The Thunder God gets a revamp as a new challenger enters Battlerealm!

Thor’s smashed his way out of the Sakaar arena and into Battlerealm, bringing the thunder and his electrifying personality direct from “Thor: Ragnarok” to “Marvel Contest of Champions.” Instead of his hammer, the Thunder God wields divine lightning against his foes, and woe be to anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.

Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Piero Herrera talked with us about this new Thor and all the awesome he brings to the Contest.

Marvel.com: This is an interesting development: the Grandmaster from “Marvel Contest of Champions” nabbing up Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Grandmaster? My mind is blown.

Gabriel Frizzera: The universes seem to be bleeding into each other, don’t they? That’s one of the best things of developing a story in partnership with Marvel: The awesome ideas cross-pollinate in all directions, and we end up with a much stronger Marvel multiverse. In the case of The Grandmaster, he shares a lot of traits between the movie and the game, and it was very cool that the Contest of Champions is making the jump from comics to game to movie. I hope the MCU guys don’t mind us borrowing their version of Thor to test his mettle; our version of The Contest can be pretty tough. We promised to return him mostly intact!

Marvel.com: And it looks like he’s come straight from the Sakaar arena, armor, weapons, and all! What were some of the most important details the team wanted to get right for this version of Thor?

Gabriel Frizzera: The cool asymmetric armor, of course! “Thor: Ragnarok” has a great art style, in some cases lifted straight from some of Jack Kirby’s most iconic designs. We love everything about “Gladiator” Thor, and his outfit and weapons are pure Kirby goodness.

Marvel.com: We already have a couple Thors in the game. What’s different about Thor (Ragnarok)?

Gabriel Frizzera: For all intents and purposes of a fighting game, other than the name, this Thor has very little in common with his classic counterpart. He was built from the ground up as a gladiator and his moves take advantage of the shield and mace combo, which is a first for us. It would be hard to create something radically different from the two Thors we have in game, so we’re glad we have a chance to create a fresh take on the God of Thunder while keeping his dashing personality, of course!

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about his abilities! Thunder God’s Wrath sounds absolutely awesome. We get to control lightning?!

Piero Herrera: Absolutely! Thor’s entire ability kit is focused around his Special 3 Attack, where he controls lightning and the effect lasts after the Special Attack as well. While this ability is active, Thor will be able to Shock opponents when attacking and being attacked. Shock will not only deal Energy Damage, but will also have a chance to inflict Armor Break and Stuns whenever it activates. This provides Thor huge burst damage capabilities, specifically if you use a Special 2 Attack to land as many hits as you can.

Marvel.com: What other abilities does the Odinson have access to?

Piero Herrera: Like I mentioned previously, Thor’s entire ability kit is focused on his Special 3 Attack, so it makes sense that he has multiple ways to get there. If you are able to maintain 40 hits in your combo meter, he will gain enough Power to do a Special 3 Attack within seconds. This is one of the most powerful Power Gain abilities in the game and will prove very useful whenever you are playing with this Champion.

Marvel.com: And what about his teammates? He might be alone in the arena, but Thor’s always been a team player.

Piero Herrera: Pairing him up with Hulk, Loki, and Hela will provide him unique bonuses that will make him one of the top tier Champions in the game and also make those teammates much more powerful as well. Specifically, the synergy with Hela will allow Thor to recover Health whenever he kills an opponent.

Marvel.com: When can we pick up Thor (Ragnarok) for ourselves?

Piero Herrera: Thor will be available on November 9; be sure to check out in-game messages to know how to get him and get a taste of the Thunder God’s wrath!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Avengers Academy

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

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

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

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Learn what a formidable force the Day Walker is beginning on October 26.

Armed to the fangs with vampire hunting weaponry and a less than sunny disposition, Blade slices his way into “Marvel Contest of Champions” ready to bring down some bloodsuckers. Want to harness the Day Walker’s vampiric powers for yourself? Well we talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera and we’ve got the skinny on all his awesome abilities.

Marvel.com: How did the Day Walker end up in the Contest? Out hunting vampires in space?

Gabriel Frizzera: It’s the final frontier for vampire hunters! Blade came to The Battlerealm to hunt Guillotine, who possesses the infamous bloodsucking sword “La Fleur du Mal.” So, in his own point of view, he’s still hunting a vampire. It’s up to Doctor Strange and his friends to stop him before he puts a stake through poor Guilly.

Marvel.com: And he definitely looks like he’s ready to get to slicing. Where’d the team get the duds?

Gabriel Frizzera: His costume is a blend of many incarnations, from the classic cinematic leathered costume to some of the comics’ most recent versions. We decided to go with a non-trenchcoat look with a kevlar vest like in the comics to better show his tattooed guns, as well as his double katanas and throwing stars. And of course the sunglasses, because Blade likes to fight in the shade!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Blade’s Vampiric Immortality?

Piero Herrera: Vampiric Immortality is one of the most powerful regeneration abilities in the game, and it is practically the first time the player will be able to control when and how much health to heal. This ability will activate whenever players hold their block stance, converting a portion of their current power to health. Blade also gets Power from nearby Bleeding opponents, synergizing really well with his regeneration ability.

Marvel.com: And Danger Sense? What’s going on there?

Piero Herrera: Danger Sense provides a huge attack bonus against Dimensional Beings like Dormammu, Mephisto and Magik. Additionally, Danger Sense will also lowers their opponent’s Ability Accuracy. That said, Danger Sense is not only useful against Dimensional Beings, if you pair him with the right team.

Marvel.com: We don’t have very many other vampire hunters on the roster, but who does Blade want to team up with?

Piero Herrera: Pairing him up with Ghost Rider will allow his Danger Sense to expand to all Villain Champions while pairing him up with Dormammu and Mephisto will also allow him to go hunt all Mystic Champions with his Danger Sense. To finish off, his Danger Sense bonuses are enhanced if you pair Blade with Spider-Man (Stark Enhanced)!

Marvel.com: And when do we get to fight with Blade on our side?

Piero Herrera: Blade will officially enter The Contest on October 26. Make sure to check out your in-game messages for more information on how to get The Battlerealm’s first vampire hunter, Blade!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

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The original wielder of La Fleur du Mal is prepared to steal souls in the Battlerealm.

An ancient and evil iron maiden Morningstar smashes her way into “Marvel Contest of Champions”  brandishing a blazing bludgeon and a seriously negative attitude. Wielding her namesake, what kind of trouble will Morningstar be stirring up on Battlerealm? Fear not, we asked Kabam Lead Character Artist Gene Campbell and Character Designer Simon Cameron all sorts of cool stuff about the Contest’s newest combatant

Marvel.com: This lady looks like she means some serious business. What’s Morningstar’s story?

Gene Campbell: Morningstar, once known as Queen Haasen of Languria used to have it all. Once a powerful Queen and tyrannical ruler over an ancient land, she used the cursed powers of the Guillotine sword to keep her frightened subjects loyal and subservient. However, her subjects had enough and the people revolted, taking the sword and its powers away. In her weakened state she was imprisoned in one of her very own torture devices she had used against them as she was locked away and forgotten over the centuries.

As time passed by locked in her iron prison, a mysterious and powerful stranger took notice. Queen Haasen was offered a deal to return to the world and become the Morningstar. All she had to do was help this stranger with obtaining a power of his own desire located within The Contest of Champions and he would return her cursed sword and all of its power that she obsessed over. But, like most deals with this mysterious stranger… there is some fine print, and The Morningstar’s vengeance will come at a price.

Marvel.com: And Morningstar a “Contest of Champions” original, right? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of her before this.

Gene Campbell: She sure is! We thought it was about time to expand on the world of our first original Marvel character, Guillotine. Guillotine, not only a very important character in the story of Contest of Champions but she has become quite the popular and useful character in the game. She’s a fan favorite and players love her abilities. So like any good Super Hero, she needed a nemesis and Morningstar was created.

We worked really hard to make sure she had an interesting, unique and iconic look. We knew we wanted her to be big and imposing, to have vibrant and contrasting materials that fans have come to expect from our characters. The idea is that she would be an overbearing, strong and aggressive war machine created from the living iron and brass that she was cursed to walk the Earth in. It was also important that like any great Marvel character, that she has a strong and layered narrative and rich backstory connecting her to Guillotine.

Marvel.com: What was it like coming up with abilities for a character we’ve never seen in the comics?

Simon Cameron: It was a lot of fun! We always do a bunch of research into what a character’s abilities are, and how we could represent them within The Contest, but usually this is limited to whatever reference material we can find online or in print. Since Morningstar is an original, we were able to sit down with the person who actually created the character to talk about what she could do, and even allow some of our ideas for gameplay to seep back into her lore.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about her abilities. The key to her power is collecting Souls right? Can you give us a little more info on that?

Simon Cameron: Absolutely, collecting Souls is core to Morningstar’s kit, and how she ramps up in power over the course of a quest. When she uses her Special 3 Attack, she gains a counter. Each time she deals damage to her Opponent, the counter increases and each time she receives damage the counter decreases. If the counter reaches 100, or she wins the fight (including killing her opponent with a Special 3 Attack), she steals the Soul. If it reaches 0, her Opponent maintains possession of their Soul until she tries again. Each Soul she gains unlocks additional abilities. For example, her Special 2 Attack becomes Unblockable with 3 Souls, and empowers others such as her Special 1 Attack which gains Energy Damage for each Soul.

Marvel.com: And what else can she do?

Simon Cameron: In additional to stealing Souls, Morningstar’s Signature Ability is an excellent counter to some Buff reliant Champions, especially those that rely on potent Fury, Power Gain, or Regeneration Buffs. Once unlocked, this ability reduces the potency of any of those Buffs that her Opponent triggers, and gives her own version of each of those Buffs as her Opponent triggers them. This can be extremely potent against the right Champion, allowing her to drastically reduce Hyperion’s Power Gain, or Wolverine’s Regeneration.

Marvel.com: Who does she play well with? She doesn’t look she makes friends easily.

Simon Cameron: While I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “friends,” she does have an arrangement of sorts with Mephisto. She brings him Souls in exchange for Power. As the original wielder of La Fleur du Mal, she shares a mystical connection with Guillotine’s bloodline, and finally she shares an understanding, such as it is, with Angela and Magik, each having faced similar challenges in ruling over their domains as both powerful warriors and queens.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know?

Simon Cameron: Morningstar will be coming to The Contest on October 12! Check her out as she’ll only be playable in Contest of Champions!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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Can the Battlerealm handle the Prince of Lies?

Want to clean some hero clocks with one of the biggest bad guys in the Marvel Universe? Kabam’s got you covered, unleashing Mephisto on the Collector and “Marvel Contest of Champions.”  Want to know what the crimson-clad villain’s up to? Well, we talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera about the Lord of Evil and all the mayhem he’ll no doubt be causing in the Contest. 

Marvel.com: Mephisto is a serious baddie! Can the Battlerealm even handle that much evil energy?

Gabriel Frizzera: That’s definitely a concern… the Battlerealm has been taking a beating lately, and Mephisto is known for causing mayhem wherever he goes! Nobody knows for sure how he arrived in The Contest (neither the Collector or the Grandmaster would want anything to do with the Prince of Lies), so one could assume Mephisto arrived on his own volition, which in many ways is probably worse. Whatever his plan is, Champions and Elders alike will have to watch their backs.

Marvel.com: And what exactly is his beef with the Grandmaster and The Contest?

Gabriel Frizzera: Personally I think he likes the chaos of The Contest of Champions… It’s his element. He’s not bound by allegiances, but the whole concept of a cosmic contest full of captive Super Heroes and Villains that he can manipulate attracts him. He can be free to use his mind tricks to play both sides, for his own amusement and benefit.

Marvel.com: Oh man Mephisto looks awesome here! Typically we see him rocking an all-red outfit. Where’d the bone armor come from?

Gabriel Frizzera: He’s dressed for the occasion! As much as we love the classic red tights, we thought it was a good opportunity to give give him a battle outfit to fight in The Contest. A bone armor felt like a good fit for the Lord of Hades, so we designed one inspired by a Roman Centurion, but with a hellish twist. He also wields a fiery whip to instill fear in the hearts of puny mortals.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about his abilities. Burning Aura sounds like a really powerful ability.

Piero Herrera: It sure is. This ability will shake the meta in the Alliance Wars game mode. It is also the first time we introduce an “Aura” that is based on proximity as opponents will occasionally take Incinerate damage when nearby Mephisto.

Marvel.com: And what in the world is Soul Imprisonment? That sounds crazy awesome.

Piero Herrera: Crazy awesome to counter Champions like Hyperion’s Power Gain at the start of the fight? Yes. This ability reduces the chance for opponents to activate their Buffs by 100%!

Marvel.com: What should we be looking for in teammates? I can’t imagine too many heroes or villains would want to hang out with the Mephisto.

Piero Herrera: Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider bargained with Mephisto, enabling them to get enhanced powers if on the same team. Doctor Strange gets more Life Steal and Ghost Rider gets a good boost to his attacks at the start of the fight.

Marvel.com: And when can we tap into his eldritch energies for ourselves?
Piero Herrera: Mephisto is live right now! Check your in-game inbox for more information on how to get him.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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Lord over Battlerealm with the Queen of the Inhumans!

Medusa makes her way from the small screen—or the big screen if you’re watching the first episode of “Marvel’s Inhumans” in IMAX—to Battlerealm ready to mete out Inhuman justice in “Marvel Contest of Champions.” While the redheaded queen would rather not resort to violence, if someone or something threatens her people, she won’t hesitate to get her hair dirty.

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Piero Herrera about Medusalith Amaquelin and all her uncanny abilities.

Marvel.com: I’m super psyched to see the Queen of the Inhumans—or former queen depending on what you’re reading—make the cut in “Contest of Champions.” Why’d the team want her on board?

Gabriel Frizzera: Medusa is a major player in the Marvel Universe, and it was about time she’d show up. Beyond her hair powers, fighting skills, and [strategic] mind, her leadership of the Inhumans can shake her husband from inaction and shift the balance of power in the Battlerealm.

Marvel.com: I imagine prehensile hair is…tricky for a mobile game. How’d the team make Medusa’s locks cool visually, but also satisfying to use in combat? And what’s she gonna do with those machetes?!

Gabriel Frizzera: Tricky to say the least. Technical hurdles were the major reason why she didn’t appear in the game months ago. Texture size limitations, animation, and rigging complexity etc. made her classic “hair tentacles” form almost impossible to bring to a full-fledged mobile fighting game like ours. But we finally found a creative angle that made us happy: we love when the character uses the hair as an extra appendage to complement her own awesome fighting skills, and we saw her using blades in the comics many times. So we decided to give her a specific fighting style that takes advantage of the hair as an extra arm.

Marvel.com: It looks like she’s sporting a more ornate version of her TV outfit. What went into crafting this super cool costume?

Gabriel Frizzera: We used the TV design as a starting point, but pushed it to be more ornate and detailed. Since we’re a game, we have the luxury to make things impractical as long as they looks awesome on the screen, which is something our players expect from us. And being the Inhumans, my personal opinion is bigger is always better; they are wonderfully weird and we should embrace their alien-ness.

Marvel.com: Now let’s get down to brass tacks. What does Medusa do best?

Piero Herrera: Medusa is bringing an exciting new mechanic into the game. Through her Signature Ability, “Living Strands,” she is able to use her hair to break out of the opponent’s combo by doing an Auto-Block. This does not only break the opponent’s combo, but if Medusa has the Parry mastery, that Auto-Block will count as a Well Timed Block and also inflict a Stun onto the opponent. This will prove to be a good ability both when using Medusa as an attacker and also as a defender in Alliance Wars.

Marvel.com: She almost reminds me a bit of Karnak with her Armor Break/Shattered. What was the thinking behind giving her those abilities? Is her hair prodding and probing her enemies to eventually pull them apart?

Piero Herrera: The Armor Shattered ability is currently exclusive to Medusa. It has additional properties that will help her deal with the opponent’s Armor Up abilities and also will be a direct counter to Robot Champions such as Vision or Ultron. When the opponent is Armor Shattered, Medusa is able to use her hair to Bleed opponents and those stacks of Bleed will stay active until Armor Shattered expires. Medusa is designed to be a very strong, but not very complex Champion, so we decided to use mechanics that players are familiar with, but with a different twist.

Marvel.com: I can only imagine that sh’’ll get some great buffs when allied with her Inhuman brethren right?

Piero Herrera: Certainly! We are also trying out a new type of synergy that grants a huge attack bonus if you have Karnak, Black Bolt, and Medusa on the same team. The strongest Synergy in Medusa’s kit is the one with Black Bolt, which enhances both of those character’s Signature Abilities.

Marvel.com: When do we get to bring Medusa to the cosmic melee?

Piero Herrera: Medusa is coming to the Contest on September 14. Log-in to see more details on how to get Medusa!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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

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

The Inhumans Arrive in Marvel Contest of Champions

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

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

The Inhumans Reveal Themselves in Marvel Avengers Academy

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

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

Lockjaw is a big help in Marvel Puzzle Quest

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

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

The Inhumans Join Marvel Heroes Omega

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wilson Fisk gets ready to throw his weight around Battlerealm!

Taking some time off from his criminal enterprises on Earth, Wilson Fisk sets his sights on Battlerealm and its Black ISO-8. Think Kingpin can hack it in “Marvel Contest of Champions”? We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron to learn just that!

Marvel.com: Wilson Fisk is one seriously dangerous villain, but he’s just a mere mortal. Does he have what it takes to swindle an Elder of the Universe?

Gabriel Frizzera: Many have committed the mistake of underestimating Wilson Fisk, and ended up at the bottom of the East River. His cunning and brutality are unsurpassed; his physical strength and fighting skills surprise those who think he’s just a lumbering obese giant. The Kingpin likes it that way. His enemies never see the beast hiding behind the polite “businessman” facade until it’s too late.

Marvel.com: If there’s one word for Kingpin’s look in “Contest of Champions,” it’s “classic.” I did notice that he’s hefting a pretty brutal looking cane here. He’s no stranger to getting his hands dirty, but will he be using this weapon in battle?

Gabriel Frizzera: I guess you could call it a cane, but have you seen the size of that thing? It’s bigger and thicker than most Champion’s legs or torsos. It’s more akin to a medieval mace than a gentleman’s walking stick. Plus, this is the classic Kingpin accessory, with hidden gas and laser shooters for extra firepower. And sitting atop of it there’s a gem of pure Black ISO, powering the whole gadgetry.

Marvel.com: For a villain who’s very comfortable manipulating events behind the scenes, what did the team want to focus on for his combat style?

Simon Cameron: Fitting to his nature, Kingpin’s combat style is a mix of underhanded manipulation and well-timed aggression. In the manipulation category, he has the ability to convert Debuffs into Rage counters, increasing his attack, and the amount of power he gains during combat. Once Kingpin builds enough Rage, he triggers Overpower, which is where the aggression starts! Overpower gives him a big Fury Buff and makes his Special Attacks un-blockable.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about True Nature. How does it set the foundation for Fisk’s other abilities?

Simon Cameron: True Nature lets Fisk start the fight with Rages already stacked up, and gives him a chance to gain several Rage counters when Overpower ends. This provides Fisk with a shortcut back in to Overpower, allowing him to spend more time in his highest damage state.

Marvel.com: And Black ISO-8, what exactly does that do? I mean that’s why Kingpin’s even in the Contest right?

Gabriel Frizzera: From this day forward, all Black ISO currently in existence is property of Allied Construction, a subsidiary of Fisk Enterprises. Better not ask too many questions, wise guy, if you don’t want their “lawyers” knocking at your door at night.

Simon Cameron: For gameplay purposes, Black ISO is a Debuff that causes both Degeneration and Ability Accuracy reduction.

Marvel.com: When do we get to take the criminal mastermind into battle?

Simon Cameron: Wilson Fisk will be entering “The Contest” on August 31.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for all the latest on “Marvel Contest of Champions” and more!

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Spider-Man’s most superior foe finds his way to Battlerealm!

Otto Octavius finds himself on Battlerealm, tentacles ready to cause as much chaos as possible—and knowing Doc Ock, Spidey’s in for a whole heap of trouble.

We talked to Kabam Designers Dominic O’Grady and Simon Cameron about Otto’s in-game abilities and what players can expect from the newest “Marvel Contest of Champion” villain!

Marvel.com: Doctor Otto Gunther Octavius—his name’s a mouthful and his tentacles a handful. How does the good Doctor Octopus find himself in the Contest?

Dominic O’Grady: The Grandmaster is not a fan of Spider-Man, particularly because his brother, The Collector, is so fond of him. For the Grandmaster it’s double-duty: He prefers villainous Champions to do his bidding, and ones that know how to fight Spidey are all the better!

Marvel.com: Doc Ock has had so many different outfits through the ages, what era or eras did the team channel for this particular iteration?

Dominic O’Grady: The main goal was to evoke a Silver Age feeling with his design, while not being tied to any particular era-associated costume of his. Of course immediate recognition is the most important detail, and we also wanted to pay homage [to] his scientific background; thus the lab coat and pocket pens!

Marvel.com: And you kept the bowl cut! How tempted were you to give players a more fashion forward Otto?

Dominic O’Grady: Not at all. Dorky haircut or bust.

Marvel.com: How do abilities like Power Lock, Heal Block, Fury, and  Armor Up help round out Octopus’ equation?

Simon Cameron: Doc Ock is a scientist; as such, he builds up a library of research on his opponent through observation and testing. In game this means Doc Ock has three Research Categories he builds based on his and the opponent’s actions; for example, he builds Physics research as his Opponent builds Power.

Each of his Research Categories gives him a passive bonus [that] scales as the category builds, and finally each category has a Breakthrough effect which [triggers] when a category reaches 100 lasting for a few seconds before resetting his Research to go again. The last variable in the equation are the good Doctor’s Special Attacks, all of which are based around him interacting with his Breakthrough.

Marvel.com: We all know Doc Ock’s a smart cookie, but how does his signature ability, Academic Background, help him lay his foes low?

Simon Cameron: Doc Ock’s Academic Background gives him two advantages. The first is starting all of his research categories at 60 instead of zero, and secondly it gives all of his Breakthrough effects an upgrade. For Biology, he gains Armor Penetration along with his Armor Up, and for Chemistry and Physics he gains the ability to steal a portion of the Health or Power blocked by his Heal Block and Powerlocks respectively. These effects do stack up to three times, though for the Heal Block/Power Lock on the steal portion of the effect stacks.

Marvel.com: Tell us a little about his allies and how they interact with the Doctor.

Simon Cameron: Doc Ock can bring a number of allies with him that enhance his abilities, as well as taking home a nice bonus for themselves. These effects target his Research Categories doing things like, preventing his Research from falling off over time, and having his Research Categories reset to 50 instead of zero.

Marvel.com: And finally, when will we get to lecture our enemies into oblivion with Doctor Octopus?

Dominic O’Grady: The diabolical doctor is available now in crystals and arenas! Get to work; there are experiments to be done!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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Spidey's number one foe enters the Battlerealm!

Who flies through the air with the great of ease, and throws pumpkin-shaped munitions on unsuspecting heroes until they’re deceased? Why Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin obviously! The deranged aerial ace soars into Battlerealm this week and we talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera about “Marvel Contest of Champion’s” newest combatant.

Marvel.com: Is this the classic Norman Osborn Green Goblin we all know and love? There’ve been so many glider-riding Goblins in the past it’s hard to keep track of them all!

Gabriel Frizzera: Yes, the psychopathic CEO with a Halloween-inspired arsenal! Osborn has been wearing his Iron Patriot armor to fight in The Contest for a couple of years now, but thanks to the Grandmaster we’ll finally see ol’ Norman in classic green-and-purple glory. The Grandmaster wants to make Spider-man’s life miserable (he hates that the web-head is his brother’s favorite), so he started to recruit some of his most sinister foes. Check out who they are in our brand new motion comic!

Marvel.com: It’d be easy to have the Green Goblin duking it out on the ground with the other combatants and only use his glider for special moves. What kind of challenges went into making his move set work while airborne?

Gabriel Frizzera: Oh, he’s definitely airborne all the time. That was condition #1 to create an authentic Green Goblin experience for our players. In Norman Osborn’s mind, walking is for lesser villains! There’s a bunch of technical challenges in making a gliding character, but we’ve had a lot experience with floating characters like Dr. Strange and Rogue, so we knew what to expect. We also have a wealth of reference to draw from: at this point people have a pretty good idea of how the Goblin moves around (thanks to previous movies, games and animation), so we looked at a lot of previous work to make sure we got his manic personality right.

Marvel.com: And he’s sporting a classic look here. Where’d the team find their inspiration?

Gabriel Frizzera: Straight from the source! Steve Ditko, John Romita, and many other awesome classic Spider-Man artists. Like we usually do, we tried to add our own “Champions” twist: We made some of the cloth pieces more ripped and haphazardly put together, and added metal bits here and there for that extra gothic flavour. But our job here was to keep that classic look intact, and just update it with very subtle details to make it shine.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about his kit. What’s up with Oscorp Weaponry?

Gabriel Frizzera: Laser fingers! After-burner black smoke! Lots of Oscorp-patented Pumpkin Bombs! And who knows what else he keeps in his big saddlebag of tricks…

Marvel.com: And what else is in his deadly bag of tricks? Maybe a can of Raid for all those pesky spiders hopping around Battlerealm?

Piero Herrera: Green Goblin’s ability “Bag of Tricks” allows him to Inflict Power Drain, Poison, Incinerate and Weakness Debuffs through his Special Attacks. The real power comes when you unlock his Signature Ability, which allows for ALL of the effects on his Bag of Tricks to activate at the same time, instead of just one per Special Attack.

He also has two mechanics called Cunning and Madness, which are basically his offensive and defensive stances, one allowing him to deal more damage while disrupting the opponent’s flow of Power and the other allowing him to Regenerate Health and also take less damage from the opponent’s Special Attacks.

Marvel.com: How do we get the most bang for our Green Goblin buck? Who do we team him up with to really bring the pumpkin pain?

Piero Herrera: Pairing him up with Iron Patriot enhances both of those Champion’s Signature abilities through his unique “Split Personality” Synergy Bonus. To maximize Green Goblin’s powers, you will also have to pair him up with Electro and a Spider-Man Champion. Those Synergies will provide him more damage on his Pumpkin Bombs based on how many active Cunning and Madness charges Green Goblin has and the other will grant increased Potency to his Bag of Tricks abilities.

Marvel.com: When can we harness the Green Goblin’s insanity for ourselves?

Piero Herrera: Everybody can try to get  Green Goblin right now! This exclusive Champion will also be a prize in the Arenas, be sure to log-in and check him out.­­

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow us @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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