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!

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

The hit mobile game spawns a very special variant comic book cover!

The heroes and villains of “Marvel Avengers Academy” grace a variant cover for this week’s MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #2. Avid players will surely look to pick this up, but those unfamiliar with it can get a peek at some of the game’s many characters, straight from the pen of “Avengers Academy” artist David Nakayama!

We sat down with David and pulled in Tim Hernandez, Game Production Director at Marvel Games, to get a behind-the-scenes look at how this cover came together.

Marvel.com: How did this project come about?

Tim Hernandez: Looking back, it has actually been in the works for a while. We had partnered with Marvel Publishing on multiple cool variants for other games last year that all turned out great.  Our fans really dig them and we knew we wanted to put together an “Avengers Academy” cover to showcase David and the TinyCo team’s amazing character designs and youthful spin on the Avengers. Being hardcore comic fans, the TinyCo team was just as excited to collaborate, so then it became a matter of picking the right comic series and timing. In September, Marvel Games Creative Director, Bill Rosemann and Creative Assistant, Isabel Hsu, and I took a look at the upcoming calendar of books to see what would make a good fit. We knew that Captain Marvel would be joining “Avengers Academy” in the “A-Force” event in December, and that the MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL series would be launching in early 2017. It was also roughly the one-year anniversary of the game’s launch so we all felt like it would be the perfect way to celebrate both the game and the new series. We then approached the Publishing team with the idea and they were all for it.

David Nakayama: Yeah, for me it started with my boss saying “Hey, so we’re going to do an ‘Avengers Academy’ variant cover—you want to do it?” and before he could even finish the sentence I’m going “OMG!! OMG!! YES, PLEASE!!” because I’m about as big a Marvel fan as you can be, and this was such a unique opportunity. I mean, I love working on our game, and I adore drawing covers for the comics, but obviously, it’s not every day that you get to put those two things together, so I really, really could not have been more jazzed about it. Also, as a die-hard comic fan I can’t help but think—in a “First Appearance” kind of way—that having the characters appear in print, in their native medium, on an actual Marvel comic was like welcoming them into the larger Marvel multiverse, which is just really special to me.

Marvel.com: When did you bring David on board to design it?

Tim Hernandez: Honestly, I think we always assumed it would be David doing the cover due to his massive creative involvement on the game, and his previous experience creating awesome covers for Marvel. When we shared the news with TinyCo that the cover was a go, they requested it be David on art duties and for us it was a no brainer to make it official.

David Nakayama: I definitely made my interest known at the very first whiff of a rumor that this might be happening. No way was I going to miss out on this if I could possibly help it!

Marvel.com: What was the process like for putting this cover together? Did you run through several ideas or did the Captain Marvel/Iron Man arm wrestling come up early?

Tim Hernandez: We proposed a couple of high-level ideas, but David really came up with the arm wrestling idea. I think Civil War II was still on everyone’s mind but with Tony being the unofficial “big man on campus,” it was a great way to introduce Carol to the Academy in a fun and humorous way that also allowed us to feature a nice diversity of characters, which really speaks to what “Avengers Academy” is about. Throughout the process we ran the concept, sketch, pencil and color phases by Sana Amanat and Charles Beacham who were editing MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL and they loved it too.CAPMARV2017002_DC31

David Nakayama: Yup, Tim nailed it. Civil War II established Tony and Carol as rivals, so it felt natural to translate that relationship into the context of the Academy. One of my goals with this cover was a feature as many characters as possible, and the arm wrestling idea gave us a nice excuse for the other students to be present. Even better, they could all be emoting and reacting to the match in their own way: Loki’s taking bets, Pepper’s freaking out, Black Widow is disgusted, Cap thinks Carol got this one in the bag, etc. I was thinking basically, if we have just one image to show comic fans what “Avengers Academy” is all about, this would be a great way to present a lot of character and story all at once.

Marvel.com: The cover is chock full of “Avengers Academy” heroes and even shows off one of Vision’s fan-favorite actions from the game. How did you decide whom to include in the cover from the now 90+ characters in the game?

Tim Hernandez: As long as Vision made it in, I was happy! David came up with the line-up and I think we were pretty locked in on the cover featuring the characters that make up the core story. We also teased a couple of new additions, like Hawkeye and She-Hulk, who we knew were coming to the game by the time the cover would hit and the fans would want to see.

David Nakayama: I started off with the intention of including everyone who’d appeared in the game so far but quickly realized there were just too many. So instead I went for core Avengers first, then fan faves, then deep cuts and in-jokes—I’m looking at you, British Bulldog!—all with an eye towards building as diverse and interesting a color palette as I could. Managed to get in just about all the main heroes, but I wish I’d had a lot more space—and drawing time!—to include more villains and newer arrivals like Doctor Strange. Plus, I happen to know everyone slated to arrive in future “Avengers Academy” events, and it’s a monster list of AAA characters that could easily fill their own cover. So yeah, with a whole universe of characters to draw on, it’d be easy to fill up another one of these with just as many characters.

Marvel.com: Were there any particular Avengers Academy characters you were eager to include?

David Nakayama: In every version of the Avengers, I just love Tony and Cap’s dynamic, so that was a main focus for sure. In our game, Wasp, Loki, Pepper, and Enchantress are huge fan-favorites, so I definitely wanted to give them their due as well.

Marvel.com: Fans of the game will certainly be eager to know if they’ll see more of these. Are there currently any plans for more Avengers Academy variants down the line?

Tim Hernandez: We’d love to do more. Whenever you’re ready for round two, David! How about double the amount of characters this time?

David Nakayama: OMG!! OMG!! YES PLEASE!! Bring it on. Any time. Seriously. Call me.

Track down the special variant cover for MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 now, and play “Marvel Avengers Academy!”

Read More

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