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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stephen Strange heads to the Academy in new game event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel.com: What brings Mephisto to our plane?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Discover how animation and writing come together in the hit mobile game!

The Daredevil event comes to a close this week in “Marvel Avengers Academy,” and with the fun new animations we saw from Lawyer Loki and Matt Murdock in the Academy Courthouse, along with Peggy Carter’s fan-favorite, two-character actions with Black Widow and Captain America, this seemed like the perfect time to dive deep into the collaboration between the writing and animation teams at TinyCo.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer, and Joe Daniels, Lead Animator, to get a glimpse of what it’s like to develop the many varied actions and animations we love to see our heroes carry out in the game.

Marvel.com: How do the two of you collaborate to develop animations? Walk us through one of your weekly brainstorm sessions. Where do you start off? How do the ideas begin to coalesce?

Allen Warner: We have a meeting each week with our producer and the art and animation leads to talk about the upcoming characters, and brainstorm animations. We start by talking about the basics of the character: backstory, personality, powers, how they’ve been portrayed in the past and how they’re currently being used in the books and other media, etc. After that, I’ll share how I think they’ll be portrayed in our reimagined world from a narrative and personality perspective, including if they seem like a natural fit for a classic school trope. Then we start brainstorming. We try to give each character at least one action-oriented unique animation that highlights their powers and abilities, and at least one that’s more casual and lighthearted. We try to touch on the things that are integral to each character, and make them unique, and have fun with it in a way that’s unique to our world and game. We come up with a short description for each animation, and then hand it over to Joe and the animation team to work their magic.

Joe Daniels: When we meet to brainstorm, it’s definitely a structured whirlwind of ideas being spit out from all parties, and it’s a ton of fun. We bounce around from character to character, thinking of how all the character actions will feel together from the player perspective. With events, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how many actions we can put in a space, and really try to make good use of it all, like we did with the Daily Bugle in our Spider-Man event where all the characters could be using that building together in different ways. Then when I take the description to my team to begin animating, there is another round of fleshing out the details of the acting and movements where a lot of new bits come out. With Loki’s “Ruin Fury’s Reputation” action in the Daredevil event, we knew we wanted to have Loki do some silly things in what looks like Nick Fury’s body. We didn’t get too specific until I handed it to the animator who came up with some great ideas like having him pretend to be a dog and scratch for fleas. Seriously, where else would you see Nick Fury doing that. It’s awesome.

Marvel.com: How does the process differ when you’re creating animations for characters already in the game versus creating the base set of animations for a new character?

Allen Warner: Event characters are different because they have fewer animations since they’re only available for a limited time, and we also have to be conscious about only using them in buildings and areas that are available early in the game since they’ll be available to players who may have just started playing. There’s more of an emphasis with them to immediately hit the things that are critical to their character. For example, with Captain America, we knew he would be available for the long haul of the main progression story, so we waited a while before giving him an animation where he throws his shield because we knew there would be time for it later. If he was an event character, that probably would have been the first animation we made. For progression characters, it’s sometimes based more around new buildings that players unlock. We’ll say, okay, we have an auditorium with a stage coming up, so who makes the most sense, or would be the most unexpected person, to be performing on stage, and what exactly would they be doing?

Marvel.com: How often do animation ideas end up on the cutting room floor? What is the weeding out process like? Are there any animations that the team has been really into, but didn’t end up making it into the game for one reason or another?

Allen Warner: In the brainstorm process, there are a lot of ideas that don’t get used for different reasons. Sometimes they’re too time and work intensive to produce, sometimes we just come up with something better, and sometimes we like the premise, but can’t find a way to make it work within the constraints of the game. Joe might know, but I can’t think of a time when we’ve agreed on an idea, and haven’t been able to produce or use the animation. They always find a way to make it happen, and make it better than anything we imagined.

Joe Daniels: Yeah, Allen is great to work with as a writer because more than most he thinks about the visual experience he wants to see. It’s easy to write something that is difficult to show clearly in animation, but having people on the team who think this way makes my life a lot easier. From time to time we do hit characters who are tricky to find the right action for the context of how we’re using them. The trick for us is to move on to something else and come back to it when we have had time to let the ideas ferment. Also seeing the great designs that the Art team creates for the characters or buildings can help inspire a solution.

Marvel.com: Some of Peggy’s animations, such as “Compare Spy Gear” and “Make up for Lost Time” have already become fan favorites. What was the design process like for these animations?

Allen Warner: Yeah, Joe and the animation team did an amazing job with Peggy’s animations. We just wanted to touch on the things that were critical to her character, and things we thought players and fans would like to see.  For the “Compare Spy Gear” animation, we knew we had to do something about Peggy being from the past and being a spy, so we were able to combine the two into one fun animation. Black Widow already had all of the modern high-tech spy gear she uses in some of her own animations, so we thought it would be really fun to watch them compare things like grappling hooks and listening devices. Of course, we exaggerated for comedy. That one is a great example of a time when the animation guided the story because before that I hadn’t really considered Black Widow idolizing Peggy. The animation sparked the quests and dialogue where we learn that Peggy is her one and only hero, and seeing Widow break character and fangirl over her idol turned out to be one of my favorite things about putting Peggy in the game. “Make up for Lost Time” was a given. I think almost every Peggy Carter and Captain America fan has wanted to see them get their long-awaited dance, and the unique world of “Avengers Academy” allowed it to finally happen. The animation itself is amazing, and it made for a really special moment.

Joe Daniels: I hope you don’t mind me going a little bit into the animation process on this one, but I’m sure there are some readers who might appreciate it. From an animation perspective, doing a two-character dance where they’re making contact throughout is much more difficult than blowing something up, or punching a bad-guy in the face; go figure. So when we started on this dance, I collected a bunch of swing dance clips for the animator who tackled this assignment, and had him cut the best clips of choreography down to a nine second edit. Once we had something that felt like it could work together, to start figuring it out in 3D space, we first animated the dance with two cubes to represent the two characters. This was a great way to see the movements quickly and make edits before committing to the days of work it took to put in all the final moves on these two love birds. Overall, I love how this came out and was worth putting a little extra time into Peggy and Cap’s special moment.

Marvel.com: In the Hell’s Kitchen event, you guys got to play with Loki for the first time in a while. What was it like coming back to him and creating his new courtroom animations?

Allen Warner: I knew when we started planning the Daredevil event that I wanted to have him face off with Daredevil in court because it made a lot of sense for a silver-tongued manipulator, but I also loved the idea of him embracing everything about the stereotypical sleaze ball lawyer. Everything he does is done with flair and drama and this flashy sense of pure joy. Loki loves being Loki, and he demands that people notice and appreciate how amazing he is.

Joe Daniels: Loki is always on my mind. [Laughs] His material writes itself so easily that it’s always a thrill to throw him into a situation and see what he brings.

Marvel.com: Who has been your favorite character to work with?

Allen Warner: In terms of planning the animations, I love coming up with ideas for Wasp, Iron Man, and Loki. Their personalities are so extreme, they’re all shameless in their own way, and they all love having fun, so we can really push the limits with them to come up with some hilarious and outlandish ideas.

Joe Daniels: Loki, Squirrel Girl, and M.O.D.O.K. have been a few of my favorites, for the same reasons Allen listed. Loki is my absolute favorite, if I had to choose. I’d also have to throw Wasp in that list. She’s the character with the most range and has a fun energy, so seeing her kick butt and then flit around the campus is always great. For me, probably the most fun thing about this game is getting to work with these awesome characters in such a different light.

Marvel.com: Can you tease any new animations in the next big event that you guys are excited to get out to players?

Allen Warner: We can’t say too much yet, but our next big event revolves around Halloween, so you can expect to see some awesome animations based around Marvel’s greatest supernatural heroes, some really fun animations for the different Halloween costumes that the students will be wearing, and new animations based around a feature that lets players pair up their characters.

Joe Daniels:  Yeah, we’re having a blast working to deliver the best of what the players will expect to see in a Halloween event, as well as hopefully a handful of unexpected surprises. We think you’re gonna love it.

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” today and stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news!

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The Kingpin tries to take the Academy for himself!

With the A.I.M. threat dealt with, the students and faculty of Avengers Academy expected some peace and quiet to settle back into campus life…but their enemies have other ideas. Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin himself, sets his sights on the Academy heroes, hoping to capitalize on their abilities for himself.

The students team with some unlikely new friends from Kingpin’s neighborhood in hopes of stopping him, while Headmaster Fury needs to clear his name in court to keep the Academy under his control.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the rundown of what new additions we’ll see in this new “Marvel Avengers Academy” event.

Marvel.com: A.I.M.’s been dispatched, but Avengers Academy now has a new threat to contend with: Kingpin. What is the villainous Wilson Fisk up to?

Allen Warner: This young Kingpin is just starting to build his criminal organization.  He was unwillingly attending a disciplinary school called the “Hell’s Kitchen School for Troubled Youth,” but he quickly took control of the school, kicked out the faculty, and turned it into his personal headquarters/prison. He’s been “cleaning up” his neighborhood, by recruiting local superhumans into his crew, and imprisoning those who refuse to follow along.

Kingpin is using his newfound power and influence to turn public opinion against Nick Fury and Avengers Academy.  He’s using the recent attacks by A.I.M. and the Symbiotes as evidence that the Academy is out of control, and that Fury is too secretive, and unfit to lead.  He demands that Fury face a trial of public opinion, reveal his secrets, and resign from Avengers Academy.  Fury shocks everyone by not only agreeing to the trial, but hiring an inexperienced law student named Matt Murdock to represent him.  Kingpin counters by hiring Loki as his prosecutor, and the trial gets underway, leaving Pepper Potts as Interim Director of Avengers Academy.  Kingpin is trying to oust Fury to not only poach his recruits and make them work for him, but to get at the mysterious hidden power under the Academy with the help of the Hand.  Kingpin and the Hand’s ninjas have taken over Hell’s Kitchen, trafficking crates of weapons and ancient occult magic, and it will be up to the Avengers and the heroes of Hell’s Kitchen to defeat them, and clear Fury’s name.

Marvel.com: What new heroes will be making their way to the campus to help defeat Kingpin and clear Fury’s name?

Allen Warner: So many great heroes.  Jessica Jones (voiced by Michelle Phan), Daredevil, Hellcat, Elektra, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and the Punisher.  In the beginning, Punisher is actually working with Kingpin as his main enforcer.  Punisher is a bully to the bullies, the guy the villains are afraid of, and all he wants to do is stop anyone who might threaten his neighborhood.  He doesn’t care if they’re heroes or villains or just some normal guy, if he thinks they deserve to be punished, he’s more than happy to do the job.  Kingpin has convinced him that the Avengers are the most dangerous threat to their city and are enemy number one, but Punisher might just be laying a trap for Kingpin.  The other heroes are imprisoned in Kingpin’s school, and the player will have to free them on their way to defeating Kingpin and the Hand.  These have always been some of favorite characters since I was a kid, so it’s really fun and exciting to get to write them, and our art and animation teams have outdone themselves with the designs and animations.  I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s coming.

Marvel.com: What new locations outside of the Academy will our heroes be exploring?

Allen Warner: Kingpin’s school is located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, so you’ll find all of the iconic Hell’s Kitchen locations like Josie’s and Alias Investigations.  Heroes will train at Fogwell’s Gym, and study for the trial at the Nelson and Murdock Law Office.  All of the combat will take place in Hell’s Kitchen, and there are some awesome new animations like a “Patrol Hell’s Kitchen” action that sends heroes running across rooftops and diving from the top of buildings.

Marvel.com: Alongside new heroes, what new costumes and buildings will players be unlocking during the event?

Allen Warner: We have some fun new outfits based around the various themes.  The first is Lawyer Loki.  Knowing he’s a renowned liar and manipulator, Kingpin hires Loki to prosecute Nick Fury in the trial.  He dives right into the stereotypical sleazy lawyer role, and has some great animations and interactions with everyone from Kingpin to Daredevil.  We also have Kung Fu Falcon, which is an ode to the great martial arts movies of the 70’s like “Enter the Dragon.”  Falcon sees all of these ninjas and martial artists running around, and this brings out his secret love of everything Kung Fu.  He trains with the martial arts heroes, and has some really fun animations in the style of action icons like Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly.  We also have Mobster Wasp.  She sees Kingpin ordering his crew of thugs and gangsters to hurt and intimidate people, and she counters by forming her own crew, and becoming a mob boss herself.  Of course, she has to choose the coolest, cutest, most fashionable mob attire, so she’s decked out like a 20’s era mobster, and has some really great animations that nod to movies like “Scarface” and “The Godfather.”

Players will also build the Academy Courthouse where Nick Fury’s trial takes place.  Fury will take the stand, and the judge and jury are played by Tony Stark’s helper robots that you see working at other buildings like the Club and the Robo Dojo.  This is where Daredevil and Lawyer Loki will face off for courtroom drama, and other characters like Punisher have some fun animations here related to things they might experience when walking into court.

Marvel.com: What kind of actions will heroes have at the courthouse? How will we see the story play out there?

Allen Warner: This is where Loki will attempt to destroy Fury’s reputation while Daredevil does everything he can to defend Fury and the Academy.  The trial is being broadcast live to the entire universe, so we get some fun interactions with how different types of characters from the game’s past are reacting to the proceedings.  Like any good courtroom drama, there will be a lot of twists and turns as Kingpin and Fury make their moves and countermoves, and other characters try to take advantage of the opportunity.  Pepper is Interim Director of Avengers Academy during the trial, so it’s also fun to see how she handles the pressure and stress that come along with keeping things running smoothly, and dealing with the unruly student body.

Marvel.com: Outside of the courthouse, what will we be doing to stop Kingpin and The Hand?

Allen Warner: Players will battle Hand ninjas and ninja bosses to gain access to the crates and relics that they’re moving through Hell’s Kitchen.  Each one contains goodies and materials to help free and recruit new heroes, as well as furthering the story of what Kingpin and the Hand are truly after.  If players can get through the Hand, they’ll have to battle Punisher, and finally Kingpin himself in the cool new Hell’s Kitchen combat environment.

Marvel.com: We’re excited to dive in and battle it out with Kingpin, but can you clue us into what’s coming next down the line?

Allen Warner: The very next thing that’s really exciting is that we’ll be releasing Peggy Carter as a recruitable hero.  We were initially planning on releasing her with our progression level content, but we’re waiting just a little bit longer to coincide with the “Captain America: Civil War” Digital HD release on September 2.  We’ve been waiting to get her into the game for a long time, and she looks really cool, with some great animations, and fun and heartfelt interactions with various characters who she knew back in her own time, and others who have never met her, but have always idolized her.

After that, we’ll be getting close to Halloween, and as our players and fans on Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook know, we’ve reached out to them for suggestions for Halloween outfits and costumes for our characters.  They’ve already submitted some hilarious and awesome ideas, and it will be really exciting to see some of those brought to life in Avengers Academy.

Check out Marvel.com for all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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Squirrel Girl and more help to fend off the hostile invasion!

The leader of Advanced Idea Mechanics can no longer stand competing with Avengers Academy and failing at every turn. So, with his top secret-weapons project M.O.D.O.K. finally complete, Scientist Supreme leads A.I.M. on an all-out offensive against his rivals.

“Marvel Avengers Academy” players will need to battle A.I.M.’s Interns and Scientists while rescuing some prospective new recruits from the clutches of M.O.D.O.K.’s psionic trap. If they can fend off Scientist Supreme and defeat his pet project, there might even be another eager candidate for Avengers Academy awaiting them.

We were able to get Allen Warner, Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo, out of his new yellow jumpsuit to talk with us about everything this new event will bring to “Avengers Academy.”

Marvel.com: A.I.M. is finally making a run at Avengers Academy. How does the Scientist Supreme end up deciding that now is the time to attack?

Allen Warner: Scientist Supreme and his A.I.M. Institute have been continually humiliated and defeated by the Avengers Academy students since the beginning of the game. They’ve tried to steal recruits away, attack New York City, sabotage a super-science fair, infiltrate Asgard, and hack Nick Fury’s fleet of Helicarriers; and it never works out in their favor. Scientist Supreme is probably the most arrogant character in the game, which is saying a lot, so he won’t rest until he gets revenge against Avengers Academy and forces them to respect the A.I.M. Institute, and recognize his genius. Knowing that his school is faltering, and his power is dwindling, he makes one last desperate attempt to take out the Avengers by sending all of his A.I.M. Interns and Scientists at the Academy, along with his greatest creation, M.O.D.O.K.

Marvel.com: We’ve seen the A.I.M. storyline build since the introduction of Ms. Marvel; has the plan always been to culminate in an event like this one?

Allen Warner: Yeah. I’ve also been teasing M.O.D.O.K. since the game’s first newscast, so the plan has always been to have A.I.M. attack the Academy with M.O.D.O.K. at the forefront. I’ve always liked A.I.M. because they’re so unique and distinctive with the bright yellow everything, and the beekeeper helmets, and the weird, sometimes silly, advanced tech. They also make for such a good metaphor in our reimagined younger school setting as these judgmental, intellectually superior, super-nerds. M.O.D.O.K. is everything A.I.M. represents turned up to 11. He’s so weird and over the top that it’s easy to see him as a joke, but he’s also extremely powerful, and can go toe to toe—head to toe?—with any super-genius in our universe.

Marvel.com: Will any new heroes be assisting the Academy in defeating A.I.M. and M.O.D.O.K.?

Allen Warner: Squirrel Girl and Phil Coulson! The first phase of A.I.M.’s attack on Avengers Academy is to round up some of the Academy’s respective recruits, so Squirrel Girl and Coulson end up trapped in M.O.D.O.K.’s psionic beams. Players will free them from M.O.D.O.K., so that they can join the fight against AIM’s forces alongside other S.H.I.E.L.D. Recruits.

Marvel.com: Squirrel Girl joins the growing list of amazing women at the academy, what motivates her to register?

Allen Warner: She’s already been working solo as an awesome and unbeatable Super Hero, and occasionally teaming with her “all-star-all-girl-all-butt-kicking-squad,” but every Super Hero eventually wants to find their way to Avengers Academy to work with the likes of Black Widow and Captain America, and become an Avenger. I love Squirrel Girl. I’ve always thought that Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s great UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL book is the closest thing in comics to the tone and vibe of our game. I love their quirky, excitable, supportive, positive, confident, self-referential, and always brave and badass take on her character. They fully embrace the absurdity of a half-girl-half-squirrel tangling with gods and cosmic powerhouses while managing to still keep her really relatable. I’m striving to do the same, and as you can imagine, Squirrel Girl and Wasp are quite the combo. She has some of the coolest animations in the game, and yes, they do involve squirrels.

Marvel.com: What was it like bringing Phil Coulson to life in this unique universe?

Allen Warner: It was a lot of fun. There are a bunch of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” fans on the team, and I’m always a fan of any character with a dry sense of humor and deadpan delivery. My favorite aspect of Coulson’s character is that he looks like this stiff, boring guy on the outside, but he’s actually a fun and funny guy who can also be all business when he needs to be. We decided to play off of all of those things while focusing on the Super Hero fanboy aspect of his personality. Coulson unapologetically loves Super Heroes. He studies them. He admires them. He wants to be them, but at the end of the day, he’s just a normal person like the rest of us. He wants to be a part of the Super Hero world, and help protect the world anyway he can, so he decides to pursue a career in S.H.I.E.L.D. like some of his other heroes, including Peggy Carter and Nick Fury. He has some really fun interactions with his idols like Captain America, and it’s great to watch the relationship that develops between him and Nick Fury. He has some really fun animations, including doing his best impersonations of some of his heroes.

Marvel.com: The spirit of Avengers Academy has been a positive and hopeful one, with many villains able to be reasoned with, convinced of the error of their ways, and recruited to join the student body. Will M.O.D.O.K. follow the same path?

Allen Warner: That’s always been one of my goals with the narrative in this game. This is a reimagined world where characters are younger, so their personalities and destinies aren’t set in stone, and they haven’t made the mistakes, and done the sometimes reprehensible things that they’ve done in other continuities. There are very few characters in our world who are so irredeemable that there’s no chance for them to better themselves, and become a positive influence on the world—looking at you, Carnage and Red Skull. There’s still time and opportunities for the others to figure things out, to become better than what they’ve been in the past, and to be heroes instead of villains. I’m really proud of how we’ve managed that with characters like Crossbones and Mysterio, and while characters like Loki and Enchantress’ journeys are being played out in a longer fashion, I think they’ll get there too. Everyone deserves a chance to make up for past mistakes, and make themselves better. M.O.D.O.K. is no different. In fact, players might be surprised to find that M.O.D.O.K. is one of the most sympathetic “villains” of all. He never asked to be what he is. He was created by a cold scientist to be a living weapon, and he’s been abused and isolated from the rest of the world until Scientist Supreme felt he was ready to be unleashed on Avengers Academy. Yes, he’s arrogant, he overcompensates, he’s dangerous, and he’s extremely awkward, but all he’s really looking for is genuine love and acceptance.

Marvel.com: This event comes on the heels of a new story update that players are eager to dig into. But what can you tell us about the next big thing on the horizon?

Allen Warner: Yeah, it’s great to have the main story update out, and to hear from all of the players who are really enjoying it. We still have one more unannounced hero on the way as part of that release, and there will be more news on that in the coming weeks. After the A.I.M. mini-event, we’ll be releasing our next major event, which I still don’t want to say too much about now, except to say that it features some iconic and beloved characters from the comics and TV who will bring their own brand of action, drama, and fun to Avengers Academy.

Check out Marvel.com for all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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Hulk and Tigra emerge from the Timefog as Nick Fury's secrets begin coming to light!

Hulk smashes his way into “Marvel Avengers Academy” this week as the Gamma Zone section of the Timefog finally clears up.

We’ve banished the symbiotes, locked up Carnage, and now our students can focus on mysteries a little closer to home. Still suspicious of Nick Fury, Black Widow wants to use this opportunity to discover more about the Timefog and what he’s hiding. With more of the fog fading, freeing Hulk from its clutches, there’s so much to be explored. With new Academy levels, buildings, heroes, and actions, this story update provides a welcome sight to players who have already discovered all the secrets they could so far.

We got Allen Warner, senior narrative designer at TinyCo, to step away from his Gamma experiments for a few minutes to tell us what it’s like to bring the Hulk to life and expand “Marvel Avengers Academy.”

Marvel.com: The addition of new Academy levels and the unlocking of the Gamma Zone bring a ton of new content into the world of “Marvel Avengers Academy.” What new characters are coming to the campus?

Allen Warner: The first two new recruits are Tigra and Hulk. Tigra is great. She’s already an accomplished young Super Hero, and a burgeoning supermodel, so she brings this uber-confident swagger to the Academy. I feel like she’s immediately the most mature person on campus, so it’s a lot of fun to watch her interact with the more mature students at the school like Black Widow and Captain America, and the more immature students like Enchantress. Of course, she also has awesome feline abilities, and our animation team did a great job as usual showcasing how powerful and graceful she is while also having some fun with the cat angle. She brings a completely unique look to the game, and I think our art team did an amazing job with all three of her visual ranks. She’s voiced by Bella Thorne, and she was one of the first characters we announced for the game, so I’m excited that she’s finally entering Avengers Academy.

Hulk is the strongest there is, but that doesn’t always work out in his favor. He struggles to deal with a world built for “puny” people, and has the tendency to push people away because he’s afraid of what might happen if he loses his temper. He’s just trying to figure out who he is and find his way, but he’s constantly being courted by everyone from the school’s faculty to its rivals since having Hulk on your side immediately makes your goals more attainable. A lot of characters look at him like some out of control monster, but he’s actually one of the kindest and most thoughtful characters in the game. He has some great animations showcasing everything from his extreme power to his anger management techniques, and has what I think is some of the best voiceovers in the game provided by [WWE Superstar] John Cena.

We’ll also be releasing another very notable hero, and featuring new cameos, visuals, and clues from characters we’ve met before, and others who will be introduced for the first time.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little bit about how Hulk comes to the Academy? Are we going to learn more about the Timefog and Fury’s secrets?

Allen Warner: Yeah, if you’ve explored the area outside of the campus, you’ve probably noticed Hulk struggling to escape the Timefog. Unfortunately, even he doesn’t remember how he got there, so a big part of the main story after he’s freed is uncovering how and why he ended up trapped in the Timefog. The big piece of visible debris next to him in the Gamma Zone has always been the first clue. Black Widow leads the charge to free him because she thinks there are more clues to the Timefog’s origin in the Gamma Zone, and because she needs someone with Hulk’s extreme strength to help her break into Nick Fury’s vaults beneath the campus, and uncover his secret. A big portion of the story in this release will be following the heroes as they learn more about the Timefog and Fury’s secrets, and move closer to the big reveal.

Marvel.com: New characters and story galore, will there also be new Academy buildings?

Allen Warner: We’re adding a really cool new building called the Asgardian Gauntlet. Odin designs a new combat training building on campus where students can fight holographic versions of themselves, along with other heroes and villains who they’ve battled in the past. It looks amazing, and one of the coolest aspects of it is that Odin steps out onto the playspace for the first time to observe the new combat actions that take place there.

Marvel.com: In terms of heroes and buildings already in the game, will we see new levels and actions?

Allen Warner: Yes, there will be a lot of visual upgrades for both buildings and heroes. For buildings, players will be able to upgrade Avengers Stadium, The Timeless Archives, The Arena of War, The Blasting Range, and The Power Gym. Each one unlocks new actions, including some great new animations like Cap’s shield toss, and Ares stepping into the Arena to spar with the students firsthand. There will also be a lot of character upgrades, including the ability to unlock Wasp, Black Widow, and Loki’s maximum rank outfits.

Marvel.com: Hulk has been an early access hero since the game’s launch. Now that he’s coming into the story and will be unlockable for everyone, will someone new take his early access status?

Allen Warner: Thor! You’ve probably also noticed him trapped in the Timefog, locked in battle with a Frost Giant, but players will now be given the opportunity to free him early.  I love having him at the school. He’s a jock with a heart of gold who’s always looking for the next challenge while trying to adjust to these strange Midgardian customs. He’s the immediate center of attention, and has some great interactions with everyone from Wasp to Enchantress, and you can probably guess how Loki feels about having his long-lost [brother] at his side once again. He looks awesome, his actions and animations are appropriately spectacular, and Colton Haynes did an amazing job with his voiceover. Everyone will be able to recruit him for free when we unlock the Thunder Zone, but I’m glad we got to add him early because I had a ton of fun writing him, and he adds so much to Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: I’m sure everyone is excited to dig into this; will there be a longer break before the next big event to give players time to work toward unlocking all the new content?

Allen Warner: There will be some time before our next big event, which was teased pretty heavily during the Spider-Man event, and will introduce classic heroes from the comics and TV. In between now and then, we’ll have a mini-event more similar in scope to our recent British Invasion event, where A.I.M. finally unleashes M.O.D.O.K. on Avengers Academy, and new heroes including Squirrel Girl and Phil Coulson help the Avengers save the day. I’m really excited about this one because Squirrel Girl is one of my favorites, and a perfect fit for our tone and school. We had a lot of fun reimagining a young fanboy Phil Coulson who dreams of being a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and I think players will enjoy our new approach to a—mostly—kinder, gentler, fun-loving M.O.D.O.K.

For the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” watch Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Celebrate Marvel's 'Captain America: Civil War' by bringing the battle into your own hands!

While waiting for Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” to arrive on home video, bide your time by bringing the battle to your smartphone or table with these incredible Marvel Games! Check out the games below and pre-order your copy of “Captain America: Civil War” now, available on Digital HD September 2 and 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD September 13.

Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel Contest of Champions


Get it on iTunes!

Get it on Google Play!

Marvel Avengers Academy

Marvel Avengers Academy

Get it on iTunes!
Get it on Google Play!

Marvel Avengers Academy

Marvel Avengers Academy

Get it on Google Play!

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Get it on iTunes!
Get it on Google Play!

Marvel Avengers Academy

Marvel Avengers Academy

Get it on iTunes!
Get it on Google Play!

Get your copy of “Captain America: Civil War” on Digital HD September 2 and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD September 13! Make sure to follow @CaptainAmerica on Twitter and like “Captain America: Civil War” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

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Creative Director Bill Rosemann gets you caught up on all the updates straight from SDCC!

Marvel.com’s got a man inside Marvel Games.

For over two decades Bill Rosemann has a part of the Marvel family, from his time as a freelance writer for Marvel Age magazine, to marketing copywriter, to “Your Man @ Marvel” blogger, to writer of the Deadline limited series, to editor of dozens of comic series including Nova, Black Panther, Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy. Bill also helped launch the Disney Kingdom imprint and was part of the team that co-created the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy. Bill is now Creative Director for Marvel Games, where he uses his knowledge and passion for the House of Ideas to collaborate with partners around the world on hit titles for console, PC and mobile devices.

Every few weeks, Bill and talented members of the Marvel Games team join us to share their stories as well as exclusive news and scoops on what’s happening in the world of gaming!

Marvel.com: Bill! I gotta say, I’m glad you finally woke up because I know you have been asleep since returning from San Diego Comic-Con 2016.
Bill Rosemann: I tell you Wolfman, San Diego is unlike any other event. I’ll say it’s comparable to New York Comic-Con, but it’s a different coast, and since we’re on the West Coast, there is an increased presence of television and studios and that brings a whole different type of special guests and crowds.

Marvel.com: Also more In-N-Out.
Bill Rosemann:
Also more In-N-Out burgers.

Marvel.com: Also more surf boards and…
Bill Rosemann:
All the good stuff Cali has.

Marvel.com: Yeah!
Bill Rosemann: It is its own unique experience and I just wanna say to all the listeners out there, all the True Believers, who may have been following all the coverage on Marvel.com and watching all the videos, reading all the articles and that we love that. You’re probably wondering, “Okay, I’ve seen all the videos, I’ve seen the panel videos and the live streaming, I’ve read all the articles, but what’s it really like to be there?” Let me tell you, it is amazing. It’s everything you grew up loving. All the comics, TV shows, cartoons, movies, video games, books, it’s everything you love all mixed up in a blender and it’s just the biggest fandom party. I’ve been going for almost twenty years, back when I used to be Your Man at Marvel and do the marketing and I used to go–

Marvel.com: So you went to your first one when you were nine years old.
Bill Rosemann: Now here I am, almost thirty! I’ve been going for many, many years and I used to help run the booth and run the panels, and to see the growth of Marvel is fantastic and to see how much energy and muscle and effort that Marvel puts into it and to see now, coming out of the event, just the impact that Marvel had. From the huge Marvel TV panel, I was just expecting news of “Marvel’s Luke Cage”. It was like ‘“Marvel’s Luke Cage’ and hey, ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ Season 3, ‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’ and hey, here’s a teaser for ‘Marvel’s The Defenders”’. Everyone was like, ‘Whoa! Marvel TV brought it!’ so that was huge and awesome to see. Then, all day, all the different comic panels from the “Civil War II”, the “X-Men vs. Inhumans” panels, Joe’s huge “Cup O’ Joe” panels. And then [the] Marvel Games part in the “Marvel Download” panel, which is great that Ryan Penagos hosted. We’re really happy to be a part of that and we choose to be a part of that at San Diego to make some announcements because we know the eyes of fandom are upon us.

Marvel.com: And before we get into the plethora of announcements from San Diego, there can be many frustrations and anxiety-inducing events when surrounded by thousands–

Bill Rosemann: Yeah, thousands of people and there’s all this cool stuff to see and you’re trying to negotiate the floor, it’s–

Marvel.com: What you said is it’s a celebration of every pop culture, nerd subculture, comic—anything you love…
Bill Rosemann:
It’s there.

Marvel.com: You can find another fan there for whatever you love.
Bill Rosemann:
Yeah.

Marvel.com: The day-to-day maneuvering of all these people can cause you stress, but it’s such a joyous expression of so many people coming together for things that they love and that concept is not limited to San Diego Comic-Con. If you live in New York, if you live in Chicago, if you live in Austin.
Bill Rosemann: That’s why I loved going to all the conventions. I remember going to the Wizard World convention in Philadelphia, Wizard World in Chicago, I love the Charlotte Comic-Con down in North Carolina, that’s a great show. I’ve been to Mega-Con down in Orlando, that’s a really fun show. Every show is different and awesome in its own way and I never dreamed that there would be conventions across the nation, if not across the world. The first show I went to, I was probably eleven and I lived down in Tennessee and it was at a Holiday Inn and it was one room. And I’ll never forget, the special guest, was [Jackson] Butch Guice, an awesome artist who did some great work on our Micronauts comic and before that had done awesome work on Doctor Strange. I walked up to him, eleven-year-old Bill Rosemann, and for some reason I asked him about the Dazzler graphic novel. I don’t know why, just because he was someone from Marvel.

And I remember other people around me started laughing and I remember he took my question seriously and said, “Hey, I don’t work on it, but I hear it’s gonna be great!” and I never forgot that and I actually worked with Butch years later.

Marvel.com: Really?

Bill Rosemann: At CrossGen when I was down there, I let him know, “Hey man, when I was a kid I came up to talk to you and you were really nice to me,” and I don’t think he liked that it happened when I was a kid, it made him feel old. But I said, “No, dude, you’re a legend and you were nice to me, you took the time out to talk to me,” and that’s the magic of the conventions, you’re able to meet your creative heroes and see that they’re just like you. They’re fans like you and it’s always a delight when you find out how nice they are.

Marvel.com: And especially in this digital environment, when it’s so easy for fans to sling mud at either one another or a game or creator or book. It’s easy to do that, but at conventions, you’re making an active choice of “I’m spending money to go to this thing to support a culture that I love.”
Bill Rosemann:
That’s right.

Marvel.com: Even though it’s easy to get down on how negative the fan culture can be, if you’re looking for the antithesis of that, you go to a convention.
Bill Rosemann:
Exactly. I try in my life to focus on the positive and that’s again why I like conventions. As you said, people are making a choice. The people who work there, the fans, the creators–they’re choosing to journey there, take time out, spend money, spend the time and it’s really all because a lot of us are so thankful to be in the industry that we loved growing up and we’re very thankful to the people that care about what we’re working on and it’s just. It’s fun to meet other fans and to see that, yeah, I suppose there can be a downside of technology, that people can be anonymous and people’s worst sides can come out, but on the flip side, it also leads to awesome interactions. People can use technology to let their best sides come out so speaking of all that and speaking of all things cool and digital let’s talk about the “Marvel Download” panel!

Marvel.com: I’m glad you said, “Speaking of the reason why we’re here to talk,” because that spared me from having to do it.
Bill Rosemann:
First we started talking about how great it is to celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary and how we reached out to all of our partners and how seven of them responded. Instead of just spotlighting Captain America in their games we said, “Hey let’s work together and introduce all new Captain Americas to debut in your games,” and it was just amazing to see how partners reacted and how they made these Captain Americas. They invested in them and I think the reaction to say, you know, the Peggy Carter Captain America in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” or the Sharon Rogers Captain America in “Marvel Future Fight” or the Civil Warrior Captain America in “Marvel Contest of Champions.” It got a great response from the fans and just yesterday I saw a final design for our seventh and final all-new Captain America.

We are working with our friends at “Marvel Heroes 2016,” that’s Gazillion, and we are creating what I’m calling a modern military Captain America that we previously talked about and the intention is the Captain America is inspired by today’s men and women in the armed forces. When you see this Captain America and when you hear the additional story wrapped around him that we will announce soon, you’ll see why he’s so special. But for all of us who have service members in our family or know of them or are just very thankful for their service this is sort of our tribute to them to say that, “Hey, Captain America is a super solider, but the real super soldiers are those, past and present, who have served,” so stay tuned to see the seventh Captain America. He is awesome.

Marvel.com: We’re so familiar with the iconic World War Two Captain America and it’s easy to look to our past and think of a time where the lines between good and evil were more clearly defined, but there are still people today acting just as heroically in today’s military service.
Bill Rosemann: And I always remind people and remind myself that for Steve Rogers, it isn’t the past for him. He was frozen in ice right when he was in the thick of it and unfrozen—we say in the Marvel Universe there’s a sliding scale of ten years ago that he was re-thawed, but really when you think of things that happened ten years ago they’re pretty fresh in your mind. For him, it’s not something in the past, it’s something he recently experienced and so we want to make that connection between soldiers who served in the past and soldiers who are serving now. It’s a very current thing and I think that Captain America continues to have that current connection to people and I’m really excited about this Captain America and we’ll have more details on this Captain America soon so stay tuned, True Believers.

Marvel.com: And speaking of current and different interpretations of characters, we’ve had success “Marvel Avengers Academy.”
Bill Rosemann:
Right!

Marvel.com: Which reimagines characters in a high school setting.
Bill Rosemann:
We talked about the Spider-Man special event that’s happening in “Marvel Avengers Academy,” that’s made by our friends at TinyCo. The Avengers Academy is the ultimate Marvel super hero school, a simulation game where you build a school and then manage the careers of Marvel characters who have been reinterpreted as students and we like to have special events. It’s like in publishing, we have an event like Civil War II, and right now we’re having a special Spider-Man event where writer Allen Warren and artist David Nakayama have this awesome story where the students of Empire State University have come to Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Oh no!
Bill Rosemann:
Yeah! So you’re seeing Spider-Man and he’s younger, but you’re also seeing Spider-Man 2099 and Mary Jane and Spider-Gwen, but on the evil side you’re also seeing younger versions of Venom and Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin and Black Cat.

Marvel.com: When Doctor Octopus was pre-med.
Bill Rosemann:
Yeah, this was when he was still studying science.

Marvel.com: Still an unpaid intern.
Bill Rosemann:
And feeling that his genius was not being realized so all that’s baked in there and you’re really getting an authentic Spider-Man experience at Avengers Academy. And here’s the cool thing: There’s a “Spider-Man: Homecoming” premiere contest! All you have to do is download “Marvel Avengers Academy,” it’s free to play and download on your mobile device. You just have to download the game and play in the Spider-Man event and you’ll be automatically entered to win an all-expenses paid trip to the premiere of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” when it comes out next year.

Speaking of cool things, we also revealed at San Diego that more characters are coming to “Marvel Contest of Champions.” Right now there’s an event going on called “X-Men Terrigenocide,” so as you can guess by that name, it’s all about the Terrigen Mist and how it’s affecting mutants. What I love is this is another example of how closely Marvel Games works with other divisions, in this case, Marvel Publishing. For the past few months there’s been this brewing conflict between mutants and Inhumans and at San Diego, we just announced the “Death of X” event and the upcoming “Inhumans vs. X-Men” event and this event in “Contest of Champions” is very much a reflection of that. We just introduced Beast to the game and in the game Hank McCoy has analyzed how the Terrigen Mist is affecting mutant DNA and there’s this brewing collision in the game happening between the X-Men and the Inhumans. And as part of that we’ve been introducing new characters, so we’ve introduced Nightcrawler, we’ve introduced Beast and we just announced at the Comic-Con that in the month of August Gambit is coming to the game!

Marvel.com: Ho! Ho! Ho! Mon ami!
Bill Rosemann:
Mon ami! Oh, Rogue, why won’t you kiss me? Ho! Ho! Ho! That’s my bad Pepé Le Pew imitation.

Marvel.com: We’re both French, we’re both just doing French people.
Bill Rosemann:
But if that’s not enough bad boys for you, also joining him in August is Loki. So how will the Lord of Lies affect–

Marvel.com: The Lord of Love, if you will?
Bill Rosemann:
Will he bring love to the war? We don’t know. Will mutants and Inhumans hug it out?

Marvel.com: Let’s hope so.
Bill Rosemann:
Let’s hope so. Our friends at Kabam, who makes “Contest of Champions,” had a pop-up shop at a place called Bait that was a few blocks from the convention and the convention-goers who went there were able to actually play Gambit and Loki so that was a fun interaction for the fans, let them have a hands on interacting with the game on new characters.

And speaking of new characters, we also announced at Comic-Con that coming to “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” which is our match-three game by our friends at D3 GO!, coming on July 28th is The Wasp, Janet van Dyne. That’s a character that’s been receiving a lot of attention, thanks to the Wasp’s inclusion in Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” so we’re happy to see that Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp, will be appearing in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” and she’s not alone.

Following soon will be the Inhumans we were speaking of earlier, Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans! He’ll be coming to the game and also the modern version of Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman. She’s wearing her all-new, all different cool costume. I love that series that Dennis Hopeless is writing and Javier Rodriguez is drawing and we love that costume. This is another example of how we are working with other divisions to bring the latest and greatest to all of our games. And speaking of latest and greatest, also revealed at San Diego is a new character to “Marvel Future Fight,” which is another free-to-download mobile game. This one’s made by our friends at Netmarble in Korea and coming to that game on August 17th is Gwenpool!

Marvel.com: Oh boy!
Bill Rosemann:
Yes, the unbelievable Gwenpool. This is her first appearance in any Marvel game. For the month of August, she will be exclusive to “Marvel Future Fight” and I wanna give a shout out to on Marvel Editorial Jordan White and Heather Antos. We shared the art with them to make sure we got the details right and they pointed out a couple things to adjust to get her perfect. I love working with my friends at Editorial, to show them what we’re working on and I always want to make sure we’re reflecting the characters properly and since this is her first appearance in a game, we wanted to get her totally right. I’ve seen footage of her in the game and she’s awesome. If you love Gwenpool and you love the idea of this fellow fangirl who loves comics and wakes up one day in the Marvel Universe, we’re trying to capture that sense of fun in the game and she kicks butt.

Marvel.com: Great.
Bill Rosemann:
Oh! Related to Gwenpool is in an upcoming release to Marvel Pinball made by our friend Zen. On September 27th, we are releasing a Marvel’s Women of Power two-pack. I’ve noticed in all my announcements that I’ve mentioned a lot of female characters and that’s because we really believe in them here at Marvel Games. From the Peggy Carter Captain America and the Sharon Rogers Captain America to Black Cat, Mary Jane and Spider-Gwen in “Avengers Academy” to a lot of the female characters appearing in “Contest of Champions” and more to come to Spider-Woman and Wasp in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” and Gwenpool in “Future Fight,” you see we’re announcing all these female characters. In this two-pack coming to “Marvel Pinball,” the reason it’s a two-pack is because we have so many awesome female characters. We hatched the idea of “Hey, what if we split it up? What if we do one that we’re gonna call ‘Marvel’s Women of Power A-Force,'” which features the adult female characters like Black Widow and you will fight against Madam Mask? You’ll team with other adult female heroes such as Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Jane Foster Thor, Spider-Woman and The Wasp; they’re all in the game.

Marvel.com: But is there gonna be an Aunt May?
Bill Rosemann:
Wow. I mean, anything can happen! I don’t exactly remember, but man, can you imagine playing pinball and suddenly some wheat cakes come flying at you? That’d be perfect.

Marvel.com: We can pitch that to the partners at Zen.
Bill Rosemann:
Let’s get on that. Marvel’s Women on Power, Aunt May: The Game. The other pack is “Marvel’s Women of Power: Champions” and that’s the name of the new team that Marvel Publishing recently announced that focuses on the un-adult characters. This one focuses on Ms. Marvel and she fights Bombshell, who we really liked; we took her from the Ultimate Universe; we thought she was great character so you’re Ms. Marvel in the game and when you play it, you’ll see the story and why it happens, but you end up fighting Bombshell in Jersey City, but you get to team with your fellow young adult female heroes including America Chavez, Kate Bishop Hawkeye, Nico a.k.a. Sister Grimm, Squirrel Girl and Spider-Gwen. They’re all in the game and both of those are gonna be available on September 27th.

Marvel.com: I’m just wondering—you’re mentioning all these games that already exist for most players.
Bill Rosemann:
Right. This is true.

Marvel.com: Are there any new games coming “tsum”?
Bill Rosemann:
I’m glad you are so smart to phrase it in that way, Wolfman, because YES! At San Diego we made the worldwide exclusive announcement because we wanted to reward everyone who came to San Diego and came to the panel. We made the exclusive announcement that the “Marvel Tsum Tsum” game, which is the free-to-play mobile game that launched earlier this year in Japan only. That game is going global in 2016. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Tsum Tsums, they debuted in 2013 as these stackable plushies. And that’s what Tsum Tsum means in Japanese, it means stack, stack stack. They’re these little, small, stackable versions of our heroes and they just caught on like crazy and they came out of the Disney Tsum Tsum line.

We’ve really “Marvelized” it and brought all the detailing you would want to the characters. It began as plushies and then it became the game in Japan. Even though it’s only been in Japan, it’s been downloaded four million times there. Let me tell you, I was involved with it from day one, working on it. We really re-thought the game; we want it to feel completely and authentically Marvel so we re-thought everything from the UI to the gameplay experience to the features to the—there’s all-new things like missions and there’s special powers that the characters have and we really looked at what characters people would want so you have all of our big families that we love: The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, the Defenders, the Inhumans.

We also looked at the latest and the greatest, what’s happening now, so you will see the roster goes deep and characters like Squirrel Girl and Spider-Gwen and—well, I can’t reveal them all, but just to let everyone know that from the characters who debuted back in the ’60s through the ’70s, ’80s to today, they will be in the game. Our roster goes wide and deep and it’s gonna be so much fun and we can’t announce when exactly it’s gonna hit, but just know before the calendar year is up, you will be able to finally play “Marvel Tsum Tsum” on your smart device.

Another new thing we talked about at the con was the Spider-Man game that we are creating with our friends at Insomniac for PS4. Brian Intihar, who is a Creative Director at Insomniac, was there so we called him up on stage! We weren’t able to really reveal anything new, but we watched the trailer and we just asked Brian what it was like to be working on the game and he really showed everyone that, just like us, he’s a huge Marvel fan and he was a lifelong Spider-Man fan. He told us about how when he was a little kid, when he’d go to his mom to stores, he’d always bring his Spider-Man action figure and have Spider-Man jumping shelf-to-shelf, causing chaos and now he’s grown up and he gets the opportunity to work on the game. For all of us, we’re living the Spider-Man mantra “With great power there must come great responsibility,” this has to the best Spider-Man experience in game form and it will be.

Marvel.com: We’ve had updates to existing games and we’ve talked about new games coming soon. Sometimes fans are in the mood to play a game that’s familiar to them.
Bill Rosemann:
That’s right.

Marvel.com: They just go back to their old catalogue of Marvel games—is there anything you can offer us fans who like revisiting classic Marvel games?
Bill Rosemann:
We can indeed! It was our last announcement of our panel at San Diego and sometimes there’s no school like old school and so we’re going back to class! We worked with our friends at Activision and—in fact, you can get them right now, you can get “Marvel Ultimate Alliance,” available for digital download on PS4 and Xbox One and PC. They’re available to get now, and you can get ’em separately or you can get ’em as a bundle.

What’s cool is for the first time ever, fans can play online co-op with their friends! You can play by yourself, you can invite your friends over to sit on the couch next to you or you can go online and play co-op. A lot of people have a lot of fond memories of playing these games and teaming up with their friends and going on these missions and both are available now. I just want to send out a special message to all of our Ultimate Alliance fans and I just wanna say that we hear you and we’ve been hearing your concerns for those who have downloaded the games. You have some concerns about how they’re playing and what’s available and what’s not available and we are passing on your concerns and your message to our friends at Activision. I can’t promise anything, I can’t promise what will happen, but just know we hear you and we are like you, we are game fans. We want your voice to be heard and we’re sharing that with Activision so please stay tuned.

Marvel.com: Well, Bill, I’d say that’s a succinct roundup of the massive experience we both shared at San Diego Comic-Con.
Bill Rosemann:
It was awesome and I think if you look below our transcript you’ll see links to coverage of things we announced at San Diego Comic-Con. I believe there’s a story on “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” there is a story on “Marvel Contest of Champions,” there is a story on “Marvel Tsum Tsum” and on “Marvel Ultimate Alliance,” all written by our friends at Marvel.com and you can click on those links and read more. And I just wanna say thanks to all the fans who came to the show, who came to the panel, and who watched all the live streams, who read all the articles. I wanna say thank you, thanks for playing, thanks for caring, thanks for being part of the Marvel Games family.

I also wanna give a big shout out to everyone on the Marvel staff who traveled to the con and worked day-after-day for long hours to hand out all the freebies and organize all the signings, and I’m someone who is speaking from experience. I did it and it’s tough. It’s fun, but it’s tough, and then you gotta fly back, often on a red eye Sunday night back to New York and go back to work on Monday. But everyone at Marvel does it because they love the fans and they love Marvel and so for all of us to all of you out there, thank you and we will see you next year at San Diego.

Marvel.com: And now, we’re both gonna go back to sleep.
Bill Rosemann:
Good night!

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Venom and Carnage lead an army against the students!

As players wrap up the storyline to Act 1 of the amazing Spider-Event in “Marvel Avengers Academy,” Green Goblin lies defeated and a slew of new heroes have been recruited to the Academy.

But the terrors don’t end there.

Deep in the underbelly of Oscorp, Norman and his lackeys had begun experiments on alien Symbiotes, hoping to unlock the power held in them for their own nefarious purposes. Now, in his attempt to send the Symbiotes back out to space, Peter releases them from their cages and out onto the streets of New York! Venom and Carnage lead an army of their Symbiote brethren against Spider-Man and his spectacular super hero friends in order to stomp out the academy once and for all.

The heroes of Avengers Academy need all the help they can get in defeating this new enemy, and fortunately help they will receive! Spider-heroes from different time periods and different dimensions make their way to this timeline in order to save New York, and the New Yorks of every other dimension, from these evil Symbiotes.

Marvel.com: Act 1 has wrapped up and Osborn has been defeated, but a new threat looms. What are the Symbiotes planning to do now that they’re free from Oscorp?

Allen Warner: Like any good super villain, they’re trying to take over the world. When Act 2 begins, Symbiotes are already rampaging through New York on their way to global domination. Venom and Carnage are the leaders, and their immediate concern is getting revenge against Green Goblin and all of the Oscorp scientists for keeping them captive. They soon realize, however, that Avengers Academy is the most centralized location of superhumans on the planet, so they set their sights on assimilating and corrupting as many of the students as they can to make their army stronger. When they’ve decimated Avengers Academy, and used the superhumans to take over Earth, they’ll try to satisfy their insatiable Symbiote hunger for power by moving on to new planets and universes.

Marvel.com: How will players defend Avengers Academy and the rest of New York City from the alien menace?

Allen Warner: Players will fight back with special event characters, and battle-oriented outfits. You’ll be able to use Horizon Labs to craft new inventions designed to defeat the Symbiotes and specific bosses, and you’ll train your heroes to get stronger, unlocking new and more powerful super attacks. By defeating more Symbiotes, you’ll gather samples and information that will help our heroes figure out how stop the Symbiotes, and send them back to their home planet before they can threaten the rest of the Marvel Omniverse.

Marvel.com: Spider-characters from present, future, and even alternate universe are coming to our aid; who are we going to see pop up first?

Allen Warner: Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man 2099 will be available at the very beginning of Act 2. I really love the way they both turned out. They look great, their animations are really unique and entertaining, and I had a lot of fun writing how these characters from alternate timelines and universes deal with the students and staff at the Academy. As we know, Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker have an important and complicated relationship in every universe, so it was really interesting to explore how they react to each other in our unique world. Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man 2099 are the only Spider-Heroes we’ve announced to this point, but there may be one more big surprise coming later in Act 2…

Marvel.com: Venom and Carnage will be leading the charge, but will we see other known Symbiote characters?

Allen Warner: There will be many variations of Symbiotes in Carnage and Venom’s army, but they’ll be the only known Symbiote characters you’ll battle or have a chance to recruit. I always try to include a lot of Marvel Easter eggs in the game, however, so if you know the Spider-Verse and the other Symbiotes, you’ll definitely catch some clues and references that other players might miss.

Marvel.com: The Symbiotes pose a problem, but the Sinister Six also hasn’t been wiped out. Will the remaining members feature in this part of the event?

Allen Warner: Yes, the Sinister Six will still be a big part of Act 2. The Lizard, Doctor Octopus, and Green Goblin have decided to join Avengers Academy and give heroism a shot, and that opens the door for other members to fill their villainous void, and get the glory of being the guy who took down Spider-Man. Mysterio will take the first shot. He’s always been one of my favorite characters because he’s so unique and over-the-top, and we turned that dial even higher with the animations and stories for our version. Electro won’t be far behind, and he’s a ton of fun too. He brings a unique power set to Avengers Academy, and an energy level that’s off the charts. Our version of Electro is a constantly hyped-up jock who’s always looking for more and more power to keep the hype train going. Anyone who’s been playing the game knows that Wasp is the most excitable and energetic character at the Academy. Electro is like Wasp after drinking three pots of coffee and a case of energy drinks. And he’s like that all the time. I don’t chuckle to myself very often while writing dialogue, but it happened a few times writing Electro’s interactions. By the end of the event, a character you might not expect will step up to lead a new iteration of the Sinister Six with surprisingly heroic motivations.

Marvel.com: Once players defeat the Symbiotes and recruit the new Spider-Heroes, what’s next on the horizon for Avengers Academy? Fans are itching for a hyper-accurate hero of the avian variety…

Allen Warner: Yeah, I know players are eagerly awaiting Hawkeye. We all know he’s going to join the Academy, but I’m still not allowed to say exactly when. Trust me, I love him as much as anyone, and I’ll continue trying to walk the fine line of having him cameo as much as possible so that we can all enjoy his awesomeness without torturing players with the fact that they can’t recruit him yet.

Get all the latest news and more on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

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