The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: A Look At Some Upcoming OP Kits!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

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

Welcome to Night 10 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today we’re going to take a look at what Wizkids has planned on the OP kit front… especially because “Best There Is Games” on YouTube has just gotten their hands on some Deadpool OP kit images!

This kit is coming to Local Game Stores in January, and it will feature Deadpool (natch), Wolverine and Negasonic Teenage Warhead!

Click the link above if you want to see the cards and dials for Deadpool and Wolverine. But suffice it to say that Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the winner of the bunch.

She’s 40 points and comes with 4 Clicks. She has 4 Range and top dial Sidestep, ES/D with a 17 Defense and a Special Attack Power ( Watch This!: Pulse Wave, Telekinesis. POWER: If Negasonic Teenage Warhead has no action tokens, she can use Pulse Wave and Telekinesis at no cost in either order.) on her first two Clicks (along with a 10 Attack).

With the Heroes for Hire keyword and the Mercs For Money Trait (Mercs For Money: When another friendly character with the Heroes For Hire keyword KO’s and opposing character, after resolutions heal Negasonic Teenage Warhead 1 click.), she will slide right in with your favorite characters from 2017’s Deadpool and X-Force!

If you place in a local event and get a chance at one of these pieces, Negasonic is probably your best choice!

Now the fact that hard news about these pieces is already filtering through definitely inspires confidence that we’ll see the other already announced kits actually drop when they’re scheduled for release.

For the record, that means we’ll be getting:

–Heroes For Hire Monthly OP kit (February)

–Too Many Spider-Man OP kit (March)

–Public Enemy: Bullseye OP kit (April)

–X-Men: Empowered OP kit (May)

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print for the moment

Good luck with your January events, and we’ll see you here tomorrow night for some more Clix-Mas!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are sourcing this information from a video posted by “BEST THERE IS GAMES” on YouTube! We highly recommend clicking the link and checking out there content for pictures of the actual cards for these figures (and hints on what the sculpts will look like!).]

 

 

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The Ghost of Christmas Past Wants to Talk About the Five Figures He Hated the Most This Year!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back yesterday under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets!]

I hate YOu.jpg

Okay! We’re back for Night Ten of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2017!!

So far this Clix-Mas, we’ve talked about underrated sets, valuable pieces and lots of things I loved about Heroclix this year.

This is not one of those columns.

Today we’re going to talk about the five pieces I hated the most this year! This list is personal to me (although I will offer some justification with each choice), and, as such, I make no apologies.

In reverse order…

Donna Troy

5. WW015 Donna Troy — 45 Points — Chase: 

The main reason she’s on this list is because she’s a worthless Chase from a (mostly) worthless expansion who has an essentially worthless power set.

But maybe that’s too harsh. I mean, remember when the Wonder Woman set came out this summer and everyone got really excited about building up those super useful Amazon tokens?

Yeah, me neither.

 

Daredevil TV

4. WI034 TV’s Daredevil — 30 Points — Rare: 

What if you pulled a 30 Point Rare who was only useful for keeping opposing characters in place via Plasticity?

I mean, seriously, what is the point of this piece? And how was it designed on the same scale as “Ha-Ha Joker” who, for the same point cost, is INFINITELY better at pretty much every aspect of the game?

Flora Colossus.jpg

3. TMTG008P Flora Colossus — 10 Points — Colossal: 

The whole point of Flora’s Colossal Retaliation is that its Trait (DRINK DEEP, SAPLING: Flora Colossus may heal past its starting lines but can’t heal except by this trait. At the end of your turn, you may roll a d6. 5-6: Heal 1 click. If it occupies water terrain, heal 2 clicks instead.) allows it to heal past its Starting Line.

So, you have a 16%-ish chance each turn to gain 1-2 clicks on Flora’s REALLY overcosted dial (even its 400 point dial is pretty crappy).

In the meantime, you have a chance to use Flora’s Colossal Retaliation, which could do up to ONE WHOLE DAMAGE to several opposing characters! Wow! All you have to do is hit with your 8 Attack Value!!

That makes Flora Colossus a piece that’s almost scientifically impossible to ever live up to its own point cost.

 

Foggy Nelson

This dramatizes how much effort you’ll need to make Foggy’s power useful…

2. ADW041 Foggy Nelson — 15 Points — Rare:

Sometimes, when I’m feeling really ambitious, I think I can neckbeard at my local venue and figure out which packs have Chases. When ADW came out, I was judging the Release Event and I remember tracking the packs that guys were opening from this one particular Brick. I was sure I had counted 3 SR’s and 6 Rares pulled.

Hmmm…

I cautiously approached the shelf. One pack left.

I brought it up to the counter, paid for it and then took it over to the play area while everyone else was making their Sealed teams. Nervously, I slowly opened the top. Just as I was about to pull out the contents, I heard one of the guys building his team excitedly call out.

Apparently, he hadn’t looked at his pulls very closely initially. That Common Cap he thought he pulled? Nope. It was Secret Empire Chase Cap.

Uh-oh. I immediately pulled out the contents of my pack.

Rare $#%@ing Foggy Nelson.

Pretty much what I deserved for trying to neckbeard. But my God is he terrible. As a Common, I’d be like, “Eh, I guess it’s kinda fun that he got Clix’d.”

But as a Rare?!?

#$%@ me.

The lone Trait on his two-click dial (TRUST ME… I’M A LAWYER: At the beginning of your turn, choose a friendly character of 150 points or less. Until your next turn as long as the chosen character is adjacent to Foggy Nelson, they cannot have their powers countered or their combat values decreased by opposing game effects.) is so cumbersome to effectively activate that it really seems like Foggy has no practical use in the game of Heroclix.

At all.

I don't Feel

This phrase is both the title of a Netflix movie with Elijah Wood and the entire contents of the last note left by the person who designed ADW041 Foggy Nelson before they disappeared…

 

Big Barda

Only six of them? Great! You’re probably only gonna get like 3 attacks off before you’re KO’d though, so…

1. HQ023B Big Barda — 100 Points — Uncommon Prime:

I was so happy when I pulled the Barda Prime during my local venue’s Harley Quinn Release Event. Then I used her. Holy God.

Game 1: First, I moved her 3 squares into the fray where she could reach out and attack almost anyone on my opponent’s team. Rolled a 2. Grrrrr. So, essentially she did nothing and picked up an action token for her trouble. She basically self-Incapacitated.

Next turn, I chose not to make another move-and-attack action SINCE SHE DOESN’T HAVE ACCESS TO WILLPOWER. Oh look, her non-Prime does…

Next turn. Even with her measly 4 range, I only had to move her 2 squares to take a potshot at my opponent’s most vulnerable supporting character and wipe the piece completely off the Map.

I rolled a 1.

Nicholson Meme

Her “great” Movement Special (PERSONAL BOOM TUBE: Phasing/Teleport. When Big Barda uses it, after resolutions you may roll a d6. If the result is greater than the squares moved, make an attack.) seems like it gives you the best of both Running Shot and Charge.

It doesn’t. It gives you the worst part of neither, which is a statement that makes absolutely no sense unless you’re unlucky enough to have played this Barda. This power is literally a crap shoot. The problem is that you have to make your move BEFORE you know whether or not you’re even going to be able to make an attack.

Let’s compare “Personal Boom Tube” to DXF016 Dark Deadpool’s Movement Special (SURPRISE! YOU’RE DEAD!: Dark Deadpool can use Stealth. Give Dark Deadpool a free action to roll a d6, then place him in any square within half the result.). Oh look, he has Stealth AND GETS TO MOVE FIRST before you decide if attacking is the right move! And that’s with Dark Deadpool costing 15 LESS points and NOT taking up your sole Prime slot.

Yes, I know that Wizkids recently (and randomly) ruled that her own Special Empower somehow affects her as well. Great. So now that’s 5 Damage that I won’t be doing to my opponent’s pieces instead of 4. Fantastic.

By the way, I ended up going 2-1 that event. I won the rest of my games because I used Barda as a Taxi first, then as bait. While my opponent was busy attacking her and her useless dial, I cleaned up everything else (including a Chase Shazam) with Prometheus.

Who is awesome.

#$%@ you, Barda. #$%@ you.

Okay, that’s it for Night Ten of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas! Come back tomorrow to see what we’ve cooked up for Night Eleven!!

Simply THE REST, Part 2!! (Or, With Apologies to Tina Turner Once More!!)(Or OR The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, lemme see if I can remember all this: Ahem! Once again (and this time, with feeling!), we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can read what it’s all about right here! Night 2 was the nascent edition of a new holiday scenario we’ve been cooking up and can be found… here-ish! Night 3 took a brief look back at Horrorclix. Night 4 was the debut of a new feature called “Overlooked” which examined some pieces from World’s Finest that don’t see quite as much play as they seemingly should… . And Night 5 was Part 1 of a brief 3-part series that examines how Heroclix would look if there were a Core Set released every year or two… And Night 6 saw HypeFox Theory-craft his own Marvel Heroclix Core Set! Night 7 saw Ninwashui calling an audible and promising to throw his hat in the ring and finally write an article! Night 8 featured Ninwashui ACTUALLY writing an article, although, strangely, not the one he promised… Night 9 subverted our old “Simply the Best” gimmick!]

Why wait ’til sometime after Clix-Mas to finish this article when we can do it right now?!

Without further ado…

 

sub-theme

WORST SUB-THEME

The Nominees:

Court of Owls (Joker’s Wild)

“A Cadre of Characters of a Mystical Origin” (World’s Finest)

Morlocks (Uncanny X-Men)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

court-of-owls

The Court of Owls saga in the Batman books has drummed up a lot of interest in the Batman books since its inception a few years ago. Considering this, the Court gets surprisingly short shrift in Joker’s Wild.

For their first appearance in Heroclix, the Court gets… four figures (and only 3 different dials). To put that in perspective, Marvel’s jokey “Secret Empire” faction from Deadpool HAD THE SAME NUMBER OF DIALS!!

This seems like a wasted opportunity.

 

ari-figure

WORST FIGURE TO PULL IN SEALED (Rare, Super Rare, or Chase)

The Nominees:

WF043 MercuryRare25 Points

JW065 Bizarro AquamanChase50 Points

UXM061 ColossusChase120 Points

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

colossusaoa

At the end of the day, pulling a middling (for the points) close combat attacker WHO NEEDS ANOTHER CHASE TO USE HIS BEST ABILITY seems like it would be a tad bit disappointing, no?

Mercury is actually a solid piece for 25 Points, but he’s in a set where someone could potentially pull a World’s Finest Duo piece and play it at 300, if you pulled Mercury in your pack, good luck to you!

And we’ve already touched on why Bizarro Aquaman sucks so much.

 

WOrst Set.jpg

WORST SET OF THE YEAR

The Nominees:

Joker’s Wild

Batman v Superman

Uncanny X-Men

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

bvs

Outside of the Target Exclusive Supes, which has recently seen Meta play with the Brainiac ship (altough that has come to an end via a recent Wizkids ruling that’s too odd to go into here), there was really nothing in the “must-have” department for this set. Which is unusual for a movie tie-in set.

Part of the problem is that it was designed with no original Chases, even though every Marvel Movie Set has had one. Big missed opportunity there.

Joker’s Wild is really top-heavy, but overall it’s a better set than BvS. Same thing with Uncanny X-Men.

 

Okay!! There you have it. Those were the initial Crit Misses for 2016! I look forward to putting this list together next year! Until then, Stay Safe, Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire and meet me right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas goodness!

The Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future!! (Or, Critical Missives Presents: A Viewer’s Guide to Gotham: Season 1!!) (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[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 5Night 6Night 7Night 8 or Night 9 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Hello! Welcome to Night 10 of The 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Television

Today we’re going to preview what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here on Critical Missives:  Episode Guides for comic-book TV shows! We’ve been teasing these for awhile now, but the 12 Nights of Clix-mas has finally given us the chance we needed to make it a reality! First up will be a FOX Freshman series about a cop. Who lives in a very dangerous city. Today, we’re just publishing a recap of the Pilot, but the full article (which should come in early January, smack dab in the middle of the Heroclix Dead Zone) will have every episode that has run to that point! We’ll also make that page stick so that we can keep adding to it as the season continues.

After the Gotham project’s done, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be next, followed by Flash!

Having said all that, enjoy the preview!

 

"The name's Gordon!"

The name’s Gordon!”

We’ve seen the first half of the first season of GOTHAM, so buckle in–it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

 

Gotham Title

 

Series Overview:

Gotham tells the story of Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.

Season Overview:

The first season of Gotham is the story of the distinguished war veteran and perpetually serious-faced James Gordon, who comes back to his hometown of Gotham to take a job as a detective with the GPD. His private agenda is to fight the corruption eating at the city’s core by helping to solve as many crimes as he can while also exposing the misdeeds of those in power, but he is alternately impeded and aided by his partner, Harvey Bullock. He also quickly finds out very quickly that his new job has put his girlfriend, Barbara, in harm’s way.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Meanwhile, gangster Fish Mooney bides her time as a lieutenant in the Falcone crime empire as she waits for the perfect time to dispatch her boss, Carmine Falcone, and take over, but her plans take a detour when her confidence is betrayed by one of her own employees, a violent, passive-aggressive young man named Oswald Cobblepot…

Showrunner: Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist)

Main Cast:

Ben McKenzie…………………………………………..(James Gordon)

Donal Logue……………………………………………..(Harvey Bullock)

Jada Pinkett Smith…………………………………..(Fish Mooney)

Robin Lord Taylor……………………………………(Oswald Cobblepot)

John Doman……………………………………………..(Carmine Falcone)

Erin Richards……………………………………………(Barbara Kean)

Zabryna Guevara……………………………………..(Sarah Essen)

Camren Bicondova……………………………………(Selina Kyle)

Cory Michael Smith………………………………….(Edward Nygma)

Sean Pertwee……………………………………………(Alfred Pennyworth)

David Mazouz…………………………………………..(Bruce Wayne)

 

Recurring Cast:

Victoria Cartagena……………………………………(Renee Montoya)

Andrew Stewar-Jones………………………………(Crispus Allen)

Drew Powell……………………………………………..(Butch Gilzean)

J.W. Cortes……………………………………………….(Detective Alvarez)

Richard Kind…………………………………………….(Mayor Aubrey James)

Makenzie Leigh………………………………………..(Lisa)

Claire Foley………………………………………………(Ivy Pepper)

David Zayas……………………………………………..(Sal Maroni)

Carol Kane……………………………………………….(Gertrude Kapelput)

Nicholas D’Agosto…………………………………….(Harvey Dent)

 

Episode 1.01: “Pilot

Gordon Wayne Pilot

Written By: Bruno Heller

Directed By: Danny Cannon

Tonight, on Gotham… : James Gordon, Gotham PD’s newest detective, is partnered with grizzled veteran cop Harvey Bullock by their Captain, Sarah Essen. The city is rife with violence and corruption, which sickens Gordon, who has come back to his hometown to do his best to clean it up. Bullock, for his part, seems to be every bit the sort of “dirty” cop that Gordon is crusading against. Before either can object to their pairing, however, they’re assigned to the investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, two titans of the Gotham business, political and social landscapes.

Bruce-Wayne-in-the-Gotham-TV-show

The case soon takes them through the Gotham City underworld where they encounter Fish Mooney, a ruthless lieutenant in the Falcone crime family. Eventually Mooney’s information leads Gordon and Bullock to corner their lead suspect, Mario Pepper, but Bullock is forced to kill him before Pepper can assault Gordon.

Back at the station, Gordon and Bullock are applauded as the heroes who solved the Wayne murders, although something isn’t sitting right with Gordon. Against Harvey’s objection, Gordon journeys to Wayne Manor to speak with Bruce Wayne–Thomas and Martha’s young son who is now in the care of the family butler, Alfred–so that he can tell Bruce that he screwed up; Mario Pepper wasn’t the guy who killed their parents.

Eventually, a witness to the killings comes forward. Street urchin Selina Kyle was there when the Waynes were murdered, and she may know who did it.

Meanwhile, Fish Mooney finds out that Gordon is still investigating what should be a closed case, and she dispatches a team to kill Gordon and Bullock. Before the hit goes down, however, Carmine Falcone finally makes an appearance and gives Gordon and Bullock a reprieve–provided that Gordon “plays ball.”

Previously, Fish had determined that none other than her little errand boy, Oswald Cobblepot, was the one who tipped Gordon off in the first place about Pepper not being the real killer, so Carmine orders Bullock to have Gordon execute Cobblepot. Gordon, realizing he has no choice, walks Cobblepot down to the edge of a pier with a gun to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot begs for his life and says that there’s a war coming to Gotham. He’s seen it coming for awhile now, and he can help avert it.

Gordon Cobblepot

When they arrive at the end of the pier, Gordon can only whisper one sentence to Cobblepot before he aims his gun: “Don’t come back to Gotham.”

Gordon pulls the trigger and fires–right NEXT to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot falls into the water and Bullock is now satisfied that Gordon’s “gotten his hands dirty” by murdering Cobblepot. Gordon can keep his life–and his job–for now.

In the very last scene, a startled fisherman could have sworn he just saw something move in the water. He looks to investigate, but finds nothing. Then he turns around and finds Cobblepot standing there with the fisherman’s own fillet knife. Before the fisherman can run, Cobblepot brutally slices his neck open.

Oswald

Reaction: There was a lot going on in the Pilot–arguably too much. Gordon is really kind of one-note so far, and Bullock is painfully over the top, to the point that Logue really looks uneasy in the role. That will change (mostly because Logue gets more comfortable as the writing gets better), but Bullock is tough to take seriously in these first few episodes.

Fish Mooney is the one major character (so far) that the writers have cooked up exclusively for the show (meaning she isn’t based on a comics counterpart), and the verdict is still out. I like the concept of her (although the name is awful–it would be more at home in a Dick Tracy comic than a Batman story); the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith (who I normally love) seems to be trying to channel Eartha Kitt with each of her line readings is really distracting. The writers clearly love her, because they put her in almost every scene. Still, the whole momentum of the show seems to grind to a halt.

The actors playing Alfred and Bruce are good, but it already seems like it’s going to be tough to shoehorn them into the story every week. Leaving the Waynes’ murder unsolved will give Gordon a reason to check in with them every now and then, but so far Pertwee seems almost wasted as Alfred. An episode or two detailing his backstory (which is quite adventurous, at least in the comics) and why he’s so devoted to the Wayne family would go a long way.

These sorts of problems are actually common for a pilot, as everyone–including the writers–is still sort of feeling their way around. But the biggest find in terms of the cast is Robin Lord Taylor. He’s the one actor on this show who had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with his character from the get go, and he really pops in every scene he’s in, whether it’s well written or not. The writers will grow to lean heavily on Cobblepot as the series goes on, and this is in no small part due to Taylor’s performance.

The one thing the show really has going for it is the cinematography. This show looks gorgeous. They got the feel and atmosphere just about dead on. If I lived in Gotham, this is what I’d expect to see when I looked around. I know some folks aren’t sold–they still have the hyper-realized production design from the Tim Burton movies fresh in their mind. But for my money, this aspect of the production was a home run.

Overall, Gotham’s first episode has a shaky foundation, but there are definitely some intriguing elements to build on.

Verdict: C-

 

And there ya go! Look for the full Episode Guide in January!

And now that you’ve seen the Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future, come back Christmas Eve night for a special Ninwashui-penned “Christmas Carol”-style look at Heroclix…