Thursday, February 08, 2007

We Had a Team-Up

Can't really think of anything important (or entertainingly non-important) to write about today. So, instead, I will go into uber-nerd mode and discuss the newest VS card game release. You know, the one with comic characters in it?

Last night, Upperdeck posted the checklist for this month's new Marvel set, Marvel Team-Up. Usually, I wait until they release the art for the set to talk about it, but today I feel like discussing who made the cut. There's lots of good stuff for everyone in this.

First up, the biggest of them all: the Spider-Man team (Spider-Friends as they are called in the game). So many people have been waiting for Spidey to make a full-scale comeback in VS, and they finally got their wish. The lineup has all the allies you would expect; including Black Cat, Daredevil, the Punisher (close enough), and even a new version of dear old Aunt May, plus ally versions of Venom and Green Goblin (when Phil Urich had the title). This being Marvel Team-Up, the rest of the roster features heroes from outside Spidey's immediate realm. We got Captain America, Blade, Luke Cage, Elektra, The Sentry, Deathlok, Wolverine, Man-Thing (my personal favorite), some New Warriors (Darkhawk, Night Thrasher, and Speedball), and even Sleepwalker and the whole Savage Land crew (Ka-Zar, Shanna the She-Devil, and Zabu). Of course, a Spider-Man team isn't complete without Spider-Man, and this set has five versions of 'em (including the current 'Iron Spider'). I was expecting Iron Fist to show up, but overall an excellent selection.

The team I was most look forward to was the Defenders (called 'Marvel Defenders' in the set to differentiate them from a game term). Of course, we get two versions of the main Defenders: Dr.Strange, Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Sub-Mariner. We also get the more memorable seconday members of the team like Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkyrie (both Brunnhilde and Samantha Parrington), Devil-Slayer, and Gargoyle. The whole thing is rounded out with various Defenders over the years: Archangel, Beast, Hawkeye, Iceman, Jack of Hearts, USAgent, Nova, Ghost Rider, Professor X, Red Guardian, and Quasar. The best of all, however, is Howard the Duck. Yes, Howard the Duck is in the set. Last, and probably least but whatever, is Wong. But no matter what you think, the little stereotype is certainly essential to the team.

The Sinister Syndicate, the Spider-Man villain team, got plenty of new blood. Obscure new blood, but new blood all the same. It isn't all bad, it just depends on your tolerance and knowledge for dregs like Answer, Fusion, Gog, Slyde, Spider-Man Robot, Black Tarantula, Swarm and Razorfist. It is balanced out by new versions of Doc Ock, Carnage, Chameleon, Rhino, Bullseye, Vulture, Mysterio (the Francis Klum edition), Hobgoblin, Electro, Lizard, and two new Venoms (the original, and the current Scorpion version). To tie-in with Spidey 3, we also have the long-awaited Harry Osborn Green Goblin; and to tie-in with Civil War, we get Nitro, the asshole who basically started the whole affair (and gave Captain Marvel cancer over 20 years ago). And just because it's awesome, we finally get a Red Skull (albeit, it's the communist one from the 50s; but a imitation Skull is better than no Skull at all.)

Next up is the Underworld, the team consisting of all the supernatural baddies Marvel has created over the years. When the Underworld team first appeared in the game two years ago, it featured mainly Ghost Rider and Blade villains (of which of there are a few this time around, too). Marvel Team-Up gives the team more variety, including more of those loveable Dr. Strange rogues (Baron Mordo, Dormammu, Mindless Ones, Shuma-Gorath, and Umar), some X-Men related demons (Goblyn Queen, the N'Garai, N'astihr, and Illyana Rasputin), and of course some Spidey foes of this nature (Doppleganger, Morlun, and Shathra). The rest of the team is all over the place: The aformentioned Ghost Rider characters (new versions of Blackheart, Mephisto, and Zarathos, plus Black Rose, Scarecrow, and Noble Kale), Midnight Sons baddies (Queen Lilith and her brood Meatmarket and Pilgrim), a new version of Thanos, and magical hoodlums Chthon, Modred the Mystic, The Dwarf, and Satana.

The last 'main team' is the Wild Pack, which is much smaller than the others. The Silver-led team has 12 members, but the only ones worth mentioning are Sandman, Paladin, and Dominick Fortune. If you are at all familiar with the team, you can probaby figure out who else is there.

In the set, there are also a group of characters who can only be used when you team-up the teams those characters have printed on them. This allowed them to make powerful crossroad characters like Alyosha Kravinoff, Deadpool, Demogoblin, Moon Knight, Son of Satan, and Morbius.

The rest of the set has a smattering of characters for older teams. Another Ronan the Accuser, Inhumans-affiliated Quicksilver, and Super Skrull. We finally got Cassandra Nova for the Sentinel team, Dark Beast for the Morlocks, and a Negative Zone-affiliated Void to go along with The Sentry. The greatest one, though? "Joe Fixit" Hulk on the Crime Lords team. Dee-lish.

This has been a gigantic confusing nerd moment. If you wish to see the checklist for yourself, you can find it here. It's in PDF format, just to let you know.



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