With the classic game back available, find out why it rocks!

Do you crave 3v3 fighting game action that pits Marvel heroes and villains versus the most iconic characters in the Capcom universe? Look no further friend: “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” finds its way to next-gen systems this week on both Xbox One and PS4 as well as Steam. If the fact that Captain America can punch Resident Evil’s Albert Wesker doesn’t get you hyped for “UMvC3,” we have more five reasons why you definitely need to get your hands on this game.

Avengers, Guardians, Defenders, X-Men Assemble!

Fancy slinging shields, calling lightning, and repulsor blasting enemies? Or maybe riding a hellfire motorcycle while enlisting the aid of the Vishanti and smashing everything in sight more suits your style? “UMvC3” lets you create your own three-character team from 50 Marvel and Capcom heroes and villains to duke it out in glorious melee. You can create a team consisting of any number of Avengers, or former Raccoon City police officers, or even old school Capcom classics like Arthur and Firebrand from “Ghosts and Goblins.”

With 50 playable characters, your team-up options have virtually no limits! Explore awesome synergies, brutal assist combos, and ridiculous super moves to create the perfect team to fit your play style. My personal favorite crew consists of The Hulk, Thor, and She-Hulk. Sure it can be a little tough getting in, but those big bodies bring the pain!

Giant beams of death plus hitting people with a falling meteor equals fun

Ah the Triple Hyper Combo, known to the fighting game community as the THC. For those of you unfamiliar, triggering a THC brings all three of your characters onto the screen, each cutting loose with one of their devastating super moves simultaneously. While not incredibly useful in every situation, given the right opportunity you can unleash Ryu’s Shinu Hadouken and Iron Man’s Repulsor Cannon while Hulk grabs a passing meteor and slams it down onto your enemy’s head. It’s truly a sight to behold.

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

You’re down to your last character who clings to life by a single pixel of health. Your opponent banks on one last hit of chip damage to take the round but you play your trap card: X-Factor. Activating X-Factor transforms any single character into a force of nature capable of taking out an entire enemy team on their lonesome. Granting enhanced movement and attack speed as well as a hefty damage increase, and immunity from chip damage, X-Factor can pull your butt out of the fire like nothing else, but activating it early to take advantage of its bonuses can leave you limited at the end of a hard fought match.

Do you pop X-Factor early to guarantee a kill on a tough enemy, or save it knowing it may mean the difference between life and death? The choice is yours.

Test your might against the cosmic power of Galactus

If you want to take a break from online battles, or maybe Vs. Mode doesn’t do it for you, you can always test your skills against the computer-controlled arcade ladder. If you best the AI competition and a couple of silver-clad heralds, you get to face the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus himself. And you better be prepared. Galactus has enough super armor to shrug off the most powerful of your character’s attacks and he burns with enough cosmic energy to turn your team to cinders. Think you can take him down and save the Earth?

Challenge incredible players from across the globe

When challenging the computer loses its luster, a whole host of capable combatants await online, ready to push your skills and reflexes to the limit. Test out new team strategies, learn your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and prove you have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the best. There’s a reason you spent all that time in training mode keeping your combos crisp.

Download “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” right now on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel games news and interviews.

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New recruits like Moon Girl and Elsa Bloodstone pitch in for monster mayhem!

Kang’s been defeated and banished from our timestream, for now. However, he left the students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” a parting gift straight from the timefog: Fin Fang Foom has been unleashed and he’s ready to take over the world with a horde of monsters by his side. Recruit Moon Girl, Elsa Bloodstone, and more to battle Fin Fang Foom and his monster army and put a stop to his nefarious plans.

We snagged Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the full rundown of everything we’ll see in this massive new event.

Marvel.com: What threat does Fin Fang Foom pose to the Academy? Is he alone or has he brought friends?

Allen Warner: Kang the Conqueror was defeated at the end of our previous Young Avengers event, but not before he’d had a chance to explore the timefog surrounding the campus, and plant the seeds for his revenge, and eventual return. He devised a way to free Fin Fang Foom from the timefog, knowing that the gigantic awakened space dragon would wreak havoc on Avengers Academy. Fin Fang Foom is not only furious about being trapped in the timefog, but he’s also desperately searching for the immensely powerful Makluan Power Rings that were stolen from him while he slept. He uses his size and powers to not only dominate the campus, but to control the minds of monsters across the globe, unleashing them on the Avengers and the rest of the world to get his revenge and recover his rings. We’ll see him using Devil Dinosaur, Orrgo, and Hi-Vo to attack the campus, and there will be references, stories, and decorations based around many more monsters and dinosaurs who are doing his bidding across the globe.

Marvel.com: What new heroes—and monsters—can players recruit to join the student body over the course of the event?

Allen Warner: It’s an awesome combination of characters with extreme strength, intelligence, and skills perfectly suited for battling giant monsters: Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, Elsa Bloodstone, Orrgo, Amadeus Cho, and Hercules. It’s one of my favorite event line ups so far, with every character bringing something cool and different to the table when it comes to their personalities, abilities, and visuals.

Moon Girl is the youngest student to ever join the Academy, and one of the smartest and most creative. Anyone who’s read the great MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR comic knows about their fun relationship, but it’s also really cool to see her interact with the many super-scientists at Avengers Academy from Hank Pym to Iron Man.

Elsa Bloodstone is one of my favorite underused characters. She has a great look, and I love her attitude. In our world, she has some history with a bunch of other monster hunters and cold-blooded enforcer types, so she’ll share a lot of screen time with everyone from Blade to Angela.

It felt weird to have a monster event without letting players recruit at least one monster, and my mind immediately went to Orrgo because he’s the kind of character that makes me smile just by looking at him, and he has this goofy, crazy, over-the-top attitude and power set that make him a great fit for the game, and perfect for an event that features a red dinosaur fighting a dragon from outer space. I think players will love Orrgo’s animations, and they might be surprised by his chosen career path.

Hercules is a character we’ve been wanting to get into the game for a long time. He’s a classic Avenger, has great history with heroes already at the school and new heroes in this event, and brings great energy and attitude. Our younger version of Hercules is a bro with a heart of gold. He’s always looking for the next challenge, and he loves showing off while he’s at it.

Amadeus Cho is of course, the new Totally Awesome Hulk. He has a really fun personality that fits perfectly with the game, and he’s a mental and physical powerhouse. We did something we’ve never done with a character before in the game with Amadeus, having him start as Amadeus Cho in human scientist form, and evolve into his Hulk form. It’s something we really wanted to do with the Bruce Banner Hulk when the game came out, but it presents a lot of challenges for animation in particular, so we couldn’t pull it off at that time. With over a year of animations and experience in the game under our belt, we decided to give it a shot, and he turned out great. Joe Daniels and our animation team deserve a lot of credit. We even have a unique animation for him that plays out in two completely different ways based off of which form he’s in. It really makes him feel like one of the most special characters in the game. And while it won’t appear in this event, players can now also look forward to a Bruce Banner outfit for Hulk in the future.

Last, but most definitely not least, is Devil Dinosaur. Anyone who’s been playing the game since the beginning knows that he’s been teased more than any other character. We talked about getting him in from the beginning, but there was not only the challenge of animating a fun-loving Tyrannosaurus Rex, but how do you get a giant dinosaur to fit in a school made for humans? We knew if we were doing a monster event, he had to be in it, and the team did an incredible job of making it work. He’s huge, he runs the gamut from silly to ferocious, and there is just nothing like seeing him stomping around the campus. I don’t want to spoil anything, but his visual upgrades are both appropriate and absurd, and really great. I’m so happy he finally made it to Avengers Academy, and I think our players will feel the same.

Marvel.com: Likewise, who’s going to be decked out in new duds designed to defeat the monstrous threat?

Allen Warner: There will be new outfits for Wasp, Captain America, Loki, Hulk, and Black Widow.

Loki, Wasp, and Black Widow are all monster hunters, but each one looks and feels drastically different based off of their personalities. Loki is the arrogant, old-timey Big Game Hunter, Widow is the deadly and mysterious Monster Hunter, and Wasp is the energetic, fun-loving Monster Catcher who adores monsters and just wants to catch them all.

Hulk will become Gladiator Hulk, using one of his awesome designs from the legendary “Planet Hulk” comics to better battle the giant monsters. Cap will also become a gladiator of sorts, taking inspiration from the Secret Wars [PLANET HULK comic] where he teamed up with Devil Dinosaur. It’s fun to see them both looking so different, and the barbarian and gladiator vibe is a great fit for the sci-fi fantasy setting of battling aliens and gigantic monsters.

We usually have special combat outfits for each of the weekly event characters, but this time we’re doing something a little different. Each of those characters will have their own personalized mech suit themed to their powers and personalities. They’ll get new storylines for each suit, and will be able to jump inside, and trigger some awesome animations.

Marvel.com: What will the event district look like this time out, and how will our heroes interact with it?

Allen Warner: The event district is a sprawling tropical land that time forgot. Fin Fang Foom looms large in the center, flanked by his mind-controlled monsters and trapped heroes. On the other side is a giant, ancient alien mech covered in foliage. If our heroes can figure out how to get the mech running, they’ll be able to use it to battle Fin Fang Foom in some epic giant robot vs. giant monster battles!

Our event building this time out might be my favorite yet. It’s a multi-tiered gladiator arena for the heroes to practice battling monsters, and the entire building is made out of a giant dragon skull. Our concept artist Steve Chang did an awesome job with it. It looks really cool, and it allows a lot of vertical space for multiple characters to perform actions at the same time.

Marvel.com: In what ways do you draw inspiration from events on the Marvel Publishing side—this time out, from Monsters Unleashed—to choose characters, story beats, and various design elements for events?

Allen Warner: For all of our events that are based on either the movies or the books, I try to start with the high-level idea of the source material, and fit it into the world and tone we’ve established in ‘Avengers Academy.’ For example, Civil War is about heroes battling heroes with Captain America and Iron Man leading each side. I kept that in place, but in our younger, more lighthearted setting, those battles were based around insults, dance battles, and arm-wrestling, and the teams were different based off of what I thought made sense for our version of the characters. For Monsters Unleashed, it’s essentially a big fun spectacle about gigantic monsters doing battle. Two of the most iconic Marvel monsters of all time, Fin Fang Foom and Devil Dinosaur, have either been on our playspace or been frequently mentioned from the beginning of the game, so it made too much sense to base a monster event around them. I always want to respect the source material, but I also always want to do something that hasn’t been done before, and Tim Hernandez and Bill Rosemann and everyone else at Marvel Games are really great about encouraging me to pursue my own ideas and stories, and they offer that same trust and support to our art and animation teams.

Marvel has so much history, and an incredibly deep roster of characters, so I try to use stories from the comics for inspiration, and use that sandbox to create new stories and unique character combinations. Getting to reimagine these classic characters, stories, and events, and helping to create this new world within the Marvel Universe was what drew me to this project in the first place, and it’s still what I find the most fun and exciting.

Marvel.com: How does the team at TinyCo use these ideas to create something that fits within the Avengers Academy universe and ties into the ongoing narrative experience of the game?

Allen Warner: We always go back to our premise of the characters being younger, and our lighthearted tone, and what that means for their outfits, powers, and personalities. We know what Hercules looks and acts like in standard comic continuity, but what would he look and act like as a modern day young adult? Is there a school trope that fits him perfectly? Is there a sly pop culture reference we can use to drive the idea home? What would our version of Wasp wear to go monster hunting? How about Loki? These are the kinds of questions we ask with every character and outfit, and our art and animation teams deserve all the credit in the world for knocking it out of the park time after time.

From a strictly narrative perspective, I always want every event to connect to the next, and tie back to the underlying mysteries we’ve been exploring since the beginning of the game: Why are the heroes younger, and why are some not? What is the timefog? What caused it? What is Fury hiding at the school? Why does he want to recruit some characters, but imprison others? I try to use each character and event to plant new seeds and shed new light on the big mystery, while having fun with each interaction.

Marvel.com: While we have the menace that is Fin Fang Foom and his legion of monsters to deal with now, can you clue players in to what new enemies might be lurking on the horizon?

Allen Warner: Many villainous factions have fallen since Avengers Academy opened. Some have recently been resurrected under new leadership, and others have combined forces with unlikely allies. They recognize that to have any hope of beating the Avengers, they’ll need to reach out to rival schools that have remained hidden to this point, and use their combined forces to take down the faculty on their way to defeating the students.

It will be the most eclectic coordinated attack on the campus to date, and it will be the first step in introducing characters that no one ever thought would be joining “Avengers Academy.”

Keep up to date with the latest “Marvel Avengers Academy” news on Marvel.com!

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The X-Men’s winged warrior flies into battle!

Something wicked this way comes. Armed with razor-sharp wings and deadly neurotoxins carried on the wind by the one and only Warren Worthington III, Archangel swoops into “Marvel Contest of Champions” ready to eviscerate his foes. We talked with Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron about the Angel of Death and how he fits into the Collector’s grand scheme.

Marvel.com: The Horsemen of Apocalypse usually come in sets of four. Is Archangel just the first in Taneleer’s collection?

Gabriel Frizzera: He’s the first in “a” collection, but not Taneleer’s. As our players probably noticed, the Collector’s worst nightmare is returning to The Contest: En Dwi Gast, The Grandmaster. He favors ruthless killing machines as his Champions, and Archangel definitely fits the bill. To challenge the dominion of the Collector over the Battlerealm, he puts together a team of “X-Enforcers,” mind-controlled versions of X-Force. They’re assassins aiming to disrupt the Collector’s Contest, and hunt new recruits for the Grandmaster’s ranks. Check out who their first target is in our brand new motion comic!

Marvel.com: Warren Worthington’s alter-ego here looks much more menacing than the blue and purple Archangel that I grew up with. This is his X-Force outfit right?

Gabriel Frizzera: Yup. We love Rick Remender’s run [on UNCANNY X-FORCE], and you can’t get much more iconic than the black-and-white matching uniforms of that team. We used the Archangel design from that comic, which has a lot of reflective silver details that look great in the game. We even added a couple of extra sharp edges here and there to make him look more menacing.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk a little about Archangel’s kit. A big part of his gameplay seems focused on the Neurotoxin in his wings. What exactly does Neurotoxin do to your opponents?

Simon Cameron: Archangel’s Neurotoxin comes in two main varieties: pre and post Signature unlock. Pre-unlock is one of his best sources of damage; additionally, as a passive it’s also impossible to get rid of early once it’s in place and the short stun gives you an opening to start your next combo. Post-Signature unlock becomes a powerful debuff, reducing your opponent’s Ability Accuracy and acting as a Heal Block.

Marvel.com: And how do his other abilities—Bleed, Poison, Stun—round out his style?

Simon Cameron: Archangel’s Bleed and Poison abilities provide a lot of damage to his opponents and acts as the resources he uses to create Neurotoxins. His Stun abilities give him windows to land additional combos and heavy attacks safely to help keep his Bleed and Poison stacks in place.

Marvel.com: Characters with wings seem like they’d be difficult to animate in game. Does Warren only break out his wings during his special moves?

Gabriel Frizzera: No, sir! He flies during the whole fight. Unlike Falcon—who collapses his wing quite a bit in the movies—Archangel is known for using his wings as both propulsion and weapons most of the time. With that being said, we decided to go for it and have his wings be as large and imposing as they are in the comics. He slices and blocks with the wings and shoots metallic blades from it. Doing so created a new set of technical challenges—like the wings being so large they sometimes would crash through the camera—but in the end the animation team managed to make him one of the most unique-looking Champions in the game, and very effective too.

Marvel.com: And what can you tell us about the teammates he should take into battle with him? A lot of the original X-Men maybe?

Simon Cameron: Some original X-Men, some X-Force members, some who were both!

Marvel.com: And last but not least, when do we get to break him out of a crystal?

Simon Cameron: Archangel will be coming to The Contest today! Be sure to check your in-game messages and announcements to find out when.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

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The wonderful wallcrawling adventure from Gameloft gets a major update!

Get ready for new and improved rooftop running and web swinging, with “Spider-Man Unlimited” getting another big update courtesy of the fine folks over at Gameloft. Product Marketing Manager Vitaliy Gladiyenko dropped by to give us the lowdown on all the changes coming down the pipeline.

Marvel.com: “Spider-Man Unlimited” is dropping another exciting update for players coming in early March. Can we get a tl;dr of some of the changes to expect?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: The whole update is aimed to make player’s experience even more smooth. First of all, we added a new daily login bonus system, which offers bigger rewards each next day you log in. In-game time-limited events, where all new Spideys are being released, got an upgrade too: now each event can be of a certain genome type—this is our local name for character classes. If the player uses characters of the same genome type as the event, he will receive a bonus to his score.

Also we did a whole bunch of UX improvements across the board: duplicate filter in the team section, character filter before the run, more intuitive flow in the reward sections of events and leaderboards where players can explore the content of portals. We also moved some UI elements around for better, more intuitive navigation.

Marvel.com: Just when Spidey thinks he’s seen the last of the symbiotes, a whole new mess of slimy baddies come tearing out of the woodwork. Let’s talk a little about Poison and Raze. Why should players add these two new characters to their roster?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: They’re both just darn cool characters! Poison has an interesting story. Basically, it is our good ol’ Parker, bonded with the bad ol’ Venom, but on a way deeper level. After nearly dying in battle against the interdimensional spider-totem hunter, Morlun, Peter Parker retreated into a cocoon state beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Sensing his weakness, the Venom symbiote escaped its prison and permanently bonded with Parker. Peter was driven to share his symbiote with Aunt May and Mary Jane, but both refused. Would you accept such a gift?

Raze aka Claire Dixon was an FBI agent, who was involved in the anti-Carnage ops. After several attempts to capture Carnage she was imprisoned herself and used as a test subject for Carnage’s spawn symbiote, Raze. I haven’t seen Raze in any [other] Spider-Man game. “Spider-Man Unlimited” becomes bigger and bigger with each update and now includes really rare characters!

Marvel.com: And can we go a little more in-depth with the daily bonus update? What exactly can players earn just by playing the game every day?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Basically, everything: ISO-8, vials, portals with characters, boosts, genome samples, Spidey energy. We will review the whole set up after a while and see if the rewards are well balanced and tweak some of them to keep them up to date with the game economy. Also, the reward isn’t reset if you don’t log into the game one day; if after three consecutive logins you miss a day or two and visit the game on the fifth day, you will receive fourth reward and the loop continues where you left off.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about the genome System update. Would you mind breaking that down for us a little?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Once you see a genome icon over event banner in the game, head over to the briefing screen. We made a small icon that indicates how big your bonus score multiplier [is]. If you have all four characters of the same genome, and the same as the event, you will receive 50%–12.5% per character—more points after the run. This new addition to the whole class system that I mentioned above is only the first step towards something bigger.

Marvel.com: It seems like having a diverse roster of characters will really benefit players going forward, especially with all those buffs for same-genome heroes. Is that fair to say?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Yes, exactly. Since each character has a different set of abilities, you will need to pick a perfect match both for the event objective and for the genome-based bonus, if you want it. This might seem a bit complicated for newbies, but after a short one-time tutorial, you will get used to it!

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know about the big update?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Players who liked us on Facebook and are subscribed to our YouTube channel have already seen our recent video teaser of the new location—stay tuned for more of them soon! We’re working on a huge new set of levels, which are actually a symbiote home planet. Have you ever seen symbiote homeworld in any game before? Indeed, take your time to recall any title.

The main reference for us is the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #23 comic book, where Flash Thompson becomes a renewed and empowered Space Knight. This new location will include new enemies, new obstacles, environment, sound and visual effects—a whole lot of work!

You can also expect some cool synergies with comic books later this year, which include [the] new Scarlet Spider [series], new techy Spidey’s outfit from [SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL] and something even bigger!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Spider-Man Unlimited” news and interviews. Download the game on iTunes and Google Play.

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Hear from the artists behind the exclusive Marvel Vs. Capcom comic!

This interview originally appeared on the Capcom-Unity blog

As previously announced in our other blogpost, physical versions of “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” are coming to PlayStation®4 and Xbox One™ on March 7 for $29.99. These versions will feature updated cover at and an exclusive comic featuring original art from Marvel’s own Sean Chen and Gerardo Sandoval.

We caught up with Sean and Gerardo to share their thoughts on the Marvel vs. Capcom series and what it was like creating the exclusive comic.

Please introduce yourself and give us a little background on what you do for Marvel.

Sean Chen: I’m a veteran comic book artist with about 20 years in the industry. I’m mostly known for a long run on [IRON MAN], but have also done stints on Wolverine, X-Men, Spider-Man, the Avengers, among others.

These days I split my time between [comics] and advertising. In comics, I do mostly covers and special projects for different publishers. In the advertising industry, I mostly do storyboards for television commercials.

Gerardo Sandoval: My name is Gerardo Sandoval. I have worked on titles such as AGE OF APOCALYPSE, GUARDIANS 3000, NEW AVENGERS, and [more].

When you were approached with this project, what was your reaction?

Sean Chen: I knew it was going to be lots of fun. It was a great opportunity to draw many of the iconic Marvel heroes that I loved, as well as some of the well-known Capcom characters. While I was unfamiliar with some of them, they were all great fun to draw.

Researching the few characters that I didn’t know too well turned me into a fan. They were all well designed, both visually and in personality and abilities.

Gerardo Sandoval: When I was younger I was a gamer. I really loved Capcom and everything Street Fighter. For me this opportunity was a huge surprise because I always wanted to do a [Marvel Vs. Capcom] art piece and I never thought that it could be possible.

Being more familiar with drawing characters from the Marvel Universe, what approach did you take when creating your own renditions of characters from the Capcom universe?

Sean Chen: First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that they all appeared and acted in character. Capcom, being the steward of these characters, as well as the diehard fans of them, care a lot about how they are portrayed. A big part of my job is to make sure to be respectful by acknowledging that there are people very passionate about these characters. I did my homework and did a fair amount of research, which included discussing the characters with my son and some of his friends.
The challenging part is that some of the Capcom characters are on the very realistic end of the spectrum, such as Chris Redfield. Others such as Viewtiful Joe are very cartoony. Trying to integrate the different art genres into one story universe took some thought and calibration.

Gerardo Sandoval: It’s not easy to design a piece like this because I only had one chance to create the main characters. I had to [put] each one of the characters in a pose very familiar to the fans. As a fan myself, I knew Capcom characters and how they should look, so it was really fun, but challenging to put all the main characters together in one shot.

Who is your favorite character to draw from both the Marvel and Capcom universes and why?

Sean Chen: I always love drawing Iron Man since I am very tech oriented. A big part of the fun of drawing comics is to engage a variety of character types, and this book had them all. A great counterpoint to the hard edges of Iron Man was the organic and feminine forms of Storm and Morrigan. It was also great fun to draw the anime and cartoon characters as Zero and Viewtiful Joe. I would have to say that Morrigan was the most fun to draw from the Capcom side because she had a unique offbeat design. In terms of personality, Viewtiful Joe was great fun to portray because of his big, in your face attitude.

Gerardo Sandoval: Venom, Wolverine, Sagat, or Zangief. For some reason, I am not into the good guys, I always liked the bad guys. Not Spider-Man but Venom, not Ryu but Sagat. Villains, or anti-heroes, are more interesting characters for me so I really enjoy drawing bad guys. Also, when I was a gamer, I always played as a villain.

Who is your favorite character to play from both the Marvel and Capcom universes and why?

Sean Chen: Some of the Capcom characters have been around forever, such as Chun-Li and Ryu, so they are the ones I am familiar with from my younger days. As far a Marvel is concerned, Wolverine is always a favorite.
How does it feel to know your name is now cemented in this epic franchise that has spanned over 20 years?

Gerardo Sandoval: It’s one of my dreams come true. It’s a great achievement, but at the same time, not enough for me. I really had the dream of being part of something like this but not only with one art piece. I hope in the future I can produce more art for this epic series.

A huge thanks to both Sean and Gerardo for their beautiful work on the exclusive comic and giving their thoughts on the franchise! The all-new comic book is a must-have for collectors and fans of the series and tells the story of two colliding universes featuring some of the most iconic Marvel and Capcom characters in its 10 full pages of action packed story. To secure your copy of this limited release, you can preorder now at GameStop and EB Games.

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Go inside production of the popular Japanese magazine with C.B. Cebulski!

As more and more fans catch on around the world, Marvel has started to see a growing recognition in international media. A popular Japanese magazine called “Pen Plus” recently devoted an entire issue to all things Marvel.

We caught up with C.B. Cebulski, who helped arrange this Marvel extravaganza.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a little background on the “Pen Plus” Marvel issue?

C.B. Cebulski: We’ve seen the Marvel brand growing in Asia pretty rapidly, especially over the last three to five years. But we’ve had a bit of a tougher time in Japan, honestly, because we see so much domestic competition, from the large amount of manga and anime, to a lot of home-gown, live-action hero shows. Even the domestic film industry in Japan does extremely well, both live-action and animation. But over the last few years, that has started to change, thanks not only to our films but also some of the things that Disney Japan has done with apparel and with the “Marvel Tsum-Tsum” game that came out last year—just some really innovative ideas. So we’ve seen a lot of focus on the characters, the heroes, and everyone loves the red brick logo.

“Pen” approached us through Disney Japan, and they didn’t just want to do an article, they wanted to do a whole issue, from the first page to the last page, focusing on Marvel. The primary writer was Akihide Yanagi.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little more about “Pen Plus”?

C.B. Cebulski: “Pen Plus” is a very prestigious Japanese magazine in terms of pop culture, design, and that young adult audience of 20- and 30-somethings who consider themselves worldly, international, and into cool photography and cool topics.

Marvel.com: How did you get involved with this project?

C.B. Cebulski: They approached one of our friends at Disney Japan, Michiko Hashida. I’d consider her one of Marvel’s biggest supporters in the Disney Japan organization. She works really tirelessly to help build Marvel, not just because it’s her job but because as a fan, she also loves this stuff. And she got in touch with the editor at “Pen Plus,” Yoshihiro Watanabe, who had this idea and brought it to me. We in turn brought it to Dan Buckley, Axel Alonso, and Tom Brevoort at Marvel, and arranged everything from there. It included a trip for them to New York to meet with the editors and do photo shoots for two days, they went to the set of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” for a couple days, they had access to Marvel Studios. So it was really comprehensive, anything you could possibly want to know about Marvel. Then they went back to Japan, talked to a lot of our partners there about what comics they’d published, they talked to Japanese celebrities who love Marvel, and really showed Marvel as the cool company we all know it is but other people there might not.

Marvel.com: What was your experience like, connecting with others at the magazine?

C.B. Cebulski: I loved it. I could sit here and talk about Marvel all day. I’ve loved Marvel since I was a kid, and I have the dream job; I wake up every day with a smile on my face. And in working with “Pen Plus,” it struck me as interesting because I take certain things for granted; I assume that people know about Peter Parker, or they know who’s under the Iron Man armor. But talking to people who don’t know that stuff, it always feels eye-opening for me to realize how much I know about Marvel, but how little I sometimes know about what other people know about Marvel, and how much room we have to grow, and that really helps me do my job.

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The silent king of the Inhumans makes his voice heard in Marvel’s MMO!

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to unleash Black Bolt’s sonic assault on a host of baddies up to no good? Look no further than “Marvel Heroes 2016” where players can harness the Inhuman king’s incredible voice and exceptional martial prowess to dismantle any foe crazy enough to stand in his way.

We talked to Gazillion Lead Game Designer Benjamin Gilbert to get a breakdown of Black Bolt’s abilities and figure out just what makes Blackagar Boltagon—real name—tick.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk Black Bolt! I’ve always had a soft spot for Blackagar and I’m super excited to see him showing up in the game. What does this powerful Inhuman bring to the game that no other character does?

Benjamin Gilbert: Black Bolt is a unique blend of a ranged energy blaster and a mobile scrapper with a spectacular splash of blue crackling visuals fit for a king.

Marvel.com: Black Bolt has a very iconic look, a lot of black and blue with a touch of silver. For his “Marvel Heroes 2016” costume was there a specific artist/storyline the team pulled from?

Benjamin Gilbert: His “All-New All Different” look was pulled from UNCANNY INHUMANS directly. The Classic look was less about a specific story and more about taking the general details that make it “classic” and seeing if there was anything we could do to modernize it a bit but not lose the original appearance.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little about Black Bolt’s ability trees? How are we playing the King of the Inhumans?

Benjamin Gilbert: All his powers center around his primary resource mechanic called “Energy.” His first tree, “Scion of Attilan,” features all his Melee-centric powers, and also some that feature him zipping around with his cool wings. Next is “Inhuman Conduit,” which features him channeling particles into destructive beams or crashing waves of force that wash away enemies at range. His Talents will let you tailor Black Bolt’s kit to your play-style: all brawling? All range? A bit of both? You decide!

Marvel.com: What are some of the team’s favorite Black Bolt builds?

Benjamin Gilbert: My personal favorite is his melee build, using the Master Blow talent to swap out his Signature for a heavy-hitting melee one. [Others prefer] his ranged build, blasting enemies to smithereens from afar, occasionally using the slightest whisper to annihilate entire groups.

Marvel.com: What abilities are you most excited for players to try out?

Benjamin Gilbert: His Ultimate ability “Royal Decree” is quite a thing to behold. He unleashes the full potential of his voice in a reality-rending yell that instantly vaporizes non-boss enemies and decimates everything else.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know?

Benjamin Gilbert: The Attilan King is a great choice for beginners to “Marvel Heroes” and veterans alike. His kit can be molded to any play style and has enough stopping power to take on any challenge, and in stunning visual style to boot!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Heroes 2016” news and interviews!

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The hit mobile game spawns a very special variant comic book cover!

The heroes and villains of “Marvel Avengers Academy” grace a variant cover for this week’s MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #2. Avid players will surely look to pick this up, but those unfamiliar with it can get a peek at some of the game’s many characters, straight from the pen of “Avengers Academy” artist David Nakayama!

We sat down with David and pulled in Tim Hernandez, Game Production Director at Marvel Games, to get a behind-the-scenes look at how this cover came together.

Marvel.com: How did this project come about?

Tim Hernandez: Looking back, it has actually been in the works for a while. We had partnered with Marvel Publishing on multiple cool variants for other games last year that all turned out great.  Our fans really dig them and we knew we wanted to put together an “Avengers Academy” cover to showcase David and the TinyCo team’s amazing character designs and youthful spin on the Avengers. Being hardcore comic fans, the TinyCo team was just as excited to collaborate, so then it became a matter of picking the right comic series and timing. In September, Marvel Games Creative Director, Bill Rosemann and Creative Assistant, Isabel Hsu, and I took a look at the upcoming calendar of books to see what would make a good fit. We knew that Captain Marvel would be joining “Avengers Academy” in the “A-Force” event in December, and that the MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL series would be launching in early 2017. It was also roughly the one-year anniversary of the game’s launch so we all felt like it would be the perfect way to celebrate both the game and the new series. We then approached the Publishing team with the idea and they were all for it.

David Nakayama: Yeah, for me it started with my boss saying “Hey, so we’re going to do an ‘Avengers Academy’ variant cover—you want to do it?” and before he could even finish the sentence I’m going “OMG!! OMG!! YES, PLEASE!!” because I’m about as big a Marvel fan as you can be, and this was such a unique opportunity. I mean, I love working on our game, and I adore drawing covers for the comics, but obviously, it’s not every day that you get to put those two things together, so I really, really could not have been more jazzed about it. Also, as a die-hard comic fan I can’t help but think—in a “First Appearance” kind of way—that having the characters appear in print, in their native medium, on an actual Marvel comic was like welcoming them into the larger Marvel multiverse, which is just really special to me.

Marvel.com: When did you bring David on board to design it?

Tim Hernandez: Honestly, I think we always assumed it would be David doing the cover due to his massive creative involvement on the game, and his previous experience creating awesome covers for Marvel. When we shared the news with TinyCo that the cover was a go, they requested it be David on art duties and for us it was a no brainer to make it official.

David Nakayama: I definitely made my interest known at the very first whiff of a rumor that this might be happening. No way was I going to miss out on this if I could possibly help it!

Marvel.com: What was the process like for putting this cover together? Did you run through several ideas or did the Captain Marvel/Iron Man arm wrestling come up early?

Tim Hernandez: We proposed a couple of high-level ideas, but David really came up with the arm wrestling idea. I think Civil War II was still on everyone’s mind but with Tony being the unofficial “big man on campus,” it was a great way to introduce Carol to the Academy in a fun and humorous way that also allowed us to feature a nice diversity of characters, which really speaks to what “Avengers Academy” is about. Throughout the process we ran the concept, sketch, pencil and color phases by Sana Amanat and Charles Beacham who were editing MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL and they loved it too.CAPMARV2017002_DC31

David Nakayama: Yup, Tim nailed it. Civil War II established Tony and Carol as rivals, so it felt natural to translate that relationship into the context of the Academy. One of my goals with this cover was a feature as many characters as possible, and the arm wrestling idea gave us a nice excuse for the other students to be present. Even better, they could all be emoting and reacting to the match in their own way: Loki’s taking bets, Pepper’s freaking out, Black Widow is disgusted, Cap thinks Carol got this one in the bag, etc. I was thinking basically, if we have just one image to show comic fans what “Avengers Academy” is all about, this would be a great way to present a lot of character and story all at once.

Marvel.com: The cover is chock full of “Avengers Academy” heroes and even shows off one of Vision’s fan-favorite actions from the game. How did you decide whom to include in the cover from the now 90+ characters in the game?

Tim Hernandez: As long as Vision made it in, I was happy! David came up with the line-up and I think we were pretty locked in on the cover featuring the characters that make up the core story. We also teased a couple of new additions, like Hawkeye and She-Hulk, who we knew were coming to the game by the time the cover would hit and the fans would want to see.

David Nakayama: I started off with the intention of including everyone who’d appeared in the game so far but quickly realized there were just too many. So instead I went for core Avengers first, then fan faves, then deep cuts and in-jokes—I’m looking at you, British Bulldog!—all with an eye towards building as diverse and interesting a color palette as I could. Managed to get in just about all the main heroes, but I wish I’d had a lot more space—and drawing time!—to include more villains and newer arrivals like Doctor Strange. Plus, I happen to know everyone slated to arrive in future “Avengers Academy” events, and it’s a monster list of AAA characters that could easily fill their own cover. So yeah, with a whole universe of characters to draw on, it’d be easy to fill up another one of these with just as many characters.

Marvel.com: Were there any particular Avengers Academy characters you were eager to include?

David Nakayama: In every version of the Avengers, I just love Tony and Cap’s dynamic, so that was a main focus for sure. In our game, Wasp, Loki, Pepper, and Enchantress are huge fan-favorites, so I definitely wanted to give them their due as well.

Marvel.com: Fans of the game will certainly be eager to know if they’ll see more of these. Are there currently any plans for more Avengers Academy variants down the line?

Tim Hernandez: We’d love to do more. Whenever you’re ready for round two, David! How about double the amount of characters this time?

David Nakayama: OMG!! OMG!! YES PLEASE!! Bring it on. Any time. Seriously. Call me.

Track down the special variant cover for MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 now, and play “Marvel Avengers Academy!”

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The ace agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stands side-by-side with super heroes!

Want to work for the world’s premiere spy agency, save the world on a weekly basis, and look great doing it? Sorry, but there’s only room for one Phil Coulson in “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” but good news—we can all play his wingman.

We talked to D3 Go! Publisher Josh Austin about Agent Coulson’s abilities and everything he brings to the game.

Marvel.com: What’s so cool about Coulson?

Josh Austin: Agent Coulson may be a human with a robotic hand, but he definitely fits in and can hold his own in a world of super heroes. Phil definitely adds a lot to “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” with how he calmly leads his team, even in the [direst] situations, dishing out a healthy amount of sarcasm and giving fans an average joe role model that everyone can relate to.

Marvel.com: I think we can all agree that Phil’s a swell guy and a great agent, but what makes him “Puzzle Quest” material?

Josh Austin: We took a strategic approach with his design. He is a four-star character and his abilities are mostly surveying the battlefield and calling in the right type of backup while helping his team shine with advanced tech to gain more AP and utilize Countdown Tiles. This makes him a great fit for “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as a utility character who can help strengthen a team of heroes that do not share the same colors.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about this abilities: what’s Coulson got going on?

Josh Austin: Agent Coulson’s first ability is called Call the Cavalry and costs 12 Yellow AP. With this ability Coulson surveys the situation and makes calls for backup. What this means for the player is at a low level he creates a one-turn Commander Countdown Tile that creates one Strength Tile. For higher levels he starts calling in more Countdown Tiles like a Sniper Tile that deals damage, a Spy Tile that deals damage to all enemies and at level five he creates two Commander Countdown Tiles. But wait, that’s not all! This ability has a Passive that gives the player one AP when any friendly Countdown Tile reaches zero and two AP for the same reason at level four.

Phil’s second power is Best-Laid Plans for eight Purple AP. This ability is designed around Agent Coulson’s ability to stay calm even when surrounded and things look horrible. The player gets to choose two red and/or green Basic Tiles to become Charged Tiles and then swap them. Increasing this power will give the player more Basic Tile colors to choose from and reducing the Countdown timer by two for any friendly Countdown Tiles. This ability also has a Passive that triggers if you make a match while you have six or more team-up AP. It spends two team-up AP to reduce a random friendly Countdown timer by one.

His last power is Super Secret S.H.I.E.L.D. Tech for 11 Blue AP. Based on another Agent Coulson characteristic, Coulson unleashes an advanced piece of tech, raising an eyebrow in mild surprise at its effectiveness. This ability steals random AP for each friendly Countdown Tile on the board. This power has a Passive as well that triggers whenever an ally player activates a power, which creates a two-turn Countdown Tile that deals damage. Increasing this ability’s level will give this ability more damage, reduce the two-turn Countdown for the passive to one-turn, and add more AP per friendly Countdown Tile.

Marvel.com: Coulson has a lot of interesting things going on in his kit. It seems like he’s really focused on AP manipulation and playing with countdown timers. And he could give Kingpin a run for his money calling in backup!

Josh Austin: Definitely, there is a lot of Countdown Tile manipulation and all of his powers feed into each other in a fun interesting way.

Marvel.com: Who does he fight best alongside? Thor (Goddess of Thunder) seems an easy comrade, making use of Coulson’s charged to power her Smite. Who else fits into Coulson’s crew?

Josh Austin: Good suggestion! Agent Coulson is a good character to team up with anyone that doesn’t have color overlap. Some characters that our side has found fun to play with are Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) with his Hellfire Power to crate the Countdown Tile that refreshes every 2 turns which in turn will trigger Call the Cavalry every 2 turns.

Also War Machine (James Rhodes)’s Gatling Gun which creates Countdown Tiles that deal damage and destroy tiles around them. Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)’s Goblin Glider creates a Countdown Tile and Trick or Treat creates three Countdown timers while passively fortifying Countdown Tiles so they survive.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know about the hard-hitting S.H.I.E.L.D. agent?

Josh Austin: Agent Coulson will be debuting in Deadpool vs. MPQ starting on Thursday, February 23. He will also be in the Vault for Venom Heroic, which starts on February 27 and there will be a Versus Tournament called Right Hand Man which will be happening on March 2.

Take Agent Coulson for a spin here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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The Lord of the Dark Dimension lays siege to Battlerealm!

Everyone please join me in welcoming the dark lord of the Dark Dimension, the one and only Dormammu, to “Marvel Contest of Champions”!

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron about Dormammu’s appearance on Battlerealm and what players can expect from Doctor Strange’s arch nemesis.

Marvel.com: Oh boy what has The Collector done to draw the attention of the one and only Dread Dormammu?

Gabriel Frizzera: This time The Collector has nothing to do it. Without spoiling the story too much, the person responsible for luring the Lord of Darkness to the Battlerealm was our own Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. I’m not going to say for what purpose, you’ll have to play the quest to see!

Marvel.com: In the “Marvel’s Doctor Strange” film we only really got to see Dormy’s face, but here you have him all fleshed out, pardon the pun. What went into his full body design?

Gabriel Frizzera: We knew that Dormammu, being a god-like creature, would be too powerful—and large—to fit the battle arenas. However, he’s known to assume a material [form] to physically battle earthly heroes so we took cues from a couple of incarnations of Dormammu in the comics: the classic design with the crown of thorns and curved shoulder spikes, and the Dark Reign massive armored version. We kept the elements we felt define Dormammu, and pushed the obsidian armor to make it more aggressive-looking.

Marvel.com: His signature ability is Soul Leech. That sounds crazy ominous. What’s going on there?

Simon Cameron: The Lord of the Dark Dimension is not only a massively powerful entity in terms of more direct power but he can also have a strong, shall we say, corrupting effect on those he wishes to control. To reflect this, his Signature Ability gives him a chance to do damage over time to a target each time one of their Buff effects ends, twisting their own strengths against them.

Marvel.com: His other abilities seem like they’re all about controlling his opponents and making sure they can’t use their most powerful attacks. Is that fair to say?

Simon Cameron: Absolutely. Dormammu is a control character. He Nullifies Buffs, he Power Locks, Power Drains, and Power Burns. He’s all about preventing his opponents from using their most powerful abilities while building his Dark Energy charge to enhance his own attacks.

Marvel.com: If you manage to pick up Dormammu, who should be showing him around Battlerealm? Tell us all about those sweet sweet synergies.

Simon Cameron: The two Sorcerer Supremes—current or past—in The Contest are obviously his Enemies, with Doctor Strange going a step further to be his Nemesis. And while Dormammu doesn’t have friends per say, he also has synergies with two of his pawns on Earth, The Hood and Mordo.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know about the ruler of the Dark Dimension? When can we pick him up for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: Just that he’s coming soon! Keep your eyes on in-game messages to see exactly when.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

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