Get ready to defend!

The Guardians flew back down, Spidey swung through again, and now the Defenders of Hell’s Kitchen return to Avengers Academy to battle a new threat in their neighborhood. Kingpin’s been imprisoned for nearly a year, and in that time Madame Gao stepped in to fill the power vacuum left in the criminal underworld of Hell’s Kitchen. The Defenders and the rest of the Academy students – with the help of a few new friends – need to dispatch Madame Gao and take back the neighborhood once more.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to see what The Hand has in store for us at the “Marvel Avengers Academy”.

Marvel.com: The Defenders are making their way back to Avengers Academy! What’s bringing the team to campus once more?

Allen Warner: With the Kingpin imprisoned, Madame Gao has seized control of the Hand, and conquered Hell’s Kitchen.  The Defenders held her off as long as they could, but she countered by kidnapping some of their closest friends and allies, forcing them to regroup and call in reinforcements.  With a firm hold on Hell’s Kitchen, and the combined resources of both the Hand and Kingpin’s entire operation, Madame Gao sets her sights on retrieving a powerful artifact that Director Fury has locked away in one of his secret vaults, launching a full-scale assault on Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Will players be returning to Hell’s Kitchen with the new event district?

Allen Warner: Yes, we’ll be revisiting Hell’s Kitchen and all of its iconic locales like Alias Investigations, Josie’s, and the law offices of Nelson and Murdock.  We’ll also be bringing back the Academy Courthouse from our Daredevil event, and giving some new recruits fun courtroom animations.

Marvel.com: How will the Avengers battle Madame Gao and her Hand minions?

Allen Warner: The Defenders and Avengers will team up to battle Madame Gao and her special henchmen on campus, as well as traveling away from the school to stop the Hand ninjas from attempting to take over the world.

Marvel.com: As with the Guardians and Spidey events before this, will players once again be able to recruit Defenders heroes from the previous event?

Allen Warner: Yes, this is a similar structure where players will be given another opportunity to get characters from the original Daredevil event, as well as some other characters who weren’t part of that event, but make sense to be involved with the Defenders.  Players will have a chance to get Iron Fist, Daredevil, Hellcat, Elektra, Misty Knight, Punisher, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.  They may also have an opportunity to get some characters who you wouldn’t associate with the Defenders TV show, but who have been part of various Defenders teams in the comics.  We’ll also be resurfacing all of the outfits from the Daredevil event, including what might be my personal favorite Avengers Academy outfit of all time, Lawyer Loki.  We learned in the original Daredevil event that Loki has a gift for lawyering, and a fondness for lawyers and the profession, and that will continue in this event with some fun results.

Marvel.com: While those who missed out will be excited to try for all those returning favorites, what new faces join the mix?

Allen Warner: A cool and diverse group of characters who are often thought of as supporting players, but who will take center stage and show their heroic sides during this event: Foggy Nelson, Colleen Wing, Stick, and Claire Temple.  They each bring a really unique and fresh perspective to not only the events at hand, but the Avengers heroes and Avengers Academy traditions.  Our awesome art team did some really great and brand-new things with their various visual levels, and their animations are really fun, and play to their unique occupations, personalities, and talents.  I’m really excited about this group from a narrative perspective because there is so much unexplored territory.  These characters typically only interact with the characters in their respective spheres, so there’s a ton of opportunity to do things that no one has ever seen before.  Foggy will form relationships and go on adventures with Loki and Captain America.  Claire Temple will go on an intergalactic rescue mission with Cosmo the Spacedog.  Stick will butt heads with J. Jonah Jameson.  Madame Gao will match wits with Mephisto, and so on.  One of my favorite things about the world we’ve built in this game is having the opportunity to reimagine and expand upon existing characters and Marvel lore, and this event and this group of recruits provided an awesome opportunity to do a lot of things that have never been done before.

Marvel.com: What new ways will our heroes suit up to dispatch the Hand threat?

Allen Warner: In addition to the resurfaced outfits from the previous Daredevil event, there will be new outfits and stories for Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Iron Fist, and Misty Knight.  We love coming up with new looks for our characters that are unique to the world of Avengers Academy, but we decided to take a different approach this time around and only include outfits that have appeared in the comics.  Some are very recent looks that fans may not even be aware of, while others are iconic looks that have been around for decades.  They all look incredible, are completely different from the characters’ usual outfits, and add a new angle to their personalities and powers that make for some really fun animations and stories.

Marvel.com: As excited as we are to dive back into Hell’s Kitchen and dispatch Madame Gao, there’s always one eye on the horizon. Can you tease anything coming down the line for the Academy and its heroes?

Allen Warner: One of our frequently teased schools will finally have to come out of hiding, and they’ll be bringing more recruitable characters with them than ever before.

For all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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The Academy and Avengers can't escape Vulture's tech!

With Vulture defeated and the Midtown Sci-Tech Homecoming dance saved, Spidey and the rest of the students at the Academy might have thought they’d have some time to relax. Unfortunately, a few new foes with a shared grudge against Tony Stark have gotten their hands on Vulture’s tech and started building their own suits of power armor. Their new factory can be seen from the Academy and the Avengers need to band together (along with some new friends) to tackle this new threat.

Marvel.com: Vulture’s been dispatched, but everyone at Avengers Academy is still feeling the effects of his tech. What do these familiar villains have in store for our heroes?

Allen Warner: At the end of the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ event, we found out that Vulture had been selling some of his scavenged tech and weapons to clients across the globe.  A few of these buyers are known enemies of Tony Stark who are using these materials to create new armor and weapons based on his designs.  Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash have personal vendettas against Iron Man while Yellowjacket orchestrates everything in an attempt to finally get Cross Technologies out of the shadow of Stark Industries.  They each have powerful armors of their own, but Crimson Dynamo is also attempting to build the most powerful armor that’s ever existed based on a stolen Hulkbuster prototype.

Marvel.com: Where are they going to hole up to launch their attacks on the campus?

Allen Warner: The armored trio have built a massive factory turned fortress where they each have their own work areas, and Crimson Dynamo is constructing her armored behemoth.  It’s really cool-looking structure where everyone has a section that fits their personality and skillset.

Marvel.com: With their foes decked out in new armor, surely some of the students will don new armor of their own?

Allen Warner: Yes!  There are new outfits for Wasp, Captain America, Enchantress, and Iron Man, including the debut of Tony’s iconic Hulkbuster armor.  I’m really excited about getting armored outfits for Wasp and Cap as Tony’s best friend and best frenemy.  It made too much sense that he would want to design custom armors for each of them, and the art team knocked it out of the park with their designs.  Enchantress has her own very Enchantress take on Iron Man armor, and we’ll also be bringing back one of Loki’s coolest armored outfits.  As anyone who plays the game knows, Tony is always eager to outfit his fellow heroes in customized armor, so we’ll also be bringing back some of our awesome armored outfits and characters from previous events.

Marvel.com: And who can players expect to join the fight (and the Academy) in the effort to stop Whiplash, Yellowjacket, and Crimson Dynamo?

Allen Warner: Iron Lad and Ironheart will be coming to the Academy to join the fight.  Iron Lad is a really interesting character who continues to build our roster of ‘Young Avengers,’ and of course couldn’t be more closely tied to one of our previous villains, Kang the Conqueror.  We’ll learn that Kang is more involved in these Armor Wars than you might expect.  Everyone is really excited about bringing Riri Williams to Avengers Academy.  She’s such a cool new character, and while her dynamic with Tony in the current comics is really interesting, her relationship with this younger version of Tony is something different altogether.  Both of these characters look great, and have some really fun animations, and I think people will be really pleased to make them a part of their campus.  As the Armor Wars are waged, Iron Man’s enemies will begin to see the error of their ways, and players will also be able to recruit Yellowjacket, Whiplash, and Crimson Dynamo.  They all turned out awesome.  Crimson Dynamo will be an early access character who will later be available as part of the main game, and I honestly believe she’s one of our coolest reimagined creations in this world.  I love her personality, and all three of her visual levels are some of the best we’ve ever made.  She’s no doubt one of my favorite characters in the game.

Marvel.com: The Armor Wars will end a little more swiftly than the last few events, so players are certainly eager to know what’s coming next. What can you tell us about the myriad threats on the horizon for Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: We’ll be returning to Hell’s Kitchen to meet some new recruits, make some new enemies, and bring some iconic outfits to some old friends.

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Spidey swings back into the Marvel mobile game just in time!

Spider-Man and some of his spectacular friends swing back to “Marvel Avengers Academy” as Peter’s other school—the Midtown School of Science and Technology—prepares for their homecoming celebration. But the villainous Vulture has other ideas! He launches an attack on both learning institutions and it’ll take everyone at the Academy—plus some new pals Peter’s made over the last year—to thwart his plan and save the dance.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to learn everything Spidey brings with him in this latest event.

Marvel.com: What’s bringing the web-head and his spider-powered crew back to “Avengers Academy”?

Allen Warner: At the end of our previous Multiverse event, we learned that someone had been scavenging Maestro’s collection of “trophies” for tech and weapons, along with various labs and superhuman battle sites across New York. Nick Fury tasked Spider-Man with finding the perpetrator, and he’s coming back to report what he’s found. It also coincides with the homecoming dance at the Midtown School of Science and Technology, so Spidey will be bringing the party to Avengers Academy, and bugging everyone for dating advice.

Marvel.com: Why is Vulture so set on laying waste to Midtown Sci-Tech and the Academy?

Allen Warner: Vulture is a brilliant scientist and inventor, but was turned down by both Avengers Academy and Midtown Sci-Tech after being accused of stealing other students’ tech and ideas to further his own goals. He feels like his fellow super-scientists don’t respect him, and the entire world is conspiring against him, so he starts using tech and weapons found in various superhuman battle sites to rebuild and repurpose mechanical monstrosities into things like an army of Vulture-ized Octobots. He wants power and respect, and he’ll destroy everyone and everything at both Avengers Academy and Midtown Sci-Tech to get it.

Marvel.com: The event district gives us a peek at Peter’s life outside the Academy; what new things will players discover?

Allen Warner: The event district is Midtown Sci-Tech itself, decked out for homecoming. It’s completely different than anything we’ve done before, and really cool because it brings a lot of fun, school flavor the campus. Unfortunately, Vulture shows up to ruin the party, so he’s perched atop the school with his prisoners and minions, plotting his attack on Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: And the event building carves out a space for one particular Spider-heroine…

Allen Warner: Yes, we’re big Spider-Gwen fans over here too, so we wanted her to share the spotlight. The event building is a multi-tiered punk rock venue where Gwen and some surprise guests are going to perform, and throw their own brand of homecoming bash. The building represents Gwen really well with its gleaming white exteriors, colorful neon blue and pink graffiti, a unique stage and dance floor, and some other really cool surprises.

Marvel.com: How will players battle Vulture and his refurbished Octobot army?

Allen Warner: Players will battle Vulture’s tech on the campus as a team, while battling Vulture himself, and a couple of foes he’s tricked into fighting by his side. Part of his plan is to create chaos and keep the heroes busy by setting Symbiotes loose in New York, so your heroes will also battle in the streets of New York to protect the city.

Marvel.com: What new faces will join the Academy—and the fight against Vulture—as Peter calls on more of his friends from across the multiverse?

Allen Warner: A really cool collection of various Spider-Heroes, amazing friends, and one grumpy newspaper publisher. Players will be able to recruit Silver Sable, Spider-Girl, Agent Venom, J. Jonah Jameson, and Silk. J. Jonah Jameson was really popular as a cameo character during our first Spider-Man event, and I’d forgotten how fun he is to write until this event came around. His personality is great to bounce off of the students, and I can’t wait for everyone to see his visual upgrades. Silver Sable is one of my favorite Spidey characters. She looks amazing, and is a cool fit alongside some of the spies and mercenaries running around the school. Agent Venom is one of the most awesome Symbiotes, and he brings something completely unique to the table, and of course [his alter ego] Flash [Thompson] and Peter Parker have a classic rivalry. Spider-Girl and Silk are two of the coolest spider-powered characters in my opinion. They both were very close to making the cut in our first Spider-Man event, so I’m really excited to see them finally make it into “Avengers Academy.” As always, our art and animation teams have knocked it out of the park with everyone’s designs and actions, and I think players are going to love having all of these characters at their school.

Marvel.com: And there must be some cool new outfits on the way as well…

Allen Warner: Definitely. There are new outfits for Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Mary Jane, Venom, and Doctor Octopus. It’s a cool mix of some iconic looks, some seldom-seen but awesome outfits from the comics, and a couple of classics given fun Avengers Academy-style re-imaginings. It’s a really cool group that I think people will love.

Marvel.com: With the second Guardians of the Galaxy event, players were able to recruit the heroes from the previous event; will we see something similar here?

Allen Warner: Yes, we got a really positive response from players during the Guardians 2 event who enjoyed that opening week featuring characters from the original event because it gave them a first or second chance at characters they’d missed out on before, so we decided to do a similar thing here. The opening week will give new and longtime players the chance to get one of the outfits and a few of the characters from the original event, as well as a new character and outfit. Over the course of the event, players will have a chance to get every single character and outfit from the original Spider-Man event, including Miles Morales, Mysterio, Black Cat, Electro, Green Goblin, and many more.

Marvel.com: Once the Vulture is thwarted, what new adventures will players be able to look forward to?

Allen Warner: We’re going to find that Vulture isn’t the only person who’s secretly holding a grudge against Avengers Academy. He’s been sharing his scavenged tech and weapons with some faraway enemies, and they’re ready to go to war.

For all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Web up as the wondrous wall-crawler across Marvel mobile gaming!

“Spider-Man Homecoming” swings into theaters next Friday, July 7, but we’re starting the party this week with a slew of new updates to your favorite Marvel Games! You’ll see a ton of fresh Spidey content over the course of this week and next as we celebrate the film’s release.

To make things easy for all you fans of the web-head, we’ve gathered all the info on these updates in one place.

“Marvel Contest of Champions”

Spidey dons a new Stark Tech suit and leaps back into the fight! Meanwhile, a new Event Quest and a set of new Assignments from Tony Stark himself round out the new content for the fabulous mobile fighting game from Kabam!

Newly released into the Battlerealm, a Stark-enhanced Peter Parker gets swept up in the nefarious machinations of the Black ISO Mafia. As the villains begin to amass a mysterious power source with the help of The Vulture, this new Spider-Man sets off to foil their plans, against the urging of his mentor, Iron Man. With the help of the Summoner, Parker fights to prove his worth to the Avengers and make the Battlerealm safer for everyone.

Tony Stark takes a breather from saving the world to help mentor the next generation of Super Heroes. He’s got his sights set on Peter Parker and has given him the gift of a Stark-Tech modified suit. Tony’s got some rapid-fire scenarios set up to test Peter’s Spidey-Sense and the new features of his suit, but he needs your help to test them out first! Participate in Stark Assignments: quick, challenging Quests that appear at irregular intervals throughout the day. Complete as many as you can throughout the month, and collect valuable rewards, including rare Spider-Verse characters! Follow @MarvelChampions on Twitter to get notified when each Stark Assignment starts!

Download “Marvel Contest of Champions”

“Marvel Future Fight”

Our friends at Netmarble have put together a bunch of original content starring the web-slinger and his most fearsome foes! Spider-Man goes back to basics with his new uniform—modeled after Peter’s homemade suit first seen in “Captain America: Civil War”—and The Vulture joins the party, donning a new suit based on his “Spider-Man: Homecoming” gear. Alongside these new looks, players can recruit six familiar Spidey villains for their team, but not before battling them in the game’s latest sinister event quest. Take on the likes of Sandman, Lizard, Kraven the Hunter, Rhino, Mysterio, and Vulture himself to bring them to your side in the interdimensional battle!

“With the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ film coming up, we thought it was fitting to introduce six new characters that are closely related to Spider-Man,” said Seungwon Lee, Chief Global officer at Netmarble Games. “Now players will be able to play as or against Spider-Man, and take part in a quest where the hero battles it out with his while earning a new quest pack.”

Download “Marvel Future Fight”

“Spider-Man Unlimited”

The wall-crawler hits the ground running in the latest update for “Spider-Man Unlimited”! Players have two new suits in which to deck out Peter Parker—both his homemade one and the new, advanced Stark Tech look. And he’ll need every advancement that gift from Tony Stark will bring as The Vulture threatens New York in the game’s latest boss battle!

Download “Spider-Man Unlimited

“Marvel Puzzle Quest”

The Sinister Six storm “Marvel Puzzle Quest” in hopes of finally stopping Spider-Man. There will be two Boss missions, featuring three members of the Six, and each comes with its own set of Supporting Character missions. Gather your alliance and work together to progress through each round and earn new rewards! These missions will run on July 6 and again on July 24.

Of course, who better to lead the charge against the Sinister Six than Spider-Man himself? Recruit Spidey to your team starting on July 6! If you prefer more villainous teammates, Vulture will be more than happy to join up starting on July 13.

Grab both new heroes and jump into the latest PVP Tournament: Junkyard Wars! Vulture will headline this tournament starting on July 20.

Download “Marvel Puzzle Quest”

“Marvel Avengers Academy”

It’s a veritable Spider-Party at the Academy this month! Spider-Man swings back to campus just in time for the Midtown School of Science and Technology’s Homecoming dance, but the villainous Vulture has other ideas. The almost-hero found himself spurned by both Midtown Sci-Tech and Avengers Academy amidst accusations that he stole tech and ideas from other students to further his own goals. Believing the schools and the world at large to be conspiring against him, Vulture attacks both the Academy and Spidey’s Midtown stomping grounds. To aid in the battle, Peter calls on other spider-heroes from across the multiverse! Recruit a batch of new heroes alongside some familiar faces from Spidey’s first appearance at Avengers Academy.

Download “Marvel Avengers Academy”

For all the latest on Marvel gaming, stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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An assortment of heroes and villains make their mark on the mobile game!

We’ve caught glimpses of alternate universes in the “Marvel Avengers Academy” mobile game in the past, but now the biggest threat in the multiverse arrives on the doorstep. Maestro, a far-future Hulk from another universe, utilizes both Bruce Banner’s incredible intelligence and the Green Goliath’s nastier qualities to rule with an iron fist.

Hungry for power, he’s taken to conquering various alternate Earths throughout the multiverse. The opportunity to prove his might against the combined power of Avengers Academy’s students and faculty becomes too hard to pass up. So now, he sets his sights on our campus.

Marvel.com: The students and faculty of Avengers Academy are about to learn their place in the multiverse. What doom and gloom is Maestro bringing down on the school and why is he here?

Allen Warner: Maestro is a conqueror of worlds, and he’s finally become aware of this universe for the first time. He’s obsessed with power, and proving his dominance over supposedly powerful heroes and villains across the multiverse, so he can’t resist the opportunity to show everyone at Avengers Academy who’s in charge. Like others before him, he’s also been drawn by Nick Fury’s use of the Infinity Gauntlet, but unlike some of the villains who’ve pursued it before, Maestro is more interested in who’s chasing the Gauntlet than the Gauntlet itself. It turns out that he has a history with Thanos, or at least one version of Thanos, and he’s been dying for a rematch. I think it’s also really cool that Maestro’s first appearance in “Avengers Academy” coincides with his reemergence in the pages of OLD MAN LOGAN. It’s always really great when what’s happening in our game lines up with what’s going on in the comics, TV, and movies, and we can help support and promote one another.

Marvel.com: How will our heroes take on the Maestro and his twisted alternate universe minions?

Allen Warner: Our heroes will battle Maestro and some multiversal minions he’s tricked into fighting by his side. The heroes will also be traveling into alternate dimensions to gather supplies and more heroes to help in the fight.

Marvel.com: With the whole multiverse available to them, I imagine we’re going to see some students with serious wardrobe upgrades.

Allen Warner: Yeah, it’s a really fun collection of diverse outfits themed around various timelines and alternate universes. There will be new outfits for Spider-Woman, Wasp, Mockingbird, Black Widow, Taskmaster, Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Captain America. It’s a really awesome combination of iconic looks from the comics, original concepts created by our great team of artists, and fresh takes on outfits that you might expect to see on another character, but that work really well on these heroes, transforming them into something that’s never been seen before.

Marvel.com: Aside from the gorgeous new gear, what new faces will join the Academy through this trans-dimensional adventure?

Allen Warner: It’s an A-list line up of alternate versions of some of Marvel’s most iconic heroes. It gives players a chance to get a version of some of the more difficult to obtain heroes from previous events, and it’s an awesome opportunity to do something that’s rarely been done by having two drastically different versions of the same hero meet for the first time. A perfect example is Bucky Barnes. Winter Soldier has been in the game for some time, and we know him as a somber emo poet who expresses his feelings about the tragedy he’s faced through music, but now he’ll come face to face with his younger self as an eager and excitable sidekick who hasn’t experienced any of the trauma around his accident and Hydra brainwashing. It’s really fun and interesting to see how they interact with each other, and to see how Bucky’s [friends] from the past like Captain America and Peggy Carter interact with Bucky after they’ve become accustomed to what he’s like as Winter Soldier.

The other new heroes who enter from various parts of the multiverse are Captain America 2099; Longbow, the medieval version of Hawkeye; Ghost Rider 2099; Thor Noir, who is our take on a Thor who resides in the Marvel Noir universe as a grim-and-gritty worthy enforcer for good; and Keeper Murdock, an alternate version of Daredevil who first appeared in the classic Age of Apocalypse comic event. They each have obvious similarities to their familiar counterparts, but are completely different characters with drastically different personalities, backgrounds, motivations, and in some cases, powers. I think a lot of the fun of creating and playing “Avengers Academy” is seeing reimagined and reinvented versions of old favorites, and this event is the ultimate version of that premise as our reimagined heroes meet and battle various versions of themselves who have also been reworked for the world of our game.

Marvel.com: How will Maestro make his presence felt in the new event district?

Allen Warner: The event district is awesome. Anyone familiar with Maestro knows that he keeps trophies from the many heroes and villains he’s destroyed across the multiverse, so we turned that idea up to 11 for this event. The entire event district is a conqueror’s kingdom composed of various helmets, capes, vehicles, weapons, and machinery from previous events and the wider Marvel universe. It’s packed with detail, and I think longtime players in particular will have a lot of fun finding all of the Marvel and “Avengers Academy” specific Easter eggs.

Marvel.com: Players are no doubt excited to add these new heroes and uniforms to their roster, but can you tease what’s next on the horizon for “Avengers Academy” fans?

Allen Warner: Homecoming arrives at “Avengers Academy,” along with some amazing Spider-People, and big surprises. In the following days and weeks, we’ll continue to add more iconic heroes that no one thought would ever be coming to “Avengers Academy.”

Keep checking back on Marvel.com for the latest “Marvel Avengers Academy” news, interviews, and more!

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Star-Lord and company pitch in against a cosmic threat!

As Nick Fury donned the Infinity Gauntlet in the most recent “Marvel Avengers Academy” event, the major players throughout the galaxy felt its power. With the Gauntlet’s location revealed, many will inevitably try to take it for themselves.

The first of those comes in Ayesha, bringing her Priestesses to the Academy to make a bid for the Gauntlet. The Guardians of the Galaxy being particularly familiar with cosmic threats like Ayesha will lead the charge against her while new faces from their previous galactic adventures will come to lend a hand.

We grabbed a few minutes from Lead Narrative Designer Allen Warner’s busy schedule to get the lowdown on everything we’ll see in this new event.

Marvel.com: Ayesha and her Priestesses are adding a new burst of intergalactic flair to Avengers Academy. What brings them to Earth?

Allen Warner: During our “Legends Assemble!” event, it was revealed that Nick Fury was in possession of an Infinity Gauntlet.  Using the Gauntlet drew the attention of beings from across the cosmos who’ve come into contact with it before, and they all rocket toward Avengers Academy to claim it for themselves. Ayesha and her Priestesses of the Sovereign arrive like a crew of golden, cold-blooded, intergalactic mean girls to cast judgment on the Avengers, remake Earth to fit their “perfect” standards, and get their hands on the Gauntlet.

Marvel.com: What threats aside from Ayesha and her crew will the Avengers Academy students face?

Allen Warner: Ayesha and the Priestesses have used their awesome powers and catty insults to bend powerful cosmic beings to their will, including Abelisk and Tiamut the Dreaming Celestial. These behemoths will protect the Priestesses and attack the campus while Ayesha searches for the Gauntlet. The Collector is also here to do battle, but he’s more concerned with adding an Infinity Gauntlet to his collection than going along with Ayesha’s plans.

We’re also introducing a new battle map feature that adds an element of choice and strategy to combat, allowing players to travel to different destinations around the universe to do battle with cosmic characters like the Chitauri.

Marvel.com: This event ties in heavily with the previous Guardians event; will new players miss out if they don’t have the previously released heroes?

Allen Warner: No, everyone will have a chance to get all of the Guardians characters from the first event, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, and Yondu.

Marvel.com: What will players who do already have the previous Guardians be able to do in that first week?

Allen Warner: Nova will be available for the first time in week one of the event. I’m really excited to get him into the game because I’ve always been a fan of the Nova Corps, he’s one of the last remaining Champions members from the current comic team to enter our game, and he adds a lot of cool powers and personality to the cosmic mix.

Players will also be able to get an awesome Thor Groot outfit in week one. This is a riff off of the Thor Groot from [THORS during Secret Wars], but our amazing art team took the idea to the next level, and it’s really fun to see how Loki and Thor and some of the other Asgardians react to him having Thor’s outfit and powers.

We’ll also be releasing all of the buildings and some decos from the original event, along with items to upgrade the Guardians from the first event, and to help in the coming weeks.

Marvel.com: Beyond the returning Guardians, what new faces will be joining the Academy throughout this event?

Allen Warner: Nova, Mantis, Collector, Cosmo the Spacedog, Adam Warlock, and Lil’ Groot.  I think it’s an awesome mix of Guardian-centric cosmic characters, and they all turned out looking incredible.

Cosmo is a personal favorite of mind, as anyone who plays the game probably knows, and while he’s been around as a decoration before, he will now be a fully playable character with unique animations, his own storyline, voiceover lines, visual upgrade levels, and more. He’s only the second animal recruit we’ve ever had in the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cross paths with Lucky.

Mantis turned out amazing, and her visual levels are some of my favorite designs in the game. Adam Warlock’s are great too, as we reimagined him as a sort of golden, cosmic rock-god. Lil’ Groot is as adorable as you’d expect, and The Collector might be the best of them all. I really can’t wait for everyone to see what our art and animation teams created for these characters.

That’s not even mentioning the awesome outfits for Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Drax, Falcon, Enchantress, Iron Man, and Captain America. They’re all great, but the Captain America is my personal favorite. I don’t want to spoil it yet, but I’ll just say that you’ve never seen Cap like this before.

Marvel.com: How will Ayesha shape her event district? What new structures will players add to their campus?

Allen Warner: The event district is Ayesha’s palace inspired by the film [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2″], flanked by the giant golden Celestial, and the Collector’s hovering spaceship. The event building this time around will be the Collector’s Museum filled with incredible creatures, characters, and objects from across the galaxy. It’s one of the coolest and most intricate buildings we’ve ever made, filled with Easter eggs for future content, and events from the past.

Marvel.com: What’s next on the horizon for Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: Thanos is closer than anyone thought, so it’s time for the Avengers to pursue every option possible to find their new recruits.

Start playing “Marvel Avengers Academy” today!

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Prepare yourself for the big screen sequel with cosmic adventure across five Marvel games!

Before the Guardians of the Galaxy blast into theaters next week, the rag-tag band of cosmic rebels will bring their unique blend of action, laughs, and wild visuals to Marvel games in an out of this world event of galactic proportions!

Starting April 25, content inspired by “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will be appearing throughout five Marvel games: “Marvel Avengers Academy,” “Marvel Contest of Champions,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Heroes Omega,” and “Marvel Puzzle Quest. Players should strap in their jet packs and prepare for a celestial storm of new characters, costumes, battles, and story content influenced by the blockbuster film.

“Just as the Guardians themselves are a family, the Marvel Games team and each of our partners have forged a tightly knit family of True Believers who are obsessed with delivering all the excitement, humor and action of our greatest characters to the gamers that love them,” says Bill Rosemann, Marvel Games Executive Creative Director. “No matter which Guardian, ally or enemy is your favorite – and no matter what type of gameplay experience you crave – our friends at Netmarble, Kabam, Tiny Co, D3Go, and Gazillion are bringing all of their collective firepower to the universe’s coolest crew of galactic misfits.”

“With each new movie inspired Marvel Games event we always aim to top the last one, yet somehow we’re still each blown away each time by the incredible ideas our partners come up with,” adds Tim Hernandez, Director of Game Production. “We know our players are going to dig the unique spin each game has put on their own Guardians event, along with awesome new characters, features and other fun surprises!”

Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” arrives in theaters May 5, 2017.

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For the first time, use the Helicarrier for away mission field trips!

After being defeated multiple times by the kids at “Marvel Avengers Academy,” A.I.M. and Hydra decide to join forces, and reach out to Attuma and his villainous underwater school to form a coalition of evil. The trio of villainous schools take a new approach to their attack by imprisoning the Academy’s faculty first, leaving the school in disarray. The students have to overcome their personal rivalries and the villainous invaders to free their mentors, imprison the evil leaders, and restore order.

We tapped Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the full rundown on this new 4-week faculty event that kicks off tomorrow.

Marvel.com: The stakes are different in the latest threat facing Avengers Academy. How do the students find themselves without their teachers and mentors?

Allen Warner: While the Academy was distracted with Ultron’s revolution and rampaging monsters, their rivals have been plotting a way to finally defeat the Avengers once and for all. The A.I.M. Institute was crushed with the help of M.O.D.O.K., Phil Coulson, and Squirrel Girl, and Hydra School was dismantled when their star pupil Red Skull was captured and Madame Hydra defected to join Avengers Academy. Arnim Zola has since taken control of Hydra, and Scientist Supreme has started to rebuild A.I.M., but they realize that their only chance to ever beat the Avengers is to join forces with another villainous school and launch a three-pronged attack. They convince the aquatic conqueror Attuma and his Undersea University to launch the assault, hitting the Academy with giant tidal waves, docking massive battleships at the gates, and capturing the faculty in an attempt to throw the campus into disarray.

Marvel.com: A three-school team-up is easily the biggest enemy our heroes have faced. What will they have to do to defend the campus and free the faculty? What new ways can players prepare and battle their foes?

Allen Warner: Each week, the heroes will face a new faction’s boss, battleship, and minions. Attuma’s Lemurian minions are different from any henchmen group we’ve ever made, and the coolest yet in my opinion. Besides the rotating factions, the other thing that’s completely new to this event is allowing the player to battle using the Helicarrier. Each villainous faction has a battleship, and players will attempt to destroy their ships with the Helicarrier.

Marvel.com: How will the combo of Attuma, Zola, and Scientist Supreme shape the event district?

Allen Warner: The event district looks awesome. The entire area is submerged in water due to Attuma’s tidal waves, and each villainous group arrives with an aquatic headquarters and battleship befitting their theme. Attuma and his forces arrive with a gigantic armored sea creature, Hydra has a flying fortress, and A.I.M. has some crazy floating future-tech.

The event building is really cool too. Tony Stark builds an aquatic center to help everyone train for underwater combat, but since it’s Tony it’s equal parts practical, creative, flashy, and fun.

Marvel.com: What characters will be recruitable this time around?

Allen Warner: Some legends of Avengers Academy and overall Marvel lore. Odin, Nick Fury, Leader, J.A.R.V.I.S., Frigga, and Hank Pym. It’s awesome to finally make some of our established faculty available, and great to introduce these other iconic characters. It’s a lot of fun to see how these (generally) more mature mentors interact with the crazy kids of Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Several members of the Avengers Academy staff can be recruited here. Has this been the plan from the beginning? Or did the team decide sometime after launch to make these characters playable?

Allen Warner: We always knew we’d make the faculty playable at some point. It just wouldn’t seem right to have these iconic characters walking around campus without making them recruitable. We wanted to wait to make the moment they stepped into action feel really special, and it’s really exciting to me because some players have been interacting with these characters for over a year, and now they can make them their own, and dig into their personal stories instead of having them appear in some other hero’s story. Anyone following the overall story knows that Odin, Hank Pym, and Nick Fury know the secrets behind the origins of Avengers Academy, the timefog, and these younger heroes and villains. We also know that they’re hiding multiple objects of immense power underneath the campus. Some big pieces of both of those mysteries will be revealed during this event.

Marvel.com: What outfits will the heroes wear to counter this coalition of evil?

Allen Warner: There will be some really cool aquatic themed outfits for Enchantress, Falcon, and Iron Man, combat-oriented outfits for Peggy Carter, Odin, Frigga, Leader, and J.A.R.V.I.S., and one of our most requested outfits: Bruce Banner Hulk. I know I’ve said this before, but these are some of the coolest outfits we’ve made, and our incredible art team outdid themselves yet again. The combat outfits in particular are really varied, and unexpected, and unlike anything that’s been in the game to this point.

Marvel.com: Beyond that, can you give us any other hints about what’s to come?

Allen Warner: Nick Fury will do something during this event that draws the attention of the entire cosmos, and the Avengers will need the help of some old friends and new recruits to guard their corner of the galaxy.

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The Immortal Weapon cuts loose across the world of Marvel Games!

With over 75 years of rich history, the Marvel Universe has produced countless memorable heroes and villains. On a regular basis, Marvel Games Presents will highlight these characters’ histories as well as shine a spotlight on their current gaming appearances.

Today, the spotlight falls on the upcoming star of his own Netflix series, Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist!

MEET IRON FIST
Betrayed by his business partner, Wendell Rand and his wife Heather lost their lives while searching for the mystical city of K’un-L’un, orphaning their son Danny in the process. The denizens of K’un-L’un would take the boy in and train him in the martial arts; upon adulthood, he passed the trials to become the city’s representative as an Immortal Weapon: Iron Fist! Returning to New York, Iron Fist became a super hero and partnered with Luke Cage as the Heroes for Hire.

MARVEL AVENGERS ACADEMY
“How can you not love a hero who got his powers by punching an undying dragon in the heart?! For my money, he and Luke Cage are the coolest duo in all of Marvel, and his relationship with Misty Knight is one of the most important in comics history. In the world of ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’, he’s still figuring out how to use his nunchucks, but he’s already an expert in everything ‘chill.’ He’s the type of hero you want by your side whether you’re just hanging out at home or fighting for your life in an extra-dimensional Kung Fu tournament. Did I mention he punched a train and a Helicarrier?!”- Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer on “Marvel Avengers Academy”

MARVEL CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS
“Iron Fist was part of the original roster of ‘Contest of Champions,’ and a natural fit for a fighting game like ours. He represents a very interesting time when the west became fascinated by Asian culture, and this east/west dichotomy is pure Marvel gold: he’s a very skilled warrior, but a pacifist. An industrialist, but also a very simple man, raised as a monk. We love Danny Rand, and can’t wait for the [‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’] Netflix show!” – Gabe Frizzera, Art Director on “Marvel Contest of Champions”

MARVEL FUTURE FIGHT
“Iron Fist gathers ki in his body not only to defend, but also to heal. To really bring out this aspect, we designed him to become invincible when his HP is low and recover a small amount of HP. The most unique and appealing aspect of Iron Fist is that he is able to attack by summoning Shou-Lao in an energy form. The moment this skill is activated, Shou-Lao envelops Iron Fist and deals powerful damage to enemies around him. Not only will you be able to marvel at the amazing graphic effects, but you’ll be able to see Iron Fist’s unique trait.” – Minkyun Kim, Dev Director on “Marvel Future Fight”

 

MARVEL HEROES 2016
“Iron Fist offers full immersion in the mystical martial arts of K’un-L’un. Danny Rand uses flying kicks, lightning-fast punches, and explosions of mystical energy to defend the innocent. Channel your chi into the ancient fighting forms, masterfully blending them into an alloy Like Unto Iron.” – Ben Gilbert, Lead Game Designer on “Marvel Heroes 2016”

MARVEL PUZZLE QUEST
“Iron Fist (Immortal Weapon) is the complete package in ‘Marvel Puzzle Quest.’ He’s able to take on an onslaught of opponents either with mind or muscle. He is truly a living weapon–one of the best characters in his tier–that opposing enemies need to watch out for in either our Versus Tournament or Story Events.” – Josh Austin, D3 Go! Producer on “Marvel Puzzle Quest”


MORE IRON FIST

Follow Danny Rand into the pages of IRON FIST #1, coming March 22!

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New recruits like Moon Girl and Elsa Bloodstone pitch in for monster mayhem!

Kang’s been defeated and banished from our timestream, for now. However, he left the students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” a parting gift straight from the timefog: Fin Fang Foom has been unleashed and he’s ready to take over the world with a horde of monsters by his side. Recruit Moon Girl, Elsa Bloodstone, and more to battle Fin Fang Foom and his monster army and put a stop to his nefarious plans.

We snagged Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the full rundown of everything we’ll see in this massive new event.

Marvel.com: What threat does Fin Fang Foom pose to the Academy? Is he alone or has he brought friends?

Allen Warner: Kang the Conqueror was defeated at the end of our previous Young Avengers event, but not before he’d had a chance to explore the timefog surrounding the campus, and plant the seeds for his revenge, and eventual return. He devised a way to free Fin Fang Foom from the timefog, knowing that the gigantic awakened space dragon would wreak havoc on Avengers Academy. Fin Fang Foom is not only furious about being trapped in the timefog, but he’s also desperately searching for the immensely powerful Makluan Power Rings that were stolen from him while he slept. He uses his size and powers to not only dominate the campus, but to control the minds of monsters across the globe, unleashing them on the Avengers and the rest of the world to get his revenge and recover his rings. We’ll see him using Devil Dinosaur, Orrgo, and Hi-Vo to attack the campus, and there will be references, stories, and decorations based around many more monsters and dinosaurs who are doing his bidding across the globe.

Marvel.com: What new heroes—and monsters—can players recruit to join the student body over the course of the event?

Allen Warner: It’s an awesome combination of characters with extreme strength, intelligence, and skills perfectly suited for battling giant monsters: Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, Elsa Bloodstone, Orrgo, Amadeus Cho, and Hercules. It’s one of my favorite event line ups so far, with every character bringing something cool and different to the table when it comes to their personalities, abilities, and visuals.

Moon Girl is the youngest student to ever join the Academy, and one of the smartest and most creative. Anyone who’s read the great MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR comic knows about their fun relationship, but it’s also really cool to see her interact with the many super-scientists at Avengers Academy from Hank Pym to Iron Man.

Elsa Bloodstone is one of my favorite underused characters. She has a great look, and I love her attitude. In our world, she has some history with a bunch of other monster hunters and cold-blooded enforcer types, so she’ll share a lot of screen time with everyone from Blade to Angela.

It felt weird to have a monster event without letting players recruit at least one monster, and my mind immediately went to Orrgo because he’s the kind of character that makes me smile just by looking at him, and he has this goofy, crazy, over-the-top attitude and power set that make him a great fit for the game, and perfect for an event that features a red dinosaur fighting a dragon from outer space. I think players will love Orrgo’s animations, and they might be surprised by his chosen career path.

Hercules is a character we’ve been wanting to get into the game for a long time. He’s a classic Avenger, has great history with heroes already at the school and new heroes in this event, and brings great energy and attitude. Our younger version of Hercules is a bro with a heart of gold. He’s always looking for the next challenge, and he loves showing off while he’s at it.

Amadeus Cho is of course, the new Totally Awesome Hulk. He has a really fun personality that fits perfectly with the game, and he’s a mental and physical powerhouse. We did something we’ve never done with a character before in the game with Amadeus, having him start as Amadeus Cho in human scientist form, and evolve into his Hulk form. It’s something we really wanted to do with the Bruce Banner Hulk when the game came out, but it presents a lot of challenges for animation in particular, so we couldn’t pull it off at that time. With over a year of animations and experience in the game under our belt, we decided to give it a shot, and he turned out great. Joe Daniels and our animation team deserve a lot of credit. We even have a unique animation for him that plays out in two completely different ways based off of which form he’s in. It really makes him feel like one of the most special characters in the game. And while it won’t appear in this event, players can now also look forward to a Bruce Banner outfit for Hulk in the future.

Last, but most definitely not least, is Devil Dinosaur. Anyone who’s been playing the game since the beginning knows that he’s been teased more than any other character. We talked about getting him in from the beginning, but there was not only the challenge of animating a fun-loving Tyrannosaurus Rex, but how do you get a giant dinosaur to fit in a school made for humans? We knew if we were doing a monster event, he had to be in it, and the team did an incredible job of making it work. He’s huge, he runs the gamut from silly to ferocious, and there is just nothing like seeing him stomping around the campus. I don’t want to spoil anything, but his visual upgrades are both appropriate and absurd, and really great. I’m so happy he finally made it to Avengers Academy, and I think our players will feel the same.

Marvel.com: Likewise, who’s going to be decked out in new duds designed to defeat the monstrous threat?

Allen Warner: There will be new outfits for Wasp, Captain America, Loki, Hulk, and Black Widow.

Loki, Wasp, and Black Widow are all monster hunters, but each one looks and feels drastically different based off of their personalities. Loki is the arrogant, old-timey Big Game Hunter, Widow is the deadly and mysterious Monster Hunter, and Wasp is the energetic, fun-loving Monster Catcher who adores monsters and just wants to catch them all.

Hulk will become Gladiator Hulk, using one of his awesome designs from the legendary “Planet Hulk” comics to better battle the giant monsters. Cap will also become a gladiator of sorts, taking inspiration from the Secret Wars [PLANET HULK comic] where he teamed up with Devil Dinosaur. It’s fun to see them both looking so different, and the barbarian and gladiator vibe is a great fit for the sci-fi fantasy setting of battling aliens and gigantic monsters.

We usually have special combat outfits for each of the weekly event characters, but this time we’re doing something a little different. Each of those characters will have their own personalized mech suit themed to their powers and personalities. They’ll get new storylines for each suit, and will be able to jump inside, and trigger some awesome animations.

Marvel.com: What will the event district look like this time out, and how will our heroes interact with it?

Allen Warner: The event district is a sprawling tropical land that time forgot. Fin Fang Foom looms large in the center, flanked by his mind-controlled monsters and trapped heroes. On the other side is a giant, ancient alien mech covered in foliage. If our heroes can figure out how to get the mech running, they’ll be able to use it to battle Fin Fang Foom in some epic giant robot vs. giant monster battles!

Our event building this time out might be my favorite yet. It’s a multi-tiered gladiator arena for the heroes to practice battling monsters, and the entire building is made out of a giant dragon skull. Our concept artist Steve Chang did an awesome job with it. It looks really cool, and it allows a lot of vertical space for multiple characters to perform actions at the same time.

Marvel.com: In what ways do you draw inspiration from events on the Marvel Publishing side—this time out, from Monsters Unleashed—to choose characters, story beats, and various design elements for events?

Allen Warner: For all of our events that are based on either the movies or the books, I try to start with the high-level idea of the source material, and fit it into the world and tone we’ve established in ‘Avengers Academy.’ For example, Civil War is about heroes battling heroes with Captain America and Iron Man leading each side. I kept that in place, but in our younger, more lighthearted setting, those battles were based around insults, dance battles, and arm-wrestling, and the teams were different based off of what I thought made sense for our version of the characters. For Monsters Unleashed, it’s essentially a big fun spectacle about gigantic monsters doing battle. Two of the most iconic Marvel monsters of all time, Fin Fang Foom and Devil Dinosaur, have either been on our playspace or been frequently mentioned from the beginning of the game, so it made too much sense to base a monster event around them. I always want to respect the source material, but I also always want to do something that hasn’t been done before, and Tim Hernandez and Bill Rosemann and everyone else at Marvel Games are really great about encouraging me to pursue my own ideas and stories, and they offer that same trust and support to our art and animation teams.

Marvel has so much history, and an incredibly deep roster of characters, so I try to use stories from the comics for inspiration, and use that sandbox to create new stories and unique character combinations. Getting to reimagine these classic characters, stories, and events, and helping to create this new world within the Marvel Universe was what drew me to this project in the first place, and it’s still what I find the most fun and exciting.

Marvel.com: How does the team at TinyCo use these ideas to create something that fits within the Avengers Academy universe and ties into the ongoing narrative experience of the game?

Allen Warner: We always go back to our premise of the characters being younger, and our lighthearted tone, and what that means for their outfits, powers, and personalities. We know what Hercules looks and acts like in standard comic continuity, but what would he look and act like as a modern day young adult? Is there a school trope that fits him perfectly? Is there a sly pop culture reference we can use to drive the idea home? What would our version of Wasp wear to go monster hunting? How about Loki? These are the kinds of questions we ask with every character and outfit, and our art and animation teams deserve all the credit in the world for knocking it out of the park time after time.

From a strictly narrative perspective, I always want every event to connect to the next, and tie back to the underlying mysteries we’ve been exploring since the beginning of the game: Why are the heroes younger, and why are some not? What is the timefog? What caused it? What is Fury hiding at the school? Why does he want to recruit some characters, but imprison others? I try to use each character and event to plant new seeds and shed new light on the big mystery, while having fun with each interaction.

Marvel.com: While we have the menace that is Fin Fang Foom and his legion of monsters to deal with now, can you clue players in to what new enemies might be lurking on the horizon?

Allen Warner: Many villainous factions have fallen since Avengers Academy opened. Some have recently been resurrected under new leadership, and others have combined forces with unlikely allies. They recognize that to have any hope of beating the Avengers, they’ll need to reach out to rival schools that have remained hidden to this point, and use their combined forces to take down the faculty on their way to defeating the students.

It will be the most eclectic coordinated attack on the campus to date, and it will be the first step in introducing characters that no one ever thought would be joining “Avengers Academy.”

Keep up to date with the latest “Marvel Avengers Academy” news on Marvel.com!

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