Monthly Archiv: March, 2010

Tell Us Your Backstory!

Tell Us Your Backstory!
Every character has a story but not every story has character. Does yours? Now is your chance to prove it.

Tell us your Players Handbook 3 character’s backstory in 500 words or less and earn your character instant fame. Check out the details below.

Contest Details
Tell us your Players Handbook 3 character’s backstory in 500 words or less and earn your character instant fame. The top three winners based on design quality and creativity will win an autographed copy of Players Handbook 3 and be featured on the D&D Community Group page.

Please complete the Age Validation and Submission forms and upload your entry according to the Offical results for this contest.

Enter the Contest at: http://wizards.com/dnd/promotions.aspx

Comics on Sale 3/31


Premier Publishers

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS

FEB100001

PREVIEWS #259 APRIL 2010

PI

DARK HORSE COMICS

DEC090075

DOMO 2 INCH MYSTERY QEE FIG SER 2 COUNTER

PI

DEC090076

DOMO QEE 2 INCH FLOCKED CLASSIC BROWN FIGURE

$8.99

DEC090078

DOMO QEE 2 INCH FLOCKED PINK FIGURE

$8.99

DEC090079

DOMO QEE 2 INCH METALLIC ORANGE FIGURE

$8.99

DEC090080

DOMO QEE 2 INCH RUSTY FIGURE

$8.99

DEC090077

DOMO QEE 2 INCH SKELETON FIGURE

$8.99

JAN100193

STAR WARS LEGACY #46 MONSTER PT 4 (OF 4)

$2.99

JAN100123

TERMINATOR #1 (OF 3)

$3.50

JAN100139

USAGI YOJIMBO #127 SWORD OF NARUKAMI

$3.50

DC COMICS

JAN100255

ADVENTURE COMICS #9

$3.99

JAN100329

ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE BOOK FOUR #3 (OF 4)

$3.99

JAN100319

BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #14

$2.50

JAN100231

BLACKEST NIGHT #8 (OF 8 )

$3.99

JAN100389

BLACKEST NIGHT POSTER #1

$8.99

JAN100391

BLACKEST NIGHT POSTER #2

$8.99

DEC090204

BRAVE AND THE BOLD DEMONS AND DRAGONS TP

$17.99

OCT090244

CREEPER BY STEVE DITKO HC

$39.99

AUG090259

DC DYNAMICS AQUAMAN STATUE

$195.00

JAN100241

DETECTIVE COMICS #863

$3.99

JAN100245

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #10

$2.99

AUG090257

GOTHAM CITY STORIES STATUE PART 1 BATMAN

$99.99

JAN100281

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #43

$3.99

JAN100273

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #37

$2.99

DEC090292

KING OF CARDS VOL 09

$9.99

DEC090293

OH MY BROTHER VOL 02

$9.99

DEC090214

ORACLE THE CURE TP

$17.99

JAN100246

OUTSIDERS #28

$2.99

AUG090177

ROBIN ARCHIVES HC VOL 02

$59.99

DEC090216

STRANGE ADVENTURES TP

$19.99

JAN100286

TEEN TITANS #81

$3.99

JAN100289

WEB #7

$3.99

JAN100290

WONDER WOMAN #42

$2.99

DEC090223

WONDER WOMAN ENDS OF THE EARTH TP

$14.99

IDW

JAN100991

A-TEAM WAR STORIES BA #1

$3.99

JAN100962

DRAGON AGE #1

$3.99

JAN100996

ETERNAL DESCENT #1

$3.99

JAN101033

EZ STREET GN

$21.99

JAN100978

GI JOE COBRA II #3

$3.99

JAN101003

STAR TREK TNG GHOSTS #5

$3.99

JAN100965

TRANSFORMERS ONGOING #5

$3.99

IMAGE COMICS

OCT090422

GODLAND #31

$2.99

FEB100326

IMAGE FIRSTS YOUNGBLOOD #1

$1.00

MAY090397

IMPALER #5

$4.99

FEB092429

PVP #45

$3.50

MARVEL COMICS

JAN100557

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627

$2.99

JAN100676

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY JMS ULTIMATE COLL TP BOOK 03

$34.99

JAN100681

CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER ULTIMATE COLLECTION TP

$24.99

JAN100569

CLOAK AND DAGGER #1

$3.99

JAN100511

DARK WOLVERINE #84 SIEGE

$2.99

JAN108072

DOOMWAR #1 (OF 6) 2ND PTG JRJR VAR (PP #910)

$3.99

JAN100691

ESSENTIAL RAMPAGING HULK TP VOL 02

$19.99

JAN100572

FANTASTIC FOUR #577

$2.99

JAN100678

GUARDIANS OF GALAXY TP VOL 03 WAR OF KINGS BK 02

$19.99

JAN108113

INCREDIBLE HULK #607 2ND PTG PELLETIER VAR (PP #910)

$3.99

DEC090580

IRON MAN EXTREMIS HC

$24.99

DEC090581

IRON MAN EXTREMIS HC DM VAR ED

$24.99

JAN100635

IRON MAN I AM IRON MAN TP

$16.99

JAN100512

NEW MUTANTS #11 SIEGE

$2.99

JAN100673

NOMAD GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD TP GN

$14.99

JAN100542

PRELUDE TO DEADPOOL CORPS #5 (OF 5)

$2.99

JAN100594

PUNISHER #15

$2.99

JAN100606

REALM OF KINGS INHUMANS #5 (OF 5)

$3.99

JAN100522

SHE-HULK SENSATIONAL #1

$4.99

DEC090610

SPIDER-MAN COMPLETE CLONE SAGA EPIC TP BOOK 01

$34.99

JAN108112

THUNDERBOLTS #141 2ND PTG VAR (PP #910)

$2.99

JAN100620

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #46

$2.99

JAN100687

WOLVERINE ORIGINS ROMULUS TP

$14.99

JAN100519

WOMEN OF MARVEL POSTER

$8.99

JAN100617

X-FORCE #25

$2.99

JAN100625

X-MEN FOREVER #20

$3.99

JAN100608

X-MEN SECOND COMING #1 XSC

$3.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

FEB100640

WIZARD MAGAZINE #224 IRON MAN 2 CVR

$5.99

FEB100639

WIZARD MAGAZINE #224 MARVEL ULT UNIVERSE CVR

$5.99

RISE of the ELDRAZI pre-release – Concord, NH 03303

RISE of the ELDRAZI pre-release

At Collectibles Unlimited

Registration Opens at 10:30am and closes at 11:45am

Any registration after 11:45 will have less build time and up to a first round loss depending on tardiness.

Format: First sealed event starts at NOON. The second sealed event will start at 6pm. Drafts will be done as time and players permit.

Cost: $25.00 for sealed and $15.00 for draft

When:
Sat Apr 17 10:30am – 11pm Eastern Time
Where:
25 South Street, Concord NH, 03301 (map)

On the Rise Part I

On the Rise, Part I

Welcome to Rise of the Eldrazi Previews, Week One (of three, large sets get three preview weeks). The plane of Zendikar is going through some major upheaval, and so too is the block. Rise of the Eldrazi is the first time we’ve rebooted the mechanics without rebooting the creative. Why did we do this? How did we do this? Who did this? All will be explained today. (Well, technically over the next three weeks.) Hang on to your hats because some serious stuff is going on. And yes, before the article is done, I have a spiffy new preview card to show you.

If They Build It

Before I jump into how Rise of the Eldrazi was designed, let me start with the fine tradition of explaining who designed it. Without further ado, the Rise of Eldrazi design team:

Brian Tinsman (lead) – In the history of Magic, how many designers have lead the design for three or more large sets? Four. Myself obviously (Tempest, Odyssey, Mirrodin, Ravnica, Shadowmoor, Zendikar, Scars of Morridon, and the 2011 large fall set codenamed “Shake”), Bill Rose (Mirage, Portal, Invasion, and Shards of Alara), Mike Elliott (Urza’s Saga, Mercadian Masques and Onslaught) and Brian Tinsman (Champions of Kamigawa, Time Spiral, and Rise of the Eldrazi). Brian’s only one set away from tying for second. (And while I can’t tell you which one that will be yet, I already have a large set picked out for him to lead.) My point here is that Brian’s not an up-and-coming Magic designer. He’s a veteran. He’s been doing this longer than anyone currently working on Magic design other than Bill and myself. As you will see today, Brian was given a daunting challenge with Rise‘s design, and he stepped up to meet it. Brian’s reputation as a Magic designer is that he loves exploring places that design has not yet gone. No set better exemplifies this desire than Rise of the Eldrazi. In fact, as the preview weeks go by I’m going to spend some time explaining how different Rise is. It is my hope that I’ll strengthen what I call the Brain Tinsman brand. When players see that he is lead designing a set I hope it gets them excited, because they know they’re about to board a roller coaster of an experience. A Tinsman set is never boring and will definitely make you rethink things you thought you knew. Rise of the Eldrazi is no exception.

Aaron Forsythe – Here are a few little known facts. (Well, little known if you’ve never read Aaron’s three-part article about how he came to work at Wizards.) When we were first setting up magicthegathering.com, I’m the one who suggested we hire Aaron to be the editor-in-chief. I had followed his writing (and editing) and just had a gut feeling that he’d be right for the job. I had no idea that I was hiring my future boss. Aaron’s first design team was Fifth Dawn. We included him on the team because we thought it would make for a compelling article, a chance for an outsider to report on Magic design from the inside. And then Aaron blew our socks off. I was looking desperately for designers, and Aaron was a natural. We brought him into R&D with the intent that I was going to train him to be a Magic designer. Somewhere along the way he instead became the head developer, and then through another series of events ended up the director of Magic R&D. Aaron is someone who was in training to become a future head designer, became a head developer instead, and currently runs Magic R&D. So when I say a team is blessed to have Aaron on it, I am in no way exaggerating. My biggest regret as the guy who oversees design is that I have so little of Aaron’s time. But Aaron was excited by the premise of Rise of the Eldrazi and chose to make this design one of those he would work on. The set was better for that decision.

Graeme Hopkins – Graeme came in third in the Great Designer Search. During his interview for the final portion of the GDS (we brought the three finalists to the Wizards offices for the last challenge), Graeme had such a good interview that before the weekend was over, he was offered a job in the digital department, where he still works today. Luckily, they let us borrow him from time to time to do design. I am never unhappy to have Graeme on one of my design teams. He always delivers in spades. Rise of the Eldrazi was no exception. (And I can’t wait to show off some of his cool stuff for “Shake” next year.)

Devin Low – This was Devin’s last design team. He has gone on to do design for another company. While Devin was the Head Developer before he left, we made plenty of use of him on design teams. In fact, one of my regrets is that I never got him to lead a design team. (He almost led the design for Eventide, but circumstances didn’t work out.) Both Devin and Aaron are what we call cross-hitters in that they are capable of leading either a design or development team. Cross-hitters are few and far between. I miss working with Devin. It’s kind of bittersweet to me that this was his final design team. Luckily, it does him proud.

Gregory Marques – Like Devin, Greg has gone on to design elsewhere. Like Aaron, Greg got his start on the Fifth Dawn design team. The biggest difference was that Greg didn’t even work for Wizards at the time. Interestingly, Greg ended up getting hired at Wizards, but not through Magic. While his day job was designing new games, he had a little time for Magic design. Rise of the Eldrazi made good use of his design skills.

Bill “Quill” McQuillian – While it’s important to have design veterans on every set, we also like to occasionally get other people onto designs, partly because it’s good to have fresh blood in Magic, partly because it’s a nice reward to the many people who help out on Magic in various ways. Quill has been at Wizards for a long time. Long ago (before current senior editor Del Laugel), Quill was actually the lead Magic editor. Nowadays his primary responsibility in R&D is overseeing the Avalon Hill brand. (When Wizards was bought by Hasbro, they gave the line to us as we’re the company that oversees what we call “core gamers,” people who take their gaming seriously as a hobby.) It is always interesting to get a person with a completely different vantage point on a design team, as they make comments that no one else will. Now if only we could convince Quill that an Eldrazi board game makes perfect sense as an Avalon Hill product ….

Escape from Zendikar

As I said above, Rise of the Eldrazi has the distinction of being the first set to reboot mechanically while staying in the same place creatively. How did that come about? It was the result of two forces colliding together:

The “lands matter” theme of Zendikar – It was a radical idea without any track record of success. Many people were, reasonably under the circumstances, nervous. Rather than over commit to an untested theme, it was thought it best to try out the new idea in a smaller space. One large set and one small set felt right.

The Eldrazi – The creative team had to figure out why the land was so crazy on Zendikar. Eventually they came to the idea that beings—giant, powerful, ancient beings—were trapped within the plane. And when a story starts with giant, powerful beings trapped somewhere, odds are at the end of act two (all stories have three acts, at least according to one model of story construction) they’re going to escape.

Mechanically we wanted to reboot, and creatively something big was scheduled to happen at the end of the second act. It became pretty clear that the answer was to have the rise of the Eldrazi be such a significant event that it changed the world. As the new world was mechanically different and we would want players to draft it separately, past lessons (what you might refer to as Coldsnap) had taught us that we wanted a large set.

When Rise of the Eldrazi design started here’s what Brian and his team had to go on:

  • It was a large set.
  • The set was going to reboot mechanically, with a completely new set of mechanics.
  • The Eldrazi have managed to get out of their imprisonment. The new set had to show the world once this key event had happened.
  • The world was still the plane of Zendikar, but it had radically changed.

That’s it. That’s what the design team had.

Give ‘Em Eldrazi

It was crystal clear to Brian that this set was all about the Eldrazi. Everything revolved around them. Magic was getting a new set of villains, and Brian had to introduce them to the world. This meant that the design team had to start by figuring out who the Eldrazi were and how the game was going to represent them.

In Hollywood, there is a thing known as a three-beat. When you pitch your new idea, you have to couch in terms the executive already knows. On a three-beat it is always “[popular example of media you’re pitching] meets [another popular example of media you’re pitching].” For example, if I was pitching a television series, I might say my show is “Glee meets Lost.” (“There’s an ongoing mystery with a tightly woven mythology that the main characters unravel …. through song.”) If I was pitching a movie, it might be “Avatar meets Iron Man.” (“Robots versus aliens, what’s not to love?”) I bring this up because I’m about to give you the three-beat for the Eldrazi:

Cthulhu meets Galactus.

For those unfamiliar with awesome stories, here’s the rundown in a Wikipedia-ish nutshell:

Cthulhu is a malevolent being of alien origin buried deep within the Earth. It is the creation of horror author H. P. Lovecraft. Cthulhu and other beings like it are members of a powerful and ancient race awaiting the day they escape their prison to enslave the planet. Cthulhu is so horrible that people who merely get a sense of what it truly is are driven insane.

Galactus, from the Marvel Comics universe, is a godlike being that feeds on planets. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to be a villain on a grander scale than had ever been seen before. He treated the heroes like a human would treat insects, something far beneath his attention.

Luckily, Brian is quite knowledgeable about Cthulhu.

He didn’t know quite as much about Galactus, but I filled him in. (Man, that guy goes through heralds like nobody’s business.)

If the set was going to be about the Eldrazi, Brian felt strongly that they had to be an integral part of the design. It wasn’t enough to merely reference them in the creative—the Eldrazi had to be represented by cards. It became quickly apparent that the only existing card type that made sense was creature. The Eldrazi, though, were no ordinary creatures. The set would have to find a way to give them a distinct identity.

The first thing Brian and his team latched onto was their size. Much as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were trying to distance Galactus from a normal villain, so too did the Rise design team want to separate the Eldrazi from normal creatures. This meant they had to be big. Not just a little big—really big. Brian joked about how they should have a common Eldrazi that was as big as a normal Timmy rare. That was merely the Eldrazi Scout … you know, the smallest of the Eldrazi.

Quick aside. The creative team will fill you in on who and what exactly the Eldrazi are. For this meeting all you have to know is that there are three main Eldrazi, all of which are mythic and legendary. In fact, one of them has already been previewed.

I’m sure we’ll preview another one any day now. What? You want to see it right now in the middle of my aside—the first ever aside preview? Could I do such a thing? It’s never even been attempted before. Still, it would be kind of cool to show you another legendary Eldrazi. Okay, damn the consequences—I’ll do it!

Once you’ve picked your jaw off the floor, I’ll continue with my aside. The legendary Eldrazi are the main bad guys, but they’ve created an entire subclass of servants that do what they tell them. The most powerful ones are colorless. Some others are colored. Anyway, when I talk about the Eldrazi, be aware that there are Eldrazi other than the “big three,” such as the two at common. You heard me. Two at common.

Didn’t you guys know that? I told you all about it.

Quick aside in the aside. Okay, this last aside isn’t turning out to be so quick, but I promise this aside inside the aside will be brief. In my article The Revenge of the Mons last December, I told you all exactly what to expect in Rise of the Eldrazi, although I might have change a word or two to “goblin.” Here’s was my explicit Rise of the Eldrazi teaser as it appeared:

Goblin of the Goblins is going to be a goblin built around the Goblin goblins, all of which have no goblin and are goblin. For example, there are two Goblins at goblin, the goblin of which is 7/7. All of the Goblins have a new goblin called goblin. Goblins with goblin have a goblin; whenever a goblin with goblin goblins, the goblin goblin must goblin that many goblins. The Goblins are very goblin but there are goblins that can create 0/1 goblins called Goblin Goblin that can be goblin to goblin one goblin goblin to your goblin goblin and will help you be able to goblin the Goblins. In addition, the goblin has a new goblin called goblin goblin. You may spend goblin on goblin with goblin goblin to improve their goblins and goblins. This Limited goblin is much goblin than the one in Goblin.

As it’s Rise of the Eldrazi previews, I thought I’d show you the non-goblin version:

Rise of the Eldrazi is going to be a set built around the Eldrazi creatures, all of which have no color and are giant. For example, there are two Eldrazi at common, the smaller of which is 7/7. All of the Eldrazi have a new keyword called annihilator. Creatures with annihilator have a number; whenever a creature with annihilator attacks, the defending player must sacrifice that many permanents. The Eldrazi are very expensive but there are cards that can create 0/1 tokens called Eldrazi Spawn that can be sacrificed to add one colorless mana to your mana pool and will help you be able to cast the Eldrazi. In addition, the set has a new ability called level up. You may spend mana on creatures with level up to improve their stats and abilities. This Limited environment is much slower than the one in Zendikar.

So when I talk about the Eldrazi, be aware that there are more than just the main three. Also note that there are two types of Eldrazi subclass, the colorless and the colored. The colorless are what I’m talking about today. There are also colored Eldrazi that do things like provide Eldrazi spawn creature tokens.

Before the asides, I was talking about how the team had been joking that the best way to show how giant the Eldrazi were was to have a scout (the smallest of the colorless Eldrazi) show up at common the size of normal rare or mythic rare monsters. Over time, the joke turned from a joke to a reality. It was decided, to make sure that the impact of the Eldrazi was felt in Limited and that the sheer size of them was communicated, that two of the smallest of the giant colorless Eldrazi would appear in common. Here’s one of them:

Size wasn’t enough for Brian, though. Size communicated their giant, well, size, but it didn’t communicate other important aspects about them, such as their age. These were ancient, otherworldly beings. What if they were so ancient and strange, thought Brian, that they existed outside the colors of Magic? For years the ideas of doing colorless spells has popped up in design. Each time I’ve killed the idea because it seemed like a gimmick and not something integral to the set. When I heard Brian propose the idea of the Eldrazi being a colorless (and specifically not artifact) race, I told him it was the first time that the colorlessness felt like it meant something.

So the Eldrazi were giant colorless creatures, but Brian and his team weren’t done yet. The reason the Eldrazi were locked away was the untold damage they’d do if allowed to remain free. That “untold damage,” Brian felt, needed to be conveyed on the cards. Brian knew he wanted a keyword mechanic to go on the Eldrazi, and only the Eldrazi, to convey this sense of great destruction. The answer to this problem was, of course, the annihilator mechanic.

The legendary Eldrazi were then given one more bit of oomph. All three of them have “when you cast” triggers for a big effect, as R&D felt that you shouldn’t earn the bonus unless you actually summoned them properly. Also, the “shuffle into library” text was added to prevent easy reanimation and make the Eldrazi difficult to permanently kill.

So the Eldrazi were giant colorless creatures with the annihilator ability, and the legendary ones also had awesome effects when cast as well as a new tweak on the anti-reanimation clause of other big creatures like Darksteel Colossus. The team was done, right? Just one tiny thing left to do: design the entire set around the Eldrazi so they could both be played and be meaningful. That task took a little longer.

Join me next week when I begin to explain how they did it.

Until then, may you know the joy of hardcasting an incredibly expensive creature.

Finding a Phone Booth

Clark-Kent1-197x300.jpg

Everyone needs an Alter-Ego!

Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, this article is running a little later than usual.  Thanks for your patience!

Hello Gang,

Welcome back to my second preview article for DC HeroClix: Brave & The Bold.

First, thanks to everyone for the great messages and kind words!  It amazed me to hear from so many different people over the past week that it warms my cold Kryptonite heart (wait, wasn’t Metallo’s preview last week?).  If you ever want to say hi or comment on my random musings, please feel free to find me on FaceBook.  The number one message that I received was “Welcome Back!”  Though, following in close second was, “please preview the following Brave & The Bold figures and mechanics…”  I take both as nice compliments.

The mechanic that I was asked about most debuts in this very set- Alter Ego.

As I type this article, ESPNEWS is droning on in the background, replaying the same sports scores on a reel just visible in my peripheral vision.  Hilariously, an extremely relevant commercial featuring Orlando Magic hoops star Dwight Howard (nicknamed Superman) has been on heavy replay along with the scores.

Odd coincidences…

It’s amazing to me how powerful a storytelling device the alter ego is.  Alter egos allow the reader to place themselves in the shoes (or usually boots) of the hero.  They give the character strands of humanity that make us identify with them.

Superman is an orphaned alien that hurtles through the sky, swats away pesky bullets, tosses tanks like sacks of flour, and can heat vision a supervillain into a neat little pile o’ atoms.

In stark contrast, Clark Kent is a bespectacled “mild-mannered reporter” in a cheap suit struggling to hit deadlines (I can sympathize) with on-again-off-again romances hampered by his secret life.

Both of the characters that I mentioned above are pretty compelling.  Also, they are the same person, which makes the story incredibly captivating.  The story is so interesting, that variations of it have existed in print for more than 70 years.

Since the creation of the Brand Development team, I have tasked our designers to come up with a flavorful, yet easy to understand execution of Alter Egos that would allow us to bring these characters to game tables near you.  In the approaching-a-decade-history of HeroClix, we had never released a standard, non-costumed Bruce Wayne.  The opportunity seemed to good to pass up.

Here are the ground rules we started with:

1)       The Alter Ego must be a compelling character on its own. I wanted iconic, interesting figures that have separate lives that are explored in detail.  Just because a character has an alter ego, does not mean that the character should be represented using the Alter Ego mechanic.  The character also should have abilities or character strengths as their civilian version.

2)       Alter Egos should have the ability to “transform” into their costumed identities. As I mentioned in last week’s article, I wanted players to think about their collections in new ways when a set is released.  A Bruce Wayne that has the ability to see the Bat Signal and put on the cape and cowl is great for our superhero combat simulation.  I think we found an elegant and balanced solution to how to incorporate these characters in game form.

3)       The characters, if possible, should be available at lower rarities to ease collection of linked pieces. With the interchangeability of the pieces, the potency of the characters’ brands, and iconic nature of both the costumed heroes and their other halves, we wanted to find homes for our Alter Ego figures at low rarities.  With B&B having Duos figures at the higher rarity levels, Alter Ego was a natural fit for the set.  If you have Diana Prince, we want you to find Wonder Woman, and complete the two-figure set.

4)       The sculpt concept should indicate that the figure is in the process of transformation. I greatly enjoy characters that tell subtle stories through their sculpts.

Well without further hubbub, let’s get to show-and-tell.

The use of alternate starting lines has been explored previously in HeroClix with characters like the Sentinel and Starro the Conqueror.  With the advent of special powers, the idea was proposed to me of tracking metamorphosis (or in this case, Alter Ego change), by having one character evolve into another at pre-determined points in the dial that would be marked by alternate color “start” lines.  I loved the idea, and we began to experiment with it.  Because the alternate start lines have different valuations, we also could calibrate the value of transforming into the point cost of figures, enabling better balancing.

I am proud that our playtesting bore out that some playtesters had tough choices on whether to switch Alter Ego characters into their costumed versions.  I love the decision of either holding onto the Perplexing Clark Kent or switching into the more tank-like Superman.  The duality of that choice was exactly what we were shooting for.  Players have to decide if they will switch into their costumed forms, or risk being KOed while still hiding their secret identities from the opposing force.

We’ll talk further about Alter Ego and its effects in-game over the coming weeks.  I hope you like it as much as we do.

Until next week,

Jake

Antony Johnston Deals with the Daredevil (Taken From CBR)

By: Dave Richards

In the now classic “Born Again” storyline in Marvel Comics “Daredevil” series, Matt Murdock’s life was destroyed by his enemy, the Kingpin, but he found a way to overcome his obstacles and rebuild. It’s safe to assume, then, that Daredevil knows a little something about hell and what it means to go through it, but recent issues of his series have left many wondering if he’s forgotten the old saying about roads and being paved with good intentions.

That’s because Daredevil recently took control of his old enemies, the ninja clan known as the Hand. The Hell’s Kitchen hero is attempting to turn the clandestine group of killers into a force for good, and to do this he’s had to make a lot of morally questionable choices. The latest challenge on DD’s quest is the other four branches, or “fingers,” of the organization. In the current “Left Hand Path” arc of the series, co-writers Andy Diggle and Antony Johnston and artist Marco Checchetto are detailing Daredevil’s trip to Japan for a meeting of the Hand’s regional leaders.

In “Daredevil” #505, part one of “Left Hand Path,” the machinations of the other Hand leaders ensnared Daredevil into a trap that might cost him everything. CBR News spoke with co-writer Anthony Johnston about the arc, which continues on April 14 with the release of issue #506, working with Andy Diggle, and his first Daredevil solo story, the one-shot “Daredevil: Cage Match,” which is in stores May 12.

CBR News: Antony, you and Andy Diggle are developing quite the working relationship. You guys collaborated on the final issue of “Dark Reign Hawkeye,” are working together again on the current arc of “Daredevil,” and I understand your partnership on the series has been extended to another arc. Is that correct?

Antony Johnston: That’s right, yes. Andy and I have been friends for years, and we coincidentally went freelance around the same time back in ’02. We’ve often talked about writing something together, because we have a similar feel for stories, but “Daredevil” was the first time we’d been able to make it happen. Initially it was just to help Andy out of a bind – he suddenly found himself writing four books at once, because of some weird scheduling – but it turns out our instincts were right, and we work pretty well together. So we’re going to continue for a while.

Can you break down the collaborative process between you and Andy for us? How does it work? Does one of you plot and the other script, or is the division of labor not that precise?

Not at all, no, it’s very collaborative. I know some people don’t believe that – some reviews of “Daredevil” #505 assumed I wrote the entire issue solo, and Andy just put his name to it. People were even claiming they could tell Andy hadn’t written it, because it didn’t “sound” like his work. Which is hilarious, and absolutely not the case.

Andy controls the overall direction of the book, obviously. We regularly get together on the phone and bounce plot ideas around until something solid forms. I normally then do plot beat breakdowns, which we both go over and revise. Then we split up the rough draft duties by alternate issues. So Andy will do the rough draft of one issue, I’ll do the rough draft of the next, and so on. We both write full script, so there’s no question of splitting plot/script duties up in the way you suggest.

Anyway, the rough drafts get passed back and forth, and we make revisions and notes on each other’s work as we go. So by the end of the process, every issue winds up as something that neither I nor Andy would or could have written on our own. 

Andy has final say over everything, of course – ultimately, it’s his book – but it’s a genuine collaboration, and we both work pretty damn hard at it. So this idea that one of us is sipping daiquiris while the other slaves away in solitude is ridiculous, and kind of insulting to us both.

What’s it like collaborating on a tale featuring Daredevil? What is it about the character you find most compelling?

I like his tragedy, and the street-level grit of his world. This isn’t a guy who shoots laser beams out of his ass, you know? Daredevil’s one of the most flawed and human heroes in mainstream comics, and that definitely appeals to me. I also like that he occupies this separate little corner, with only occasional forays into the wider Marvel Universe. I think that helps make for compelling stories.

Ultimately what type of story is the current “Left Hand Path” arc? From the opening chapter, it appears to be a hybrid of the martial arts action and crime stories you would expect to find in “Daredevil.” Can we expect more of that tone as the story goes on, or is the tale going to become something else?

It’s a mystery, certainly, but it’s also a character piece, and leads straight into future events. I’ve seen some people comment that this arc feels like “filler,” just because we’re not in New York. That’s insane. “Left Hand Path” is part of a wider set-up that’s been building since #501 and affects everything in Daredevil’s life; we just haven’t revealed everything yet. Have patience.

I think it’s fair to say you can expect a little more action than you might be used to in “Daredevil.” Nothing like a bit of ninjutsu to get the blood pumping.

Are there any others hints or teases as to what fans can expect from the remaining chapters of “Left Hand Path?”

Surprises, twists, and clues to the future. Also, ninjutsu.

Let’s switch gears a bit and discuss your first solo DD story, the one-shot “Daredevil: Cage Match” which comes out in May. How did this project come about?

Because of the aforementioned weird scheduling, “Left Hand Path” is coming out bimonthly, and Steve Wacker (“Daredevil” senior editor) asked if I wanted to write a one-shot to run in-between those months. I said yes, pitched a few ideas, and “Cage Match” is the one he went for.

One of the central figures in “Cage Match” is Luke Cage. In your mind what are Cage’s most interesting personality traits?

I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t enjoy writing Cage, which I think speaks volumes about his personality. Cage is laconic, sure. He’s a man who can see both sides of a situation. But when it matters, he cuts through the crap and gets to the heart of a matter. He knows the right thing to do, and has the self-belief (and bulletproof skin) to pull it off – all without losing his cool. Who doesn’t love that?

DD and Cage have worked together in the past and they’ve even been friends. Why do they get along so well, and how fragile are the bonds of friendship between them?

They both grew up in rough areas; they both have a temper; they both have fairly mundane superpowers, in relative terms; and they both care about their communities, the streets they grew up on and the ordinary people whose lives are just as important as any hero’s. They’re simply a good fit, because they care about the same things. 

Where it gets fragile is on how best to solve problems that are more complex than just punching someone in the face. They’re not that far off politically, but they have very different views on authority, the law, how to maintain social justice, and so on. It’s like two guys running against one another in primaries – sure they’re in the same party, but they run on different platforms. 

(And that is a one-shot I’d like to see…!)

When does “Cage Match” take place? From the cover it seems like this might be a tale of the two characters in their early days…

Put it this way, Matt has a secret identity, and Luke is in a tiara. So yes, we’re going back a while.

What can you tell us about the plot and themes of “Cage Match?”

It’s about friendship, and the respect you have to give someone to remain their friend. It’s about not backing down from impossible challenges, because to do so would jeopardize that respect. It’s about Matt and Luke facing off in the abandoned, dusty ring at Fogwell’s Gym for the ultimate match.

Oh, and it’s about Foggy stepping into the spotlight for once. Poor guy.

How important is “Cage Match” in the overall Daredevil mythos? Is this just a fun one-off story, does it set the stage for a larger story to come. or does it do both things?

Definitely leaning more towards the “fun one-off” side of things. But it does have a serious point to make about Matt and Luke’s friendship, and the respect they have for each other, both as people and heroes – something that will be an important part of Daredevil’s near future.

Post-“Daredevil,” will you continue to explore the Marvel Universe, or are your plans going to take you elsewhere?

I’ve just started work on a new miniseries to come out later this year. I can’t tell you anything about it yet, but suffice to say it’s another one firmly grounded in that “street-level” aspect of the Marvel U.

Outside of Marvel, I have a cold war spy thriller graphic novel, “Cold City,” coming from Oni later in the year. “Wasteland” is still rattling along (despite some delays, which we’re moving to resolve very soon). I’m also working on some videogames, and other comics, that I can’t talk about right now. But it’s all exciting stuff.

April FNM Card Is Bloodbraid Elf!

Reject Rare’s Zendikar: Part 1 (Taken from Pojo)

Reject Rare’s Zendikar: Part 1

Forlorn cries of pain and abandonment cry out from the confines of your binder, why have some seen unequaled glory why we must rot away in darkness, unused, unloved and unappreciated. Why are our brothers and sisters showered with praise, why do the God’s abandon us and let others victoriously shine? We have value the cost of our powers is great but does that not make our power all the more formidable? Alas the masses cries out in opposition your casting cost is too high, your auras, you have no immediate impact on the board and you’re a waste of a rare slot. They decry our usefulness; they do not see the power we are able to bring to the kitchen table.


Our legion swells as those gifted by the God’s are able to wield our true power. Enough of the fancy introductions my name is Paul Wessendorf and this is my perspective.

For this article I have decided to tackle the topic of reject rares of Zendikar and this editions gem is Arhcmage Ascension arguably the least played of the Ascension cycle but it holds tremendous power let’s see what we can do.


The key to exploiting is obviously having a deck built to take advantage of its activation and triggers. I just happen to have one right here within the confines of my mind. First things first we need to draw multiple cards a turn easy enough, cards like Howling Mine and Font of Mythos give us the ability to activate our multiple draws per turn clause, combined with Teferi’s Puzzle box we can assuredly get our counters on Archmage Ascension and then be able to tutor for any combo piece in our decks. Speaking of combos I think the best approach to building this deck is to cram as many blue oriented combos into the deck as possible. To start off we need a card that can help fuel our combo shenanigans, Vedkalen Mastermind is the perfect bet for a single blue mana it can return any permanent to our hands. Now what to combine this with, Vedkalen Orrery allows us to play our non land spells at instant speed. Combine these cards with Jester’s Scepter we can mill the opponent for a five at a time with an artifact that cost 3 mana at instant speed and one to bounce and reset it. Continuing the trend we need protection for our other combos and a way to lockdown the opponent, combining the mastermind with Declaration of Naught while we have the orrery out makes us able to counter any spell an opponent plays for a mana investment.

As a way to insure we are in the game long enough to pull of these combo shenanigans, utilizing Academy Researcher, Fools Demise, and Life Chisel we can sacrifice the creature during our upkeep and trigger the life gain as well as Academy Researcher going back into play and triggering fools demise, loop for profit. Summoning station, Arcum Daggson and Intruder Alarm all play particularly well with Myr Servitor and Myr retriever allowing you to pump out tokens with Genesis Chamber and gain life with Scrapheap as well as fetching artifacts from your deck. The deck utilizes an insane amount of artifacts and card drawing, adding Fabricate will allow us to search for a particular artifact piece early, Quest for Ancient Secrets insures that we can return used or destroyed combo pieces and not deck our self. So putting everything together we have something that looks like the following.

Name

Qty

Sideboard

Edition

Rarity

Color

Type

Cost

P/T

Island (3)

16

CST

C

Lnd

Basic Land – Island

Island (4)

1

ON

C

Lnd

Basic Land – Island

Island (2)

4

ON

C

Lnd

Basic Land – Island

Scrapheap

1

UL

R

Art

Artifact

3

Intruder Alarm

1

8E

R

U

Enchantment

2U

Summoning Station

1

FD

R

Art

Artifact

7

Genesis Chamber

1

DS

U

Art

Artifact

2

Life Chisel

1

LG

U

Art

Artifact

4

Font of Mythos

2

CFX

R

Art

Artifact

4

Quest for Ancient Secrets

3

ZEN

U

U

Enchantment

U

Archmage Ascension

4

ZEN

R

U

Enchantment

2U

Declaration of Naught

1

MOR

R

U

Enchantment

UU

Howling Mine

4

A

R

Art

Artifact

2

Teferi’s Puzzle Box

4

6E

R

Art

Artifact

4

Fabricate

4

HOP

U

U

Sorcery

2U

Jester’s Scepter

1

CS

R

Art

Artifact

3

Fool’s Demise

1

TSP

U

U

Enchantment – Aura

4U

Vedalken Orrery

1

FD

R

Art

Artifact

4

Academy Researchers

1

10E

U

U

Creature – Human Wizard

1UU

2/2

Vedalken Mastermind

2

10E

U

U

Creature – Vedalken Wizard

UU

1/2

Arcum Dagsson

1

CS

R

U

Legendary Creature – Human Artificer

3U

2/2

Myr Servitor

2

FD

C

Art

Artifact Creature – Myr

1

1/1

Myr Retriever

2

MR

U

Art

Artifact Creature – Myr

2

1/1

Aphetto Alchemist

1

ON

U

U

Creature – Human Wizard

1U

1/2

Lands: 21, Spells: 30, Crt: 9

60

0

Making decks utilizing underappreciated rare’s and giving players a glimpse of what possible combinations are capable of being assembled by rares’ people often overlook as powerful decks for casual games around the kitchen table. Join as next time as I continue to show reject rare’s of Zendikar and what can be done to build around them.

Written by: Paul, 2010, www.pojo.com

Green Lantern grabs Angela Bassett (Taken From Total Film)

Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett has joined the cast of the currently-shooting Green Lantern.


The star of Malcolm X and Boyz n The Hood will play Dr Amanda Waller, who appears in the original DC Comic. Waller is a former congressional aide who oversees the Suicide Squad, a shadowy government group of ex-supervillains.

Bassett is obviously loving the comic-themed projects at the moment; she’s also currently appearing in Superman series Smallville (even if none of us are watching it anymore).

Also signing up late to the cast is nine-year-old Gattlin Griffith (Changeling, Couple’s Retreat), who is reportedly shooting just 12 days on the film as a character called Robert.

No word who this Robert is, though various sites have speculated that he could be a codename for a young Hal Jordan – especially considering a younger version of beau Carol Ferris has been cast in the form of Jenna Craig.

These two join Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins and Peter Sarsgaard, with the film currently shooting in New Orleans under director Martin Campbell.

Big star in supporting role? Do we smell a Suicide Squad spin-off franchise?

BY Josh Winning, Mar 25th 2010, www.totalfilm.com

The Ages of HeroClix

HeroClix tournament formats update – welcome to the Modern Age!

HeroClix’s latest and greatest set, DC Heroclix: The Brave and the Bold will be hitting the streets in April and the amazing Blackest Night starter a few weeks later in May. With these releases, HeroClix tournament players around the world will be asking themselves one question – “How does this change the restricted tournament environment?” OK, maybe there will be some other questions, but since the release of Hammer of Thor, we’ve been silent on the issue of retirement. With a new set on the way and  the 2010 HeroClix World Championship scheduled for GenCon in August, it’s time for the silence to be broken.

The restricted/unrestricted environment is, as of the release of the DC HeroClix Blackest Night Starter Game, history. Gone. Fini. To bring our game more in-line with its comic book roots, we introduce the Golden Age and Modern Age formats. At first glance, these may appear to simply be new labels for the same thing, but in fact, they are two very different play environments. What’s more, they leave the door open for future possibilities…

FIGURES IN EACH AGE

HeroClix events run in the Modern Age format will work similarly to how the restricted environment worked before; all figures and sets from a particular point in time to the present are in the Modern Age, while all other sets are categorized as Golden Age. With the release of the Blackest Night starter, the Legion of Super-Heroes starter – and all sets that precede it – are considered “Golden Age”. That leaves all sets from Avengers through Blackest Night as Modern Age. Going forward, we will continue to re-categorize sets once per year, usually announcing what the change will be in the Spring-time and tying the change to a particular release, usually in the summer months.  In general, we will remove one year’s worth of sets at a time, leaving the Modern Age as very roughly the “past two years” worth of sets, similar to our old restricted environment.  (Because of our 10 month hiatus, for a while this “two year rule” will be very approximate indeed to give each set a full chance to be explored in a tournament setting.)

If you do not know your sets by heart, the characters and special objects in Modern Age will all have set icons from one of the following:

Marvel HeroClix: Avengers, Monsters and Mutations, Secret Invasion (which includes the Fantastic Four starter), and Hammer of Thor.

DC HeroClix: Justice League, Crisis (which includes the Anti-Monitor Action Pack), Batman Alpha, Arkham Asylum, The Brave and the Bold, and the Blackest Night starter.

HeroClix Classics: All of the HeroClix Classic figures are a part of the Modern Age format. Any figure from a Golden Age set that has been reprinted in a HeroClix Classics set is considered Modern Age as well, and can be used in place of the Classics figure.  A reprint is a figure that is identical to an older figure in every aspect except for set symbol and collector’s number.

Colossals (if the build total in your Modern Age game is high enough): Galactus Eater of Worlds, Fin Fan Foom, Starro, Anti-Monitor, and Sinestro Corps Anti-Monitor.  Though only one Fin Fang Foom debuted after Avengers, all versions remain legal.  As the two versions of Galactus have slightly different powers, only the more recent Coming of Galactus event version remains legal.

Maps: All official HeroClix maps with the modern color-coding remain legal in Modern Age, regardless of what set they were released with.

GAMEPLAY THROUGH THE AGES

Over the years, HeroClix has grown from its original concept. What used to be a game of super heroes on a map has grown. Bystanders, Feats, Battlefield Conditions, Special Objects, Character Cards, and Event Dials are just some of the evolutions the game has had since its first release.

All of the elements that have been added to the game have brought with them their own ways of making the game more challenging and more fun. We wanted the Modern Age tournament format to have many of these elements while also returning us closer to the original idea of the game – it’s about miniatures on a map. I emphasize the word “closer” because there are certain mechanics in the game (most notably, character cards) that cannot and should not be removed from the Modern Age environment.

Mjolnir 3-D Object Card

But many of the others can. When you see WizKids sponsoring an official Modern Age event this means that Feats (more info on Alternate Team Abilities soon!), Battlefield Conditions, and Event Dials are not included as part of your force. Bystanders and Special Objects are both consistent with the original vision – they bring something more to the battlemap that players interact with. Our addition of a ‘Trait Star’ to the bases of characters with Traits is another way in which we are bringing the focus back to the map and the characters, so everything that interacts with the game is marked on the map somehow.

To be clear, we are not stopping our support or creation of the other elements of the game like Feats or Battlefield Conditions. Especially with the “print-and-play” policy, you can look to our website for occasional surprise releases.

As you might expect, the Golden Age format allows all HeroClix game elements that have ever been made to be played – including figures from any set, as well as Feats and Battlefield Conditions.  Event Dials and Scenario Cards can be played in the Golden Age as well, though they still explicitly require the permission of all players in a game.

Figures Special Objects / Bystanders Colossals Alternate Team Abilities Non-ATA Feats Battlefield Conditions Event Dials / Scenario Cards Maps
Modern Age Recent Sets, including all special sets and reprints Rotates with set symbol Rotates with set symbol** All-more info soon! Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed All with modern color coding
Golden Age All sets* All* All* All All All As per the tournament All

*   The 2009 Holiday set Turkey and Turducken and other similar promos are not legal in Golden Age, unless the tournament organizer indicates they are legal, or where there is no organizer, all players agree beforehand.
** Though only one version was released “recently”, all versions of Fin Fang Foom are legal because the latter versions are reprints.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

For the events that WizKids hosts (notably, a 4 day series of events at GenCon 2010) we will be clear if the format for each event is Modern Age or Golden Age. Not a promise, but a general goal of ours is to be sure that we support at least one constructed event in each Age when we are setting up schedules for any convention.  GenCon features Modern Age as the primary format of the World Championships, and there is at least one Golden Age event at GenCon as well.

The policy for organized play remains the same as it has been. We will continue to send format recommendations to venues when they purchase an Organized Play Kit. Venues can choose to follow those recommendations or come up with their own format to play. Perhaps your store wants to run Modern Age tournaments with Feats but not Battlefield Conditions. That’s ok. A Golden Age event that’s figures only? That’s ok, too. The local level will remain firmly focused on the venue establishing the best gaming environment for its players. While we definitely encourage competitive venues to run a series of “practice” events in the Modern Age format before GenCon, absolutely no venue is required to do so.

Welcome to a whole new age!

New White Dwarf Now Available


The Host of Angels
The Blood Angels strike into the heart of battle, rending foe with chainsword and bolter. But they are a Chapter cursed – the question is will they die with honour in battle or succumb to the dreaded Flaw? Find out more in this issue.

Riders of the Riddermark
Rohan are truly the horse-lords of Middle-earth. And so Mat Ward explores how to get the most out of this cavalry-heavy force in War of the Ring.

Old War Stories
Old hands of the hobby Jeremy Vetock and Dave Andrews return in this popular series. This time they are talking about narrative scenarios and using storylines to create an exciting campaign that’s as good as any novel.

Move and Fire
Andy Smillie continues his series on Warhammer tactics, this time focusing on armies that stand back and shoot to win. He talks about the effectiveness of ranged forces as well as their pitfalls.

’Eavy Metal Masterclass
Darren Latham gives one of the new Blood Angel characters the ‘Eavy Metal treatment in this Masterclass.

Army Masters
We take a look at Leo Baker and Robert Gogin’s brilliant Vampire Counts army from last year’s UK Warhammer Doubles Tournament.

Battlefield Challenge
Jervis presents a brand-new Battlefield Challenge. This time a special Duel of Champions scenario for Warhammer; can your chosen hero defeat the enemy champion?

Price: $9.00

Available NOW!

Dungeons And Dragons Encounters (Week 1)

Chris Evans accepts ‘Captain America’ mantle (posted from ‘The Hollywood Reporter)

Chris Evans accepts ‘Captain America’ mantle

 Chris Evans will play Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America.

Sources tell us the actor has not only accepted Marvel’s offer, first detailed on friday, but that the dealmaking moved so fast it’s now all about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

Marvel would not comment on the development, and CAA, which reps the actor, declined comment.

Evans was offered the role in Marvel Studios’ production last week, but there was some question of whether he would accept. Factoring in to the choice was the fact that Evans played Johnny Storm, the flame-covered superhero known as the Human Torch in Fox’s “Fantastic Four” movies. Was he ready to play another superhero and take on the trappings that come with such a high-profile part?

Evans took a few days to think it over, and once he decided he was willing to wield the shield, negotiations moved quickly over the weekend.

Written on: 3/22/10

Comics Available 3/24/10



DARK HORSE COMICS

DEC090026

ALIENS MORE THAN HUMAN TP VOL 01

$15.99

DEC090043

BOOK OF GRICKLE HC

$17.99

SEP090040

CHOBITS DARK HORSE OMNIBUS ED VOL 01

$24.99

DEC090030

CHRONICLES OF KULL TP VOL 02 HELL BENEATH ATLANTIS

$18.99

JAN100072

THE GUILD #1 (OF 3) CARY NORD CVR

$3.50

JAN100073

THE GUILD #1 (OF 3) JEANTY CVR

$3.50

OCT090113

OH MY GODDESS RTL TP VOL 14

$10.99

DEC090068

STAR WARS OMNIBUS BOBA FETT TP VOL 01

$24.99

DEC090040

WONDERMARK TP VOL 03 DAPPER CAPS & PEDAL-COPTERS

$16.99

DC COMICS

JAN100242

BATMAN STREETS OF GOTHAM #10

$3.99

JAN100318

BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #15

$2.50

AUG090258

CATWOMAN CLASSIC 1/6 SCALE DELUXE FIGURE

$99.99

DEC090291

DEKA KYOSHI VOL 02

$9.99

JAN100234

GREEN LANTERN #52 (BLACKEST NIGHT)

$2.99

DEC090208

HARDWARE THE MAN IN THE MACHINE TP

$19.99

AUG090269

HEROES OF THE DCU SHAZAM BUST

$70.00

JAN100279

JUSTICE LEAGUE THE RISE OF ARSENAL #1 (OF 4)

$3.99

NOV090179

NEWSBOY LEGION BY SIMON AND KIRBY HC VOL 01

$49.99

DEC090224

NIGHT OWLS TP VOL 01

$14.99

JAN100272

POWER GIRL #10

$2.99

JAN100258

SUPERMAN #698

$2.99

JAN100261

SUPERMAN BATMAN #70

$2.99

JAN100321

TINY TITANS #26

$2.50

DEC090219

TOR A PREHISTORIC ODYSSEY TP

$14.99

JAN100341

VICTORIAN UNDEAD #5 (OF 6)

$2.99

JAN100327

WILDCATS #21

$2.99

IMAGE COMICS

APR090418

DARKNESS ORIGINS TP VOL 01

$12.99

JAN100415

HAUNT #6

$2.99

JAN100416

HAUNT TP VOL 01

$9.99

OCT090378

PHONOGRAM TP VOL 02 SINGLES CLUB

$14.99

OCT090382

PVP TP VOL 07 PVP LEVELS UP

$14.99

MARVEL COMICS

JAN100556

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #626

$2.99

JAN100510

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #34 SIEGE

$2.99

JAN100660

AVENGERS INITIATIVE PREM HC DREAMS & NIGHTMARES

$19.99

OCT090608

BLACK WIDOW WEB OF INTRIGUE PREM HC

$24.99

OCT090609

BLACK WIDOW WEB OF INTRIGUE PREM HC DM VAR ED 40

$24.99

JAN100600

BREAKING INTO COMICS THE MARVEL WAY #2 (OF 2)

$3.99

JAN100570

CAPTAIN AMERICA #604

$3.99

JAN100652

CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN PREM HC

$24.99

JAN100653

CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN PREM HC DM QUESADA VAR ED

$24.99

JAN100661

DAREDEVIL ECHO PREM HC PARTS OF A HOLE

$24.99

JAN100544

DEADPOOL #21

$2.99

JAN100543

DEADPOOL CORPS RANK AND FOUL #1

$3.99

JAN100685

DEADPOOL SUICIDE KINGS TP

$19.99

JAN100655

ENDERS SHADOW COMMAND SCHOOL PREM HC

$24.99

JAN100582

FALL OF HULKS RED HULK #3 (OF 4) FOH

$3.99

JAN100638

IRON MAN OFFICIAL INDEX TO MARVEL UNIVERSE GN TP

$19.99

JAN100586

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #61

$2.99

JAN100595

MARVELS PROJECT #7 (OF 8)

$3.99

DEC098378

MARVELS PROJECT #7 (OF 8) EPTING VAR (PP #905)

$3.99

JAN100509

MIGHTY AVENGERS #35 SIEGE

$2.99

OCT090592

MMW ATLAS ERA TALES TO ASTONISH HC VOL 03

$59.99

OCT090593

MMW ATLAS ERA TALES TO ASTONISH HC VOL 03 DM VAR ED 135

$59.99

JAN100643

MMW INVINCIBLE IRON MAN TP VOL 01

$24.99

JAN100644

MMW INVINCIBLE IRON MAN TP VOL 01 DM VAR ED 20

$24.99

OCT090590

MMW X-MEN HC VOL 08

$54.99

OCT090591

MMW X-MEN HC VOL 08 DM VAR ED 134

$54.99

JAN100508

NEW AVENGERS #63 SIEGE

$3.99

JAN100560

PETER PARKER #1 (OF 5)

$3.99

JAN100541

PRELUDE TO DEADPOOL CORPS #4 (OF 5)

$2.99

JAN100669

RIFTWAR PREM HC

$24.99

JAN100677

RUNAWAYS HOMESCHOOLING TP

$14.99

JAN100592

SECRET WARRIORS #14

$2.99

JAN100527

STAND SOUL SURVIVORS #5 (OF 5)

$3.99

JAN100536

TALES OF THE DRAGON GUARD #2 (OF 3)

$5.99

JAN100513

THOR #608 SIEGE

$2.99

JAN100563

THOR MGC #1

$1.00

OCT090600

THOR TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE & KIRBY COIPEL CVR HC

$29.99

OCT090601

THOR TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE & KIRBY KIRBY CVR HC

$29.99

JAN100514

THUNDERBOLTS #142 SIEGE

$2.99

JAN100656

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN PREM HC WORLD ACCORDING

$24.99

JAN100613

UNCANNY X-MEN #522

$3.99

JAN100628

X-FACTOR #203

$2.99

JAN100686

X-FORCE TP VOL 03 NOT FORGOTTEN

$14.99

JAN100612

X-MEN ORIGINS NIGHTCRAWLER #1

$3.99

JAN100689

X-MEN PRELUDE TO ONSLAUGHT TP

$29.99

Superman’s Other Powers and Straczynski’s Inventive Pen


DC Comics announced early in the week that J. Michael Straczynski (the mastermind behind Babylon 5 and one of the best runs of The Amazing Spider-Man and Thor in recent memory) will be taking over writing duties on Superman and Wonder Woman comics in July. He’s taking over for them on issue #701 and #601, respectively and he’s been brought in to commemorate that landmark.

When they announced the news, they posted an essay about the Man of Steel by Straczynski that has had me thinking a lot about Superman.

You see, I’ve always been a Batman sort of guy. In fact, I’ve got every issue of Batman going back 25 years or more and counting in both directions. I always looked at Superman as sort of an over-glorified boy scout and not worth my time and devotion. Sure, I’d read his comics now and then, and certainly when he crossed paths with Batman, but he was never my primary focus.

I always looked at Batman as the more liberal of the two, he was always giving to every charity in the book and believed in an equality of justice and wealth that I could really get behind. And he was just a human. He was frail, had vulnerabilities. Unless someone had some Kryptonite around, Superman was invincible.

But Superman, ideologically speaking, always seemed to me much more conservative. He was a red-stater through and through. When Joker killed Jason Todd (the second Robin) and became the Ambassador from Iran with complete diplomatic immunity, it was Superman who arrived under Ronald Reagan’s orders to make sure that Batman kept his hands off of the Joker, even though he’d murdered half of the dynamic duo in cold blood.

When Lex Luthor became president (during the 2000 election, as a metaphorical proxy for George W. Bush), Superman even followed his orders until he went crazy and tried to take over the world and kill him.

But reading that essay by Straczynski had me thinking about what we all want to be. The best of us. The best part of us. That unyielding optimism that cuts right through any amount of cynicism.

Staczynski says that Superman’s “S” symbol is actually Kryptonian for “No Limits,” and I believe him. Superman is all of the hope that we want. Sure, he’s taking orders from some pretty despicable people, and sometimes the choices he makes aren’t easy, but he’s there, hoping for the best for everyone, even his enemies.

And there’s a vulnerability in that, which I hadn’t really realized before.

When you see that “S”, or hear even a few bars of his theme song by John Williams, or that single frame of him, fallen after his fight with doomsday in front of a tattered American flag, you get the chills. You look up to him. But more than looking up to him, you look into yourself and see something that could be better.

In fact, Superman, in some cases, could be a much more effective tool for an effort in advancing patriotism and civic pride than any number of miniature American flags. Maybe Superman could help heal the red-blue divide so prevalent in this divided state, a documentary I produced in 2005.

I suppose my broader point is that if Straczynski can shed that much light on the character and change my perspective of him with one essay, I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with an extended run of him in the comics.

Trust that I’ll be adding this to my hold with all the hope and optimism that Superman embodies.

Written by: Bryan Young, March 8, 2010

The Unknown Reigons

The Unknown Regions

On the exciting frontier of a galaxy far, far away…

NEW from Star Wars® Roleplaying Games – The Unknown Regions™! Explore the outer regions of the galaxy, venturing into a sector of space full of strange aliens, dangerous horrors, and exciting adventure. This book serves as a reference for campaigns involving exploration and scouting of all kinds, focusing on the Unknown Regions as the galaxy’s as-yet unexplored frontier. This book teaches Gamemasters how to create adventures involving exploration and alien planets, putting the tools needed in their hands to help ensure that their campaigns have a sense of being mysterious and exciting. Players will find a wealth of new information on how to make the most of heroic explorers, including members of the scout class, and provides new character building tools and equipment to help create heroes ready to explore the Unknown Regions.

  • Focuses on exploring the unknown and living to tell about it
  • Benefits scout players and provides many new options for explorers of all classes
  • Introduces new hazard rules for adventure and encounter building
  • Details eight entirely new planets and includes a mini-adventure for each world

Release Date: April 20, 2010
SKU: 250960000
ISBN: 978-0-7869-5399-8

Heroscape Wave 11

Heroscape Wave 11 Available: 3/22/10

The Set Includes:

The Heroes Of Faerun: The Warlord Mogrimm Forgehammer inspires his allies to great feats of heroism in battle.  The Ranger Brandis Skyhunter darts around the battlefield unleashing a string of deadly arrows at his enemies.  The Battle Mage Sharwin Wildborn strikes at her opponents with blasts of brilliant lightning.  The evil eye of the mighty Torin leaves his assailants broken in fear.  the Drow Arachnomancer Estivara stalks about the battlefield in a shroud of darkness, fighting with the venomous spirit of the Spider-Queen.  These are the heroes of Faerun, summoned to battle for the fate of us all.

Glaun Bog Raiders: The Greenscale Warriors fight with devotion and ferocity to fulfill the will of their lizard king.  The Drow Chainfighter is highly skilled in his unique martial art.  His deadly chain screams through the air in lighting-fast arcs, wrapping up opponents and pulling them into deadly melee combat.  Giant shards of ice twist together in the form of a living creature.  Frozen spikes jut in all directions from the Greater Ice Elemental’s body, threatening to impale those who venture too close.

Fury Of The Primordials: A swirling vortex of wind and debris pulls in a warriors and punishes them with forceful gusting blows.  A wave crashing water breaks upon them and drowns them in its searing inferno.  A jagged rock crushes and grinds them against its unbreakable form.  This is the fate of those who stand against the power of the Elementals.  The Wyvern swoops down, striking with its venomous sting.  It then snatches the prey up in its talons and carries it away on leathery wings.

Warriors Of The Ghostlight Fen: The many heads of the Fen Hydra write and strike outward in a tangled fury.  Each of the beast’s four heads is like an opponent unto itself.  The Sahuagin Raider carries the coppery scent of blood in the water.  The smell drives him to a maddening frenzy.  His razor sharp teeth gnash at his wounded prey.  The incorporeal forms of the Phantom Knights shimmer in the moonlight.  They drift effortlessly above the battlefield.  Their enemies’ attacks pass right through their ghostly bodies with little effect.

Price: $13.00 per pack.

Forces of Khador

AVAILABLE NOW!

For the Empress and the Motherland

In the cold north of western Immoren lies the mighty Khadoran Empire, whose massive military epitomizes the national ideals of strength and resilience. Legions of Winter Guard march at the call of the empress, bent on conquest of the entire Iron Kingdoms. Led by powerful warcasters as unrelenting as the Khadoran winter and backed by elite soldiers such as the disciplined Iron Fang Pikemen and the imposing Man-O-War troopers who stride into battle in great steam-powered suits of armor, the army of Khador is ready to crush all who stand against them.

Lead the Empire’s conquest with Forces of WARMACHINE: Khador, featuring:

Complete faction rules and profiles for using all current Khador models in WARMACHINE Mk II.
New troops to bring to the fight, plus the all-new warcaster Kommander Strakhov.
An in-depth look at the history and structure of Khador’s military.
A painting and modeling guide to help you ready your forces for battle.
Khador Theme Force lists and rules, which allow you to create armies based on specialized forces from the Khadoran Empire.

Available in softcover and hardcover.

Crush All Beneath Your Iron Might!

Price:$34.99

New Comics Available the Week of 3/14/10

NEW COMICS AVAILABLE THE WEEK OF 3/14/10



DARK HORSE COMICS

JAN100129

DEVIL #2 (OF 4)

$3.50

DEC090032

GROO HOGS OF HORDER #4 (OF 4)

$3.99

SEP090078

SIMPSONS CLASSIC CHARACTER #6 KRUSTY THE CLOWN

$49.95

DC COMICS

JAN100328

AUTHORITY THE LOST YEAR #7 (OF 12)

$2.99

JAN100243

AZRAEL #6

$2.99

JAN100240

BATMAN #697

$2.99

DEC090203

BATMAN INTERNATIONAL TP

$17.99

DEC098499

BLACKEST NIGHT #5 (OF 8) 2ND PTG

$3.99

JAN100262

BOOSTER GOLD #30

$2.99

DEC090179

BRAVE AND THE BOLD #32

$2.99

JAN100277

GREEN ARROW #31

$2.99

JAN100236

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #46 (BLACKEST NIGHT)

$3.99

DEC090296

I HATE YOU MORE THAN ANYONE VOL 09

$9.99

JAN100325

MAD MAGAZINE #503

$5.99

DEC090247

MYSTERIUS THE UNFATHOMABLE TP

$17.99

JAN100324

SCOOBY DOO #154

$2.50

JAN100287

SHIELD #7

$3.99

DEC090215

SHOWCASE PRESENTS WORLDS FINEST TP VOL 03

$17.99

JAN100259

SUPERGIRL #51

$2.99

JAN100260

SUPERMAN 80 PAGE GIANT #1

$5.99

NOV090183

SUPERMAN NIGHTWING AND FLAMEBIRD HC VOL 01

$24.99

JAN100339

SUPERNATURAL BEGINNINGS END #3 (OF 6)

$2.99

JAN100284

TITANS #23

$2.99

DEC090222

WONDER WOMAN CHRONICLES TP VOL 01

$17.99

IMAGE COMICS

JAN100412

DEAD AT 17 WITCH QUEEN #1 Of(4)

$2.99

JAN100419

FADE TO BLACK #1 (OF 5)

$3.50

SEP090286

I KILL GIANTS TITAN ED HC VOL 01

$39.99

SEP090287

I KILL GIANTS TITAN ED HC VOL 01 LTD S/N ED

$50.00

MARVEL COMICS

JAN100555

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #625

$2.99

JAN100667

AVENGERS STANDOFF PREM HC

$24.99

JAN100567

AVENGERS VS ATLAS #3 (OF 4)

$3.99

JAN100566

CAPTAIN AMERICA MGC #1

$1.00

JAN100507

DARK AVENGERS #15

$3.99

JAN100675

DARK AVENGERS ARES TP

$24.99

JAN100546

DEADPOOL MERC WITH A MOUTH #9

$2.99

JAN100585

DEATHLOK #5 (OF 7)

$3.99

JAN100571

DOOMWAR #2 (OF 6)

$3.99

JAN100604

GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #24

$2.99

JAN100573

HERCULES FALL OF AN AVENGER #1 (OF 2)

$3.99

DEC098477

HIT-MONKEY #1 2ND PTG TALIJIC VAR (PP #907)

$3.99

JAN100578

HULK #21 FOH

$3.99

JAN100580

INCREDIBLE HULK #608 FOH

$3.99

DEC098493

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #23 2ND PTG LAROCCA VAR (PP #908)

$2.99

JAN100639

IRON MAN ARMOR WARS PROLOGUE TP

$29.99

JAN100642

IRON MAN END TP

$16.99

OCT090606

IRON MAN IRON MONGER PREM HC

$29.99

OCT090607

IRON MAN IRON MONGER PREM HC DM ED 41

$29.99

JAN100584

MARVEL BOY URANIAN #3 (OF 3)

$3.99

JAN100615

NATION X #4 (OF 4)

$3.99

JAN100680

NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC TP VOL 05

$29.99

JAN100692

NEW ULTIMATES BY FRANK CHO POSTER

$34.99

JAN100603

NOVA #35

$2.99

JAN100540

PRELUDE TO DEADPOOL CORPS #3 (OF 5)

$2.99

JAN100662

PUNISHER NOIR PREM HC

$19.99

JAN100605

REALM OF KINGS IMPERIAL GUARD #5 (OF 5)

$3.99

JAN100515

SIEGE #1 (OF 4) DIRECTORS CUT

$4.99

DEC098474

SIEGE #2 (OF 4) 2ND PTG COIPEL VAR (PP #907)

$3.99

JAN100502

SIEGE #3 (OF 4)

$3.99

DEC098194

SIEGE #3 (OF 4) DEADPOOL VAR

$3.99

DEC098492

SIEGE EMBEDDED #2 (OF 4) 2ND PTG SAMNEE VAR (PP #908)

$3.99

JAN100506

SIEGE EMBEDDED #3 (OF 4)

$3.99

JAN100562

SPIDER-MAN AND SECRET WARS #4 (OF 4)

$2.99

JAN100593

SPIDER-WOMAN #7

$3.99

JAN100598

TORCH #6 (OF 8)

$3.99

JAN100637

ULTIMATE COMICS IRON MAN ARMOR WARS PREM HC

$19.99

JAN100601

VENGEANCE OF MOON KNIGHT #6

$2.99

DEC090549

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #45

$2.99

JAN100518

WOMEN OF MARVEL CELEBRATING SEVEN DECADES #1

$9.99

JAN100521

X-23 #1

$3.99

JAN100626

X-FACTOR FOREVER #1

$3.99

JAN100619

X-MEN LEGACY #234

$2.99

Inside this Month’s White Dwarf

Inside this Month’s White Dwarf

Features
Mechanised Fury
– Tread-heads rejoice! Adam Troke is tasked to find out all about the new mechanised Imperial Guard, Space Marine and Ork reinforcements.

Reinforcements – Mat Ward presents rules for using the new Rohan and Isengard Heroes in the Strategy Battle Game.

The Fortress of Isengard – Under the guise of the White Wizard, Adam Troke talks tactics for the armies of Orthanc.

Rush and Rend – Andy Smillie is back to extol about Warhammer armies geared for defeating the foe in close combat.

Gorthor’s Rampage – Phil Kelly recounts the legends of Gorthor, the beastliest Beastlord that ever was.

Tactica: Tyranids – Hive Mind sympathiser Robin Cruddace prescribes tactics and strategies for the Great Devourer.

Tyranid Digestion Pools – Mark Jones explains how he created the gloopy-looking digestion pools for the Studio’s Tyranid terrain set.

Army Workshop: Isengard – This month we feature Nick Bayton’s excellent Isengard force and follow his army-building journey.

’Eavy Metal Masterclass: Freehand Design – The ‘Eavy Metal team give us a Masterclass on how to paint freehand designs on your miniatures.

Battle Report
Prepared Assault
– It’s Orks versus Imperial Guard in the first battle report to feature one of the new battle missions. Jervis Johnson introduces proceedings.

Masters of the Force – Star Wars Miniatures

Masters of the Force

There is a Disturbance in the Force . . .

The greatest Star Wars heroes and villains of all eras explode into battle across the galaxy! Experience the power of these mighty wielders of the Force as they face off in epic confrontations!

Re-enact classic duels or create your own battles spanning all of the Star Wars universe! Collect Darth Vader, Yoda, Mace Windu, Freedon Nadd, Cay Qel-Droma, and other masters of the Force, as well as the incredible creatures from the famous dejarik hologame aboard the Millennium Falcon!

Product line features:

  • The ultimate collection of Jedi, heroes, and villains of all eras – 40 characters in all!
  • Collect Darth Vader, Yoda, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, General Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and more!
  • Includes all eight creatures from the dejarik hologame as seen in Star Wars: Episode IV!
  • Outstanding quality! These pre-painted plastic miniatures are durable, collectible, and appealing to all Star Wars fans.

Release Date: April 6, 2010
SKU: 250890000
ISBN: 978-0-7869-5330-1

Preview Of Heroclix set The Brave and the Bold. Set Available 4/14/10

Preview Of Heroclix set The Brave and the Bold Available 4/14/10

Preview: Power Girl

DC HeroClix The Brave and The Bold previews continue with a real powerhouse: Power Girl!

After many false revelations and years of confusion, Power Girl has finally learned her true origins: she is the Supergirl of Earth Two, a survivor of the first Crisis. Blessed with all the strengths and some of the limitations of Kryptonians from that universe, Power Girl’s independence and impulsiveness led to problems in earlier years. Recently, she has comfortably settled into the Justice Society, becoming its first chairwoman. After disappearing for a time to help Supergirl in the city of Kandor, she has now re-adopted her civilian identity of Karen Starr and is trying to restart her software company.

DC HeroClix The Brave and The Bold hits comic and hobby shops nationwide on April 14, 2010! Featuring 55 new figures, including the best team-ups from DC Comics, all-new Alter-Egos and powers that will revolutionize your HeroClix games, DC HeroClix The Brave and The Bold is a must-collect for all DC HeroClix fans. Keep checking back at wizkidsgames.com for more previews!

UPDATE: 03/15/10

HeroClix fans are among the most comics-savvy people on the planet, and they know that among the key abilities all Kryptonians share are the ability to Lift And Toss Very Heavy Things and the ability to Hit Other Things With Lots Of Oomph. So when our fans saw the preview of Power Girl I posted on Friday, they realized something was missing – Super Strength. Good catch HeroClix fans!

Power Girl originally was playtested with a trait which reads “Power Girl can use Super Strength” – but that line was unintentionally edited out when we created the print master for the art team to lay out the cards. Thanks to the miracle of Print and Play, you can play her the way the design team intended. Power’s corrected cards are below, and are officially considered legal for all HeroClix play.

Keep on clickin’

-Drew

Phyrexia vs. The Coalition in Store Friday

Relive the most epic battle in Magic: The Gathering history.

Come in on Friday to be the first to get your hands on this epic duel set!

The scourge known as the Phyrexian plane of Rath has been overlayed upon Dominaria. Single-minded and with an unyielding goal to eliminate all in their path, the mono-black Phyrexian army is filled with a variety of efficient killing machines.

For Dominaria, victory is the only option. The Coalition, representing the five colors of Magic, has united under the leadership of Gerrard Capashen to combat the Phyrexian invaders.

When two forces that are polar opposites wage war, sheer devastation can be the only outcome. The question remains: Where will you stand?

Deck Design and Development: Chris Millar, Mike Turian, and Matt Tabak
Release Date: March 19th, 2010
MSRP: $19.99

D&D Player’s Handbook 3 Game Day

PHB3 Game Day

What Do I Need to Play?

Just bring your dice and get ready for a good time! All the other
materials for a day of adventuring are provided. If you participate in a
Game Day called Weekend in the Realms, you can play your Living
Forgotten Realms character and earn rewards for it.

Player’s Handbook 3 Game Day

March 20th 2010

Celebrate the release of Player’s Handbook 3 with a day of
adventure! Psionic characters, skill powers, and hybrid classes abound
in this essential rulebook. Test out the new classes and rules as you
play a unique adventure and grab a copy of Player’s Handbook 3 while
you’re there.

Tell Me More!

For more information on Game Day specifics, to discuss your event,
or to leave feedback, visit the Official Worldwide D&D Game Day
Group on the Wizards Community site.

When
Sat Mar 20, 2010
Where
25 South Street, Concord NH, 03301 (map)

Eldrazi – Gianormous Megastompers from Blind Eternities