- For 110 points you lose Willpower but you gain 4 top dial Damage. He has the best starting dial without Speed Tokens and only 2 tokens makes all his Damage Penetrating. He also has the best keywords with Teen Titans and Justice League. He doesn’t need to remove tokens for attacking, but he will for Regeneration. His major weakness is that if he has to Regenerate more than once he will likely lose his Penetrating Damage.
  • FL001B Rival – For 105 points he is the hardest of the Primes to get started. He has the best defensive powers, but with starting Charge he practically requires a support figure with TK to put up a good fight. Once he gets that first token things change for him quickly. Hypersonic Speed and Energy Shield/Deflection really bring up his power level. If he can make it to 3 Speed tokens then he additionally gains full Penetrating Damage and Impervious! If he’s still on his first click at that point he has Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and Energy Shield/Deflection. Just to hit that guy you’ll need to plow through an 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection, and Rival’s controller still gets 3 shots at rolling a 5 or a 6 to nullify your attack! Rival is the hardest of the three Primes to start with but is also the most powerful when he has Speed Tokens.

Question_Prime_Earth_0001

1. FL064 The Question – Let me compare this version of the question to the last version (WKD-008 Question), because that is still one of the best pieces in the Modern age.

One of the reasons the last version of the Question was so good was because you could sub in a power that appeared anywhere on his dial in place of one currently there. He could only use 4 powers at a time, but one of the 4 could be tailored to the situation. The new Question can’t pick powers to add, but his first click has 8 Standard Powers on it! Toughness, Charge, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison, Precision Strike, Super Senses and Outwit. Do you really need to pick more powers if you already have that many?

The Stats and cost are similar between both the old and new version of the Question. I love the older versions double Perplex that prevented the other teams from using Perplex, but the new version has the power to subtract an action token from itself every time it uses Outwit. The other team might not be playing anyone with Perplex, but most teams run at least 1 figure vulnerable to Outwit and that could let this figure act every turn! In addition, the new version has Traited Toughness, and if he is played with the Phantom Stranger he gains Quintessence as well! All this makes the new figure superior to the old figure, which should easily make it the best figure in this set.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And that will do it for Night 3 of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives! We’ll see you right here tomorrow for a look at some potential issues with the game and what we’d do to fix them!!]

A Really Long Reply: Skye’s Father and Other Random Thoughts…

This started off as a really long comment/reply to Hypefox’s last Mid-Weekly Roundup. With everything he brought up, my reply ended up being long enough to be it’s own article.

What follows is in no particular order…

Agents of Shield Title

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:

–I read an article today theorizing that the Inhumans are coming to Agents of S.H.I. E.L.D. . The author theorized that the blue alien that healed Coulson was a Kree and that Skye was an Inhuman. That’s why Skye shared some DNA with the blue alien (being that the Inhumans were the result of Kree genetic experiments on humans). They also theorized that the obelisk is actually a Terrigan Crystal. Various characters in the series have also mentioned several times that Skye and her father were from the Himalayas. That was the original location of the home of the Inhumans (before it moved to the moon and before it blew up). Now, the author of the article thought Skye’s father would either be Mr. Hyde (retconned to now be an Inhuman), Maximus, or the Unspoken! The first one would make Skye into “Daisy” from Marvel’s Secret Warriors and the last two would actually make Skye part of the Inhuman royal family!

My guess?

I think it will turn out that Mr. Hyde will be Skye’s father. There is talk of an Inhumans movie and if that’s true then Mr. Hyde would be the least likely character that would be needed for such an endeavor, which in turn would mean that the showrunners would have free rein to do whatever they wanted to with the character. That’s why I think Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t feature more recognizable super people–they didn’t know which characters would and would not be needed for MCU films in the near future. Having a major villain debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much ensures that character won’t make it into the movies (at least not in any meaningful way, i.e. the primary antagonist).

Can you imagine if, say, a Hawkeye movie featured as the main villain someone that Phil Coulson’s team fought (and ostensibly beat) during an episode of MAoS? There could definitely be a feeling of ‘been there, done that’ to the proceedings, which could cause ticket sales to suffer, which is just about the last thing you would want for a tentpole flick that would cost a minimum of $150 million to produce.

However, if the MCU movies used some of the characters who were first established on TV (or, say, one of the upcoming Netflix series) to fill in the edges of some of their stories, well, that could be really cool. For example, if, say, Absorbing Man showed up as bit player in the next Avengers movie then I think that would drive the up popularity of both media, and would make the TV series “matter” in the movie universe. Can you imagine Avengers 2 opening with the already-established-on-Agents-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-Absorbing Man fighting the Hulk in Times Square before the opening credits? Then Ultron reveals him himself after the Avengers assemble post-fight back at the tower. I don’t think they’ll do it, but it’s awesome to think about. Really, the possibilities for this sort of thing are endless…

 

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

Celebrate-Gate…

 The Detroit Lions – These guys have been known in years past (really every other year previous to now) to lead fans on and make them start to believe only to yank the football away at the last second like Lucy does with Charlie Brown. Their defense this year will be remembered as one of the best the team has ever had. The offense will likely not be remembered at all. They won their latest game in incredible fashion, or more accurately the Falcons lost their latest game in incredible fashion. On the plus side this week no major player injured themselves celebrating, and our field goal kicker proved he can actually make a field goal if you give him a free do-over. Seriously I would love it if Jason Hanson came back. I think the Lions are getting kickers from the same place that the Tigers get closers.

 

Avengers_Assemble_TV_series

Marvel Cartoon Series – I don’t have any new news here. I just wanted to bring these to your attention in case you haven’t been checking them out. When Marvel connected everything in their movie universe by releasing the Avengers, the cartoon universe made that same move. In 2013, the current (at that time) Avengers cartoon was based off of the comics. It was replaced by Avengers Assemble, which started in episode one with the events of the Avengers movie. From there it diverges wildly (like adding falcon to the team in episode 1), but it’s nice for new viewers to have the movie starting point. Being in cartoon form also allows them to do things that wouldn’t fly in the movies – like having Dracula (yes that Dracula) be a reoccurring villain.  Avengers Assemble also connects with Ultimate Spider-man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in the same cartoon Universe. This allows them to guest star characters frequently between series and keep the same voice actors for characters regardless of show. For example, Iron Man is always voiced by Adrian Pasdar (who is also Glen Talbot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) regardless of which of the shows he’s appearing on at the time. That inter-connectedness makes it cool.

 

redbox

On Blu-Ray this month – I’ve got kids so I miss a ton of movies in theatres. I took a chance and rented Godzilla this week. I loved Pacific Rim and I was hoping this would be similarly fun. That ended up not being the case. The director made the incomprehensible decision to shoot the movie with realistic lighting conditions. Like maybe the monsters would be a lot scarier if you couldn’t really see them. Except in other movies that do that there is something else for the viewers to watch. This was just dark and hard to see. Can you imagine if the original Star Wars used realistic lighting conditions and you could barely see the Death Star the whole movie? Ridiculous. The plot also was absurd and that’s coming from someone who thought the Mathew Brodrick version was decent. HISHE has a wonderful spoof on this movie. The part with the “let them fight” line was dead on.

I’m hoping to rent The Edge of Tomorrow and 1000 Ways to Die in the West soon. I have higher hopes for those movies.

 

The_Flash_(2014_TV_series)_logo

The Entire Flash set Versus Speed Demon – They’ve revealed five Hypersonic Speed-based character dials for The Flash set so far. While they each have some interesting powers, they all require you to hit an opponent before you can really do anything special. There are faster pieces in this set, but so far it looks like Speed Demon will remain the best Hypersonic HeroClix character [EDITOR’S NOTE: All characters get better with Entities, obviously, but he is damn near broken! Ion is great with him; Ophidian might be just as good, if not better (keep in mind, if you can find a way to give Speed Demon Sidestep, his Trait still activates! So in addition to your normal attack and first Speed Cyclone Uplift victim, if you’re careful enough with your positioning, you would have a 1 in 6 chance to do another 1 damage to an opposing figure. That’s three freaking chances to deal damage to opposing figures, and two of them don’t even need attack rolls. Sick, sick SICK!!]

On an unrelated note, FL204 Central City Police Captain has a power that reads “LAW ENFORCEMENT CONSULTANT: When building your force, all characters with the Police keyword have the Central City keyword.” With the Batman and Streets of Gotham sets still being legal, Police teams might be a thing again. As always, stay tuned…

 

Krampus

Team of the week – I’ve had reason to study the Krampus/Helspont combo recently and I’m finding the only teams truly resistant are teams that feature a tent pole that costs over 199 points (because Helspont can’t switch with them). To that end I put together this quick team.

“Deadpool is Just the Man to Teachethetheth Thee.”

  • DP055 Deadpool (w/DPW003 “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?”)
  • TDW011 Fandral
  • FIR100 The Book of the Skull
  • FIR107 Angrir’s Hammer
  • Total = 299 points

If someone tries to “Krampus” this team they won’t be able to touch Deadpool due to his point cost.  That leaves Fandral. Fandral can use his perplex to raise his defense by one and then Krampus would need hit a 20 defense to get his Capture. It’s still very possible Krampus makes that roll, but it’s a certainly not a “lock”. That’s not really even the worst part for the Krampus player. If Helspont switches with Fandral, he’ll end up double tokened next to Deadpool. Deadpool has outwit, pulse wave, and an attack of 14. He’s not going to miss except on snake eyes. Helspont will be near the end of his dial very quickly.

Against non-Krampus teams, Deadpool is still a killer and Fandral is still a very competent backup attacker. If Fandral rolls low on Blades then Deadpool gets a free close combat attack via Fandrals’s Feint special power . If Fandral rolls high on Blades, then he rolls high on Blades. Isn’t that enough?

The approach on the battlefield against other teams might hurt because Deadpool only has a six range, but once you close with another team you will be incredibly deadly.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Any team using the Yellow Power Battery has the possibility to give Krampus fits as well, provided your figures are over 79 Points. The Hal Jordan Parallax team from the first “Let’s Be Lanterns” should be able to mop the floor with a Krampus/Helspont team. Having said that, yeah, there’s not a lot that effectively counters Krampus/Helspont. Props to you again, Andrew!]

Well, that’s it for now. Man, that was a lot of randomness that I just scribbled down. I feel like Larry King! Now if only I got paid like him…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry. Not gonna happen.]

Damn.

 

 

 

Flash Forward!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 10/19/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome Back!!

So what’s happened since our last Roundup? Well, let’s see….

–The Tigers flamed out of the playoffs in just three short games. Joba Chamberlain and the bullpen were characteristically awful (seriously, it seemed like they were filming a sequel to “Firestarter” there EVERY FREAKING NIGHT!), as was manager Brad Ausmus, who–when it came to making pitching changes–made the wrong choice just about every time:

Bossmus

What’s that? Anibal Sanchez is available? No thanks! Joba just blew an inning last game, so, mathematically, there’s no possible way he can blow a 4-run lead today! It’s science!”

I get that the number of good bullpen options he had were limited, but to not use virtually ANY of them is just idiotic. Even Blaine Hardy would have inspired more confidence than the Pu-Pu Platter of Joba Chamberlain and Joaquin Soria that he kept shoveling out there night after night.

Brad Ausmus's version of Sabermetrics.

While demonstrating his mastery of Sabermetrics, Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus delivers the results of his statistical analysis of using Joe Nathan as his closer.

Overall, I actually thought Ausmus was fairly solid as a manager during the regular season. We’ll see how Year 2 goes. I can’t imagine that the leash is long for him after such a playoff debacle. We shall see, though. Bring on the Hot Stove league!

 

–The Lions have tricked everyone into thinking they’re respectable again. Spoiler Alert: They’re not. They’ve beaten up on a Murderer’s Row of awful quarterbacks , and they still managed to find a way to lose at home to Kyle Orton. That’s not easy. Now, they are 5-2, and they still have 3 games against Minnesota and Chicago, who are terrible, so getting to 10+ wins should be fairly straightforward. Of course, with this team, things are never straightforward.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but after last year’s swoon, I’m gonna need to see a lot more than what they’ve shown me so far before I get my hopes up. Remember, we’re not even, like, a month removed from this highlight yet:

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

“Oh, Stephen, noooo!”

 

But enough about sports! What you’re really here for is a Heroclix recap, right?

Well, look no further than…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back with an episode near and dear to my heart! Episode 66, “Lantern Team Building Advice,” was a shortie but a goodie. Similar in premise to the “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we ran right here in August (but with much more of a “Dial H” spin, of course, and a much more thorough analysis of each color’s Power Battery), there’s no shortage of good advice for players contained within (FYI–the Blue Lantern actually does NOT work with LE Absorbing Man–that’s a pending errata right from Wizkids’s own rules forum–but the rest of the advice they give is spot on!).

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season, is still the most recent entry!

Push to Regen

–In case you missed it last time, in somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but for now, the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

–ClixCast is back! They have yet to release an October ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–While I haven’t seen any recent results, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Having said that, I know I went on a big rant last time about the possibility of Copycat screwing up the ROC’s current format. Until I get some hard results that will either back up or destroy my argument, I’m going to back off a little bit… but I will definitely be watching these next few ROC’s with great interest!

 

Preview

–Want to know what it’ll be like tearing into a case of FLASH boosters next month? Well, wonder no longer, because Friday Night Lights alum and celebrity Heroclix fan Scott Porter (Iceman425 on the Realms) has teamed with DC VP of Creative Sciences Kevin Kiniry to do just that–and they recorded it all!

A couple of takeaways from that video:

-There are only 3 Chases (unofficially, they will be The Question, Pandora and Phantom Stranger)

-If you buy a case of The Flash, well… you are NOT guaranteed to pull one of them!! That’s right, Scott and Kevin pulled 2 Primes (the Common and Uncommon Prime, I believe). This means that the Chases will probably be REALLY expensive on the secondary market, especially initially. And if they’re actually good… yikes! Will they even be able to replace the Trinity of Sin Team Base figures? That is a dark horse rumor. That I just started.

-Some of the sculpts are amazing. Or at least they look amazing on film.

-I don’t know much about any of the Flash characters beyond Wally West, Barry Allen and Jay Garrick. I know virtually nothing about their Rogues’ Gallery. Having said that, a lot of people who do seem to be really, REALLY excited for this set. Basically, this seems like the DC version of the DeadPool set we got back in May. The characters I’d probably be most excited for are the Trinity of Sin characters, and they’re gonna be some really hard to pull Chases. And maybe a Kingdom Come Flash (He’s rumored to be a Super Rare. I loved that story, and all of the initial Kingdom Come characters were so overpowered it was ridiculous!). So while I may not grab nearly as much of this set as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m glad all the folks who really love these characters are finally getting a set!

-Finally, Deadpool kind of set the bar for how broken/awesome a Hypersonic Speed character can be with Speed Demon (and, to a lesser extent, Whizzer), so we’ll see if any of the characters in Flash can hang with the most recent Marvel speedsters!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna spotlight local player Andrew’s team from Ninwashui’s most recent Local Tourney Report!

Krampus

Team Name: Krampin’ Your Style

Theme: None

Roster:

WKWK–002 Krampus79 Points

(assigned The Utility Belt with 1 item)–8

SLOSH042 Helspont200

DP018 Blind Al13

=300 Points

 

What We Liked About This Build: Holy crap, this was pretty fun to play against! Krampus with a 13 Attack and Capture is just devastating, and Helspont’s ability–and Andrew’s creative way of getting Helspont to the correct click–was just some awesome out-of-the-box thinking! Ninwashui mentioned in his report that while he admired the creativity of the Build, he didn’t have a great time losing half of his army by Turn 2. I had a different experience.

Playing the Orange Power Battery with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by Ophidian) and Speed Demon (Possessed by Ion), I saw Andrew capture Iron Pharaoh on Andrew’s first turn (using a double power action) and had to spend my next two turns racing across the board to try and free the Pharaoh. Speed Demon ended up rolling a 12, which did enough damage to KO Krampus in one hit. Had I not gotten that stroke of luck, I still would have had about a 66% chance to do the last two damage that I needed via Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.), but had I rolled a 1 or a 2, I would have been in a world of hurt; Krampus would have scored Iron Pharaoh on his next turn, which would have healed him back up to full, Speed Demon would be on his second click, and Andrew could just trade places with Speed Demon again using Helspont and sent my last piece all the way across the map (while double-tokened!).

In other words, the game would almost be over at that point. I’d have needed an extraordinary amount of luck to get back in the match, so it all came down to that initial push with Speed Demon to try and get Iron Pharaoh back. At the risk of coming across as the biggest nerd to ever pick up a pair of dice, it was probably my most dramatic Heroclix moment so far!

But that’s mostly a recap. What I want to focus on is Andrew’s army! Ninwashui and I spent probably 15 minutes after that tournament discussing Andrew’s Build and how it affected every decision each of us made in our respective matches. We also looked at it from Andrew’s perspective; after I described our match, Ninwashui was absolutely sure that Andrew should have grabbed Speed Demon instead of Iron Pharaoh. But I pointed out that Andrew then would have had a double tokened Helspont in a prime position (roughly 3 squares away) to get 2-shotted by Iron Pharaoh (who was sporting the Orange Crossbow and would have basically had a 13 Attack of his own and would have been sporting 5-6 Damage against Helspont at that point). So if Andrew takes Speed Demon, he scores around 185 Points, but he’d probably lose a 200 Point character immediately after! That would leave him Krampus and Blind Al, who, frankly, would have had no shot against the Pharaoh.

And that was just a small snippet of the dozens of scenarios Ninwashui and I were running through A HALF HOUR AFTER THE TOURNAMENT ENDED! I can’t remember the last Build that got us talking so much. Ninwashui was right in his report insomuch as there ARE several team types that will have next to no shot against Andrew’s team IF HIS CAPTURE GOES TO PLAN. But there are also plenty of Meta Builds that still match up well against Andrew’s squad! I was simply lucky in that I was playing just such a team (although, as I stated above, I still needed one really lucky roll!).

At the end of the day, I think Heroclix is actually a better game for having a team like Andrew’s in it. It was different and creative, and that’s why it’s this week’s Army of the Week! Great job, Andrew!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Agents of Shield Title

–So last time, I talked about what was wrong with Gotham, and some things they could do to fix the show. The last two episodes weren’t fabulous, but they were a step in the right direction. So this week, I want to focus on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

If you gave up on this show last year, you are really missing something this year. These episodes have a raw momentum that was missing from many of the initial offerings last season. The creators have somehow also managed to introduce a TON of new characters while still remembering to give each of the main characters a share of the spotlight in every episode so far. More than that, the villains this year have been much more formidable (and, y’know, actually INTERESTING in their own right!).

As opposed to the Mort of the Month C-list roster fodder that the writers seemed to shuffle into every episode last year, this year started with a bang with an impressively realized Absorbing Man, Kraken (aka Daniel Whitehall) and Skye’s Evil Father (Mr. Hyde? A Kree? An original creation? We don’t know exactly who he is yet!).

This week’s episode also introduced Mockingbird into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it looks like things are just picking up.

Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix has been all over M.A.o.S.’s resurgence this year, and you can read his latest recap right here!

I have a lot of thoughts regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically, and the MCU as a whole, that are probably best saved for a separate post. For now, I’ll just say that if you’ve been off the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bandwagon for awhile, now is a great time to climb back on!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Okay, we’ve already linked to Ninwashui’s articles from the last couple weeks, and we’ve got more content planned for the next couple weeks as well. Remember to Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates (and random thoughts) as soon as they happen! You can Follow us at @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! See ya next time, and until then, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Age of Ul… timate Play!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 09/14/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome back my friend, to the game that never ends! Step inside, step inside!

Has it really been three weeks since we updated the week that was in Heroclix? I believe it has! Well, it’s time that ended! My Tigers have regained first place, I can’t stop pulling Zombie Chases from the new set (always choose the “Guardians” artwork over the Thanos artwork when you’re pulling packs–just trust me, this is clearly a thing–and you’re almost guaranteed a Super Rare at least, and an increased shot at a Zombie Chase or Prime. Flash Fact!), and they just announced three new Marvel sets for next year (but we’ll get to that in a lil’ bit)!!

Yep. This is what first place looks like here in the Central. Oy.

Yep. This is what first place looks like here in the Central. Oy.

 

So after digesting… that, we’re back this week with a Weekly Roundup to catch you up on everything that’s been going on in the world of Heroclix for the last 3 weeks! Here is your…

 

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–Oh, look who’s back again! Of course Dial H for Heroclix was new once more! They’re now up to Episode 62, I believe, wherein they talk about all the new Avengers goodness for next year that’s just been announced at the Alliance Tradeshow.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still working on 2.07. In the meantime, you can give a listen to Season 2, Episode 6 right here!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry has released Episode 25 & Episode 26! 25 covers the Owensboro ROC with winner Zachery Brazier; 26 features a roundtable dissection of everything that went on at GenCon & World’s!

Welcome... to the ROC!

–Meet the new boss, same as the old boss; Patrick Yapjoco has won the ROC Championship. This just in: he is good at Heroclix. Despite the logo I used for this segment, I believe that brings an end to the 2014 ROC season; everything from here on out should feature the 2015 ROC logo.

–Speaking of, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

 

Preview

–Oh my sweet gravy and biscuits, we have an honest to God preview! It’s from the Flash set, and it features the Uncommon Flash (very good) and his Prime–Bizarro Flash (uh… not so good. Amazing down dial, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get there…

–We also have previews for some of the OP Team Base replacement figs! Here’s Angel (who fits onto the X-Men: Gold Team Base) and John Lynch (who can replace Grunge on the Gen 13 base). I actually love that in addition to alternate versions of some of the Team Base characters they’ve already published, WizKids is offering 1 new figure sculpt (or in some cases, like with John Lynch, a totally new figure) in each kit who wasn’t part of the team originally and who can replace a member of that team. Really cool. And for the record, both of these figs are good in their own right (although Lynch is a bit more of a subtle piece that takes some finesse to play). Oh, and if you want to know what the new Psylocke will be bringing, click here!

Other new figures/sculpts that will arrive later this year or early next year include a brand new Pete Wisdom for the already awesome Excalibur Team Base and a Black Canary for the JLA Team Base! Really liking this new OP program!

 

Wizkids

–Oh boy, did we ever get some announcements!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!

Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!

You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week,  we’re gonna look at… another Patrick Yapjoco army! Since he won the whole damn ROC at DragonCon, I figure he deserves one more shout-out here! Here’s his winning Build Sheet:

 

Patrick Yapjoco Dragoncon ROC

 

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Comics are invading your small screen again real soon!

Here are the Fall premiere dates for:

 

Gotham Title

Gotham (Fox): Monday, September 22nd (Debut!)

Agents of Shield Title

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC): Tuesday, September 23rd (Second Season Premiere)

The_Flash_(2014_TV_series)_logo

The Flash (CW): Tuesday, October 7th (Debut!)

Arrow-logo

Arrow (CW): Wednesday, October 8th (Third Season Premiere)

Constantine_TV_show_logo

Constantine (NBC): Friday, October 24th (Debut!)

Agent Carter

Agent Carter (ABC): Sometime in January, 2015 (Debut!)

Happy viewing! Which comic book-based show are you most excited for?

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Ninwashui and I finished our Magnum Opus!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 of “Let’s Be Lanterns!!” can be viewed at your leisure! Keep an eye out for next week’s Roundup to find out who won our little bet (see Part 3 for more details!).

–Ninwashui also published a Local Tournament Report for Month 4 of War of Light at local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet AND a new team idea article for a Meta Build he calls “The Unstoppable Force.” It features Grasshopper. From Deadpool. And no, I’m not making that up. It must be read to be believed!

–As always, here’s another reminder that we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles and get the occasional preview of things to come, or even the occasional tip or two!

 

And that’s it for this week’s Weekly Roundup!! We’ll be back later this week with a Top Ten Set Review for Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ninwashui will be back soon with a Build idea he calls “The Immovable Objects!”

Until then, once again, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!