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Heroclix Preview Superman

The Return of Black Adam!

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Recently I was able to chat with 2010 World HeroClix Champ, George Massu and we discussed some of his memories  from last year’s Worlds event and what it was like to participate in the design process.  Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:

Hello George, thanks for chatting with us.  What was it like to win Worlds in 2010?

“Hello and thanks to you.  At the moment I won I was ready for another opponent! I just wanted to spill more HeroClix blood!”

Did you enjoy the competition?

“The competition was good. My favorite game was against Matt Esbrook.  He’s a really smart player and gave me my hardest match and the most competition that day.”

What strategy (or strategies) impressed you?

“Once again, Matt Esbrook;  he created a team (his “Teen” theme team) I didn’t plan on seeing in the Top 8 nor prepared for.”

How are you preparing for Worlds this year?

“A well balanced diet and lots of exercise.”

With so many potential characters available how did you choose just one?

“Well, Black Adam has been a long time favorite of mine. I can see my personality being most aligned with his.  So simply put Black Adam and I are just awesome characters.”

Did you already have an idea of what you wanted to do? Or did Black Adam develop through the creative process?

“Yes.  I had an idea of the character, and definitely yes, Black Adam developed/evolved during the creative process.

Let me elaborate. You have a plan as to what you want to do. I for instance first asked for an Alter Ego fig. WizKids said we couldn’t do the Alter Ego but I still wanted multiple dials. So Black Adam had to evolve.

So I asked for multiple starting lines and voila! REV dial was reborn!”

What were some of the challenges or considerations faced when designing a high profile figure?

“I definitely wanted to build something that all HeroClix players would be attracted to. So why not three starting lines?

I had three rules to follow when building this figure, and as long as I fulfilled those objectives his stats and SP’s could be what I personally envision Black Adam to be.

These were my objectives:

  • Black Adam has to be fun
  • Black Adam has to be thematic and comic accurate
  • Black Adam has to be competitive without being point and shoot easy/overpowered.”

Are you excited for folks to see your fig?

“Absolutely! I want to read initial feedback, and I want to read about the teams Black Adam will be incorporated with.”

You helped design a figure with a feature not seen before.  What is your favorite point value?

“Well I like all of Black Adam’s point values!

Black Adam still hasn’t been released so I haven’t played him in depth yet, but I can let you know which I like best after Superman set is released.”

We should probably show everyone the figure you designed right? Any parting thoughts before we do?

“Absolutely, show everyone! And I just want to give shout outs to my killas who helped me become World Champ:

Luke, Julian, Calvin, Stu and my brother VDO! You guys are the best!”

The figure was inspired by the series Black Adam: The Dark Age. The original image was Black Adam throttling a black operative assassin. The operative had to be swapped out for copyright reasons.”

Well, being a Devil Dog I asked WizKids to digitally sculpt some old Marine Corps photos of me. And voila! I’m a HeroClix being throttled by Black Adam! Enjoy the fig everyone!”

Thanks WizKids for letting me work with you so closely.  And a huge “Thank you” to all HeroClix players who show up to these events, it is always a fun and exciting weekend!”

Now, before we move forward to the actual preview, we wanted to spotlight something very special about this figure.  We knew that George is a Marine and that he served in the U.S. Armed Forces, we asked for a photo reference of him in uniform.  Here is the picture that George provided to us:

Using this picture, we generated a digital sculpt.  We started with what we call a “T-pose” where we examine the digital sculpt and decide how to best pose and incorporate it into the final product:

Once the T-pose is approved, we move on to generating the pose and integrating it onto the actual sculpt:

From there, it’s just a matter of completing the design process so that we may marry dial to sculpt! When we begin the design process for the World Champion piece, we ask our World Champ to submit a design and thematic aim for their figure.  Once submitted, WizKids assesses the design and sends it on to playtesting.  From there the figure will inevitably evolve through the design process (after all, WizKids has an entire gamescape to consider and must look at the long-term effects any piece can have upon it), and we ultimately end up with something very exciting!

So without further ado, let’s look at the finished Black Adam!

Playable at three different point values (a first for any standard-sized figure!), Black Adam packs a potent god-powered punch at any value! For ease of review, we’ll consider the entire (300 point) dial.

Black Adam begins play with his Hell is Here! special power which grants him Charge or the option to move up to a locked speed value of 10 (!) and make a close combat attack if he is willing to make a double power action.  Black Adam cannot use the Carry ability or Super Strength if he uses his longer Charge, but the look on your opponent’s face when Black Adam races across the board at their poor figures will be priceless!

As we mentioned, Black Adam also has access to Super Strength (for most of his dial actually) as well as Outwit (always useful on opening clicks).  Black Adam also gains superior protection from retaliation via his Defender of Khandaq special power.  Defender of Khandaq grants Black Adam Impervious but if he would be dealt four or more damage, Black Adam reduces damage by three instead of two (that is, if he doesn’t reduce it to zero through the normal use of Impervious!).

Another incredible facet of Black Adam’s Defender of Khandaq special power is, while it’s showing, none of his powers or abilities can be countered except for his Outwit.  Talk about tough!

After his first click Black Adam trades his Defender of Khandaq special power for Impervious and picks up Battle Fury while mid-dial he begins rotating through the aforementioned powers but we also see the introduction of Hypersonic Speed as Black Adam maneuvers into position to best set up his attacks.

Mid- to late-dial we discover a new special power on Black Adam.  His Lightning Regeneration allows Black Adam to use Regeneration and when he heals, Black Adam deals one penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares!

Late-dial Black Adam has access to many of the aforementioned powers; Super Strength combined with the ability to Charge or Hypersonic Speed continue to make him a deadly foe, while towards the end of his dial his defensive powers go from Impervious, to Invulnerability, and finally to Toughness. Black Adam’s Lightning Regeneration makes a reappearance as well and again allows him the opportunity to heal and potentially damage opposing figures!

We should also not overlook Black Adam’s World War III trait which allows him to enhance friendly figures named either Osiris or Isis so long as they are not on their starting click.  That’s right, the entire “Black Marvel” family is here and they’re ready for a fight!

At whatever point value you decide to use, Black Adam will be sure to deliver a beat down of godly proportions to the opposition.  Black Adam is a powerful adversary and this figure does not disappoint!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this preview as well as a peek behind the curtain with our World Champ, George Massu! Join us again soon as we spotlight another exciting figure from the upcoming DC HeroClix release, Superman!