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!”

Read More

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!

Read More

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”!

Read More

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!

Read More

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”!

Read More

Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Wasp and more suit up for the A-Force event!

In the currently ongoing “Marvel Avengers Academy” Winter Event, Malekith uses an ancient artifact to plunge the world into eternal winter. With the help of newcomers from A-Force, the heroes attending the Academy battle the evil dark elf and his army of frost giants.

And what would a battle with elves and giants be without the proper attire?

Many of the Academy students—including each of the A-Force newcomers—don new fantasy themed outfits to inject a little joy into their fight against this latest threat. We grabbed Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the rundown of his favorites.

Rogue Spider-Woman – “Inspired by the look of thief and assassin outfits in classic fantasy games and films, Spider-Woman wears this outfit to enhance her already impressive stealth and espionage skills. The outfit unlocks a fun storyline about Spider-Woman uncovering secrets behind Malekith’s true plan as well as Nick Fury’s hidden agenda, and features unique animations of her scaling the Academy walls, and picking Odin’s pocket for intel.”

Healer Singularity – “Singularity is a kind and gentle soul who is always looking out for her friends, so it makes perfect sense that she’d play the role of Healer in this group of fantasy archetypes. The outfit plays to her bright and whimsical personality, and features a unique storyline about her offering to heal some of her toughest classmates, including Punisher and Jessica Jones.”

Archer Wasp – “No stranger to alternate outfits, Wasp becomes an elven archer in a storyline befitting her infectious excitement and wild imagination. She tries to embody every characteristic of every possible incarnation of elves, seeking advice from everyone from the dark elves she’s currently fighting to arrow aficionado Hawkeye. The outfit comes with some fun animations, including playing a fantasy-inspired flute throughout the campus, and attempting to shoot an apple off the top of the head of one of Iron Man’s hapless helper robots.”aforce_asset_fantasycostumes

Huntress Angela – “Inspired by her awesome design in the ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL comic series, this outfit plays to Angela’s strengths as a master hunter and assassin. It’s one of the most detailed outfits ever included in the game, and features a unique storyline about Angela recruiting famous hunters like Blade for the ultimate Super Hero hunting party to track a once in lifetime target.”

Blacksmith Iron Man – “Always the master craftsman, Tony Stark indulges in his fantasy dreams to become an archaic blacksmith, crafting weapons and armor for the Avengers and their new A-Force teammates. It features a fun storyline about Tony using the dark elves’ fear of iron to his advantage, and unlocks unique animations like him using his repulsor beams to smelt iron ore, and using his engineering genius to craft a rapid-fire procession of weapons and items ranging from swords to what appears to be Ultron’s head.”

This is just a small sample of some of the awesome outfits, unique content, and fun adventures available in the current A-Force Winter event in “Marvel Avengers Academy,” ending January 5. Stay tuned for all the latest news, interviews and more!

Read More

America Chavez Bolsters Her Video Game Resume with ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’

America Chavez joins her A-Force teammates in the battle against Malekith in “Marvel Avengers Academy.” With the hero soon to debut her own solo ongoing series – America – in March, fans are eager to add her to their teams. The team at TinyCo had a lot of fun developing their take on Ms America, but she still brings the same uniqueness to the game that she does to the comics.

We spoke with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get a look at the process of designing not only this version of Ms. America, but also the set of fantasy outfits our heroes are donning during this event – including America’s Knight outfit.

Marvel.com: America Chavez, Miss America herself, lands in “Marvel Avengers Academy” this week. With her upcoming solo ongoing, there’s a lot of fan excitement around the character. What was it like bringing her to the Academy this winter?

Allen Warner: It’s always great when we can support what’s going on in the comics and vice versa. I’m really looking forward to her having a solo book, and it’s been fun adapting her for the world of our game. There are a lot of tough and capable female heroes attending the Academy already, but America brings diversity, swagger, a unique backstory, and some crazy powers that make her really special. Of course, our version of America doesn’t share the exact same history as her comics counterpart, so there are a lot of surprises and opportunities to tell stories that can’t be told in the books. I wanted to focus on making her more than just a bruiser for the team, and make her motivations more personal to explore what’s under that tough exterior.

From a visual standpoint, our art and animation teams did their usual outstanding job with her designs and animations. We wanted to showcase her personality and raw power, and use some of the things that make her unique like kicking in star portals for interdimensional travel, and throwing giant sharks at people because it’s awesome.

Marvel.com: When did America Chavez enter the discussion for new characters coming in this event?

Allen Warner: We’ve talked about putting her in the game for a long time. She got very close with an earlier release, but we decided to go in another direction. As soon as we knew we were doing an A-Force event, it was a given. She’s an integral part of this team, and one of the best young Marvel heroes, so there was no way we were going to leave her out.

Marvel.com: Off the bat, she gets a new secondary outfit as part of the Fantasy set releasing with this event. How did you and the art team go about designing her “Knight” outfit?

Allen Warner: Yeah, each week the new character who’s introduced also gets an awesome fantasy outfit. She was a tough one to figure out to be honest. We tried a few angles, but it just didn’t feel like her. We hadn’t introduced a knight yet, and I started thinking about how it could be fun to tell a story about how America adapts to traditional knight protocol and armor. She’s fiercely independent, and doesn’t have much use for armor, but these are special circumstances facing Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters, so she decides to give it a shot. It’s a lot of fun to see how she reacts, and who she seeks out to try and figure out how to meld her personality and powers with something so traditional.

Marvel.com: How did the team come around to this set of outfits as part of Malekith’s attack on Earth?

Allen Warner: We wanted to have all of the outfits feel like part of a set, and with everyone battling elves and giants, fantasy made sense. It’s not something you usually see in Marvel outside of the realms of Thor or Doctor Strange or the Black Knight, so I think it feels really fun and fresh to see some of these other characters in that setting. The art team outdid themselves with all of the outfits, and the response across the board has been really positive.

Marvel.com: The outfits look to be drawn out of the characters’ roles or traits – Blacksmith Iron Man and Paladin Thor, for example. What went into the creation of these?

Allen Warner: Yeah, the first step with each one was to think about what made sense for their personality, and what kind of stories we’d be able to tell with the quests and animations. In some cases, we went for the one that immediately made the most sense. Other times, we purposefully went in a different direction because we thought it would make for some fun results. I bounced my ideas off of Tim Hernandez and Bill Rosemann at Marvel Games, and after getting their feedback and go-ahead, our art team went to work trying to combine what makes each character iconic with what you’d expect from these classic archetypes. I think they turned out even better than anyone expected.

Marvel.com: What about Wasp led you to create her “Archer” outfit?

Allen Warner: To be honest, before we had the idea of these all being a cohesive set, I’d planned on having her be more ‘toy workshop’ elf than ‘arrow-shooting’ elf. When we decided to go with the set and fantasy approach, I started thinking about how it would be fun to keep her as an elf, but in a fantasy setting. Elves are great archers in various fantasy stories, so I started to get excited about what being an elf means to Wasp, and seeing her interact with the Dark Elves on an ‘elf-to-elf’ level, and getting archery lessons from Hawkeye. Archery will also be a major part of our next event, so it felt like a great bridge to the next story.

Marvel.com: Similarly, how does Singularity embody the “Healer” role for her outfit?

Allen Warner: Singularity is so sweet, and generous, and self-sacrificing that it just made sense. Singularity’s powers aren’t technically magic, but still feel very mysterious and magical, and are usually used for protecting others. It’s another outfit that’s really beautiful, and we even added unique functionality, so that each time Healer Singularity battles a Frost Giant, it drops a health pack to heal your heroes.

Marvel.com: Was there any one design in particular you had a lot of fun putting together?

My favorite has to be Huntress Angela. It’s a really natural fit for her personality and backstory, and the outfit turned out incredible. It’s influenced by her awesome “Angela: Queen of Hel” look from the comics mixed with a sort of forest hunter vibe, and just looks amazing. It’s one of the most detailed outfits we’ve ever made for any character, and I think people will be really excited when they see it.

Marvel.com: Anything you can tell us about what’s coming up next?

Allen Warner: We’re about to introduce Angela, Lady Loki, and Captain Marvel, who’s another iconic character we’ve been wanting to include for a really long time, and we’ll also be giving players the opportunity to get some of the heroes they may have missed in previous events.

There are a lot of things stirring just under the surface of the Academy. Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters are causing a massive distraction that’s giving multiple villains the opportunity to put their plans into action. Previously defeated villains are about to activate the next phase of their plan, and a well-known villain is about to make his presence known for the first time. Not only that, but our most sought-after hero is about to join the school, and he’s bringing our most awesome and unlikely playable character with him.

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” today and stay tuned for further updates and events!

Read More

The dark elf provides the catalyst for an awesome A-Force event!

With Dormammu dealt with, the Sorcerer Supreme takes up his new post among the students of “Marvel Avengers Academy.” Our heroes prepare to enjoy the start of winter as snow begins to fall on campus.

But they’re forced to cut their celebration short, as they learn this snow isn’t natural. Malekith has unleashed the power of an ancient mystical artifact to bring eternal winter to Earth and create a new kingdom for the Dark Elves and Frost Giants. Luckily, a number of new faces—including some Asgardian warriors—pour into the Academy to help our students fight the villain and his armies and prevent this new ice age.

Marvel.com: While our heroes were focused on battling Dormammu, Malekith has quietly gathered new power and now threatens the world. What evil will the Avengers Academy students and faculty be up against as the first snow falls on campus?

Allen Warner: There have been mentions of the Casket of Ancient Winters being somewhere in New York going all the way back to our Spider-Man event, and during our Doctor Strange event, we learned that the evil Dark Elf ruler Malekith had finally gotten his hands on it. Marvel fans know that it’s one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe, and can be used as a weapon of mass destruction to unleash infinite icy storms across the world.  Malekith wants to use its powers to plunge our world into the next ice age, so that the Dark Elves and Frost Giants can take over. The Avengers Academy students not only have to defend their campus from Malekith, his minions, and angry Frost Giants, but they also need to deliver supplies around the world to help people survive the storms, and fight back against the Dark Elves.

Marvel.com: Malekith has generally been considered an enemy of Asgard and its warriors; will any of them be traveling to Midgard to aid our heroes? And will anyone else come to the Academy’s rescue as the winter semester begins?

Allen Warner: We learn that Thor (Jane Foster) has been defending Asgard in Odin’s absence, and he asked her to come to Midgard to help battle Malekith and the Frost Giants. Her designs and animations are great, and I really liked exploring a dynamic for them that’s unique to the world of our game. He personally asked her to take on the mantle of Thor when Thor Odinson was missing in the timefog, and there are some fun and interesting aspects to their shared history, how there came to be two Mjolnirs, and watching her meet Loki and that “other” Thor for the first time. We also learn that Angela has been hunting down Malekith on her own for some time. I’m really excited about having her in the game. She and Odin also have a unique dynamic in our world, and I think people will be blown away by her designs and animations. We’ll also be reintroducing Sif, who was one of our most popular characters during the Civil War event, and fits in perfectly with these other Asgardian warriors.

The Asgardian warriors have crossed paths with other heroes on their respective journeys, and they call on some of their most powerful allies from A-Force, including She-Hulk, Singularity, America Chavez, and Captain Marvel. They’re all incredible characters who bring something completely unique to the event, and the world of “Avengers Academy.” I’m really excited about this lineup because we’ve been waiting to introduce them for a long time, and our talented art and animation teams have done some amazing work for all of them. I think players who aren’t familiar with some of these characters are going to fall in love with them, and fans of these characters are going to be thrilled. Sticking to the awesome female hero theme, we’ll also be giving players the chance to get some of the great female heroes they may have missed in previous events.

A-Force in "Marvel Avengers Academy"

A-Force in “Marvel Avengers Academy”

Marvel.com: How will Malekith’s unleashing of eternal winter set the scene for our event district? What new outfits will we see our heroes sporting?

Allen Warner: This is the first time we’ll be changing the look of our entire playspace, and covering the ground in snow. It looks great, and makes the event feel really special, festive, and different from anything we’ve done before. The event district itself is one of my favorites. It’s an icy landscape with Malekith’s ship dominating the scene. The open Casket of Ancient Winters releases a constant blizzard, our new heroes are trapped in ice, and massive Frost Giants stand guard on either side. Outside of the event district, there’s also a really cool Ice Palace where a lot of animations will happen, and some great holiday themed buildings and decorations, including a series of awesome animated holiday scenes featuring our hapless helper robots.

We decided to really embrace the classic fantasy aspect of battling elves and giants, so the outfits are based around fantasy archetypes that will be immediately recognizable to anyone who’s familiar with fantasy games, shows, and literature. Characters like Spider-Woman and America Chavez will transform into fantasy archetypes like a rogue, a paladin, an archer, a blacksmith, a healer, a huntress, and more. There will also be some really cool fantasy inspired creatures, decorations, and animations.

All of the fantasy outfits are amazing, but my favorite outfit in this event has to be Lady Loki. Loki adopts her female persona to infiltrate A-Force and befriend the influx of female heroes. Her intentions are mischievous and malicious at first, but she ultimately fits in better than expected. I think it’s one of the best looking outfits we’ve ever made, the animations are fun and dramatic, and I think her story turned out really hilarious and heartwarming.

Marvel.com: How will our heroes—new and old—battle Malekith and his Dark Elves to put a stop to his plans?

Allen Warner: Our heroes will battle Malekith, Dark Elves, and massive Frost Giants. The Frost Giant fights in particular are really cool because all of the event heroes will be able to attack the giant at once, so it makes for these great scenes with everyone showcasing their powers. Heroes will also pilot Sleigh-Cycles, delivering supplies to citizens around the world to help them deal with the blizzards, and defend themselves against invading Dark Elves.

Marvel.com: While dealing with this new threat is the big focus here, will players be able to see any signs that will prepare them for the next enemy on the horizon?

Allen Warner: Two characters we’ve been teasing since the beginning of the game are finally about to enter “Avengers Academy.” One is an angry robot with a grudge, and an endless army of followers. The other is a guy with a whole bunch of arrows.

Get the latest news on “Marvel Avengers Academy” at Marvel.com!

Read More

Stephen Strange heads to the Academy in new game event

With Loki and Enchantress already sporting plenty of magical power, sorcery isn’t so strange to the students and faculty of Avengers Academy. But when the Sorcerer Supreme comes to campus, it’s a whole new ball game. Stephen Strange, along with a group of his fellow sorcerers, travel to the Academy in hopes of closing the breach that allowed Mephisto to travel to their world and wreak havoc. But not all is as it seems, and soon the Avengers find themselves embroiled in a battle against the worst the Dark Dimension has to offer.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to find out just how much trouble the school’s in.

Marvel.com: Doctor Strange is bringing a little mysticism with him to Avengers Academy, what can you tell us about the events that brings the sorcerer to campus?

Allen Warner: During our Daredevil event, the Hand was using their occult magic to create a dimensional rift next to Avengers Academy.  During our Halloween event, Mephisto was able to exploit that rift to bring his hellish dimension to Earth.  The heroes were able to stop him, but the only people capable of closing the rift once and for all are Doctor Strange and the Young Masters of the Mystic Arts.  Unfortunately, one of their own not only wants to keep the rift open, but help beings from the Dark Dimension invade our world.

Marvel.com: And what threats does Strange need the help of the Avengers to defeat?

Allen Warner: Kaecilius is sending his zealots to attack the Academy, and has placed Eldritch Portals around campus to trap and transport the heroes.  The students and heroic sorcerers will not only have to deal with those, but battle the powerful beings that he summons from the Dark Dimension.  Some of these creatures have invaded the Sanctum Sanctorum and other areas on campus for some fun animations, while some are all-powerful forces of evil who the heroes will have to fight themselves to save the day.

Marvel.com: How will players guide the Academy students through battling Kaecilius and his zealot army?

Allen Warner: The sorcerers need to stay focused on the big bosses, so Doctor Strange helps craft Spellbooks to dispel the portals, and summons Mystic Beings to battle the zealots.  There’s a really cool elemental theme running through the entire event, and players will also create powerful elemental weapons to fight more powerful enemies.

Marvel.com: Which of our heroes will suit up in new, more mystical digs?

Allen Warner: Tony Stark isn’t a big fan of having to admit that there are some problems technology can’t solve, so he and Doctor Strange get into an argument about whether science is better than magic, and it results in him becoming Tech Wizard Iron Man.  It’s a really fun costume where he uses both his inventiveness and sense of humor to poke fun at classic wizard tropes while trying to prove that he can do anything a sorcerer can do.  Loki isn’t a fan of any other sorcerer claiming to be supreme, so he creates the most over-the-top sorcerer outfit imaginable.  It’s completely outlandish and gaudy and glorious.  As you would guess, Enchantress feels the same, but she takes a more elegant and darker and refined route to proving her mystic superiority.  Black Widow needs to don a proper disguise to infiltrate the Dark Dimension, so she becomes Cthulhu Black Widow, bonding with the creature to take on its properties and powers to get what she needs from its realm.  There’s also an incredible Steampunk Doctor Strange outfit that looks awesome, and comes with some amazing animations, as well as Elemental Combat outfits for him, Mordo, Wong, and Doctor Voodoo.  The mystical and extradimensional aspects of Doctor Strange’s world really let us push the limits of what was possible, and I think people will be blown away by what our talented artists and animators have created.

Marvel.com: What will the special event district look like this time out?

Allen Warner: I think this is the most visually impressive event district we’ve ever created.  We took advantage of the classically psychedelic vibe of Doctor Strange and some of the movie’s trippy visuals to create something unlike anything that’s ever been in the game.  It looks amazing, and we’ve done some really cool things with the way characters interact with the environment.  There are some really great effects and animations relating to everything from how you upgrade items to summoning Mystic Beings to training your heroes.  At the center of the event district is the Sanctum Sanctorum, magically transported by Doctor Strange, and floating above the ground.  Characters will have some awesome mystical-themed animations there, including encounters with some of the smaller creatures who’ve managed to sneak through the dimensional rift, and attack the Sorcerer Supreme’s home.  I’m also really excited about the decorations in this event.  We got to use so many of the weird and wonderful artifacts from Doctor Strange’s long history, and the mystical theme lends itself to awesome fantasy inspired creatures and locales.

Marvel.com: Stephen surely isn’t coming to the Academy alone; can you clue us into some other recruits along for the ride?

Allen Warner: He definitely won’t be the only sorcerer.  The other recruitable characters are Mordo, Wong, The Ancient One, Doctor Voodoo, and Nico Minoru.  We wanted to include all of the main players from the movie, and include a couple more magic users from the Marvel Universe.  Doctor Voodoo is just such a cool character with a completely unique approach to heroic magic.  He looks awesome, and his animations are great.  Nico is one of the best young characters in all of Marvel in my opinion, and she has such a great look and attitude and power set that lend themselves perfectly to the world of our game.  I’m really excited about what each of these characters brings to the event and the overall world of Avengers Academy moving forward.

Marvel.com: Wiccan has been heavily rumored to be a part of this update, is he going to join up as well?

Allen Warner: Unfortunately, Wiccan won’t be a recruitable hero in this event.  We’ve been looking for the right spot to get him into the game because he’s such a cool character and good fit for our world, and I had him in in the first draft of the conceit and content list for this event, but to be honest, it just didn’t seem right to have him in an event without Hulkling because their relationship is so important to both characters.  We’re also planning on having a Young Avengers event next year, and it wouldn’t feel right to leave him out of that either since he’s such an integral part of the team and those great stories.  I know he’s a beloved character with passionate fans, and I hate to disappoint anyone who was excited to get him in this event, but I promise that he will make his way to Avengers Academy in the near future.

Marvel.com: Will players be able to finally slam shut the dimensional rift in this event, or could we see more terrors come through in the future?

Allen Warner: Anything is possible, but if players are able to help the Avengers and heroic sorcerers succeed, I think we’ll be done with dimensional rifts for now.  As you can guess, that doesn’t mean that everyone is safe.  A conqueror will emerge from the timefog.  Monsters will be unleashed.  An embittered robot will start a revolution.  A new school will make its presence known, and challenge Avengers Academy’s status as the greatest institution for heroes with powers.  And that’s just a small sample of what’s coming.

Marvel.com: Can you give us any hints on what’s coming next for the Avengers Academy students and faculty once Kaecilius is dealt with?

Allen Warner: There have been clues about a known enemy of Asgard who finally got his hands on one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe just in time for winter.  A legendary warrior will try to stop him, calling on her most powerful friends and allies to form A Force strong enough to save the world.

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” now and stay tuned to Marvel.com in the coming days and weeks for the latest on Doctor Strange in other Marvel games. Marvel Insiders also earn points for checking out each of these articles. To become a Marvel Insider, join here: marvel.com/insider 

Read More

The demon lord rears his ugly head for Halloween, bringing new heroes to the game!

Halloween rapidly approaches, and while the students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” prepare their costumes and plan their parties, the demon Mephisto assembles his minions for a celebration of his own.

Mephisto will soon cross over from his hellscape to the Academy’s plane of existence, hungry for new souls and servants. With the villain flanked by Dracula, Satana, and an army of Fire Demons, the Avengers have their work cut out for them if they hope to put an end to his invasion.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the low-down on Mephisto and his motivations, along with what Halloween celebrations we’ll see at the Academy.

Marvel.com: What brings Mephisto to our plane?

Allen Warner: We learned at the end of the Daredevil event that Kingpin had struck a deal with Mephisto to help him enter our dimension, and was working with the Hand to use their occult magic to open a dimensional rift. Of course, with those three factions, there was and will continue to be plenty of double and triple-crossing, as each one tries to use the others to get what they want. The Avengers Academy students and the heroes of Hell’s Kitchen managed to stop Kingpin and the Hand before they could open the portal, but the Hand still weakened the area enough for Mephisto to finish the job as the Halloween season further blurred the boundary between the physical and supernatural worlds.

Mephisto collects souls and thrives on fear and subservience, so he sees this new dimension and campus filled with superhuman and supernatural heroes as an untouched realm for him to conquer that will expand his kingdom and take his already incredible powers to the next level.  Part of the evil joy he gets out of collecting souls is forcing people to give them up voluntarily, so he uses his charms, his minions, and his talents for emotional manipulation to trick and torment the students rather than immediately launching a full-scale assault. He wants to humiliate his adversaries as much as he wants to collect their souls, and we’ll learn over the course of the event that he’s really after one person in particular.  Only one soul has ever challenged him in his own dimension and escape unscathed,  and he can’t rest until he gets his revenge.

Marvel.com: While Mephisto is the big-bad here, what other threats does he bring with him?

Allen Warner: He’s working with a couple of other shady, self-interested characters who are perfect for Halloween in Dracula and Satana. Dracula actually has sort of “good” intentions, trying to turn the Avengers Academy students into vampires as a means of rebuilding his vampire nation, which has fallen on hard times and is nearly extinct. The demoness Satana simply wants to feed on souls. She’s always hungry for more, and Avengers Academy seems like the perfect place to sink her teeth into. We see very quickly that she doesn’t like to take orders from anyone, and she doesn’t share Mephisto’s love for drawn out mind games, so there’s a lot of friction there that will eventually result in her setting her eyes on a much bigger prize. Along with these two powerful helpers, Mephisto is also bringing a legion of Fire Demons from his home dimension that come in all shapes and sizes, and will try to drag anyone they battle back to Hell.

Marvel.com: What new heroes will be brought into the fold in order to help dispatch their new supernatural foes?

Allen Warner: A really exciting lineup: Misty Knight, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, and Blade.  Each one brings something completely different to the table, and comes with awesome abilities and a great backstory. If players can defeat Dracula and Satana, they’ll also be able to recruit them to the Academy to help in the battle with Mephisto. There will also be one more surprise character who will be revealed further into the event. It’s someone I don’t think many players will be expecting, but a character who couldn’t be better suited for Halloween.

Marvel.com: Ghost Rider comes to the game hot on the heels of his TV debut in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” while Misty Knight just made her live-action debut in “Marvel’s Luke Cage” today on Netflix. What actions and abilities do these heroes bring to the Academy and the fight against Mephisto?

Allen Warner: Yeah, the timing is amazing. To be honest, we planned this out so long ago that we had no idea either one of these characters would be debuting in different TV shows at the same time the event is launching, but we obviously couldn’t be [happier]. It’s always great when we can support Marvel characters in different media and vice versa, and both of these characters are so awesome that I’m glad to see them getting introduced to a new audience.

Ghost Rider is someone we connected to a potential Halloween event way back at the beginning of development. Like [“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”], we’re also using the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider to include even more diversity in the game, and support the more modern approach to the character. It’s great because he’s one of those characters like Ms. Marvel or Miles Morales that already have this youthful approach and energy, and they can walk right off of the comic page into our game without some extensive reimagining that we do for other characters.  We love that aspect of our game, but it’s also cool and exciting when a traditionally young character enters the game and interacts with characters like Black Widow and Captain America who aren’t usually in their age range. Ghost Rider will use all of his awesome abilities from wrapping bad guys in his flaming chains to hopping inside of his fiery car to take off and do donuts.

Misty Knight might seem like a strange fit for Halloween at first because she doesn’t have the obvious supernatural connection the rest of these characters do, but she might play the most critical role in the whole event. I always like to connect all of our events together narratively, and there were a few mentions in the Daredevil event of Misty investigating exactly what Kingpin and the Hand were planning. We focus on her great detective skills, and I like the idea of a “normal” character being in an event filled with supernatural characters because she can be the voice and viewpoint of the player, and comment on all of the weirdness like we would. She’ll have actions relating to her awesome skills and abilities from martial arts, detective work, and using her bionic arm to not only punch, but to use its cryogenic blast for an amazing animation.

Marvel.com: Blade and Moon Knight round out the additions; what new, unique actions will players see these two tackling?

Allen Warner: Blade is the ultimate vampire hunter and the Daywalker, having all of the vampire strengths without any of their weaknesses. We had some fun with those ideas in his actions and animations, along with playing to his traditionally stoic persona. He’s a no-nonsense guy in a campus filled with nonsense, so it’s fun to see how he bounces off of the other students.  He was another character we mentioned from the very beginning as being part of a potential Halloween event, so it’s great to see him finally entering the game, and embodying everything that makes him so cool in the comics and movies.

Moon Knight is such a unique character that you can approach in so many different ways. We wanted to address him being embodied by an Egyptian god. The split personalities. The fact that he’s literally come back from the dead. Not to mention that he has a huge collection of awesome moon-themed gadgets and vehicles. He has some really fun animations, some awesome combat animations, and some great decorations related to his backstory and tools of the trade.

Marvel.com: The Academy students will be fending off Mephisto and his subordinates, but what other activities will players be able to participate in during this event?

Allen Warner: There are a lot of fun new things to do in this event. The main event building is Haunted Avengers Mansion. It’s the iconic Avengers HQ decked out in creepy, authentic Halloween decorations for Wasp’s big Halloween party. We’re also adding a Halloween themed park, and a bunch of characters will use both places for brand-new actions and animations.  You’ll also be able to send characters through Mephisto’s portals for some extra-dimensional trick-or-treating, bringing back materials to defeat him and his minions. Last but not least, we’re introducing a feature that lets players pair up characters, using a bunch of fun dual actions and animations. Completing these actions gives you access to outfits and other prizes that you can’t get anywhere else. The students have to strengthen their relationships with each other to combat Mephisto’s manipulative powers, culminating in an iconic multi-character animation that I think people are going to love.

Marvel.com: This new threat arises during a Halloween party, so our heroes must be rocking costumes. What will players see their favorite characters dressing up as?

Allen Warner: This is one of the most exciting parts of the entire event. We’re adding new Halloween costumes for every main story character in the game to this point, from Iron Man to Hulk. We usually only give new event outfits to the earliest characters since some people may have just started playing the game, but Halloween seemed like too good of an opportunity to not give everyone at least one outfit. If you just started, and it will still be awhile before you reach characters like Ant-Man or Maria Hill, you can still acquire the outfits, and the outfit and related quests will unlock as soon as you’ve recruited that character. For our longtime players, it will be the first time we’ve offered alternate outfits for characters like Ms. Marvel, Enchantress, and Taskmaster. Since most of the new characters in this event are pretty serious people, we decided to go with the opposite approach for the costumes. Even if you’re a lifelong Marvel fan, I guarantee you’ve never seen a lot of these characters look anything close to what they’ll look like in some of these Halloween costumes.

It was a ton of fun brainstorming and creating the different looks, and we owe a big thanks to our fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit for suggesting and voting on outfits they wanted to see.  The winner was Cap-Wolf, which looks great with some amazing animations, but we also used quite a few of the other suggestions we received: Loki dressed as Thor, Black Widow wearing a “This is my Halloween Costume” T-shirt in classic unimpressed Black Widow fashion, and more.  My personal favorite is Falcon dressed like a Penguin.  I don’t want to spoil everything just yet, but I really feel like people are going to get so many smiles and laughs from the awesome designs and animations created by our always amazing art and animation teams, and the great ideas suggested by our creative and passionate fans.

Marvel.com: How will the event district play into Mephisto’s siege?

Allen Warner:
The event district is Mephisto’s hellscape. It’s a massive area of fire and brimstone where Mephisto watches everything from his throne. This is where the recruitable heroes will be trapped in Mephisto’s magic, along with the portals used for extra-dimensional trick-or-treating. There’s a large open area in front of Mephisto’s throne because when it’s time to finally battle the big boss, the students will have to bond together, and perform an iconic Halloween activity to infuriate the demon, and distract him with synchronized hilarity before taking him down for good.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to defeat him and close the dimensional rift once and for all, but if not, they may have to seek out the assistance of a certain sorcerer who’s no stranger to dimensional travel…

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” today and stay tuned for further updates and events!

Read More