Area 13, the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more spooky inclusions.
With the Inhuman crisis settled down, the students at “Marvel Avengers Academy” start getting ready for the biggest Halloween party any of them have ever seen. But Baron von Strucker has other ideas for our heroes. Despite being defeated multiple times in attempts to squash the Academy, Strucker has returned with his most nefarious plan yet. Our heroes will need all hands on deck to deal with the fearsome foes he lets loose on campus.
We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get an idea of what’s in store for “Marvel Avengers Academy” this Halloween.
Marvel.com: Just when the heroes at Avengers Academy thought they could relax and celebrate Halloween, a new, spooky threat rears its head. What creepy plan does Baron von Strucker have in store for the Academy?
Allen Warner: After suffering multiple defeats at the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, and watching his best agents see the wrongs of their ways and defect to Avengers Academy, Baron von Strucker is desperate to save Hydra School, and rebuild his organization. He plots with an imprisoned villain to access the Nexus of All Realities, and uses the ultimate portal’s power to infiltrate the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Area 13, unleashing its imprisoned collection of dangerous monsters and creatures, and holding the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. hostage. Since Baron Zemo, Crossbones, and Madame Hydra have all betrayed him by becoming heroes, he also accesses an alternate universe to bring zombified versions of his former accomplices to join him in the fight. He’s hoping that the chaos, his new monstrous allies, and his powerful weapon the Satan Claw, will be enough to crush S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers once and for all.
Marvel.com: Sounds like Strucker has a veritable army of frightening foes lined up for players. Who will we be up against in this event?
Allen Warner: He’ll be fighting alongside his remaining Hydra Agents and students, and his zombie minions, while using the strange tech and creatures within Area 13 to become more powerful, and stop the Avengers from freeing their allies.
Marvel.com: If Strucker breaks into Area 13 to free all these prisoners, will we get a look at the former S.H.I.E.L.D. base?
Allen Warner: Yes, the event area will be Area 13 itself, now controlled by Hydra, and overrun with an over-the-top collection of aliens, monsters, and extreme weirdness that has been released from the facility. There will also be a separate Area 13 laboratory where the secret base ran its weird, high-tech experiments. It all makes for a really cool mix of sci-fi-fi, fantasy, and horror that’s a great fit for Halloween.
Marvel.com: The students and faculty at Avengers Academy will need a hand tackling all these new enemies. Who joins the team to put some extra beatdown on Strucker and his cronies?
Allen Warner: Along with characters from our previous Halloween event, we’re bringing in a bunch of members from the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Dum-Dum Dugan, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, Vampire by Night, Jasper Sitwell, and Hit-Monkey. Of course, Orrgo will also be returning from our ‘Monsters Unleashed’ event to help his team. As anyone who follows the game and these interviews knows, I’m a huge fan of the weird and wacky side of Marvel, so it’s awesome to introduce all of these characters who are so different from one another and everyone else on our campus. Dum-Dum Dugan is a Life-Model Decoy with ties to Peggy Carter, Captain America, Winter Soldier, and J.A.R.V.I.S. Jasper Sitwell is a top-level S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and the nicest, most well-mannered zombie you’ll ever meet. Man-Thing is a hulking, immortal swamp monster with a heart of gold. Werewolf by Night is a classic werewolf, and classic Marvel horror hero. Hit-Monkey is a ruthless assassin who just happens to be a well-dressed monkey. And Vampire by Night is a really cool werewolf-vampire hybrid. They’re all fun and weird and unique, and perfect fits for Halloween.
I also think it’s really cool that players will have the chance to collect characters who are all part of the same team, and who all visually evolve to wear similar S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms, so even though they look so different, they collectively look like the ultimate monster squad, and fit right in with all of the other S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents already running around Avengers Academy. As usual, our great art and animation teams did some amazing work with all of these characters, and have some really fun takes on them that have never been seen before.
Marvel.com: It wouldn’t be Halloween without costumes. Our heroes have to have fun one way or another, after all. Who all will take the fight to Area 13 decked out in their Halloween finest?
Allen Warner: Yes, it wouldn’t be an Avengers Academy Halloween without awesome costumes. It’s a really great mix of fun and creepy outfits. Some are original creations, and others are inspired by looks from the comics and TV. There will be new outfits for Vision, Mockingbird, She-Hulk, Phil Coulson, Captain America, Thor, and Punisher. Players will also be able to unlock the zombie looks for Baron Zemo, Crossbones, and Madame Hydra as outfits. It’s exciting because these are the first outfits for a lot of these characters, and I think people are really going to love what our art team has created for each of them.
We’re also bringing back outfits from last Halloween, and other outfits befitting the holiday for Captain America, Wasp, Loki, Black Widow, Falcon, Enchantress, Iron Man, Maria Hill, and more. It’s an amazing selection of costumes that look even cooler when everyone gets together for the traditional Avengers Academy Halloween-themed dance routine.
Marvel.com: Once Halloween has come and gone, what’s next for the Academy?
Allen Warner: An intergalactic gladiator tournament, an unexpected villainous coalition, and a celebration of everything Asgardian.