T'Challa Returns to Marvel Puzzle Quest With A Powerful New Update Fit For A King!

The King of Wakanda makes his second appearance in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” sporting two extra stars and tons more damage. T’Challa’s not pulling any punches and unsheathing his vibranium claws and D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin gives us the nitty gritty details on the hero’s newest variation.

Marvel.com: I have been waiting for a 5-Star Black Panther for a while now so I’m pleasantly surprised T’Challa’s our next new release. Why’s now the time for a new Black Panther?

Josh Austin: Since the Marvel “Civil War” event there has been a lot of interest in Black Panther. The Marvel Cinematic Universe Black Panther focused on vengeance and that went into the design in making him unique from the 3-Star Black Panther currently in the game. So for the 5-Star Black Panther (Civil War), we are really bringing a deadly updated version to “Marvel Puzzle Quest”!

Marvel.com: 3-Star Black Panther is a kind of jack-of-all-trades, adding strike tiles, creating defense tiles, and bringing serious team damage to fights. What was the focus this time around?

Josh Austin: The 5-Star Black Panther focuses more on damage in a non-direct way and his athletics to dodge attacks. He has a vengeance-focused ability that causes extra damage to the selected enemy character. The other two powers are passive, but focus on his agility and ability to lead a team and can both cause more damage by triggering their additional abilities. Overall this 5-Star version of Black Panther really adds a lot of extra damage to your team and when playing with him you notice how devastating his abilities are with a good team of heroes!

Marvel.com: Would you mind giving us a breakdown of his abilities?

Josh Austin: The first ability is called Panther’s Prey and it costs 9 black AP. It’s also his Vengeance-based ability. For this power, Black Panther chooses one enemy and he creates Countdown Tile that while on the board deals extra damage any time the chosen character would take damage. Yes, that’s any damage to that chosen enemy!

Black Panther’s second ability is called Spirit of Wakanda, which is a yellow PASSIVE (costs 0 AP) ability. T’Challa summons the wisdom and power to lead his teammates to victory. Whenever the team matches yellow AP and the team has the required amount of Team-Up AP the enemy will be dealt additional damage by spending the collected Team-Up AP. This is great for people like me that never use Team-Ups unless things are really going bad.

Black Panther’s final ability is a Red Passive (costs 0 AP) called Move or Be Moved. Black Panther uses his athletics to dodge an attack and strike back. If Black Panther would take a certain amount of damage (at power level 1 – 2787 and level 450 – 6161) then Black Panther dodges the attack, which negates some of the damage and he gets stunned for 2 turns. When Black Panther returns from being stunned or invisible, he deals additional damage.

Marvel.com: His kit definitely makes him feel like a single target monster and interestingly he gets the majority of his damage from making matches as opposed to using abilities. To clarify, Panther’s Prey and Spirit of Wakanda boosts all friendly damage right?

Josh Austin: That is correct! His first ability will definitely devastate an enemy if the player saves up their powers and unleashes them on an enemy while the Panther’s Prey countdown tile is on the board!

Likewise if the player matches yellow with the correct amount of team up AP collected, the Spirit of Wakanda will initiate no matter who owns the yellow tile. This Black Panther is definitely out for revenge, so don’t face him with Bucky!

Marvel.com: And how does Move or be Moved interact with Panther’s Prey? Just want to be clear on how that all works.

Josh Austin: As long as Black Panther returns from being stunned before the Countdown tile leaves the board, then yes his attack if it hits the targeted enemy would trigger an additional amount of damage with Panther’s Prey.

The damage dealt to Black Panther has to be above the amount specified by the level to trigger Move or be Moved to stun Black Panther which causes the attack, so if the enemy fires off any ability that meets that damage threshold then it could cause Move or be Moved to trigger which will keep Black Panther hopefully alive as it negates the damage then deals damage when he comes back.

Marvel.com: Ok I’ve been mulling over some potential teammates and Cyclops (Uncanny) stands out as someone who could motivate you to get that much needed Team Up AP to trigger the extra damage in Spirit of Wakanda. Anyone else that comes to mind?

Josh Austin: A really fun match up is The Hulk (Bruce Banner) after he transforms into the Hulk since he does the additional match automatically at the start of each turn, that along with Panther’s Prey will just keep hitting the enemy. Hulk smash!

Other than that anyone that helps Back Panther become invisible to trigger the extra damage for Move or be Moved like Invisible Woman (Classic)’s Grant Invisibility which is super cheap, Punisher (Max) and Venom (Agent Venom)’s Take Cover. For Spirit of Wakanda the player could team-up with Storm (Mohawk) or Captain Marvel (Ms. Marvel) to help with the Team-Up AP collection.

Marvel.com: I’m really liking how Black Panther is shaping up. He feels unique and could be a really dynamic inclusion in some specific teams. Is there anything else you want to tell us about T’Challa?

Josh Austin: Black Panther is available starting on February 2 and since he’s a 5-star he will be added to the Legendary store. His Highness will also have a Legendary Store, “Hail To The King,” tart then too. Players can earn tokens to this store from playing in the Civil War Story event that returns on February 2 and ends February 5.

Pick up Black Panther here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Original blockbuster games in development at award-winning games studios!

Marvel Entertainment and SQUARE ENIX® today announced a new multi-year, multi-game licensing agreement to develop and publish original games based on beloved Marvel Super Heroes, beginning with The Avengers. This newly established partnership pairs the creative minds at Marvel and Square Enix for one of the most powerful alliances in interactive entertainment. The first blockbuster game is being crafted by Crystal Dynamics®, developers of the award winning Tomb Raider® series, in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal, the home of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Deus Ex game series.

The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise. Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. More details on The Avengers project and other games will be announced in 2018.

The world premiere teaser trailer of The Avengers project can be seen here.

“By partnering with Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, we are now working with two of the industry’s most talented and respected game development studios to bring Marvel stories to life in ways our fans have never experienced,“ said Jay Ong, Senior Vice President, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “The Avengers project is a perfect example of how Marvel is making games a key part of the landscape for Marvel storytelling, alongside comics, television and film. We can only do this by matching our greatest Super Heroes with the world’s top developers, such as the creative minds at Square Enix.”

“Marvel’s diverse, innovative universe has created millions of longtime fans, including all of us,” said Phil Rogers, CEO, Square Enix Americas and Europe. “It’s exciting to bring together Square Enix’s award-winning development studios with Marvel’s extraordinary storytellers to establish a new entertainment powerhouse.  This collaboration of passion and talent will craft epic, imaginative experiences allowing gamers to live out their Super Hero dreams like never before.”SQX_AVG_001_MKT__ANNOUNCEPARTNERIMAGE

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Netmarble brings the Lunar New Year party to the hit mobile game!

The Year of the Rooster begins January 28, but the party starts January 25 for “Marvel Future Fight” players as the Lunar New Year kicks off early! The development team at Netmarble have set up a slew of gifts and events for celebration. From promotional uniforms to check-in rewards and gift boxes, there’s a lot to see and earn over the course of the next two weeks.

Players will absolutely want to jump on the uniform promotion. For just one gold each, you can purchase alternative outfits based on those in the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film for Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and more! This is by far the easiest it’s ever been to nab some new duds for your heroes, and you’ll want to make sure you have these options available to try out the new Uniform Upgrade system!

Alongside those discounts, players will receive rewards for each of the first seven days they login to the game during the event. Materials and ISO-8 await the diligent who hop in to “Marvel Future Fight” daily! In addition, for those who play more frequently, they’ll find new Lunar Gift Boxes in the mailbox every four hours. These grant a random gift—from extra energy to keep you playing all the way up to 6-Star Mega Rank Up tickets—so you’ll want to check back often to earn as many as you can!

When players log in to the game for the first time during this event, surely eager to grab new uniforms and open their first Lunar Gift Box, they’ll also find a new 2017 event stage welcoming them. After completing the stage, participants will earn tokens that allow them to peruse the Lunar New Year Shop. To go with the event stage, Netmarble has also started a new Battleworld event. Unlike many previous Battleworlds that have only lasted a few days, this one will run for the entire length of the celebration. Dashing through this relay version of the game mode will reward players with biometrics for Elektra, Red Hulk, Hulk (Amadeus Cho), and Bullseye!

With plenty to see and do over the course of this two-week-long event, players will want to leap into the game as often as they can. Grab uniforms and gifts as your heroes take a much-needed respite from the interdimensional battle that’s been raging around them and celebrate the Year of the Rooster in “Marvel Future Fight!”

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New Monsters Unleashed uniforms debut for your favorite ‘Future Fight’ heroes!

Alongside the new Marvel NOW! content in this month’s “Marvel Future Fight” update, Marvel’s Publishing and Games teams collaborated with developer Netmarble to craft an exclusive set of Monsters Unleashed-inspired armors for a select group of the game’s heroes. However, instead of keeping these outfit designs limited to “Marvel Future Fight,” the game’s lead artist Jee-Hyung Lee created a set of connecting MONSTERS UNLEASHED variant covers showing off the heroes in their new gear!

Players can check back throughout the Monsters Unleashed event to grab the new armors as each new issue hits shelves. To get the lowdown on this monstrous team-up, we spoke with Bill Rosemann, Creative Director of Marvel Games, and Jee-Hyung Lee, Netmarble’s artist for “Marvel Future Fight.”

Marvel.com: How did this collaboration come about?

Bill Rosemann: Months ago, as soon as our Publishing pals Senior Editor Mark Paniccia and Assistant Editor Christina Harrington shared their Monsters Unleashed goodies with us, Senior Producer Danny Koo reached out to our partners at Netmarble, who immediately wanted in on the fun. Speaking of fun, we thought the time was right to once again create something new and exclusive to the game, much like we did when we teamed to introduce the patriotic powerhouse Sharon Rogers during our Captain America 75th Anniversary event back in July. They worked together to forge all-new armored looks for Amadeus Cho [as] Hulk, Medusa, Elsa Bloodstone, Moon-Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and new superstar Kid Kaiju. Together with the five MONSTERS UNLEASHED variant covers by “Marvel Future Fight” artist supreme Jee-Hyung Lee, these exclusive additions show yet again how our Publishing and Games teams consistently unite to deliver the latest excitement that readers and gamers deserve!

Marvel.com: Why armor? Did you discuss any other kinds of unique uniforms to implement?

Bill Rosemann: When you’re marching forth to battle behemoths like knights of old facing dragons, what better to wear than armor? But in true Marvel fashion we wanted to give each character’s Monsters Unleashed armor a modern twist to reflect our characters’ sci-fi roots.

Marvel.com: How did you go about choosing which heroes would suit up in this Monsters Unleashed armor?

Bill Rosemann: I don’t want to ruin the fun by giving any spoilers, but I can say that as True Believers read the Monsters Unleashed event, they’ll discover that each of these five characters have key roles in the [plot]. So rather than just selecting our most popular characters, we felt that choosing heroes central to the story would add that extra layer of authenticity that “Marvel Future Fight” players respect.

Marvel.com: What was the design process like for the new uniforms?

Bill Rosemann: Because Jee-Hyung Lee is so phenomenally talented, the creation period was swift and energizing. Once we agreed on the high concept, it just took a few back-and-forth exchanges about specific character elements and detailing to nail each final image. Every day Danny and I would open our email, hoping for the arrival of a new sketch or updated colors, and each time Jee-Hyung blew us away with his creativity, design sense and character knowledge.

Marvel.com: When did the variant covers come into the mix?

Bill Rosemann: The teams at Marvel Games and Netmarble always aim to over-deliver, so we just kept piling on the ideas. Hey, what if we spotlight and introduce characters with key roles in the event? Hey, what if we design all-new, exclusive uniforms for them? Hey, what if Jee-Hyung creates new in-game art of each character? Hey, what if we ask Editorial if they want to publish Jee-Hyung’s art as variant covers for each issue of MONSTERS UNLEASHED? It’s all about having fun, stretching those creative muscles, and delivering the ultimate gaming experience to True Believers.

Marvel.com: Jee-Hyung, were you excited to bring your “Marvel Future Fight” style to these covers?

Jee-Hyung Lee: As a concept artist, it is especially exciting to be able to design costumes because it is an opportunity for me to clothe characters I am a fan of.  I was delighted to be creative without straying too far off their original concepts of course.

Marvel.com: What was your inspiration for each hero’s look in the cover art?

Jee-Hyung Lee: I wanted to divide the five connected illustrations by color. Each hero has a key color that represents them. In my design, I displayed certain colors on certain areas of their body to really emphasize those areas. I wanted the characters to express their personalities through their facial expressions. This is why the viewer will be able to see eye-to-eye with the six characters including Devil Dinosaur and even Kid Kaiju’s summoned monsters.

Enjoy new armor in “Marvel Future Fight” and be sure to pick up MONSTERS UNLEASHED, issue #1 on sale now and issue #2 coming next week on February 1!

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The time-traveling mutant warrior makes his way to Battlerealm!

The son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, Nathan Summers, better known as the time-hopping mutant Cable, was predestined for genetic greatness, making him a perfect combatant for “Marvel Contest of Champions.”

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Simon Cameron about Nathan’s powers and his and Gwenpool’s Event Quest.

Marvel.com: Cable’s brought his gun to a…well you know what he’ll probably fit right in on Battlerealm. What’s Nathan doing fighting with The Collector?

Gabriel Frizzera: Nathan Summers is a premium collectable item for Taneleer Tivan. He has the gun, the Techno-Virus metal arm, the oversized shoulder pads, the pouches… ah, and the time travelling. There are mysteries in the past and future Battlerealm that The Collector doesn’t want to be revealed, so he better keep time-travelers like Cable under check.

Marvel.com: I have to admit, I’m a little underwhelmed by Cable’s pouch game. Was the team worried about heavy load times? Heh.

Gabriel Frizzera: You have no idea…we put hidden pouches all over his costume! Under his shoulder pads, inside his boots—even his gun has some metal pouches. And there are pouches inside his pouches. Some of the pouches are made to store pouches is what I’m saying. Just in case he runs out of pouches in a pouch fight.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about his kit? Does he have any similarities to either of his parents, or is he his own mutant?

Simon Cameron: He’s definitely his own mutant! Cable is an excellent all-rounded fighter. His Regeneration will help keep him in the fight through a full quest, he can Power Gain once his Signature Ability has been unlocked, allowing for more Special Attacks, as well as more chances to trigger his Regeneration.

He also has good utility on his second Special Attack with both Concussion and Incinerate, and acts as an excellent counter to Bleed-centric heroes, as they’ll keep his Degeneration active on themselves for him.

Marvel.com: Getting into his kit, what the heck is Techno Organic Virus Suppression?

Simon Cameron: When Cable was infected with the Techno Organic Virus it nearly killed him, until he learned to use his powers to keep it in check. So to keep himself alive he is forced to continuously exert a portion of his powers against it. As he begins to successfully suppress the virus it takes less effort to hold it at bay. In game terms this means each time he gains a bar of Power, he has a chance to immediately trigger a Power Gain Buff on himself.

Marvel.com: It seems like a lot of his abilities work to offset the hindrance of the Techno Organic Virus. And what exactly is True Strike?

Simon Cameron: The Techno Organic Virus is a big part of who Cable is—pun intended—so we definitely wanted to make sure it featured in his ability set too. True Strike is a powerful Buff. While under its effect, a Champion ignores their Opponent’s Armor, Resistances—both Physical and Energy—and Evade chance.

Marvel.com: Ok so real quick, let’s talk about the Cable/Gwenpool Event Quest? What’s going on there?

Gabriel Frizzera: Gwenpool is sent by Cable—or so she believes—back in time to warn Captain America and his Avengers Unity Team of a looming threat. Obviously she makes a mess of the timelines, causing more trouble than helping…but in the process they stumble into a secret about The Contest; another piece of the puzzle to maybe help the Champions find a way home. It’s a bit of an homage to classic time travel movies, and a good fit to both Gwen and Nathan’s characters.

Marvel.com: When can we pick up Cable for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: Cable is chrono-skimming into the contest on January 19!

Check out the Gwenpool: Agent of C.A.B.L.E. Motion Comic here!

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

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The mechanical menace brings multiple Hawkeyes, new uniforms, and more!

In the early days of “Marvel Avengers Academy,” Tony Stark mentions his work on AI to professor Hank Pym. Words of encouragement from a mentor like Pym guided Tony to continue his work through the various threats that the Academy has faced. Now, he has finally finished his pet project: Ultron.

However, it seems this AI doesn’t rank listening to his creator high on his list of priorities, and the students soon find themselves facing down an army of robot minions. While Tony and the other scientists try to beat Ultron at his own game, a few new heroes will drop in to lend a hand against the rising tide of robot enemies.

Marvel.com: How does Ultron come alive at Avengers Academy? What prompts him to lead this revolution against Iron Man and the rest of the students?

Allen Warner: I don’t want to reveal exactly how Ultron gains sentience, since that’s a big part of the story, but we know that Iron Man has been working on a project called “Ultron” since the Academy opened and Professor Pym has been inspiring him to push the limits of his technology, creativity, and better judgment, so it’s safe to say that they both play a role to some degree. I wanted to include most of the main players from Ultron’s history in both the comics and film, but put a twist on how they’re involved in his origin and ambitions, so Iron Man, Hank Pym, Jocasta, Wasp, Vision, Wonder Man, and others will play big roles, but not in a way we’ve seen before.

One thing we know for sure is that Iron Man built a legion of helper robots to help his classmates train, and make the Academy more efficient. The combat training alone has resulted in these robots being destroyed countless times in every way imaginable. The heroes only see them as advanced training dummies who are there to help them perfect their powers, but Ultron demands revenge for their perceived mistreatment, and starts a robot revolution. Of course, his true motivations might not be as righteous as they seem…

Marvel.com: Will anyone be dropping in to assist in taking down this new technological terror?

Allen Warner: This is one of our most exciting event lineups to date. Players will have the chance to recruit Jocasta, Viv Vision, Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, and a certain pizza-loving dog named Lucky. If they’re able to defeat Ultron, they’ll also be able to reprogram him for heroism, and recruit him to their Academy.

Hawkeye is our most requested character, and has been appearing in cameos going all the way back to the original teaser trailer. He brings a great blue-collar, down-to-earth vibe to the school, along with an assortment of awesome abilities and arrows. He’s already interacted with people at the school, so unlike most new recruits he sort of knows his way around, and understands what everyone is about. It’s fun to watch him try to adapt to the school’s structure after being on his own for so long, and to learn more about his previously unrevealed history with people like Nick Fury and Black Widow. He’s voiced by Gus Sorola of Rooster Teeth, who did an awesome job bringing even more fun and personality to his character. Hawkeye will be available as an early access character during this event, so players will have the chance to get him now, but if they don’t, he’ll be appearing later as part of the main game.

The new Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, also arrives to help her partner in crimefighting. The two of them have a really fun dynamic, and her story is filled with nods to her time with the Young Avengers, and the amazing HAWKEYE comic run by Matt Fraction and David Aja. Fans of that series, which I’m pretty sure is everyone who has ever read that series, will find a lot to like throughout this entire event from story Easter eggs to decorations to the main event building being a representation of Hawkeye’s apartment from those books.

Of course, the secret star of that series was Lucky. Hawkeye’s lovable dog has a big heart, a nose for investigation, and an appetite for pizza. He’ll be a recruitable hero in the event with a full storyline, visual levels, unique animations, voiceover—barkover?—and everything else you’d expect from a recruitable hero. This game has featured a lot of animals over the past year, but Lucky is the first to be fully playable, so he presented some challenges, but he was so worth it. You can’t help but smile every time you see him, and I think players are going to love him.

Viv is really exciting for me because most of the characters in the game have decades of published history, and the challenge is always how to reimagine them for the world of “Avengers Academy,” but Viv is so new that it was more about exploring her personality and place in the world, and watching her react to new situations, and grow into something she hasn’t had a chance to be in the comics. She made her debut in the incredible VISION comic series by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and is a current member of Marvel’s young Super Hero team, the Champions. We get to see her interact with characters like Nebula and M.O.D.O.K. for the first time, and meet our version of heroes she’s familiar with in the comics like Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales. She’s still Vision’s “daughter” in our world, making their relationship more awkward since they’re so close in age, but I think it brings out this strangely relatable and really heartwarming side of each of their personalities to watch them work through exactly what their relationship means. Her parental issues and technological prowess also lead her to form an immediate bond with Tony Stark that I never really intended when I set out, but they end up having this really cool, genuine, unexpected friendship. I think this is the first time she’s ever been featured in a video game, so it’s pretty awesome that we get to introduce her to another audience in “Marvel Avengers Academy.”

I’m happy we’re finally getting Jocasta into the game. She’s Ultron’s first robotic creation, but we see that their relationship is strained from the very beginning. Like the comics, she’s imbued with Wasp’s mind and personality, so I really leaned into that idea with this version of Jocasta since I love our version of Wasp so much, and she’s so important to “Avengers Academy.” Everyone is about to find out what happens when you merge Wasp’s fearless personality and endless energy with a robot with a computer brain, and invulnerable body. She turned out great, and when they interact with each other, and Wasp’s closest friends and enemies, it’s even better.

In a lot of ways, this event narrative is about how characters interact with their idols and authority figures, and no one embodies that more than Ultron. He acts like he hates humans, but he emulates them at every turn. He’s turning Tony’s robots against him, but in reality, he’s Tony’s biggest fan. He says he’s fighting for the mindless helper robots, but it’s obvious that he relates more to the faculty and superhumans, and desperately wants to prove that he’s on their level. He has all of Tony’s brilliance and sarcasm and bravado, but he also has his heart, and the further things move along, the clearer it becomes that with a couple of tweaks, Ultron could go from being one of the Avengers’ most terrifying foes to one of their most fun and valuable teammates.

We’re also going to be giving players a second chance to get Wonder Man, who first appeared during our Civil War event. He shares a long history with Ultron and Vision, so it made a lot of sense to include him in this event, and I’ve always liked writing him because his powers and personality are so over-the-top. He has a really interesting role in this narrative that hasn’t been done before. It puts a new spin on two different characters, and I don’t think anyone will see it coming.

Marvel.com: How will the event district and building shape up this time around?

Allen Warner: The event district is awesome. Ultron has created his own high-tech evil lair that mirrors the normal Avengers Academy campus. He sits on his throne in the center flanked by his henchmen, and surrounded by twisted versions of buildings like Stark Tower and the Blasting Range that use hero dummies in place of the usual helper robots. He’s attempting to shut down technology across the globe as a first step to making humans extinct, so his robot minions are busy working at his various buildings to get stronger, and hack into systems around the world.

The main event building is the polar opposite. It’s Hawkeye’s apartment building where he hangs out, shoots arrows at things, and throws rooftop barbecues. It’s this great dichotomy of high-tech vs. low-tech, and man vs. machine, and nothing showcases that more than watching Ultron’s robots work tirelessly while Lucky and Hawkeye take a well-deserved nap together in the living room.

Marvel.com: What will the students do to battle Ultron and eliminate the threat he poses?

Allen Warner: Your heroes will raid Ultron’s buildings to sabotage his operation, and shut down his tech. You’ll also train S.H.I.E.L.D. Recruits to battle invading helper robots while your heroes battle Ultron’s more powerful henchmen like RoboCap and Destroyer. RoboCap is a robotic Captain America that Ultron built to defeat the Avengers, and it turned out being one of the funniest things in the event as he interacts with everyone from Peggy Carter to Winter Soldier.

We learned during our previous A-Force event that someone had stolen Odin’s Destroyer armor, and we immediately see that Ultron was the perpetrator. He’s filled the massive enchanted armor with tech, imbued it with a surprising hero’s personality, and turned it into his personal enforcer. As far as I know, these two have never worked together, but I really liked the idea of using Destroyer as a bridge between the two events, and having Ultron interact with the world of the Asgardians.

Marvel.com: Who sports new digs tailored to tackle Ultron and his minions?

Allen Warner: I love the outfits for this event. Kate Bishop, Viv, Jocasta, Ultron, Black Widow, Falcon, Iron Man, and Captain America will all be getting a new look. We embraced an 80’s retro-futuristic vibe for the outfits Iron Man creates in an attempt to “out-tech” Ultron using tech that can’t be hacked. Kate Bishop, Viv, Jocasta, Black Widow, and Falcon all get outfits inspired by 80’s sci-fi with neon, visors, and Mohawks all over the place.

Captain America even embraces tech, using the energy shield he’s used in the comics from time to time. He has some really great, unique animations for this outfit, and will be fully suited up, wearing his mask. Ultron hacks Tony’s armor, so he dons his original Iron Man armor to fight back with explosive and hilarious results. We even get to see him face off with his own modern suit of armor in a really cool and fun animation.

Marvel.com: Fans will be excited to get their hands on Hawkeye finally, but some will always be curious about what is next. Can you give us a peek of what awaits the Avengers Academy students on the horizon?

Allen Warner: Get ready for Young Avengers, gigantic monsters, and the first appearance of one of Marvel’s most iconic villains.

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” and battle Ultron today!

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The hero known as Ironheart makes her mobile gaming debut!

Riri Williams, the newest hero to incase herself in iron armor takes to the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” stage this week. Armed with her own improvised Iron Man suit and ready to kick bad guy butt, the hero called Ironheart will be a force to be reckoned with. D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to chat about Riri’s powers and just what she’s capable of in-game.

Marvel.com: We’ve had a couple strong heroines enter the fray recently: Medusa, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), and now Riri Williams joins the fight. What was the thinking behind pulling her into “Puzzle Quest”?

Josh Austin: After adding some well-established heroines to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” with the Queen of the Inhumans and Carol Danvers, we are super excited about the new Ironheart (Riri Williams) character and the recent handoff of Iron Man to this new strong female character.

While Medusa and [Captain] Marvel are super powerful, Riri is still finding her way but already surprising Tony Stark in his new AI form with her amazing intellect. It’s been great working with Marvel on a bringing this new heroine to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Marvel.com: Right now there are five different versions of Iron Man armor and one War Machine suit shooting people to heck and back. How did the team focus on making Riri feel unique?

Josh Austin: Riri Williams’ design focuses on what we’ve seen so far from her in the comics: she’s still learning and not as strong as Iron Man, she’s more of a support character at this stage. So our version of Riri uses features [what] she knows about Iron Man but mixed with her wit to make these attacks her own.

For example, instead of just shooting fists at the enemy, she shoots them to flank the enemy and uses magnetic repulsors to bring together enemy special tiles to disarm the enemy. Her charge into battle attack sends her airborne after initial damage, also causing the enemy to go airborne, like she does in the comics currently where she runs by flying off, but it’s still a great tactical move that benefits the player if they want to disable someone for a bit.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk about her abilities; what can Ironheart do?

Josh Austin: Riri’s first ability costs nine Blue AP and is called Magnetic Repulsors. Riri uses her magnetic repulsors in her armor’s gauntlet to disarm her opponents. This power attracts enemy special tiles to the center of the board. What’s great about this is if you have a character that makes a specific color special tile like Protect Tiles, it has a strong chance to match them away after they are pulled into the middle of the board!

Riri’s second ability, Remote Control Gauntlets, costs 11 Red AP. Riri launches her gauntlets, maneuvering them remotely towards her opponent. The gauntlets attack from the flank dealing damage to the target opponent and also places a Four-Turn countdown tile that unlocks and removes special tiles.

Riri’s final ability, Selfless Intervention, costs 8 Green AP. Riri makes a split second decision to fly into the action causing damage and her armor to react to the impact sending [her] Airborne for two turns and her target Airborne for one turn.

Marvel.com: I like her special tile manipulation moves. That definitely feels different. Selfless intervention though—it’s been a while since we’ve seen a move that sends characters Airborne. What’s the strategy behind taking both yourself and the enemy out of combat?

Josh Austin: Sending an opponent out of the fight is advantageous for the player to get one of [their adversaries] off the field for a bit. This allows the player to remove a threat for at least one turn or two at higher levels. For example, if you’re playing PVE with one hero character that can manipulate the tile board, it’s great to be able to send that opponent flying if you see a match four or five that you would like to utilize instead of the opponent’s team!

Marvel.com: Who does she team well with? And can she team-up with other Iron Man armors or is she included in their number?

Josh Austin: Actually Riri can team up with Iron Man, she’s her own entity. So a player could add Ironheart with Iron Man. As far as teaming up, Ironheart is a bit of a support character. She is good against teams that use special tiles.

Since she removes tiles effectively, she’d pair pretty well will Luke Cage (Power Man) since his red deals more damage if there aren’t any opposing special tiles. The new Four-Star Captain Marvel can take advantage of the red countdown tile created by Riri’s Red ability.

Marvel.com: Also, I heard “Puzzle Quest” is going to be celebrating some Jack Kirby monster madness soon. Care to give us a breakdown of the festivities?

Josh Austin: We will be swapping out some covers and promoting the Kirby Monster event in game for a limited time. Comic swaps will be for X-23 (All-New X-Men), The Hulk (Totally Awesome), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Spider-Man (Classic), Devil Dino, Thor (Goddess of Thunder), Deadpool (It’s Me, Deadpool!), Medusa, Vision, and Kamala Khan.

The swaps are a fun way to celebrate some of the recent Marvel news in [“Marvel Puzzle Quest”]! There are also some cool materials and offers at the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Insider.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else players need to know?

Josh Austin: You can earn Riri in the Thick as Thieves event starting on January 19, or in the Vault for the Event Hearts of Darkness that starts on January 23. Riri’s upcoming Versus Event will be called Flight Test.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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Download the latest updates including new characters and costumes!

The latest update for “Marvel Future Fight” brings a double whammy of content drawing inspiration from the latest Marvel comics. Most of the new characters and costumes come by way of Marvel NOW! while one familiar hero takes a monstrous turn with a new look as the uniform system overall sees a big change. All of this comes on the heels of the Lunar New Year event starting later this month.

“One of the aspects we love about ‘Marvel Future Fight’ is that it gives players the chance to play with unique versions of the Super Heroes they love, and not just their traditional depictions,” said Seungwon Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Netmarble Games. “We want to consistently continue to diversify players’ gameplay and strategy by including new features—like the Uniform Upgrade, for example.”

The uniform upgrade system allows players to accrue experience for individual outfits and use it to unlock stat boosts on those costumes. Train up your hero’s uniforms to unlock different stat boosts and swap them in and out to give your heroes the edge they need for the battle ahead.mff_v280_1280x720_global

Alongside this new feature, five heroes receive new looks in this update: Yellowjacket, Captain America, Red Hulk, Squirrel Girl, and Hulk (Amadeus Cho). The first four receive Marvel NOW!-themed upgrades, while Hulk gains a new uniform based on an upcoming variant cover for the Monsters Unleashed event kicking off later this month.

Three new heroes also join the interdimensional battle. Kate Bishop as Hawkeye, Inhuman Queen Medusa, and teen prodigy Ironheart all eagerly bring their unique skill sets to the team. And there will be plenty for them to do as the Lunar New Year event kicks off in a few weeks. As the New York of “Marvel Future Fight” becomes blanketed in snow, players can collect special tokens as they clear stages to unlock new exclusive items. We’ll have more details to share on the event closer to its launch on January 24.

“With their new Marvel NOW! series hitting over the past few weeks, the pinpoint timing of the ‘Marvel Future Fight’ team for their latest update–which allows you to jump from the game to comics and back again–gets a virtual high-five from my inner True Believer,” said Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann. “Did you love U.S.AVENGERS? Check out the patriotic versions of Red Hulk and Squirrel Girl in ‘Marvel Future Fight!’ Intrigued by the Super Soldier’s new uniform? Learn how he’s pulling everyone’s strings as a secret Hydra agent in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS! Love playing as Medusa? See her lead her kingdom against the mutants in Inhumans vs. X-Men! Want to learn more about Kate Bishop after you kick butt with her in the game? Read HAWKEYE! Can’t get enough of RiRi Williams [as] Ironheart? Take her for a spin! If it’s the latest and greatest you crave, we have your Marvel NOW!

The team at Netmarble constantly work to improve players’ overall experience with the game, even while they bring new content in the form of heroes, villains, stages, raids, uniforms and more. To that end, a handful of UI upgrades that streamline ISO-8 usage and Hero Gear round out this latest update.

“Marvel Future Fight” is available now on the App Store and Google Play Store, and you can follow the latest game news on Marvel.com!

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The unlikeliest of candidates gets her shot in The Contest!

Did you have fun wrecking faces with Howard and the Iso-Loader in “Marvel Contest of Champions”? Well now you can take Gwen Poole, comic book trivia queen and all-round ne’er do well, for a spin!

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Game Designer Simon Cameron about the blonde bomber and the chaos she’s bringing to Battlerealm.

Marvel.com: So the Collector’s picking up comic book nerds now? Who’s he gonna collect next, me?

Gabriel Frizzera: Nobody is safe. The Collector has noticed you’ve been working out, so you could wake up trapped in a crystal at any point!

Marvel.com: Well thanks for noticing! But Gwenpool’s slightly less conventional than a lot of the other Champions in the game and her particular brand of weird is very Deadpool-y. What makes her special?

Gabriel Frizzera: She does have the Deadpool vibe, but there’s a distinction: she’s just a normal person who’s very knowledgeable in story tropes and Marvel lore. Deadpool is part of the Marvel Universe and can’t help being who he is, while Gwenpool is very methodically manipulating in what she thinks is a fictional universe for her own benefit. And she does that in the game too. She has played [“Marvel Contest of Champions”] in her “real” universe, so she knows how the gameplay goes, and how to exploit it.

Marvel.com: And she’s looking fly in that pink and white. Any special “Contest” flare?

Gabriel Frizzera: She’s such a new character, we wanted to keep her really close to what we have seen in the comics. One thing we paid special attention to was not to make her body idealized: she’s a normal teenage girl playing Super Hero, not a muscled athlete. We also gave her some interesting weapons, like the pink bazooka, the football bomb and the Special-Edition Collector Plushie, which she uses as a shield when blocking.

Marvel.com: Plot Armor sounds like a really interesting ability. Essentially this puts a hard cap on the special damage her opponents can dish out right?

Simon Cameron: It’s actually even better than that. It caps based on her current health. This means once her signature ability is unlocked, Gwenpool can’t be killed by a special attack, though she’ll come really close to death! Turns out knowing all your opponent’s powers and abilities is a pretty big advantage!

Marvel.com: Are there good times to use Gwenpool specifically because of this ability? Maybe in a really tough boss fight?

Simon Cameron: Definitely! Tough boss fights are definitely a place where she can shine. This is especially true for bosses with really scary special attacks.

Marvel.com: What about her other abilities? How do they fit into her kit?

Simon Cameron: The rest of her kit is built around Debuffs. The most important of these is Bleed. She has two different Bleeds: one comes from her basic attacks but is relatively short, the other involves landing a heavy attack on an already bleeding target but lasts a long time.

Her other Debuffs come from her Special Attacks, each with their own—Incinerate, Ennervate, and Armor Break respectively. Then when one of these Debuffs expires, she will remove a Bleed to re-apply her Special Debuffs. She definitely needs to play aggressively to keep lots of Bleeds stacked up. With clever timing of when she applies her Debuffs—you don’t want them to all expire at the same time!—she can stack several of them or keep one Debuff alive for as long as possible.

Marvel.com: And when can we break her out of a crystal and recruit her for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: She’ll be available on January 5!

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

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The hit mobile game comes under siege from a variety of old enemies!

Throughout the various battles threatening “Marvel Avengers Academy” and the world last year, the students and faculty locked up their most troublesome enemies. Ronan the Accuser, Mephisto, Carnage, Kingpin—these number as just a few of the villains with a grudge against our heroes.

And now they’ve broken free.

The students must band together to redeem one of their own and fight back against the most powerful threat they’ve ever faced

We snagged Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the lowdown on how these former foes break free and what it all means for Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: With these villains breaking free, what characters will be coming to the Academy to aid our heroes this time?

Allen Warner: We’re bringing back a total of 15 recruitable characters from 2016, with some battling the bosses, and others needing to be rescued from the escaped villains. This includes Winter Soldier, Union Jack, Punisher, Electro, Blade, Green Goblin, and more. It’s an opportunity for longtime players to get some of the characters they may have missed in previous events, and for newer players to get a bunch of characters who weren’t available when they started playing.

Marvel.com: Will players who have unlocked all of the cages so far see something different than those who only have some of them?

Allen Warner: The team of escaped villains is comprised of Ronan, Kingpin, Carnage, and Mephisto, so anyone who has any or all of those imprisoned villains on their campus will notice that their cells are empty until the end of the event.

Marvel.com: Similarly, what will players who’ve unlocked all the returning characters have to work toward in this event?

Allen Warner: Players who already have all 15 returning characters will have another opportunity to get cells for every escaped villain.

Marvel.com: How will we tackle the villains leading this siege of the academy?

Allen Warner: Main game Avengers like Black Widow and Falcon will battle the escaped villains alongside some of the returning characters like Dracula and Captain Britain. They’ll be fighting to progress the story, and return the escaped villains to their cells, and every victory gives them a greater opportunity of recruiting returning characters.

 

Marvel.com: What other new actions or content will we see?

Allen Warner: There’s a brand-new storyline for the event. Marvel Games Creative Director Bill Rosemann had the great idea to have the event inspired by the classic “Under Siege” Avengers story where Baron Zemo brings some of the world’s most powerful villains together to form the Masters of Evil, and get revenge against the Avengers. I wouldn’t necessarily call our version of Baron Zemo kind and gentle, but he’s definitely not the reprehensible force of evil he is in standard continuity, so this story is more about Mephisto exploiting Zemo’s insecurities to manipulate him into setting the villains free. Zemo eventually realizes that he’s being played, and does what he can to right his wrongs, and help the Avengers return the villains to their cells, and save their friends.

I had a lot of fun revisiting some of these returning characters, and watching them interact with each other I purposefully paired them off into weird combinations just to see what would come out of it. You’ll see how Jack O’ Lantern reacts to Winter Soldier’s gloomy poetry, how Groot responds to Electro’s relentless hyperactivity, how Blade and Captain Britain plan to deal with England’s supposed vampire problem, and many more. It was a lot of fun, and creating unique scenarios and conversations like these is what I love the most about our game.

Players who get any of these characters for the first time will also get access to each character’s personal storyline, and unique animations. If you’ve never seen some of these awesome animations, like Jack O’ Lantern’s dance or Punisher trying to make it through a metal detector, you’re in for a treat.

Marvel.com: This event will be a brief one, so can you give us a preview of what’s coming soon?

Allen Warner: There are two major things on the horizon. First, our next major event, revolving around Ultron leading a robot revolution, and Hawkeye arriving with some of his low-tech friends to save the day. I still don’t want to give away too many details yet, but I’m really excited about some of the surprises we have in store, including a fun and unexpected aesthetic that makes for some great outfits and adventures.

We’ll also soon be adding hangouts to the main game. We got a great response to the hangout feature during our Halloween event, which allowed players to send pairs of characters off to do cool dual actions. This expands upon that feature, allowing players to use any combination of characters from the main game or previous events to take part in original and brand-new dual actions. It’s a really fun feature that gives players the freedom to create their favorite pairing while earning new decorations, and ultimately unlocking Ares as a playable character for the first time.

That’s just a small sample of the exciting characters and features on the way, so stay tuned!

And stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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