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 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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Hulkling, Wiccan, and more join to battle the time-traveling conqueror!

With Ultron recruited and The Destroyer caged, the students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” may have thought they would get a moment to breathe. True to form, however, a new threat appears to take advantage of the Academy’s perceived weakness.

This time, the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror uses the timefog itself against the super-powered school. But another group of heroes have been battling Kang across time and were captured trying to stop him from attacking the Academy. Freeing them will grant powerful and knowledgeable new allies in the effort against the tyrant of the timestream.

We grabbed Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the full rundown on this new mini-event.

Marvel.com: How do the Young Avengers find themselves embroiled in Kang’s plot?

Allen Warner: During Ultron’s robot revolution, he shut down the Academy’s defenses, including systems that monitor and secure the surrounding timefog. Director Fury usually controls who goes in and out, and who remains trapped inside, but the temporary shutdown gives Kang an opportunity to attack the school, and tamper with the timefog itself. Various Young Avengers have been battling Kang throughout the timestream for their own reasons, and they try to stop him from entering this timeline, but are eventually captured.

Marvel.com: Which members of the team make the call to join the school?

Allen Warner: Hulking, Wiccan, and Stinger. They’re all great fits for the school with awesome, unique powers. Hulking has these great shapeshifting abilities that allow him to do everything from grow wings and fly around the campus, to changing his appearance to mimic people at the school. Wiccan has his incredible Chaos Magic abilities that resulted in some of the best animations of any hero so far; and Stinger aka Stature aka Cassie Lang has Pym Particle powers like her father Ant-Man that allow her to shrink down to nothing and grow into a giant. The fact that her powers can be triggered by her emotions made for some really fun stories and animations, along with coming face-to-face with her dad from another timeline who’s her same age. America Chavez and Kate Bishop were amazing additions to the game, and these three heroes turned out awesome, so it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the Young Avengers join Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Does Kang bring with him any new hints to the timefog’s nature? Black Widow is sure to be interested in getting one over on Headmaster Fury…

Allen Warner: Definitely. I’ve gotten away from the timefog mystery in recent events, but with Kang being the king of time travel, it only makes sense that it comes back to the forefront. We see almost immediately that Kang has history with Fury, Odin, and Pym. He doesn’t know exactly how the timefog came to be, but he knows more about the faculty and their role in the timefog’s origins than any villain to date. There will be a lot of clues about what happened in this place before the timefog, how it came into existence, and the entities and energies inside that no one expected. The faculty did everything in their power to hide the Academy’s location from Kang, but now that he’s found it he won’t be leaving without a fight; and even if he loses that fight, he’ll set events in motion that will still be felt long after he’s gone.

Marvel.com: How will our heroes battle Kang and put a stop to his sinister machinations?

Allen Warner: Iron Man builds new time portals that allow the heroes to travel throughout time in search of ways to overcome Kang’s far-future technology. They’ll travel everywhere from Ancient Egypt to outer space for meetings with the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, resulting in some really fun and unique stories, decorations, pets, and vehicles. Our heroes will eventually battle Kang and his futuristic arsenal, sending him back into the timestream, and rescuing the Young Avengers to fight by their side.

Marvel.com: Once our heroes are able to conquer Kang, what new threats will come for the Academy?

Allen Warner: Kang may lose the battle, but the war has just begun. He uses his tech to turn the timefog against the school, unleashing monsters on Avengers Academy. They’ll need help from some powerhouse heroes, eclectic monster hunters, a gigantic robot, and everybody’s favorite red Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news on “Marvel Avengers Academy!”

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Play as Moon Girl, Dormammu, and more in the hit mobile game!

More of the Inhuman family—alongside a brilliant young girl and a powerful Faltine sorcerer—prepare to join the interdimensional battle of “Marvel Future Fight”! Recruit the likes of Moon Girl, Crystal, Gorgon, and more to aid your team in a new set of set of stages and try the new Reward Pack system.

Maximus the Mad has gathered a number of followers and plots to destroy all humankind to pave the way for Inhuman rule. Eager to quash Maximus’s scheme, Moon Girl, Gorgon, Karnak, Inferno, and Crystal all become members of your team. Take on his sergeants across five stages to put an end to his nefarious plot and, eventually, bring the Inhuman prince to your side as well.

These new stages provide players an opportunity to try out the new Reward Pack system in “Marvel Future Fight.” By completing special challenges in these stages, you can earn rewards of your choice! Pick your challenge and your reward, and then unlock the bonus at the end of the mission.

While the Inhumans take center stage, a certain powerful being also joins the fight—much to the chagrin of Stephen Strange. However, Dormammu certainly proves to be a valuable addition to any team.

So they don’t feel left out in the cold, a few Inhumans already on the roster receive new uniforms as their brethren come aboard. Black Bolt dons his INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING outfit, while Ms. Marvel suits up in her Karachi costume. And the Monsters Unleashed armors continue to drop, as Elsa Bloodstone earns her set.

Unlock these new heroes and uniforms now in “Marvel Future Fight” and stay tuned for the latest news on the game!

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Our favorite gaming titles celebrate the most romantic day of the year!

Get your hearts ready, True Believers, because the stellar teams behind some of Marvel’s biggest mobile games have prepared an awesome variety of Valentine’s Day delights to celebrate the holiday! With so many games and so many fun opportunities at your fingertips, we wanted to breakdown everything that’s happening so you don’t miss a thing! Keep reading gang, we’ve got you covered.

Marvel Avengers Academy

Marvel Avengers Academy

First up: “Marvel Avengers Academy,” where love hangs heavy over campus. Want to score more Academy Credits and gaze upon robotic infatuation? Look no further than the Stark Industries Tunnel of Love. An animated swan boat ride not enough for ya? Stay tuned for the Hangouts feature, which will allow players to pair up their characters and send them on fun activities.

Next, “Marvel Contest of Champions” where players can take advantage of some fun Valentine Crystal shards. Grab Cyclops, Phoenix, and Wolverine Crystals in a special Valentine’s bundle, pick up Romance Crystals specifically designed to net Heroes with Romance Synergy, and from now until the end of February players get Dimensional Shards in all Daily Deals. Utilize tons of ways to fill out your roster and take it to the Collector on Battlerealm.

“Marvel Future Fight” kicks off Valentine’s Day with a bang! Prepare for a loot explosion, netting you a host of rewards and a 100% XP boost through the entire event. Also, every four hours players can check out their Golden Gift Box for special items like Rank Up tickets, Upgrade Material, and more!

In “Marvel Puzzle Quest” the team at D3 Go! made some awesome Facebook and Twitter Valentine’s Cards featuring Marvel’s most famous couples. Sharing the cards with the hashtag #FavoriteMarvelCouple contributes to a pool, with more shares unlocking higher tier rewards starting at 100 Hero Points all the way up to 5-Star Phoenix and 4-Star Cyclops. Check out the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” Facebook or Twitter pages to get started!

And to round out the Valentine’s fun, everyone’s favorite runner, “Spider-Man Unlimited,” has bonus score multipliers, combos, Vials, and Iso-8 for players plus a “True Love” Bundle Pack featuring Titan Spider-Man, Titan Mary Jane and 130 ISO-8. Could you ask for more?

Whew…get all that? If you’re a fan of Marvel mobile games there’s a ton of stuff going on for Valentine’s Day. Make sure you take advantage of all the awesome offers and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel Games news and interviews!

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Learn all about how Doctor Strange’s friend-turned rival figures in!

Mordo vaults off the silver screen and into “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” bringing all his formidable mystical artifacts with him. How does he fit on your team? Can he go toe to toe with Doctor Strange? We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin to get the lowdown on just what this wayward sorcerer’s capable of.

Marvel.com: Baron Mordo’s an interesting choice for the “Marvel Puzzle Quest”-verse. We don’t have a ton of magical heroes in “Puzzle Quest,” so I’m super happy to see him making an appearance!

Josh Austin: The home video release of “Marvel’s Doctor Strange” is coming out next week and the four-star Mordo (Master of the Mystic Arts) definitely brings an element of magic from the Doctor Strange world to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We focused on the villain Mordo in “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” and as such we were able to create our own comic cover with Marvel’s direction that players should be excited to see. We hope players can feel like they are continuing Mordo’s path after the movie as they play him in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Marvel.com: Mordo’s abilities in the comics and the film, at least to me, don’t seem super defined. How’d the team go about creating three specific powers for the mystic in “Puzzle Quest”?

Josh Austin: The powers for Mordo were created based on key moments from the Doctor Strange movie, including the staff artifact he shows Doctor Strange when explaining how they chose the sorcerer. We also focused one of his abilities in a similar fashion to the way Mordo is able to run through the air to smack Doctor Strange, showing him how slowly he’s learning. The last power focuses on what he shows the audience at the end of the credits but I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about what Mordo’s got going on under the hood. Let’s break down his abilities.

Josh Austin: Mordo’s first power is called Staff of the Living Tribunal and it costs seven Black AP. So like the staff in “Doctor Strange,” the staff starts solid and separates into a type of chain whip. This attack deals damage, then converts Black basic tiles to Charged tiles. If there are enough Black Charged tiles on the board, the attack deals damage for each Black Charged tile on the board then destroys them, so at level one if there are six Black Charged tiles it will do 54 damage per Black Charged tile on the board. At level five it gets even better, where if there are three or more Black Charged tiles each one will deal 454 damage to the enemy team for each Black Charged tile on the board then it destroys the Black Charged tiles.

His second power is called Vaulting Boots of Valtorr and costs 10 Blue AP. For this power Mordo takes to the air, striking his target for damage and converting basic tiles of the enemy’s strongest color into Black Charged tiles. Using this power helps generate Black Charged tiles for Staff of the Living Tribunal.

Mordo’s last power is called Power with Purpose and costs nine Purple AP. This power focuses on Mordo’s ability to steal from an unworthy sorcerer, so for this power he stuns the target and steals Blue AP. This power feeds into the Vaulting Boots of Valtorr power to help bring the player’s Blue AP up and at higher levels will steal Purple and Black AP as well.

Marvel.com: Mordo feels like a hit-and-run aficionado, ready to stun, steal AP, do some damage, and get out. That fair to say?

Josh Austin: That definitely fits with the Mordo we leave the Doctor Strange movie with and is a big part of the planned design for this variation of Mordo in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Overall his health is pretty good and the player wants to focus on Black Charged tile creation to hit the opponent with as much damage as they can with Staff of the Living Tribunal.

Marvel.com: I feel like Mordo could find a place on just about any team, but is almost entirely self-sufficient at the same time. Is there anyone in particular that he synergizes well with?

Josh Austin: The player will want to create Black Charged tiles as much as possible, so using characters that can help give Mordo more Purple and Blue to use his powers to generate more Black AP can help characters like Scarlet Witch’s passive to create Purple or Iron Man Model 40 to create three Red and Blue AP. Another option would be to use Silver Surfer’s Perfect Being power to create Charged tiles, or just team him up with Thor (Goddess of Thunder) to take advantage of her ability Smite to do extra damage with charged tiles on the board.

Marvel.com: And when do we get to test out Mordo’s mystical artifacts for ourselves?

Josh Austin: The release of Mordo continues the celebration of Black History Month in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as we recently released Black Panther (Civil War) and Riri Williams (Ironheart) in the game. We are all happy to see both Black Panther and Riri featured right now on the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” game loader for everyone to see when the game is launched.

Players interested in adding Mordo to their roster can find him available in-game starting tomorrow, February 9, in the Unstable Iso-8 event between February 9 and February 14. He will also be the new featured character in the Strange Sights event between February 13 and 17 and is a progression reward and in the event Vault. And finally, his very own Versus Tournament called Too Many Sorcerers will start on February 16 and end on February 20.

Pick up Mordo and put on your blue suede flying shoes here, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Henry McCoy joins the Marvel MMO and brings Jubilee along for the ride!

Hank McCoy, resident X-Man big brain and bouncing blue ball of fists and feet, brings his brilliance to “Marvel Heroes 2016.” We talked to Gazillion Lead Game Designer Benjamin Gilbert about Beast’s abilities and another little treat: Jubilation Lee makes an appearance as the game’s newest Team-Up! We’ve got a lot to cover gang so let’s get into it!

Marvel.com: I gotta ask, out of all the mutants with bigger, more bombastic abilities, what is it about the blue-furred Beast that brought him to “Marvel Heroes 2016”?

Benjamin Gilbert: Being one of the original X-Men, he’s someone fans have been asking after for years now. We’re very happy with how he came out, and we hope players will agree Dr. McCoy’s playstyle is a nice mix of visceral and cerebral, which we think feels true to the character.

Marvel.com: Ok what can you tell us about Dr. Hank McCoy? What do his ability trees look like?

Benjamin Gilbert: There are two categories of powers: Brains and Brawn. Brawn features all the “Beast” stuff you’d expect: dashing, jumping, and slashing baddies chock-full of his flashy movements. These are the powers that make use of his custom resource: “Momentum.” Brains makes use of applied Science in the form of useful, mostly non-lethal gadgets. Then of course his Talents come, custom-tailoring Beast’s playstyle.

Marvel.com: What’s the best way to play this guy? It sounds like he can be played like a melee brawler or maybe someone who lets his inventions speak, and fight, for themselves.

Benjamin Gilbert: You can focus on acrobatic brawling, deployment of gadgets, or even “Teamwork” powers—unlock in Talents—which feature him coordinating with his fellow X-Men. Players have many choices with how they play Beast.

Marvel.com: And what kind of costumes are we looking at here? Beast’s sporting his current comics style? What else do you have in store for the real McCoy?

Benjamin Gilbert: Hank launched with two costumes. His default, Uncanny Inhumans, is in the current comic style. The other is Astonishing X-Men, which features a more “bestial” look.



Marvel.com: And Beast isn’t the only X-Man showing up this week; Jubilee blasts on the scene fireworks blazing. What kind of help can we look forward to enlisting her aid?

Benjamin Gilbert: She brings her signature smorgasbord of spontaneously created plasmoid fireworks to the fray! And all those pretty lights aren’t just for show—though quite spectacular—they’re in such high density that they burn clean through any obstacle. She’s a great helping hand for any Hero, especially those looking for a healthy dose of 90’s nostalgia.

Marvel.com: Now that the game’s hit 60 playable characters, what’s next? More characters? Big events? What can we expect from “Marvel Heroes 2016” in 2017?

Benjamin Gilbert: Yes! As for Heroes, Black Bolt and Medusa are up next, followed by the illustrious Nick Fury. Of course, we’ll regularly be rolling out events, both classic events like Odin’s Bounty and special ones like our Valentine’s Day event.

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

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Learn how the good guys get going in the hit mobile game from TinyGo!

Not too long ago, we showed you how the team at TinyCo creates the various animations for the heroes and reformed villains that make up the student body in “Marvel Avengers Academy.” But how do the characters in this game get that special something that makes their world feel unique and cohesive? We wanted to know, and figured you did too!

So we borrowed Melissa Hester, Lead Concept Artist at TinyCo, to get a look at the process behind the creation of all our favorite students and faculty at “Marvel Avengers Academy.”

Marvel.com: Where does character design for “Avengers Academy” begin? Are the heroes and villains who appear in the game picked first, and then given their unique style from there, or do you sketch out what they will be like in-game a little bit as part of the selection process?

Melissa Hester: For each event Allen [Warner], our main writer, comes up with a set of Marvel characters for us to work on. Before I get started sketching out a concept, me and Allen chat for a bit about the character and what their personality is like. We have a lot of fun thinking of what kind of school archetype they would be and how they might fit in at the Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Once you’ve settled on a character who will definitely be in the game, how do you go about fine-tuning them for final release?

Melissa Hester: When we have a good direction for a character to go in, I start gathering references off the internet. I’ll first collect a bunch of references of the character and how he or she has evolved in Marvel history. Taking note of important symbols or any important designs within the existing character. I also get tons of reference art from Tim [Hernandez] and Isabel [Hsu] over at Marvel Games. From there I basically go online shopping for them! [Laughs] It’s my favorite part. I’ll look for an outfit that is modern and stylish but also something I feel they would choose. Once I’ve settled on a few different outfits I start sketching them out.

Marvel.com: The process must be very collaborative. What do the different groups contribute to the process, and when?

Melissa Hester: It is very collaborative! When I have sketched out several different looks for the character, we gather around and start narrowing in on the final look. First I meet with my art lead and Allen, but there are times we like to get the 3D and animation leads involved too.  I love getting the team’s reactions and finding out who is digging what. Sometimes I’ll have a lot of feedback and do more concepts and other times I’ll hit a homerun from the get-go. Either way, it’s a fun process to discuss who each character is and sort of nerd out about them with the team here. Eventually we settle on a design internally and we then send them off to our Marvel team to get their input and a final character approval.

Marvel.com: How has the procedure changed from designing the initial cast to the new characters we see today?

Melissa Hester: In the early stages of our game we tried a few different approaches to doing character concepts. At the time David was our only lead artist and had set the art style for the game, but we were still trying to figure out how they fit into a modern fashionable world. We made a large sheet of paper doll style thumbnails for each character, that way we could run through a bunch of ideas really quickly. We did a lot of experimenting with trying to balance modern fashions with iconic super hero styles. Once we figured that all out the character design process became much simpler.

Marvel.com: Does the method vary from event to event?

Melissa Hester: Sometimes. If we are doing an event that coincides with a movie, like our Doctor Strange event, then we have a pretty clear direction for how we want the characters to evolve. But when we do an event with characters that haven’t been in the spotlight for awhile, Jocasta for example, we usually take more time trying to modernize them. It’s more challenging for me to work on those characters but also much more exciting!

Marvel.com: Have any of the Avengers Academy students or faculty changed drastically from their initial concept?

Melissa Hester: We usually have a good idea for each character’s personality based off who they are in the comic books, so we never go in a direction that’s too off course with who they are. But with that said some characters had several make-overs. Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America all went through a long process of design. Black Widow went from being goth, to a heavy metal rocker, and then to her current bad-ass self!

Marvel.com: Who have you most enjoyed designing?

Melissa Hester: All of them! [Laughs] It’s really hard to choose, they are all so much fun. I think Enchantress stands out from the rest because she was the first character I designed for our game. I love a sassy mean girl, so I was excited when she was handed to me. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to combine her classic style with something modern. I tried several different approaches with sketching her out and there is an interesting evolution that takes place in her design that the other characters I’ve worked on don’t have. I also had a blast working on our A-Force event; I’m a sucker for strong female super heroes, like America Chavez!  Her design is one of my favorites from the Marvel Universe. I feel lucky to have been able to work on her for “Avengers Academy. “

Any new characters coming up that you think fans will be excited to see in the world of “Marvel Avengers Academy?”

Melissa Hester: Yes, Wiccan is coming soon! He will be part of our Young Avengers event which is coming soon.  I absolutely adore him and his whole romance with Hulkling! I had hearts in my eyes when I worked on those two. [Laughs] I’m really looking forward to getting them in my game!

Keep up with all the latest news on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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Parker Robbins brings his wicked wardrobe to Battlerealm!

Something wicked this way comes, and his name is Parker Robbins.

As if the denizens of Battlerealm didn’t have enough to worry about, now The Hood, an emissary of a mysterious evil benefactor, plans to cause even more trouble in “Marvel Contest of Champions.” We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera, Champion Designer Simon Camerson, and Marketing Specialist Vincent Huynh to get the skinny on the Hood’s plans.

Marvel.com: The Hood’s been flying pretty low under the radar since his ILLUMINATI shenanigans. Why’d the Collector want to pick up Parker Robbins?

Gabriel Frizzera: The Collector has nothing to do with the Hood’s presence in the Battlerealm. He kind of came on his own free will. He’s on a mission for his master, a god-like entity with an appetite for multiversal conquest. He’s coming to spoil the Collector’s party, and The Hood is the first wave.

Marvel.com: Ooohhh sounds ominous! By the way I am loving the way Parker’s guns look here! Hellfire infused pistols have never looked cooler.

Gabriel Frizzera: Thanks! We wanted to make those pistols look special. We are familiar, through comics and movies, with what happens to a person when possessed by a demon. But what happens when guns get possessed? What happens when an object originally created to cause harm and destruction becomes infused with even darker powers? So we melted it, twisted it and added pulsing arteries and magma until it looked like an object forged in the depths of hell.

Marvel.com: And the team has overloaded Hood with some serious abilities. Does he have more than the average Champion or am I just seeing things?

Simon Cameron: He certainly has a number of abilities at his disposal, but not an untoward number of them. A number of his abilities have secondary effects, which trigger when abilities expire. He can also trigger Invisibility in a number of ways. All in all, while there may be a fair amount of text on his bio card, he’s far from the most complex character in the game, and we think he’ll be pretty easy to pickup and play.

Marvel.com: And holy—what is this team up with Dormammu? Resurrect non robot Champions?!

Simon Cameron: Dormammu has often worked from behind the scenes. Whether he’s empowering agents to do his bidding because he feels the task isn’t sufficiently important to warrant his attention, or because he’s been bound never to return to Earth; we’re looking at you Doctor Strange. We’re representing this in The Contest by giving him a chance when teamed up with the correct Champions, to resurrect any non-robot villain Champions when they’re knocked out of a fight.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about his play style? How are we fighting with Parker?

Simon Cameron: Well he’s a Mystic, and like most Mystic Champions he’s well equipped to fight opponents who use a lot of buffs with both Stagger and Fate Seal. His special attacks all have various debuffs, and his heavy attack allows him to refresh their timers, so you’ll likely want to land some Heavies to keep them rolling.

Also his Invisibility makes a big difference, both increasing his Critical Damage, and giving his opponents a chance to miss with their attacks, which doubles against ranged attacks. This is great because it doesn’t break his animation the way an Evade does, allowing him to charge through most ranged attacks in relative safety.

Marvel.com: Anything else you can tell us?

Gabriel Frizzera: Our new event, “Dawn of Darkness,” is a direct sequel to the mystic event from last November, “Conclave of Sorcerers.” Doctor Strange is regrouping the Illuminati to create a final solution to stop Thanos from creating an entirely new set of Infinity Stones. He intends to be prepared for when the Mad Titan shows up next. But for that end, Strange has a plan so dangerous in mind, he doesn’t dare tell his closest allies… a plan that will involve a cat-and-mouse game with one of his most dangerous enemies, one of the most powerful mystic beings in existence.

Vincent Huynh: “Dawn of Darkness” has just kicked off and is ready to play now until March 1! Help Doctor Strange take on The Hood and his overlord from spreading evil and destruction across the Battlerealm. Check out our latest Motion Comic here to find out which demonic figure The Hood is bound to serve.

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

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