'LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2' now available!

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is officially available today from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment! Tucker tracked down LEGO designer Justin Ramsden to talk about how Justin got his dream job, creating Marvel LEGO, and the launch of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.

Download episode #311.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes or Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel including our latest episode!

This Week in Marvel focuses on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media Ben Morse with Manager, Video & Content Production: Blake Garris, Editor Marc Strom, and Assistant Editor Christine Dinh. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse@blakegarris or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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Marvel heroes and villains from different eras and realities converge in a cosmic battle!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment today announce the launch of LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2,” an original, humor-filled sequel to the critically acclaimed blockbuster game, “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes.” In this all-new, epic adventure, the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror has stolen numerous Marvel cities and locations ripped from time and space to form the expansive Open Hub World of Chronopolis. To foil Kang’s diabolical plans, an elite team of Super Heroes must band together in cosmic battle that takes players on an exciting journey across the Marvel Universe. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games in partnership with The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment, “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is now available for PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, Nintendo Switch™ and PC.

“Packed with signature LEGO humor, ‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2′ delivers a huge, intergalactic saga that spans the Marvel Universe,” says Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games Publishing. “The game introduces new features and an incredibly large open world for players to roam and explore, from the mythical land of Asgard to the deep space base of Knowhere and many more imaginative settings.”

“The game offers unprecedented opportunities for exploration and imaginative creative play within the LEGO version of the Marvel Universe,” says Sean William McEvoy, VP, Digital Games & Apps, The LEGO Group. “It’s great to see so many larger-than-life characters, settings, and stories coming to life in this vibrant, beautiful, and epic game.”

“Whether you’re a Marvel fan or a LEGO fan, the collaboration with LEGO and TT Games has produced an original experience that will be fun for all players,” saysJay Ong, SVP, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “With a huge array of brand new characters from the Marvel Universe and an all-new mind-bending time manipulation mechanic, this game is sure to provide hours of fresh and authentic gameplay.”

Picking up directly where “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” left off, this all-new sequel features a completely original branching storyline co-written by award-winning comic writer Kurt Busiek. This story brings together a diverse roster of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains from different time periods and realities including Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Cosmo the Spacedog, Cowboy Captain America, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Green Goblin, Groot, Gwenpool, Hawkeye, Howard the Duck, Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, She-Hulk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Thor, and many more. Players can roam and explore 18 different Marvel locations within the incredible Open Hub World of Chronopolis, from the vibrant jungle of Wakanda to the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, along with Asgard, Attilan, Knowhere, the Coliseum, Hala, Hydra Empire, Kang’s Citadel, K’un-Lun, Lemuria, Manhattan, Medieval England, Noir New York, 2099 Nueva York, Old West, The Swamp, and Xandar.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” also features a four-player local multiplayer mode, allowing friends and family to play competitively or cooperatively as a team in a series of themed challenges and battle arenas.

For players who want to further their adventures beyond the main game, the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” Season Pass will include six Level Packs and four Character Packs. The Level Packs feature content inspired by “Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Marvel Studios’ Black Panther,” “Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War,” “Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp,” as well as comics-inspired content for “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” and “Marvel’s Runaways.” The Character Packs, including Agents of Atlas, Champions, Out of Time, and Classic Guardians of the Galaxy, will add more than 60 new characters to the main game’s roster of over 200 Super Heroes and Super Villains. The Season Pass will be available separately or as part of the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe Edition,” which features the main game, Season Pass, early access to the Classic Guardians of the Galaxy Character Pack, and an exclusive Giant-Man LEGO Minifigure included in the physical version.

For all the latest on “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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The new game inspires a slew of special comic book covers from LEGO!

Do you find yourself craving more awesome Marvel LEGO adventures in advance of “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” arriving for all consoles tomorrow, November 14? We’ve got some great news for you gang: with the game comes a whole heaping helping of hyper cool “LEGO-ized” Marvel comic covers!

We chatted with Dan Veesenmeyer, artist extraordinaire behind the LEGO Marvel covers, about his favorites and what goes into reworking such iconic artwork.

Marvel.com: Dan we chatted just over a year ago when “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers” dropped a ton of cool LEGO Marvel covers on us. Now you’re about to do it again? I’ve barely recovered from the last time!

Dan Veesenmeyer: We’re back brother! Bigger and better than ever! Zooming across all time and space!

Marvel.com: This time, as opposed to on “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers,” the team had access to the entire Marvel comic library. Was it a little overwhelming figuring out what to LEGO-ify or were you like kids in a candy shop?

Dan Veesenmeyer: On the previous game, I started off a little nervous and intimidated by all the fantastic Marvel cover artwork that I had to reimagine into LEGO form. That particular challenge was all new to me. So many art styles I’ve admired all my life that had to be reinterpreted. I must have done something right since TT Games asked me back. Thank goodness. When this new project started, I had a lot more confidence and I was dying to let it rip. When I saw all the choices of covers for this round, I was just thrilled. Some selections just shocked yet delighted me. This was a very fun project.

Marvel.com: And you’ve got some pretty obscure covers in this batch; Black Knight, Rawhide Kid, and the Kree Supreme Intelligence all make appearances, among others. Is it important to balance more well-known characters with other lesser known heroes? 

Dan Veesenmeyer: The obvious classics and fan favorites are always fun to see but I personally love the deep cuts from Marvel’s incredible history of covers. As an artist, I love the challenge of drawing something totally unexpected. Additionally, it’s fun to surprise the player and toss in some real obscure [covers] or character choices they’d never guess we would have recreated as they unlock them throughout the game.

 

Marvel.com: Do you have any personal favorites that made the cut? 

Dan Veesenmeyer: I certainly do! I actually suggested a couple of cover choices for this game that were approved. I’m a big fan of the Bronze Age of Marvel Comics so cover art from that era is near and dear to me. INHUMANS #8 [from the 70’s] was one of my choices. It’s just such a classic in-your-face, dynamic rendering of the team by artist Gil Kane.

Another favorite was actually the biggest surprise when presented to me of all the covers for the game: SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #7. A Bronze Age Marvel horror classic originally drawn by John Romita. Never ever thought I’d draw a Marvel horror comic in LEGO form. That was a fanboy thrill.

Marvel.com: What goes into “LEGO-izing” covers? It’s not just as simple as, make the characters LEGO right? 

Dan Veesenmeyer: Correct. Rendering the LEGO Minifigure has its own set of rules I must always adhere to. Not every piece of cover art can be easily translated into the Minifigure form. Some of the more extreme, abstract posing of super hero figures just cannot be translated into tiny limbs. The other challenge is trying my best to match the original cover artist’s style beyond rendering the figures. Some artwork might feature straight up black ink and flat colors while other styles feature elaborate painted backgrounds or Photoshopped special effects. It can take some trial and error to figure out how to closely match with my digital tool set.

Marvel.com: How many covers will players be able to uncover when the game drops? 

Dan Veesenmeyer: We recreated 20 classic Marvel covers for the game’s initial release. And the selection spans every era—from the Golden Age all the way up through modern day.

Marvel.com: What else do we need to know about “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2”? 

Dan Veesenmeyer: That the game is made by Marvel fans for Marvel fans. An enormous amount of love and creativity is poured into the experience and it’s all up there right in front of you to enjoy on the screen. Go forth and enjoy True Believers!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” news and interviews and pick up the game tomorrow, November 14!

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The Thunder God gets a revamp as a new challenger enters Battlerealm!

Thor’s smashed his way out of the Sakaar arena and into Battlerealm, bringing the thunder and his electrifying personality direct from “Thor: Ragnarok” to “Marvel Contest of Champions.” Instead of his hammer, the Thunder God wields divine lightning against his foes, and woe be to anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.

Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Piero Herrera talked with us about this new Thor and all the awesome he brings to the Contest.

Marvel.com: This is an interesting development: the Grandmaster from “Marvel Contest of Champions” nabbing up Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Grandmaster? My mind is blown.

Gabriel Frizzera: The universes seem to be bleeding into each other, don’t they? That’s one of the best things of developing a story in partnership with Marvel: The awesome ideas cross-pollinate in all directions, and we end up with a much stronger Marvel multiverse. In the case of The Grandmaster, he shares a lot of traits between the movie and the game, and it was very cool that the Contest of Champions is making the jump from comics to game to movie. I hope the MCU guys don’t mind us borrowing their version of Thor to test his mettle; our version of The Contest can be pretty tough. We promised to return him mostly intact!

Marvel.com: And it looks like he’s come straight from the Sakaar arena, armor, weapons, and all! What were some of the most important details the team wanted to get right for this version of Thor?

Gabriel Frizzera: The cool asymmetric armor, of course! “Thor: Ragnarok” has a great art style, in some cases lifted straight from some of Jack Kirby’s most iconic designs. We love everything about “Gladiator” Thor, and his outfit and weapons are pure Kirby goodness.

Marvel.com: We already have a couple Thors in the game. What’s different about Thor (Ragnarok)?

Gabriel Frizzera: For all intents and purposes of a fighting game, other than the name, this Thor has very little in common with his classic counterpart. He was built from the ground up as a gladiator and his moves take advantage of the shield and mace combo, which is a first for us. It would be hard to create something radically different from the two Thors we have in game, so we’re glad we have a chance to create a fresh take on the God of Thunder while keeping his dashing personality, of course!

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about his abilities! Thunder God’s Wrath sounds absolutely awesome. We get to control lightning?!

Piero Herrera: Absolutely! Thor’s entire ability kit is focused around his Special 3 Attack, where he controls lightning and the effect lasts after the Special Attack as well. While this ability is active, Thor will be able to Shock opponents when attacking and being attacked. Shock will not only deal Energy Damage, but will also have a chance to inflict Armor Break and Stuns whenever it activates. This provides Thor huge burst damage capabilities, specifically if you use a Special 2 Attack to land as many hits as you can.

Marvel.com: What other abilities does the Odinson have access to?

Piero Herrera: Like I mentioned previously, Thor’s entire ability kit is focused on his Special 3 Attack, so it makes sense that he has multiple ways to get there. If you are able to maintain 40 hits in your combo meter, he will gain enough Power to do a Special 3 Attack within seconds. This is one of the most powerful Power Gain abilities in the game and will prove very useful whenever you are playing with this Champion.

Marvel.com: And what about his teammates? He might be alone in the arena, but Thor’s always been a team player.

Piero Herrera: Pairing him up with Hulk, Loki, and Hela will provide him unique bonuses that will make him one of the top tier Champions in the game and also make those teammates much more powerful as well. Specifically, the synergy with Hela will allow Thor to recover Health whenever he kills an opponent.

Marvel.com: When can we pick up Thor (Ragnarok) for ourselves?

Piero Herrera: Thor will be available on November 9; be sure to check out in-game messages to know how to get him and get a taste of the Thunder God’s wrath!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Play the season finale across all platforms!

Award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games, along with Marvel Entertainment, today launched episode five of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series.” The final episode of the season, “Don’t Stop Believin'” can now be downloaded for $4.99 USD or equivalent on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One®, the App Store®, Google Play™, Windows PC, and Mac.

In the aftermath of an unbearable sacrifice, the Guardians finally fracture. With her opposition in shambles, Hala renews her campaign of death and devastation, carving a path of indiscriminate destruction en route to Knowhere. If he hopes to avoid catastrophe (and save his own skin), Star-Lord must search his feelings, reunite his team, and mount one final mission to save the galaxy…again.

The series is also available as a special Season Pass Disc at retailers across North America for an MSRP of $29.99 USD, as well as retailers elsewhere across the globe. The special Season Pass Disc includes episode one “Tangled Up in Blue,” and grants access to download the subsequent four episodes via online updates. Additional platforms for release are yet to be announced.

The series features a star-studded cast of voice talent, including Scott Porter as Star-Lord, Emily O’Brien as Gamora, Nolan North as Rocket, Brandon Paul Eells as Drax, and Adam Harrington as Groot.

For more information on Telltale Games, visit the official website, like Telltale on Facebook, and follow @TelltaleGames on Twitter. Also visit Marvel.com for more on “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Join Thor and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as they combat a horrific threat!

The students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” have once again dispatched Baron Von Strucker. However, an even bigger threat looms on the horizon. Hela, along with some new friends, aims to bring Hel to Earth. Some fresh faces and familiar allies—cast out of Asgard by Hela’s conquest—come to the Academy to help our heroes battle the sorceress and put an end to Ragnarok before it consumes their home.

We took cover behind Van Dyne’s Outfits with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to learn more about Hela, Ragnarok, and the Avengers’ plan to put an end to them both.

Marvel.com: Hela comes to Avengers Academy with the goal of extending her reign to both Hel and Earth. How does she intend to make this a reality?

Allen Warner: When the event opens, we learn that Hela and her forces have already overthrown Asgard, imprisoning most of its greatest remaining warriors. She turns her attention to Avengers Academy to finish off the likes of Odin and Thor, and literally create Hel on Earth, but she knows that with the collection of powerful heroes at the school, this will be difficult. She decides to team with some of Asgard’s greatest enemies, the Frost Giants and Dark Elves, to attack the Academy, and use its powerful artifacts and portals to bring her kingdom to Earth. She’s already been out conquering the galaxy on her way to the Academy, and has gathered fearsome warriors, forcing them to do her bidding in exchange for saving their home planets. Hela’s plans are more intricate than they seem at first, and things will finally fall into place throughout this event that will pave the way for the first appearance of a long-rumored character who has a huge impact on Avengers Academy’s past, and its future.

Marvel.com: With the Asgardians specifically targeted here, will we see more of them join the Academy and their fight against Hela?

Allen Warner: Yes, both Heimdall and Valkyrie will be joining the Academy, and players will also have the chance to recruit Thor, who has only been available as an early access character to this point in the game. Heimdall and Valkrie are both really exciting because they’re characters we’ve been wanting to get into the game for a long time; their powers and visuals are so cool, and they have a great history [in] the comics, and now the films. I’m also excited that more players will have the opportunity to have Thor be a part of their campus. He’s one of [my] favorite characters to write in this game, and I really love his interactions with his family and heroes like Wasp and Captain America.

Players will also have the opportunity to recruit Grandmaster, Korg, and Miek. Hela took over Grandmaster’s intergalactic gladiator tournament while conquering the galaxy, imprisoned Grandmaster, and forced Korg and Miek to fight for her in exchange for the safety of their respective planets. All three of these characters are great, and bring something completely unique to the game. I’m really enjoying Grandmaster’s interactions with his fellow Elder of the Universe, Collector.

Since this is a war to end the world, and there’s a even bigger war on the horizon, you can also expect a surprise character who knows a thing or two about war.

Marvel.com: Will players also have the opportunity to recruit Asgardians who have enrolled in the past?

Allen Warner: Yes; Odin, Angela, Frigga, Sif, and more will be returning for the war to end all wars. We’ll also be bringing back some of the awesome Asgardian outfits we’ve created, and bringing back characters who aren’t technically Asgardian, but still have strong ties to those characters.

Marvel.com: Who will suit up in new gear to take the fight to Hela and her Frost Giant/Dark Elf cronies?

Allen Warner: There will be new Asgardian and gladiator themed outfits for Black Widow, Enchantress, Loki, Thor, Hulk, Falcon, and Iron Man. It will be a mix of familiar looks from the comics and movies, brand-new creations, and in one case, a really fun mix of both. As usual, our incredible art and animation teams have outdone themselves, and I think players will be really excited when they see what we have in store.

Marvel.com: Where and how will players battle these foes, both new and familiar?

Allen Warner: Players will battle Hela and her forces in Grandmaster’s gladiator arena, and will travel throughout the Ten Realms [battling] Dark Elves who have their own specific orders from Hela.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the year?

Allen Warner: An amazing winter holiday event that will introduce our most fun and most eclectic roster of event heroes yet.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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The leading name in pinball brings Star-Lord and friends to the table!

Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, proudly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines celebrating the popular movie franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians of the Galaxy pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models. The game will immerse players in a dynamic, challenging, and galactic pinball environment where Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot battle Ronan to stop him from using the Infinity Stone to destroy the galaxy.

“Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel’s most exciting and successful franchises worldwide. We feel that this theme connects perfectly with pinball in creating a high energy pinball experience,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc. “Stern Pinball and Marvel Studios share a love for these memorable characters and have a long, successful history of collaboration.”

Stern’s Guardians of the Galaxy Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models are packed with features that provide an irresistible gameplay experience. Each game features a sculpted and interactive ball-eating Groot. In addition, a custom sculpted Rocket figure will keep players on their toes as it blasts the ball back at rocket speed. Color-changing inserts highlight the mysterious and interactive Orb, which opens to reveal the powerful Infinity Stone. The Limited Edition and Premium models also feature extra magnets, custom artwork, RGB lighting, and sculpted Groot arms that sprawl across the playfield.

In addition to the immersive theme and exciting gameplay experience, Stern Pinball’s SPIKE-2 electronic platform enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations on the LCD screen. The state-of-the-art electronic system also powers a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations.
All models feature stunning and distinctive hand drawn art. Guardians of the Galaxy entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on Stern’s Guardians of the Galaxy pinball!

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The lighting-packed Marvel Studios epic invades your favorite games!

As Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” takes theaters by lightning storm, the epic action comes straight to Marvel games! New content inspired by the film heads to “Marvel Contest of Champions,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” “Marvel Avengers Academy,” and “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2!”

“Marvel Contest of Champions” unleashes two new characters on Battlerealm: Thor (Ragnarok) and Hela. The Odinson looks ready and raring to bring the thunder, wielding a mace, swords, and shield into the Collector’s arena while Hela sports her classic green duds and appears every bit the fell goddess of the underworld that she purports to be. If you can’t wait for their in-game reveal come November, “Contest of Champions” players can already take a crack at the Grandmaster’s Challenge. Jeff Goldblum, aka The Grandmaster in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” has readied his hand-selected a team of champions for battle! Think you can best an Elder of the Universe?

“Marvel Future Fight” brings three new characters to the game starting today: Skurge, an Asgardian warrior with an amazing armory; Heimdall, the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge; and Valkyrie, fierce fighter and skilled combatant. Alongside the new heroes comes new costumes for Thor, Hela, Hulk, and Loki, plus The Grandmaster as a new NPC.

Both Thor and Hulk step out of the alien arena and into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” sporting all their gladiatorial gear and awesome new abilities! Bring your team to the Sakaar Arena to duke it out in a lightning round-style event for rich rewards.

Marvel Avengers Academy

“Marvel Avengers Academy” gets a massive update with five new characters straight out of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok”—Valkyrie, Korg, Miek, Heimdall, and Grandmaster—and one deviously devilish NPC, Hela. And if you’ve been waiting for new outfits, well prep yourself for some serious wardrobe changes. Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Falcon, and Enchantress all get new looks.

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” will also come chock full of characters inspired by the film, boasting Thor, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Hela, Valkyrie, Loki, Grandmaster, and Kronan Warrior. “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” will be available on November 14, 2017 for PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, Nintendo Switch™ and PC.

Check out Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” when it hits theaters in the U.S. on November 3, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel games news and interviews.

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Learn what a formidable force the Day Walker is beginning on October 26.

Armed to the fangs with vampire hunting weaponry and a less than sunny disposition, Blade slices his way into “Marvel Contest of Champions” ready to bring down some bloodsuckers. Want to harness the Day Walker’s vampiric powers for yourself? Well we talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera and we’ve got the skinny on all his awesome abilities.

Marvel.com: How did the Day Walker end up in the Contest? Out hunting vampires in space?

Gabriel Frizzera: It’s the final frontier for vampire hunters! Blade came to The Battlerealm to hunt Guillotine, who possesses the infamous bloodsucking sword “La Fleur du Mal.” So, in his own point of view, he’s still hunting a vampire. It’s up to Doctor Strange and his friends to stop him before he puts a stake through poor Guilly.

Marvel.com: And he definitely looks like he’s ready to get to slicing. Where’d the team get the duds?

Gabriel Frizzera: His costume is a blend of many incarnations, from the classic cinematic leathered costume to some of the comics’ most recent versions. We decided to go with a non-trenchcoat look with a kevlar vest like in the comics to better show his tattooed guns, as well as his double katanas and throwing stars. And of course the sunglasses, because Blade likes to fight in the shade!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Blade’s Vampiric Immortality?

Piero Herrera: Vampiric Immortality is one of the most powerful regeneration abilities in the game, and it is practically the first time the player will be able to control when and how much health to heal. This ability will activate whenever players hold their block stance, converting a portion of their current power to health. Blade also gets Power from nearby Bleeding opponents, synergizing really well with his regeneration ability.

Marvel.com: And Danger Sense? What’s going on there?

Piero Herrera: Danger Sense provides a huge attack bonus against Dimensional Beings like Dormammu, Mephisto and Magik. Additionally, Danger Sense will also lowers their opponent’s Ability Accuracy. That said, Danger Sense is not only useful against Dimensional Beings, if you pair him with the right team.

Marvel.com: We don’t have very many other vampire hunters on the roster, but who does Blade want to team up with?

Piero Herrera: Pairing him up with Ghost Rider will allow his Danger Sense to expand to all Villain Champions while pairing him up with Dormammu and Mephisto will also allow him to go hunt all Mystic Champions with his Danger Sense. To finish off, his Danger Sense bonuses are enhanced if you pair Blade with Spider-Man (Stark Enhanced)!

Marvel.com: And when do we get to fight with Blade on our side?

Piero Herrera: Blade will officially enter The Contest on October 26. Make sure to check out your in-game messages for more information on how to get The Battlerealm’s first vampire hunter, Blade!

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

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Play as a new incarnation of the Thunder God in advance of his big day!

An all-new Odinson appears this week in “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” heralding the coming of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” next week in theaters everywhere. If you’ve been looking for a beefy, high damage 5-Star to round out your roster you’re in luck—and we talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin to get all the juicy details. Let’s Ragnarok and roll!

Marvel.com: Ragnarok is upon us! What does the team have in store for everyone before the coming storm?

Josh Austin: We have added a 5-Star Thor (Gladiator) to the roster and a new event called Sakaar Arena for “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Thor is sporting his new look for “Thor: Ragnarok” with swords and a shield along with the helmet inspired by the movie. The Sakaar Arena contains bonuses for every variation of Thor and Hulk since following Thor (Gladiator) we will be releasing Hulk (Main Event) in the coming weeks that will bring on a different phase of the Sakaar Arena.

Marvel.com: This is the first 5-Star Thor to grace “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” With 2,3, and 4-Star variants, what did the team focus on to make this Odinson feel unique?

Josh Austin: This Thor is still the God of Thunder, but he is designed off the Gladiator look he has in the [movie]. So he’s got the same short hair, helmet and sword/shield look from the Sakaar or Grandmaster Arena in the “Thor: Ragnarok” movie. Every power that Thor (Gladiator) has focuses on dealing massive damage. He destroys random basic tiles when low on health, and has a power that creates Protect tiles every turn.

Marvel.com: And with that, what kind of abilities are we looking at?

Josh Austin: Thor’s first ability is called God of Thunder and it costs 12 Green AP. For this power, Thor charges his attacks with lightning for an explosive attack that deals—get this—at level 450 and power level 5, 13,126 damage to all enemies! This power has a Passive that at the beginning of each turn and if Thor is below a certain amount of health, he destroys basic tiles.

His second ability is called Asgardian Tactics and costs nine Red AP. Thor slashes with his twin swords at the enemy’s defenses dealing serious damage to a target and ignores all Protect tiles. Thor deals additional damage for each friendly Special tile up on the board to 10.

Thor’s third ability is called Smoldering Fire which costs nine Yellow AP. Thor leaps into the fray to protect his team which creates a Repeater tile that generates Yellow Protect tiles each turn. This power then becomes Raging Fire. Raging Fire costs 12 Yellow. Thor strikes out with fury and removes his Repeater tile to deal damage to a target. This power has a Passive component that when Thor’s Repeater tile no longer exists, all friendly Protect tiles convert to Strike tiles and this power becomes Smoldering Fire again.

Marvel.com: Seems he’s got a little bit of everything: board shakeup, special tile generation, and team damage. Who works to augment the Thunder God’s battle fury?

Josh Austin: Thor (Gladiator) works well with characters that create Protect tiles like Wasp, Luke Cage, Sam Wilson (Captain America), and Sandman (Flint Marko). He also benefits from characters that create AP in his colors like Red Hulk and Star-Lord.

Marvel.com: And there’s a whole big Ragnarok event you’ve got planned right?

Josh Austin: We will be running the event three times and players will get to compete in the Sakaar Event that will be Thor-focused for the release of 5-Star Thor (Gladiator) in the first two runs and then when the new Hulk (Main Event) comes out in time for the third run—date TBD—it will have more of a Hulk flair to it. The event is a Surged Up version of Lightning Rounds that is about 90 minutes in length with 20 Combatants in an Arena-like structure. The Featured Champion will as mentioned above be Thor first, then Hulk in the future run. This means all versions of Thor will be buffed for the first phase then all versions of Hulk will be buffed for the next phase. For new players, they will be loaned a copy of 3-Star Hulk and 3-Star Thor, but any version of either is allowed for the event. The event rewards tokens for a special store or Heroic tokens depending on placement.

Marvel.com: When does all this madness get started?

Josh Austin: The first run of the Sakaar Arena will begin on October 27 at 1 PM PDT and ends on November 2, and will feature the Sakaar Arena Store that runs simultaneously with the event. Thor (Gladiator) will be available starting on November 2 and a special 5-Star for him will start that same day. We will also host a second run of the Sakaar Arena from November 3 through November 9 with chances to earn 5-Star Thor through tokens. And finally there will be a special Legendary Store called Friends from Work that runs from November 2 through November 5.

Pick up your very own Thor (Gladiator) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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