Ulysses Klaw leads an attack on Black Panther and the Avengers campus.

While Black Panther has been around campus in “Marvel Avengers Academy” for a while, much about his homeland remains a mystery to the students and faculty. That changes now, as Wakanda and the super hero school come together against a new common enemy: Ulysses Klaw. Klaw hopes to pilfer Wakandan tech – surprise, surprise – and the shake-up caused by Thanos might just give him the opening he needs.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner – Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo – to get an inside look at this event, and a better idea of what events will look like in the wake of Avengers Academy 2.0.

Marvel.com: This is the first event since the 2.0 launch. How will the flow of events change along with the other changes brought to Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: The Black Panther event will be recognizable to our longtime players, but there will be a lot of changes in the way things are structured. Players will collect event materials from three special, limited-time battle maps that they can use to recruit new and resurfaced heroes, new outfits, and other prizes. There’s less of an emphasis on collecting weekly decorations, and we’ll also be introducing a new trophy system to reward players for how well they do in the event.  We’re really excited about everything new in our first event since the launch, and of course couldn’t be more excited to be celebrating Black Panther and everything Wakanda. We’ll be using this event as the template moving forward, and will be continually looking for ways to add and change things in subsequent events to create the best experience for our players.

Marvel.com: Why is Klaw making a move against Black Panther now?

Allen Warner: Thanos’s arrival has had a ripple effect on everyone in our world, not just the heroes he’s threatening, but the villains who aren’t sure where they stand with him and what exactly he’s planning, even if they’re working with him directly. Everyone realizes that now more than ever, it’s critical to get as powerful as possible as quickly as possible to prepare for whatever is coming next.  Klaw takes the opportunity to go after Wakanda’s tech and treasures, working with their rivals, and one of Avengers Academy’s escaped Super Villains. There is so much to be excited about in this event, but one of the coolest things to me is the setup for who Klaw is working with and why. I’m pretty sure that it’s the first time these two characters have teamed up even in the comics, and it seems sort of random at first glance, but makes all the sense in the world when you think about their skills, personalities, and motivations. Along with Wakanda’s rival tribes, this villainous coalition is very formidable, even for the combined forces of Wakanda and the Avengers.

Marvel.com: Which of Black Panther’s allies make their way to the Academy in order to help T’Challa in this fight?

Allen Warner: Okoye and Shuri will both be joining Avengers Academy. I can’t overstate how amazing they both turned out. I honestly think they’re some of the best designs we’ve ever done, and I think players are really going to be blown away by their various visual levels and animations. It’s cool because Okoye is a fearsome warrior who can go toe-to-toe with anyone, and Shuri is an ingenious inventor who can match wits with all of the many Super-Scientists on our campus. It makes for some really fun interactions. Of course, Black Panther will also be returning with all-new combat animations, and an awesome new outfit.  As we know from his earlier storylines, he’s very well-respected by his peers, and because of his diverse skill set and upbringing, has close connections with everyone from the scientists like Iron Man to the royal family members like Loki and Thor to the leaders and hand-to-hand combatants like Captain America and Black Widow. It’s really fun to see them all come together to fight for Wakanda, and since we always like to put a different spin on things, there are some surprise heroes who come back to help who you might not expect.

Marvel.com: Meanwhile, some of the students already in attendance will need to make some upgrades to take the fight to Klaw and his villainous friends. Which heroes will we see sporting new suits?

Allen Warner: In addition to Black Panther, there will also be new outfits for Hawkeye and Winter Soldier.  All three are inspired by various looks from the comics, but given a unique spin in either the way they’re visualized, or the motivations and origins behind what inspires each hero to don their new look. I think players will be really happy with these selections, and I’m excited to be getting some new outfits for heroes who haven’t had many to this point.

Marvel.com: Where will Klaw make his base to launch attacks on the Academy?

Allen Warner: Our artists have created three beautiful new environments, showcasing different areas of Wakanda inspired by the film. They look really cool, and really showcase what makes Wakanda so colorful, original, and awesome. We’re also adding a new Wakandan building highlighting their unique tech, and updating our battle map area with elements from Black Panther and Wakanda.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a taste of what’s next after this event kicks off 2018 for Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: Going back to the idea of Thanos inspiring a global rush for power, villains are looking for ways to harness and replicate the abilities of one of the most powerful Avengers. We’ll be revisiting his origin, and introducing heroes and villains from throughout his storied history.

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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A nation rises February 7.

Long live the King.

As we near Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” film debut on February 16, the King of Wakanda brings all the royal action to Marvel Games! New content inspired by the film heads to “Marvel Contest of Champions,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” “Marvel Avengers Academy,” and “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.”

Marvel Contest of Champions” unveiled Michael B. Jordan’s Challenge. In addition to Erik Killmonger being released on Battlerealm, Thanos’ threat continues to grow across the battlerealm. In a last ditch effort to buy the Illuminati, led by Doctor Strange, some time, Black Panther heads off on a suicide mission to turn the tide of war in the Rise of the Black Panther Quest! Don’t forget to reflect on the teachings of the ancient guardian of the Black Panthers, Bast, with the Trials of the King. Show your skill in the Champion Challenge and earn the rare title of “Wakandan Warrior” by February 21.

Marvel Future Fight

Marvel Future Fight” unleashes three new characters to the game starting today: Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister and head of the Wakandan Design Group; Killmonger, a new foe to Wakanda with designs on the throne; and Okoye, head of the Dora Milaje and fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda. Alongside the new players comes new costumes for Black Panther.

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Wakanda is under attack by H.A.M.M.E.R. and Ultron. T’Challa must travel to his kingdom with his allies to defend its greatest resources in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Play against all-new Hazard tiles in this new story event.

Marvel Avengers Academy” gets a massive update while “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” will come chock full of characters inspired by the film. Check back next week!

Check out Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” when it hits theaters in the U.S. on February 16, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel games news and interviews.

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Avengers Academy 2.0 brings massive combat, story, and character changes

We’re coming up on the second anniversary for “Marvel Avengers Academy”! The fan-favorite game has continued to add new characters and build an amazing story over these two years, but one mystery has yet to be uncovered. What is up with that timefog? What is Fury hiding? Why does he have an Infinity Gauntlet? Who is that Thanos guy the Guardians keep talking about? Well, now’s the time to get some answers.

Along with this new story content, there are some major changes coming to the game. Combat, questions, hero outfits, and much more are seeing overhauls. We sat down with Allen Warner – Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo – for an expansive interview about all the changes and new features we’ll see when Avengers Academy 2.0 launches soon. 

Marvel.com: First, let’s talk big changes. Combat has been a key component of most major Avengers Academy events, and now it’s being overhauled. How will players take the fight to the many Marvel villains they’ll face going forward?

Allen Warner: There are a lot of big changes coming to the game, but none bigger than the way players interact with combat. We really wanted to make combat more interactive and strategic to make the entire experience more fun, immersive, and rewarding for players. You’ll now have more control over giving yourself the best chance to succeed by getting to choose your team of heroes from a larger roster, choosing their alignment based on their unique abilities and class, and by choosing their individual actions and attacks. Heroes will also have individual health bars, so your team will be able to keep fighting if one of your heroes goes down. All of this will be supported by a robust hero management system, new combat animations for every hero, tons of new combat environments, and new villains to fight.

Marvel.com: So combat will now be used outside of events?

Allen Warner: Yes, there will be new quests, maps, and characters added to the main game, and combat will be a big part of the overall experience. The faculty is preparing for war against Thanos, the imprisoned villains are on the verge of activating their master plan, and the students are getting closer to uncovering the mysteries behind what Nick Fury keeps in his underground vaults, and how their universe came into existence. They’ll have to fight their way through Thanos and his forces to get those answers.

Marvel.com: Speaking of the Academy students and faculty, how do the other ways we interact with them change in 2.0?

Allen Warner: Hero management will be a major part of the revamped Avengers Academy experience. From a gameplay perspective, heroes will feel more unique with new special abilities, classes, and animations. We really wanted to streamline the process of upgrading and ranking up heroes, so there will be fewer rank-up items to collect, and players will have more control over who they want to rank up, making ranking up a specific hero easier. Unlike the current game, upgrading your hero’s combat stats persists after an event is over, and can be used in the main game and future events.

Marvel.com: This is massive! Now, players have been asking for a while to see their favorite event and late-game heroes suit up in new outfits. Is there any chance we’ll see this here?

Allen Warner: Yes, this is another huge change. We’ve always relied on the first few heroes in the game for new outfits because we wanted to make sure that new players would be able to acquire and enjoy those outfits, but the revamped structure allows us to give outfits to a wider variety of characters. I love Iron Man, Wasp, Loki, Black Widow, and Falcon, but they’ve had their share of awesome outfits, and it’s time for the rest of the team to have a chance. We’ll be focusing on heroes who’ve had zero to few alternative looks to this point, which is really exciting. You can expect to see new outfits for Black Panther, Vision, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, and many, many more in the coming months.

Marvel.com: Along with these cosmetic dreams, fans of the game have been hoping for the next zone of the timefog to open up and for more main story quests to be added. Can you share anything new on this front?

Allen Warner: We’ve talked about it, and are continuing to talk about it, but this one is a little more complicated. The issue is that when we open a new zone, it creates more space for characters, decorations, and buildings, which makes the game more difficult to run on older devices. We don’t want to exclude our players with older devices that wouldn’t be able to run the game properly, so we’re actively working on a solution. I definitely understand the frustration. Players have earned a bunch of awesome decorations and buildings that they want to showcase, but have to keep them in storage because they don’t have enough space. I’m hopeful that we’ll figure something out soon.

Marvel.com: The story of Avengers Academy has arguably been building to this point since launch. What can you tell us about the next act and everything in store for our heroes, Thanos, and the Academy universe at large?

Allen Warner: Yeah, the first thing I ever wrote for this game was the story of how this universe was created, and we’re finally getting to the point where that story can be told, which is really exciting. I don’t want to give too much away, but we know that the faculty has been aware of Thanos from the beginning. They’ve met before, and it didn’t go well for the Avengers. We know that Nick Fury is hiding artifacts, weapons, and possibly even heroes and villains in his secret underground vaults. His second Infinity Gauntlet is a clue to how powerful some of these things might be. We know that Mephisto, Hela, Madame Gao, and the rest of the imprisoned villains are plotting something, and that somehow they’ve been able to contact Thanos, who most likely orchestrated their plan from the beginning. We also know that there’s a mole on campus. Someone who every hero trusts is either betraying their fellow Avengers, or isn’t who we think they are. Maybe both. Lastly, we know that Thanos is coming. His arrival will set all of these things in motion, and eventually answer all of these questions, while spinning this world into a wild new direction.

Marvel.com: Will the structure of missions or quests change as this new content is introduced?

Allen Warner: Missions are changing drastically, and I think it will create a much better experience for the player. The new Mission Board is more streamlined and organized to give players more agency, and better suit their style and needs. If they’re only interested in completing story missions, they can focus on those. If they only want to gather items to upgrade a specific hero, they can do that too. It will be easier for players to get what they’re most interested in getting, so the overall experience will be more suited to their play style, and focusing on what they enjoy most in the game.

Marvel.com: Along with Thanos’s impending arrival, Voyager is coming to campus! The hero – recently created by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Pepe Larraz for “Avengers: No Surrender” – makes her Marvel Games debut here. How does she come to join the Academy?

Allen Warner: Yeah, this is really exciting. I always think it’s so cool when we can bring a character from the comics to games for the first time, and Voyager is an awesome hero who’s a great fit for our world. I don’t want to give away too much about how she’s involved yet, but in the books, she’s a character from a different place and time, and our world is filled with alternate universes and time anomalies, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to find her way here. Her visual ranks and animations are really cool, and I think people are going to love adding her to the team.

Voyager

Marvel.com: How can players add her to their Academy roster?

Allen Warner: Voyager will be a log-in bonus character, so everyone will be able to get her just by logging in each day during the time she’s available. The more you log in during that period of time, the stronger your Voyager will be when she enters the campus. There are even more perks for Marvel Insiders.

Marvel.com: What does the Marvel Insider integration mean for Avengers Academy players? How can they join the program?

Allen Warner: If you’re a Marvel Insider, or decide to become an Insider, and you submit your Avengers Academy game ID through the site, you’ll automatically get Insider points. If you recruit Voyager in the given time period, you’ll get even more Insider points. Anyone with Marvel Insider points can use them to purchase a special Voyager in-game trophy that generates upgrade items.

Marvel.com: There’s a whole lot of new stuff coming to campus. Will we also see new main buildings and locations?

Allen Warner: There will be a new upgradeable building Nick Fury places on campus to help train the heroes and protect the school from Thanos’s inevitable attack, and there will be a ton of new locations for your heroes to travel and fight various villains and factions across the globe and beyond.

Marvel.com: With all these changes, a lot of current materials and mechanics are changing. What will this mean for existing players – both recent and longtime?

Allen Warner: Existing players will keep everything they’ve earned, and will be given a proportional amount of the new upgrade materials for all of the rank-ups they have in the current game. This revamped version of Avengers Academy is a new experience, and we believe a better experience, but it will still be very familiar to our existing players, and if you enjoy it now, we hope you’ll enjoy the new experience even more.

Marvel.com: What are you most excited to share with players as 2.0 officially launches?

Allen Warner: I’m excited about all of the opportunities for new stories, outfits, characters, locales, and an experience that gives players more control to play the game they want to play it, and focus on the parts of the game that they find the most fun. It feels like an evolution of the original game, and I’m excited to see where it goes, while putting the bow on some long-running storylines, and spinning up some new ones.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about this humongous new update?

Allen Warner: I just hope everyone enjoys the new experience, and I can wait for everyone to see all of the cool new things we have in store!

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Thanos makes his big move in the mobile game!

When Captain Marvel and A-Force discover a new interstellar threat bearing down on Earth, they need all hands on deck to defend the planet in “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

Thanos has sent his warrior Proxima Midnight to deal with Earth’s heroes, and the good guys don’t realize that her arrival signals just the beginning of a much larger attack. The alien threat looms large, so suit up, enroll your favorite heroes, and get ready to fight the coming storm.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to uncover more about Proxima and Thanos’ schemes.

Marvel.com: How does Proxima Midnighta member of Thanos’ evil Black Orderfind herself at Avengers Academy? Until now, we’ve heard very little of Thanos around campus.

Allen Warner: Thanos has been teased going all the way back to our original Guardians of the Galaxy event—our first major event in the game—but we’ve yet to see his face. We know that his presence looms large in outer space, that he went to school with the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and the other cosmic heroes, and that he took that school over, and turned it into his personal headquarters. More importantly, we know that he played a pivotal role in how the world of “Avengers Academy” came to be. He and the faculty have met before, and they’ve been preparing for years for his inevitable return. The time has finally arrived, and both he and Nick Fury have their Infinity Gauntlets ready.

Proxima Midnight is Thanos’s most powerful warrior, so he sends her to scout the campus, and gauge the heroes while he tends to the last couple steps of his soon to be revealed master plan.

Marvel.com: Captain Marvel and A-Force are the first ones to pick up on Proxima’s presence. With them featuring here, will players have the opportunity to recruit everyone again?

Allen Warner: Yes, players will have another opportunity to recruit Captain Marvel, Singularity, America Chavez, and more. As with our first A-Force event, we really want to showcase all of the amazing female heroes in the Marvel Universe. You can expect to see the return of Angela, Pepper Potts, and many, many more awesome heroes, including the debut of Red She-Hulk. We’ve been wanting to get her into the game for a really long time, and I think players will really love her visuals, animations, and stories. She turned out really cool.

Marvel.com: Proxima poses a powerful threat to our heroes and the entire planet. How do they hope to stop her?

Allen Warner: Our heroes will battle Proxima Midnight and some special bosses, while they also train new recruits to battle Thanos’s army of Chitauri invaders.

Marvel.com: There are some interesting facing joining the Academy this time around. Can you give us the run down?

Allen Warner: In addition to Red She-Hulk, players will have the opportunity to recruit our popular original newscaster character, who, ever since the Doctor Strange event, has been fondly known as the Newscaster Supreme. She’s been beloved by our players since the game began and it’s awesome to see her finally become a fully playable character. She has a really cool backstory that I don’t think anyone will see coming, which plays into the history and future of Avengers Academy. Her visual levels will be a big surprise; they turned out awesome.

We’re also adding some of our favorite henchmen as playable characters. Anyone who plays the game knows that there’s a running storyline about the various henchmen from invading forces abandoning their villainous leaders when things go bad to live in the bushes of Avengers Academy. They’ve created their own sort of utopian henchmen society where no one tells them what to do or turns them into cannon fodder. It’s a storyline I’ve had a lot of fun with over the course of the game because it showcases them as very relatable, everyman-type people who are really just trying to enjoy their lives and get by, but keep getting pulled into superhuman fisticuffs and shenanigans. This time around, players will be able to recruit an A.I.M. Scientist, a Chitauri Soldier, and an Iron Legion Robot, and make them official members of Avengers Academy.

This event and all of these characters will be fun and understandable for brand-new players, but this is also a thank you to our longtime players as we add some fan-favorite original characters, and pay off some long-running storylines.

Marvel.com: With each new event, some of our favorite students start sporting new threads. Who will gear up to battle Proxima and her minions?

Allen Warner: There will be new outfits for Captain Marvel, Angela, and Pepper Potts. One is a classic look from the comics, one is a more modern look from the comics, and one takes inspiration from a look from the comics, but has never been seen before. All of them turned out amazing thanks to our awesome art team!

Marvel.com: Knowing Thanos sent Proxima to Earth, should we expect to see the Mad Titan himself sooner rather than later?

Allen Warner: You should expect to see him very soon, and once he arrives, things will never be the same.

Marvel.com: We’re coming up on two years since the launch of “Marvel Avengers Academy.” Do you have anything planned for the second anniversary?

Allen Warner: We’re going to be introducing some really cool new features and mechanics along with more characters and outfits—characters from upcoming films and TV shows, characters who are brand-new to comics and the Marvel Universe, and a collection of icons who have been around for decades. It’s an exciting time for “Avengers Academy,” and we want to say thank you to all of our passionate, creative, dedicated fans for their support, whether they just started playing or have been with us from the very beginning.

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Marvel’s mightiest animals take on Tiger Shark in the mobile game!

Our favorite batch of lovable critters come to “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

The villainous Tiger Shark has teamed up with Fin Fang Foom and the Lemurians to launch an attack against the school. The Pet Avengers and their human—or humanoid—counterparts need to band together if they’ll have any chance of defeating this terrifying trio.

We grabbed some time with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to find out who’s joining the Academy, which heroes will see some surprising changes, and just how our team will bring the fight to Tiger Shark.

Marvel.com: The Pet Avengers are invading campus! What brings our heroes’ lovable companions to Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: The classic villain Tiger Shark is angry about not getting accepted to Pet Avengers Academy, so he turns his frustration and rage into a revenge plot against both the Pet Avengers and Avengers. His fellow underwater villains the Lemurians have been without a leader since [the Avengers captured Attuma], so they decide to join Tiger Shark’s cause to get revenge and free their former leader. Tiger Shark knows that they’re outmatched, but he evens the odds by waking Fin Fang Foom, who is eager for his own revenge against the Avengers.

Marvel.com: Which fan-favorite animal heroes—both familiar and new—will we see as Tiger Shark wages his war against the Avengers?

Allen Warner: So many amazing animals and animal-themed heroes. New characters will include Hairball, Throg, Redwing, Firebird, Zabu, and Howard the Duck. For those counting at home, that’s a kinetic-powered cat, a frog with the powers of Thor, a telepathic bird, a sabertooth tiger, a surly alien duck, and a classic hero who was tutoring students at Pet Avengers Academy when Tiger Shark and the Lemurians attacked. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing all of these characters look, and how fun their stories and unique animations are. This was a huge task for our animation team in particular because of all of the unique and varied body types these animal heroes have, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. It’s such a fun lineup, and I think it’s a really great fit for a holiday event.

In addition to these new characters, we’ll be bringing back an array of awesome animal and animal-themed heroes, including Lucky, Cosmo, Lockjaw, Black Panther, Squirrel Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and many, many more.

Marvel.com: Meanwhile, the Avengers currently attending the Academy will need to gear up like their pet friends if they hope to win this battle. What new suits will we see throughout this fight?

Allen Warner: We did something a little different this time to celebrate the Pet Avengers theme. There will still be some really fun winter-themed outfits for Wasp and Loki, but there will also be some outfits that are unlike anything we’ve ever done before. For both helpful and mischievous reasons, Loki uses his sorcery to transform some of our heroes into actual animals. I can promise that no one has ever seen these heroes like this before, and our concept artists created some amazing designs. These animal “outfits” will be for Black Widow, Loki, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther. There will be new stories about their adventures in their animal incarnations, and fun new animations that celebrate their classic traits and powers combined with their new animal forms.

Marvel Avengers Academy

You can also expect the return of some of our coolest animal-themed outfits from the past, including Cap-Wolf, Cat Loki, and the always awesome Penguin Falcon.

Marvel.com: Where will Tiger Shark, Fin Fang Foom, and the Lemurians set up to bring the fight to our heroes?

Allen Warner: The villains will be hanging out around the conquered Pet Avengers Academy, which is of course, designed for our animal heroes. It’s a really cool design, and feels appropriately fun and festive for the holidays. We’ll also be covering the entire playspace in snow like we did for last year’s winter A-Force event.

Marvel.com: This event will wrap up 2017 for “Marvel Avengers Academy.” Can you give us any hints as to what 2018 has to offer?

Allen Warner: As always, you can expect us to celebrate the major Marvel movie releases, including “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” along with plans to showcase some of the major events and characters from the comics, and other big surprises. By the end of the Pet Avengers event, it will be clear who’s coming to Avengers Academy, and it will change everything…

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Join Thor and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as they combat a horrific threat!

The students of “Marvel Avengers Academy” have once again dispatched Baron Von Strucker. However, an even bigger threat looms on the horizon. Hela, along with some new friends, aims to bring Hel to Earth. Some fresh faces and familiar allies—cast out of Asgard by Hela’s conquest—come to the Academy to help our heroes battle the sorceress and put an end to Ragnarok before it consumes their home.

We took cover behind Van Dyne’s Outfits with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to learn more about Hela, Ragnarok, and the Avengers’ plan to put an end to them both.

Marvel.com: Hela comes to Avengers Academy with the goal of extending her reign to both Hel and Earth. How does she intend to make this a reality?

Allen Warner: When the event opens, we learn that Hela and her forces have already overthrown Asgard, imprisoning most of its greatest remaining warriors. She turns her attention to Avengers Academy to finish off the likes of Odin and Thor, and literally create Hel on Earth, but she knows that with the collection of powerful heroes at the school, this will be difficult. She decides to team with some of Asgard’s greatest enemies, the Frost Giants and Dark Elves, to attack the Academy, and use its powerful artifacts and portals to bring her kingdom to Earth. She’s already been out conquering the galaxy on her way to the Academy, and has gathered fearsome warriors, forcing them to do her bidding in exchange for saving their home planets. Hela’s plans are more intricate than they seem at first, and things will finally fall into place throughout this event that will pave the way for the first appearance of a long-rumored character who has a huge impact on Avengers Academy’s past, and its future.

Marvel.com: With the Asgardians specifically targeted here, will we see more of them join the Academy and their fight against Hela?

Allen Warner: Yes, both Heimdall and Valkyrie will be joining the Academy, and players will also have the chance to recruit Thor, who has only been available as an early access character to this point in the game. Heimdall and Valkrie are both really exciting because they’re characters we’ve been wanting to get into the game for a long time; their powers and visuals are so cool, and they have a great history [in] the comics, and now the films. I’m also excited that more players will have the opportunity to have Thor be a part of their campus. He’s one of [my] favorite characters to write in this game, and I really love his interactions with his family and heroes like Wasp and Captain America.

Players will also have the opportunity to recruit Grandmaster, Korg, and Miek. Hela took over Grandmaster’s intergalactic gladiator tournament while conquering the galaxy, imprisoned Grandmaster, and forced Korg and Miek to fight for her in exchange for the safety of their respective planets. All three of these characters are great, and bring something completely unique to the game. I’m really enjoying Grandmaster’s interactions with his fellow Elder of the Universe, Collector.

Since this is a war to end the world, and there’s a even bigger war on the horizon, you can also expect a surprise character who knows a thing or two about war.

Marvel.com: Will players also have the opportunity to recruit Asgardians who have enrolled in the past?

Allen Warner: Yes; Odin, Angela, Frigga, Sif, and more will be returning for the war to end all wars. We’ll also be bringing back some of the awesome Asgardian outfits we’ve created, and bringing back characters who aren’t technically Asgardian, but still have strong ties to those characters.

Marvel.com: Who will suit up in new gear to take the fight to Hela and her Frost Giant/Dark Elf cronies?

Allen Warner: There will be new Asgardian and gladiator themed outfits for Black Widow, Enchantress, Loki, Thor, Hulk, Falcon, and Iron Man. It will be a mix of familiar looks from the comics and movies, brand-new creations, and in one case, a really fun mix of both. As usual, our incredible art and animation teams have outdone themselves, and I think players will be really excited when they see what we have in store.

Marvel.com: Where and how will players battle these foes, both new and familiar?

Allen Warner: Players will battle Hela and her forces in Grandmaster’s gladiator arena, and will travel throughout the Ten Realms [battling] Dark Elves who have their own specific orders from Hela.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the year?

Allen Warner: An amazing winter holiday event that will introduce our most fun and most eclectic roster of event heroes yet.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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The lighting-packed Marvel Studios epic invades your favorite games!

As Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” takes theaters by lightning storm, the epic action comes straight to Marvel games! New content inspired by the film heads to “Marvel Contest of Champions,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” “Marvel Avengers Academy,” and “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2!”

“Marvel Contest of Champions” unleashes two new characters on Battlerealm: Thor (Ragnarok) and Hela. The Odinson looks ready and raring to bring the thunder, wielding a mace, swords, and shield into the Collector’s arena while Hela sports her classic green duds and appears every bit the fell goddess of the underworld that she purports to be. If you can’t wait for their in-game reveal come November, “Contest of Champions” players can already take a crack at the Grandmaster’s Challenge. Jeff Goldblum, aka The Grandmaster in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” has readied his hand-selected a team of champions for battle! Think you can best an Elder of the Universe?

“Marvel Future Fight” brings three new characters to the game starting today: Skurge, an Asgardian warrior with an amazing armory; Heimdall, the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge; and Valkyrie, fierce fighter and skilled combatant. Alongside the new heroes comes new costumes for Thor, Hela, Hulk, and Loki, plus The Grandmaster as a new NPC.

Both Thor and Hulk step out of the alien arena and into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” sporting all their gladiatorial gear and awesome new abilities! Bring your team to the Sakaar Arena to duke it out in a lightning round-style event for rich rewards.

Marvel Avengers Academy

“Marvel Avengers Academy” gets a massive update with five new characters straight out of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok”—Valkyrie, Korg, Miek, Heimdall, and Grandmaster—and one deviously devilish NPC, Hela. And if you’ve been waiting for new outfits, well prep yourself for some serious wardrobe changes. Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Falcon, and Enchantress all get new looks.

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” will also come chock full of characters inspired by the film, boasting Thor, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Hela, Valkyrie, Loki, Grandmaster, and Kronan Warrior. “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” will be available on November 14, 2017 for PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, Nintendo Switch™ and PC.

Check out Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” when it hits theaters in the U.S. on November 3, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel games news and interviews.

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Area 13, the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more spooky inclusions.

With the Inhuman crisis settled down, the students at “Marvel Avengers Academy” start getting ready for the biggest Halloween party any of them have ever seen. But Baron von Strucker has other ideas for our heroes. Despite being defeated multiple times in attempts to squash the Academy, Strucker has returned with his most nefarious plan yet. Our heroes will need all hands on deck to deal with the fearsome foes he lets loose on campus.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get an idea of what’s in store for “Marvel Avengers Academy” this Halloween.

Marvel.com: Just when the heroes at Avengers Academy thought they could relax and celebrate Halloween, a new, spooky threat rears its head. What creepy plan does Baron von Strucker have in store for the Academy?

Allen Warner: After suffering multiple defeats at the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, and watching his best agents see the wrongs of their ways and defect to Avengers Academy, Baron von Strucker is desperate to save Hydra School, and rebuild his organization.  He plots with an imprisoned villain to access the Nexus of All Realities, and uses the ultimate portal’s power to infiltrate the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Area 13, unleashing its imprisoned collection of dangerous monsters and creatures, and holding the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. hostage.  Since Baron Zemo, Crossbones, and Madame Hydra have all betrayed him by becoming heroes, he also accesses an alternate universe to bring zombified versions of his former accomplices to join him in the fight. He’s hoping that the chaos, his new monstrous allies, and his powerful weapon the Satan Claw, will be enough to crush S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers once and for all.

Marvel.com: Sounds like Strucker has a veritable army of frightening foes lined up for players. Who will we be up against in this event?

Allen Warner: He’ll be fighting alongside his remaining Hydra Agents and students, and his zombie minions, while using the strange tech and creatures within Area 13 to become more powerful, and stop the Avengers from freeing their allies.

Marvel.com: If Strucker breaks into Area 13 to free all these prisoners, will we get a look at the former S.H.I.E.L.D. base?

Allen Warner: Yes, the event area will be Area 13 itself, now controlled by Hydra, and overrun with an over-the-top collection of aliens, monsters, and extreme weirdness that has been released from the facility.  There will also be a separate Area 13 laboratory where the secret base ran its weird, high-tech experiments.  It all makes for a really cool mix of sci-fi-fi, fantasy, and horror that’s a great fit for Halloween.

Marvel.com: The students and faculty at Avengers Academy will need a hand tackling all these new enemies. Who joins the team to put some extra beatdown on Strucker and his cronies?

Allen Warner: Along with characters from our previous Halloween event, we’re bringing in a bunch of members from the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Dum-Dum Dugan, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, Vampire by Night, Jasper Sitwell, and Hit-Monkey.  Of course, Orrgo will also be returning from our ‘Monsters Unleashed’ event to help his team.  As anyone who follows the game and these interviews knows, I’m a huge fan of the weird and wacky side of Marvel, so it’s awesome to introduce all of these characters who are so different from one another and everyone else on our campus.  Dum-Dum Dugan is a Life-Model Decoy with ties to Peggy Carter, Captain America, Winter Soldier, and J.A.R.V.I.S.  Jasper Sitwell is a top-level S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and the nicest, most well-mannered zombie you’ll ever meet.  Man-Thing is a hulking, immortal swamp monster with a heart of gold.  Werewolf by Night is a classic werewolf, and classic Marvel horror hero.  Hit-Monkey is a ruthless assassin who just happens to be a well-dressed monkey.  And Vampire by Night is a really cool werewolf-vampire hybrid.  They’re all fun and weird and unique, and perfect fits for Halloween.

I also think it’s really cool that players will have the chance to collect characters who are all part of the same team, and who all visually evolve to wear similar S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms, so even though they look so different, they collectively look like the ultimate monster squad, and fit right in with all of the other S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents already running around Avengers Academy.  As usual, our great art and animation teams did some amazing work with all of these characters, and have some really fun takes on them that have never been seen before.

Marvel.com: It wouldn’t be Halloween without costumes. Our heroes have to have fun one way or another, after all. Who all will take the fight to Area 13 decked out in their Halloween finest?

Allen Warner: Yes, it wouldn’t be an Avengers Academy Halloween without awesome costumes.  It’s a really great mix of fun and creepy outfits.  Some are original creations, and others are inspired by looks from the comics and TV.  There will be new outfits for Vision, Mockingbird, She-Hulk, Phil Coulson, Captain America, Thor, and Punisher.  Players will also be able to unlock the zombie looks for Baron Zemo, Crossbones, and Madame Hydra as outfits.  It’s exciting because these are the first outfits for a lot of these characters, and I think people are really going to love what our art team has created for each of them.

We’re also bringing back outfits from last Halloween, and other outfits befitting the holiday for Captain America, Wasp, Loki, Black Widow, Falcon, Enchantress, Iron Man, Maria Hill, and more.  It’s an amazing selection of costumes that look even cooler when everyone gets together for the traditional Avengers Academy Halloween-themed dance routine.

Marvel.com: Once Halloween has come and gone, what’s next for the Academy?

Allen Warner: An intergalactic gladiator tournament, an unexpected villainous coalition, and a celebration of everything Asgardian.

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Prepare yourself for their television debut with a royal adventure across five Marvel games!

The Inhuman Royal Family make their television debut at the end of September, but your favorite Marvel games are rolling out the red carpet well in advance of the monarchy’s arrival. We talked to a lot of people about the Inhuman goodies on the horizon, from the fine folks working on “Marvel Contest of Champions,” “Marvel Avengers Academy,” and “Marvel Puzzle Quest” to “Marvel Heroes Omega” and “Marvel Powers United VR.” Are you ready for the terrigen knowledge bomb we’re about to drop? We sure hope so!

The Inhumans Arrive in Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel Contest of Champions” kicks off our Inhuman fun. Take Medusa into the Collector’s contest where she joins Black Bolt and her cousin Karnak as the Inhuman representatives on Battlerealm. You might have also seen Lockjaw in game already! Isn’t he just the cutest? Alongside Medusa and Lockjaw, players will also get to play an Inhuman-centric event pitting the chosen of Attilan against the Iso-8 Mafia.

“The Inhumans are one of my favorite Marvel families, because they have always been so weird,” exclaimed Gabe Frizzera, Art Director at Kabam. “The unapologetic ‘Kirbyness’ of the stories, with the lofty themes of alien gods experimenting with the fates of early humans, was one of my first tastes of sci-fi as a kid. I love every time we have a chance to bring an Inhuman to the Contest of Champions, especially Royals. I think they fit beautifully in our particular brand of Marvel cosmic extravaganza.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Inhumans Reveal Themselves in Marvel Avengers Academy

Not to be outdone, “Marvel Avengers Academy” is unleashing an entire event on players involving the Attilan Academy with a whole host of Inhuman characters joining the game’s roster including Medusa, Black Bolt, Crystal, and Triton to name a few.

“It seems like we’ve been waiting forever to introduce the Inhumans royal family to ‘Marvel Avengers Academy,’ shared Allen Warner, Director of Narrative at Tinyco. “We’re so excited that the time has finally come. It’s an awesome opportunity to embrace their inherent potential for comedy and otherworldly weirdness, which have always been big parts of our game, as well as reimagining what all of them would be like as school-aged students from Atillan Academy. I can’t wait for the world to see what our awesome artists have done with Lockjaw’s designs in particular. Hint: He looks even more amazing in a Black Bolt themed dog sweater!”

Lockjaw is a big help in Marvel Puzzle Quest

The gang at D3 Go! aren’t skimping on the Inhumans content either, with everyone’s favorite lovable teleporting dog popping into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” in early September. He joins Black Bolt and Medusa (one of my personal favorite characters, teaming her up with Carnage is so fun you guys!) as the third playable Inhuman and he’s bringing a few friends with him. Wink wink.

“Lockjaw will be our first playable dog character in Marvel Puzzle Quest!” revealed Josh Austin, Senior Producer at D3 Go! “With his Royal Escort ability, not only does he call in the many Inhumans we have in the game including Kamala Khan, Black Bolt, Medusa and Quake, but he also brings in two additional Inhumans: Crystal and Karnak!”

The Inhumans Join Marvel Heroes Omega

Have you picked up “Marvel Heroes Omega” for your PS4 or Xbox One yet? Well if you’ve been waiting for some Inhumans action, Gazillion has you covered. A new-to-console Black Bolt will be joining the playable cast with a costume inspired by his small screen look, as well as a fresh take on his classic outfit fans will no doubt dig.

“With Black Bolt, we introduce players to one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel cannon,” said Anthony Gallegos, Designer at Gazillion. “With a voice that can destroy anything just by whispering, as well as an array of energy powers, super-human speed, and more, we can’t wait for players to try the king of the Inhumans for themselves. Black Bolt’s silence is only a reminder of his power and restraint — prepare to be awed when he decides to grace (or destroy) your very essence by daring to speak a word.”

Black Bolt and Lockjaw Make Their Way to Marvel Powers United VR

Last but not least, “Marvel Powers United VR” is adding two new characters to the game: Black Bolt and Crystal. Harness Blackagar’s electron-fueled energies and devastating voice or command the very elements themselves with Crystal Amaquelin. One thing’s for sure – you’ve never experienced Inhuman abilities quite like this before! Take a look at the game play trailer above!

“Having the opportunity to bring Black Bolt and Crystal into the game has been an exciting design and technical adventure,” admitted Mat Kraemer, Creative Director at Sanzaru Games. “They’ve become favorites with our team to throw down and kick some bad guy butt! We can’t wait to see what fans think when they wield Inhumans powers and jump into the fight!”

Before we sign off, we’ll leave you with a word from your man @ Marvel Games, Bill Rosemann, “With their combination of fantastic designs, bold personalities, wild powers, royal intrigue and sci-fi weirdness, the debut of the Inhumans symbolized the game changing genius of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. All these years later, and after so many amazing creators have expanded their legend, the Marvel Games team and all of our talented partners are excited to unleash them in a new medium, celebrate their awesomeness and help introduce them to a new generation of True Believers.”

Be sure to check out all the Inhuman action happening across a host of your favorite Marvel Games and watch the first chapter of “Marvel’s Inhumans” early in IMAX now and the complete series on ABC starting September 29. Stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter for the latest news and interviews from Marvel Games!

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Get ready for the Royal Family in a new event beginning September 7!

One of the most secretive schools in the world of Marvel Avengers Academy finally reveal themselves amid a hostile takeover. Maximus the Mad has forced his brother Black Bolt out of his position at the head of Attilan Academy. Now, he schemes to use the school’s resources to launch an attack on the Avengers’ beloved school! The once-reclusive Inhumans must band together with their superhuman brethren here on Earth to defeat Maximus and restore the balance of power in Attilan.

Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, joins us to detail the new enemies, allies, costumes, and more that we’ll see in this inhuman-ly packed event!

Marvel.com: Attilan Academy has so far been shrouded in mystery, hinted in a scant few lines of dialogue. Why has the school been so cautious, and why are they revealing themselves now?

Allen Warner: The Inhumans are notoriously mysterious and reclusive, keeping themselves isolated from the outside world.  They have their own customs and traditions and beliefs, and they see the human and superhuman populace as strange and dangerous, and don’t see any reason to put themselves at risk by leaving the comforts of Attilan.  Unfortunately, they find that their greatest threat has been living amongst them the entire time as Maximus uses his mind control powers to make them do his bidding, and usurp his brother Black Bolt’s throne.

Marvel.com: What does Maximus hope to accomplish from his spot at the head of Attilan’s hero school?

Allen Warner: Maximus thinks Black Bolt has been holding the Inhumans back.  He thinks they’re too powerful to be hidden away, and should be ruling the world instead of hiding from it.  He uses his powers to force the Inhumans to fight by his side, takes control of the kingdom, and launches an attack on the most powerful collection of superhumans in the world, Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Though they’ve been wary of Avengers Academy and other super-powered individuals up to this point, will the Inhumans’ desire to stop the Mad King lead them to join the heroes of Avengers Academy in battle?

Allen Warner: Yes, we’re actually introducing more recruitable characters in this four week event than we ever have before.  Players will be able to recruit eight amazing Inhuman heroes: Black Bolt, Medusa, Lockjaw, Gorgon, Auran, Triton, Crystal, and Karnak.  We couldn’t resist including all of these amazing characters, and I love how they each have completely different looks and power sets from one another.  Our awesome art team did their usual incredible job with each of their visual levels, taking cues from both the comics and the upcoming show, and I think people are really going to enjoy adding these characters to their campus.  Lockjaw in particular looks as cute and amazing as you would expect, and his visual upgrades take it to another level.  I can’t wait to see this giant teleporting dog trotting around everyone’s Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Can we expect this arrival of new allies to mean new threads for any of our heroes, too?

Allen Warner: Definitely.  There will be new outfits for Ms. Marvel, Quake, Wasp, Iron Man, and Loki.  We wanted to do something special for a couple of the Inhumans already attending the Academy in Ms. Marvel and Quake, and we embraced the royal theme in a really fun way with Wasp and Iron Man.  Loki gets a look right out of the comics that I’ve been wanting to get into the game for a really long time that is unlike any outfit our heroes have ever worn before.

Marvel.com: Where will the Avengers take the fight to Maximus and his cronies?

Allen Warner: The event space will be the Attilan Academy itself with Maximus perched on his brother’s throne, flanked by his mind-controlled minions.  I’ve always loved the various looks of Attilan and the unique Inhuman tech, and one of our awesome concept artists, Celeste Schulte, created a really beautiful representation of their kingdom.

Marvel.com: This event will take us past the end of summer and into early fall. Last year, we celebrated Halloween with the students and faculty of Avengers Academy. Should we expect the school to celebrate the spooky holiday again this year?

Allen Warner: Yes, we’re really excited for our second Halloween event.  The first one was one of our most varied, fun, and quirky events, and players can expect even more craziness this time around along with a bunch of amazing Halloween-themed characters and outfits.  The character line up might be the weirdest and most fun one yet, and we’re going all out to try and top our outfits from last year.

The four-week Inhumans event launches September 7 in Marvel Avengers Academy.

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