Been quite a while, eh? Other features took over the site for a while, but now My Custom Mods is back! And it just so happens that this is one of my most ambitious mods of the series yet:


Normally, this is where I put a pic of the original figure — the “Before” shot. But this time, I wasn’t just modifying a sculpt. Instead, I was trying to substitute a whole character, dial, sculpt and all.

THIS is what I want.

Black Widow is a character who’s never been done right in HeroClix. This is what she does:

  1. Wall-crawling and swingline action (Leap/Climb);
  2. Blasting multiple targets, whether via her trademark “Widow’s Bite” bracelets (Incapacitate) or standard firearms, and often on the move (Running Shot);
  3. Good combat values because she’s a spy extraordinaire;
  4. And, because she’s a spy extraordinaire, Stealth;
  5. Preferably all at once, kinda like this spread from Mighty Avengers #1. Or this sequence<> from Iron Man 2.

Nearly all versions of her are really good at #4 and part of #2, but not #1 and certainly all fail terribly at #3.

Well, it turns out that Gambit (Mutations & Monsters) is quite good at all those things:

  • Running Shot? Check.
  • Stealth? Check.
  • Leap/Climb? Check.
  • Decent Defense Value? Check.
  • All of the above, at the same time? QUADRUPLE-CHECK. :)
  • The Energy Explosion fits well (see her multi-barrelled bracelets).
  • His Ranged Combat Expert and Penetrating/Psychic Blast are tougher, but not outside her capabilities, given that she’s a top agent of SHIELD with access to all sorts of weaponry and expert with most of it.
  • Quake is the toughest sell, but she’s a great martial artist. There’s plenty of precedent for this power on such types.

So the lithe Russian gal I've coveted all this time is a really a dude with permanent 5:00 shadow? ...When did HeroClix start mimicking my personal life? ...Wait. Did I just type that out loud? OMG...

Anyway, I decided to replace his sculpt with Black Widow.


Not only did I not want to dismantle my actual Black Widow (if I even had one at the time), but since this was going to be an unofficial version, I wanted to mod an entirely different sculpt to match.

Sharon Carter filled the bill.

So here’s what I did:

  • Removed GAMBIT figure from base.
  • Removed SHARON CARTER figure from her base and glued it to GAMBIT’s.
  • Repainted SHARON CARTER’s white clothes with glossy black enamel.
  • Repainted blonde hair with red acrylics.
  • Painted on silver bracelets and belt (with red detail).

Completed late-2009. But more than a year later, I’ve still not played her in a game.

(Maybe it’s because I know that “she” is really a “he.” Just like…oh, I almost did it again.)

NEXT WEEK: Another white girl going black…sort of…

I’ve never done one of these lists before for this site (or on my previous one, I tend to be a glass-half-full type who can find a solid use out of any piece.

But…y’know. Sometimes a piece is just bad. It might do something neat, but requires so much extra support or such situational serendipity that it might as well be wasted points.

Here we go, then…the worst of the mediocre.


#10: Max Mercury (The Brave and the Bold #023)

Look! I'm running with such SPEED I look like I'm standing still!!!

How can a character with Hypersonic Speed, the best standard power in the game, make a “worst of” list? When said character costs over 70 points and only has one click of damage greater than 1. And then gets Perplex…that only affects speed! BARF!!! Sure, he could make Charge figures really good, but he’s spending SEVENTY POINTS to do that and little else. Hell to the no. Probably my least favorite piece of Brave and Bold, even if he’s not the worst.


#9: The Burglar (Web of Spider-Man #105)

Unforgettably bad.

His hyped-up AV and damage against cheaper characters is only good against pogs and, oh, about 5 characters in Modern Age games. And they’ll all be in the backfield where he’ll never get to without concerted effort on your part. Wouldn’t you rather be, y’know, trying to win the game? Keep The Burglar locked up.


#8: Ocean Master (DC 75th Anniversary #027)

He’s not a master of much of anything but sucking. His 3 range is almost worthless and his SP stands a 33% chance of both not cracking Invulnerability and causing him unavoidable damage. If he’s caught without water terrain, his Probability Control — the only reason to play him — dries up like a beached jellyfish. Give him about as wide a berth as you would that thing while on your vacation.


#7: Clark Kent (The Brave and the Bold #002)

For a guy who’s secretly Superman, he’s sure sorry. Nearly 50 points for a little bit of Toughness and Perplex? Not hot. Even if he somehow survives to switch to AE Superman, he’s only got one click of Charge (so no pushing to switch) and only 3 clicks of life.

He should have Superman Ally TA at least…x-ray vision is the one power he can and does use inconspicuously as Clark Kent and it’d almost make him worth the price. As he is, though, he’s a hack.


#6: Extant (The Brave and the Bold #037)

At first he looks like every generic army’s nightmare with his SP that hits them all at once. Then you realize the horrible truth.

  • It doesn’t show until his 3rd click…
  • …which you’ll never see willingly because A) he doesn’t push (both due to Quintessence and the fact that his 10 AV is then history)…
  • …and B) is likely to get hit past (thanks, no damage reduction!)
  • …and will probably miss the target anyway as he’s swinging with 8 or even 7 AV.

He’s a little hard to hit (at first) and has solid 10 range and a lot of 3 damage, yes. All that goes for pieces wayyyyy under his 169 points. Extant need not exist in your team-building plans.



#5: Quentin Turnbull (Jonah Hex #003)

Hard to use Mastermind when you’re only 40 points with a 14 DV. I mean, the peons are likely to have a higher DV, and yet you’re making it easier for opponents to KO them! Perplex and Outwit can be had cheaper…especially with the latter buried on click 3 of his 4-click life.


#4: Knot Top Leader (Watchmen #016)

Maybe if there were, oh, I don’t know…more than ONE WHOLE OTHER FIGURE IN THE GAME that benefitted from his having the Knot Top keyword and higher cost, this waste of 37 points (which, again, you’ll only ever play because you want to use one or more copies of that one whole other figure in the game) might not be among the worst figures of the year. But there isn’t, and so he is.

I don't even have anything cute to say here.


#3 Bruce Wayne (The Brave and the Bold #101)

Did I say it was hard to use Mastermind on a 40-point piece? Try 33 points! I suppose one could get some short-range Mind Control use out of him if you made sure he had some pogs to shuffle attacks off to. Otherwise, leave this playboy passed out in the hotel room where he belongs.

It's full of money...MONOPOLY MONEY.


#2 Mary Jane Watson (Web of Spider-Man #030)

IF you’re playing a Spider-Man, she can be a Willpower’d wild card. That means spending a minimum of 50 extra points in Modern Age just to make her worth considering. If you want a themed team you’ll have to go up to 90 points to field Brick Spidey.

That’s not hitting the jackpot, BTW.

15 points of a pointless HeroClix figure just to say she’s been made into a figure. Let’s never do this again, OK, WizKids?

...even if it IS a fantastic figure ^ (if you catch my drift.)


And Heroclixin’s number one worst HeroClix figure of 2010 is:

Spider-Man (Web of Spider-Man #100)

At first, Brick Spidey looks OK, with a neat SP and an even better trait. Then you realize that huge 4-square base ruins him utterly, making him too big a target for enemies, restricting his attack abilities via his Transporter Move And Attack, and generally offering him no benefit whatsoever. AND he dies from just 6 clicks? He’s a brick, all right…a brick of FECES!!!

Um, actually? We're STILL laughing at you.

That does it for the Top Tens of 2010. Hopefully, we’ll all be around next January to recount the most memorable ‘Clix of 2011 (and the recently revealed Magneto already looks like a lock for Heroclixin’s list, let me tell you)!

I’m going to take a short break from posts (I think) and will be back Monday with resumption of My Custom Mods series! Til then, happy clixin’!

#2 is a dynamic duo…(but not a Duo figure…)

Batman (DC 75th Anniversary #031)
Robin (The Brave and The Bold #042)


When “Batwing’s” dial was revealed, I immediately fell in love with it. Unlike pretty much every other Batman or Robin or Nightwing before him, this Batman wasn’t a “sit in the bushes and Outwit/snipe/’plex” pussycat, but a man of action; a down-and-dirty face-kicker. The “Paracape” SP makes him able to launch an attack from the cover he still needs.

Even better is his “Smoke Cloud Maneuver” SP, which not only gives him a bit of extra speed for his eventual Charge (or a way to stealthily approach, bit-by-bit), but it gives any “Robin” fig the same benefit. And that’s great for the B+B Robin, who’s another mold-breaking version of the character I’ve only grown to love even more with the introduction of the new Batman.

I’m not even a fan of the Batman and Robin book and not a huge fan of Dick Grayson. But I luv these two pieces and try to fit them on a team every week.


I kinda refuse to play Batman without some sort of Robin, now. It’s a little hard to be themey with them without going fully Gotham…and I don’t care to do that.


I have a “Batman, Inc.” theme team all set.


And my #1 FAVORITE HeroClix figure of 2010 is…

Aquaman (Brightest Day #005)


This comes as zero surprise to anyone who knows me or recent readers of this blog. He’s my favorite comic character finally done real justice, who makes my favorite theme, Atlantis, super-effective. Not a week goes by that I don’t build an Atlantis team or a team that doesn’t feature this Aquaman or his sculpt-twin in DC 75th Anniversary (or both).


My fellow players hate him. They FEAR him.

(This makes me happy. Aquaman’s been disrespected so long that their reaction is quite cathartic.)

I still bring him to the table…and then usually say “Just kidding” and play something else. I also want to, y’know, run different figures.


…to try out the new Atlantis ATA.


That’s it for my Top Ten FAVORITE ‘Clix of 2010. I warned you; there wasn’t much overlap at all.

Come back tomorrow for the Top (?) Ten WORST HeroClix of 2010!

#4 is that fishbowl-headed master of illusion:

Mysterio (Web of Spider-Man #056)


Because the sculpt:

…reminds me so much of this cover:

…the second comic book I ever bought. I LOVE getting into character, taunting opponents about attacking “mere illusions” when I force misses with PC or make Super Senses rolls. I also try to make sure to play his wonderfully campy-yet-creepy theme music* from the Spider-Man 2 PS2 game during his actions.

It doesn’t hurt that his trait is really useful.

He only has the Sinister Syndicate keyword and he’s a weakling with poor offense. I also like to run him with the earlier versions from the Ultimates set.

On the next Sinister Syndicate team, of course. I think I’ll also try him on a wild card abuse team to get the best use of his Syndicate TA.

* link may not work. :(


#3 is…

Rocket Racer (Web of Spider-Man #044)

(Wait. He’s not #1?)

He’s black, y’all. 😉

Seriously, as a young black teenager coming up, I was always glad to see characters who looked like me, even if they were silly morts like this one. Ever since the 1985 story the above art appeared in, the Racer’s been a favorite, and I was glad to see him in Web of Spider-Man.
(Now bring on Slyde!)
He’s not very powerful and takes a lot of finesse and wild card abuse to make him worth running. He’s too many points to make workable in low-point games. And I hate to run him only to fail, so I don’t run him unless I’m sure I can make him work.
Probably on the same wild-card abuse team as Mysterio. :)


Be back tomorrow for my top two (or more… :) ) picks for favorite ‘Clix of 2010!

Continuing the countdown of my Ten FAVORITE pieces released in 2010:


#6 are those eternal super-buddies…

Super Buddies are better than the slackers they appear to be.

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold (The Brave and The Bold #052)

It’s Blue and Gold! The funnest duo in comics, bar none, hearkening to a more innocent time in comics, when the body count wasn’t so relentless.

As with Cookie Manhunter yesterday, I don’t consider JLI that often. And also like him, Booster and Beetle are so essential to the theme — both in spirit and in playability, thanks to one of their SPs — that I simply won’t play it without them.

On the next JLI team. I also need to consider them the next time I play a duo, as their Super Buddies SP benefits the double-fisted ability.


5 is his royal majesty, monarch of Planet X…




(Translation: I love the Guardians of the Galaxy, as a simple term search of this blog will reveal. He’s literally the biggest member and the last to be made. He’s powerful and effective and great fun to play shouting his trademark “I AM GROOT” catchphrase with his every action.)

(Translation: His point value throws off the Guardians’ build totals on many point levels, especially in Modern Age with the new — and, IMO, essential — Alternate Team Ability. And I really hate to leave characters off simply to make room for Groot, or vice versa.)

(Translation: I’ll fit him onto smaller — or larger — GotG builds anyway, as well as Ruler and Monster teams.)


Tomorrow: Two more ridiculous Spider-Man-related pieces from my youth.


Animal Man (DC 75th Anniversary #036)


His excellent trait makes Animal-themed teams a bit more potent…and I like Animal teams. He’s been quite a surprise in how fun he is to run!


I’m not so great a fan of Animal Man as I am of the Animal keyword, and I’m not that huge a fan of the keyword, either. He’s also not so cool on the other theme he fits well, the Justice League International, because there are no other Animal-keyworded figs to draw from, leaving him dependent on what the opponent brings to the table.


Aside from more Animal teams, I still want to try a JLI team. To that end…



Martian Manhunter (The Brave and The Bold #036)


I went over his effectiveness back in March. When I’m ready to run the JLI, this is the piece I want to run.


He’s only got the one keyword. And truth be told, I hardly think about him or the team he belongs to. Even then, he’s often too many points to make the team work within the points, and if I can’t fit him on, I usually give up trying to build it.


Of course, I run him on JLI. But even more, I desire to run a “My Favorite Martian” theme starring him with his Brightest Day and Origin LE versions alongside a White Martian and Miss Martian on a 700-pointer. There’s room for 38 in feats. Could work.

Monday: Two more pieces essential to their trademark keyword themes. Till then, happy clixing!

I already listed the top 10 (and a couple dozen runners-up) of 2010, but have yet to share MY favorites of the year. (Warning you now…there’s almost NO crossover.)



The Spot (Web of Spider-Man #051)


I have a soft spot in my heart for the ridiculous aspects of comics in general. There’s nothing more ridiculous than The Spot. He’s also surprisingly effective, with his HSS-lite (he’s a Transporter) and SP ability to pop next to blocking or walls and Flurry someone.


He got weak offense numbers, requiring extra investment into Perplex or something. His 51-point cost also prices him out of the below-50 games where he shines.


Probably on a Scientist themed team, even though he doesn’t really fit that well. I’ll probably team him up with SI Mr. Fantastic to really make him a surprise beast.


Green Goblin (Web of Spider-Man #058) / Doctor Octopus (Web of Spider-Man #054)


It’s really not at all about their playability. Both pieces are OK Super Rares that I didn’t really have to have and actually initially planned to trade away.

But then I got them in hand and looked at the sculpts:

The maniacal grin and double-fisted pumpkin bomb ridiculously amusing


It's a great sculpt. But it's the MONEY BAGS that make it awesome FUN.

These are two of only three characters in the game that I want to play just for the sculpt alone. (The third is Nightwing & Starfire. Recently sold them.)


They’re never a first choice as characters or for playability, so they’re well down the list.


Next Sinister Syndicate team, of course. Before that, I also have an all-Doc Ock team ready to run co-starring the Secret Invasion, Ultimates and Clobberin’ Time versions.

Tomorrow: A couple of Justice Leaguers.

Although I like writing about the usual Top 10, the truth is that I’ll hardly ever play any of ’em on a given weekend. I’ll generally play them on their respective themes or not at all.

Therefore, my own Top Ten list is very different from the “official” Heroclixin’ one. Instead of listing, as I did with that list, all the reasons each fig was a playable, winning piece, I’ll be stating:

  • Why it’s a favorite that I want to play
  • Why I don’t play it all the time
  • When and how I’m planning to play it next

I’m starting with one that was actually released in ’09, as an honorable mention; it not only saw a lot of play last year but continually tops the list of figures I want to use:

Molly Hayes (Hammer of Thor #041)

C’mon, there’s nothing funnier than this little girl landing KO blows on massive tentpoles:

  • HoT Ultron…four times her cost.
  • HoT Thor…over FIVE times her cost.
  • SI Iron Man…nearly four-and-a-half times her cost.
  • AV Wonder Man…close to triple her cost.
  • SI Sentry…over four-and-a-half times her cost.
  • (alas, I was one push — that I didn’t take — from KOing AV Ares, who’s nearly SIX-AND-A-HALF times her cost.)
  • …and LE Diana Prince, who’s…um…exactly her cost. LOL.

Her mobility is cruddy and her keywords are lacking in theme-readiness. I never want her in a game where I’m not reasonably sure she can get KOs in.

Of course, the next time I run the Runaways. Sooner than that, though, there’s also a coming tournament for the below-50-points set that she’s a lock for.


So much for this Honorable Mention. Come back tomorrow, when I reveal Heroclixin’s #10 and #9 Favorite Clix of 2010!

There were just too many for one post. (I don’t want to bore readers with another Atlantis-sized leviathan!) So here are the rest of 2010’s Honorable Mentions.

(In alphabetical order:)


Hawkgirl (Brightest Day #004)
She might be a little weak defensively, but really, it’s just a testament to the strength of the Top Ten that she didn’t make it. (Seriously, feel free to drop your least favorite from Heroclixin’s list and replace it with these 71 points. I won’t be mad.)


Iron Man/War Machine (Web of Spider-Man #059)
Three targets, duo attack and their 4-attack “All-Out Assault” still aren’t quite enough to deal with their action disadvantage and vulnerability to Outwit. It only takes one tie-up piece to paint a 300-point target on them.


Jason Blood (The Brave and The Bold #010)
This 40-pointer is the new cheap PC after SR Scarlet Witch goes this summer, with better survivability than her thanks to Mystics and AE. Too slow, though.


Martian Manhunter  (The Brave and The Bold #036)

His numbers needed to be a little better at 202 points to make the top ten. But his perma-Shape Change along with his HSS and big damage nearly gets him among the elite anyhow.


Mongul (DC 75th Anniversary #044)
Part widow-making tentpole and part backfield support piece, the 176-point Mongul is slightly schizo. His Leadership SP is equal parts risk and reward; sure, he might take free damage, but getting to clear tokens and make repeated attacks can net him much more damage to the other team. Plus there’s that anti-Phasing trait. No moving attack ability costs him his spot among the top.


Morlun (Web of Spider-Man #052)
An Indomitable, Impervious, Steal Energy-ing death machine, he’s actually one of the sleeper hits of Web of Spider-Man. He doesn’t make my top 10 because as good as his tracking SP can be, it’s difficult to actually use, and he lacks any other moving attack ability. That’s not so hot for a whopping 180 points.


Night Nurse (Web of Spider-Man #102)
The “Pit Crew” figures are back, and the 27-point LE version of the 10-point Nurse is the queen of ’em. If she had even one keyword, she might’ve clawed her way onto the list thanks to her ability to boost her patients’ DV.


Puma (Web of Spider-Man #012)
His low speed kept him off the list. But his great AV, damage potential, defensive ability and mid-dial Outwit for such a low price (56) make him a solid piece nonetheless.


Red She-Hulk (Web of Spider-Man #053)
Low initial attack for the 139-point investment makes her less attractive than others and costs her an otherwise well-deserved spot on the Top Ten.


Spider-Man (Web of Spider-Man #007)
Economically priced (78) with great stats and his awesome Super-duper Senses trait, this is the best Spidey we’ve gotten so far. Lack of moving attack or range both conspire to hold him off the list.


Superman  (DC 75th Anniversary #W-06)
The healing Impervious is just wrong. Fell off the list — barely — due to his low AV for his heavyweight point class (288).


Talia (The Brave and The Bold #019)

Stealthed Stealthbusting Outwit probably ought to make the list. But a short dial for 86 points (despite Mastermind) and not being friendly to wild cards disqualifies her in this competitive year.


Vector (Web of Spider-Man #032)
Already a good 68-point support piece (TK and, later, Perplex), Vector was a potential Top Ten piece thanks to his no-roll ability to move and damage enemy pieces. This year, though, even extra keywords wouldn’t have helped.


Warlord (DC 75th Anniversary #021)
The most serious runner-up of all these honorable mentions for his dirt-cheap 50-point cost against staggering damage potential and tie-up utility.


War Machine (Hammer of Thor #200)
Good numbers and powers but a little bit lacking in versatility for his 137 points to make the list.


Some may protest that certain figures should’ve made the lists thanks to the new Alternate Team Abilities (Atlantis, Shadowpact and especially All-Star Squadron and Secret Six). However, those ATAs weren’t released in 2010, so I’m not taking them into account. Maybe in a future article.

Anyway, that’s it, then…the top 30 or so HeroClix of last year, in terms of playability.

But that doesn’t make them the BEST. Watch this space for the next few days to see my favorite ‘clix of 2010.

Every year I’ve done these top ten lists, there are nearly a dozen pieces that almost made the list. In fact, some wound up being practically interchangeable with my choices on the bottom half of the list.

But not this year.

No, 2010 was so competitive that there were over TWO dozen almost-rans.

So without further preamble (and in alphabetical order):

Ares (DC 75th Anniversary #058)
He fell off my radar for not having any range to speak of for his high, high price (272). But man…considering his similarly short-ranged “Everyone Must Fight” SP, maybe that actually works to his devastating advantage!


Barry Allen (DC 75th Anniversary #054)
Although he’s an exceptional running speedster, it really only took having a natural AV greater than 10 and damage greater than 2 respectively to be that…especially at his not-quite-svelte 119 cost. Not quite enough to warrant Top Ten status.


Batman and Catwoman (The Brave and The Bold #100)
I actually forgot about this potent duo. They probably should be on the Top Ten for their Bat TA and Outwit and awesome “Double Pounce” SP and Willpower. Their only drawbacks are a total lack of damage reduction (problematic for their 142 cost) and their size causing them extra difficulty in hiding.


Batman and Green Arrow (The Brave and The Bold #046)
Over 200 points for zero damage reduction (and for offering what Bullseye does a fair bit better at far cheaper cost) was enough to conspire to keep this dangerous pair off the list.


Beast Boy (DC 75th Anniversary #014, 015, 016, 055)
Unprecedented flexibility for a cheap 60 points nearly earns the Teen Titan a spot among the titans of the Top Ten.


Big Figure (Watchmen #019)
Never before has a character allowed you to attack during your opponent’s turn, as his “This Place Is Gonna Explode” SP does. (In fact, it required an errata to keep people from pushing pogs to death to allow multiple free attacks during your own turn!) Add in the choice of Outwit or Perplex and Mastermind to keep himself alive and you have a 49-pt. piece whose lack of keywords was the only thing keeping him from a top spot.


Deadpool (Web of Spider-Man #057)
An excellent (if 158-points pricey) dial is done in by the trait, which is too ridiculous to depend on. If traits were optional, this wildcard would’ve made the list.


Deadshot (DC 75th Anniversary #005)
Absolutely destroying first clicks are done in by low DV and need for a taxi. At 89 points, there’s no room for him in a list with Bullseye.


Detective Chimp (DC 75th Anniversary #024)
Darn near made it for his high yet Stealthy mobility, high DV+SSenses, Outwit and Mystical Perplex. A little bit too expensive at 62 points for the pure support/tie-up he is.


Diana Prince (The Brave and The Bold, #103)
If she’d had better speed to make her dangerous tie-up ability more usable, or Stealth to make her safer using her Perplex, there’s no way she wouldn’t have made the Top Ten at 43 points.


Doppelganger (Web of Spider-Man #062)
Just misses consideration because of the “silver bullet” nature of one of his powers. Highly mobile, highly destructive, highly unhittable 93 points.


Green Goblin (Web of Spider-Man #058)
His 122-point dial is just decent. It’s his ability to use the Thunderbolts ATA and its game-changing flexibilities that makes him an honorable mention.


Hal Jordan (DC 75th Anniversary #053)
If his “Aviator” trait granting Flight to pals worked with his Running Shot, he’d be a lock for the list despite his high 169 price and soft middle clicks.


Wow. There’s just too many; I’m going to have to split this one into two parts (the way I should have split my Atlantis article into, um, five parts. For real. <:) ) and continue tomorrow. Come back then!