Sorry for getting this up so late. Technical and scheduling difficulties.

Vet MOCKINGBIRD

She was never a great favorite of mine, even though I’m a big fan of married characters in comics. (Hmmm. Maybe there’s a subject for another blog.) Her HeroClix version seemed overpowered andshe was dead, anyway.

But then she came back in the wake of Secret Invasion, and I happened upon the miniseries “New Avengers: The Reunion” in which Hawkeye and Mockingbird come to terms with the state of their relationship. Wonderful series, and one that shows that the Veteran Mockingbird absolutely could deserve her HeroClix dial, especially in this scene:


She’s also wearing a sweet new outfit that matches her trademark billowy sleeves with a long coat.

I wanted to update my Mockingbird to match. Here’s how I did it:

  • Cut away LexCorp Security’s overcoat.
  • Tried to glue it to V Mockingbird.
  • Simply didn’t work.
  • Fortunately, I had a GAMBIT figure left over from an earlier Black Widow project.
  • Dismantled GAMBIT, removing his head, arms and legs, leaving only his coat.
  • Cut away excess coat to fit Mockingbird’s back.
  • Filed down Mockingbird’s mask and boot tops.
  • Glued coat to back.
  • Repainted entire figure in blue and white and yellow acrylic paint.
  • Used thick glue to build knee pads.
  • Painted knees and forearms in silver enamel.

This is actually an older pic taken before the addition of the silver knee pads and arm braces. Can't seem to find my camera for the past few days...

Completed early 2011.

NEXT WEEK: A small hero’s biggest version gets into big-boy clothes.

Wrapping up our Black History Month-themed countdown of the Top Ten Black Characters in ‘Clix with the #2 piece:

Gotham City Detective (#006 Arkham Asylum)

Cheap Enhancement is always good, and this is the best value for the power  thanks in part to the PD Team Ability allowing him to also boost his Enhanced partner’s chances of hitting as long as he can see the target, too. Starting 9 AV is good for the 27-point cost.

Push GCD a bit to gain Plasticity to be one mother of a tie-up piece with Willpower, or stay put to keep Enhancing shooters while throwing out a ranged attack himself.

So many roles almost make this mere generic the best black piece in the game.

And the #1 Black fig is:

Bronze Tiger (#032 Justice League)

He’s got the Charge and 11 AV to move in for immediate attack; he’s got the DV to survive the counterattack and the Willpower to push to deal extra damage with Close Combat Expert; he’s got self-healing potential with his Suicide Squade TA and the ability to hide from shooters with the League of Assassins ATA (thus addressing his lone weakness against ranged attacks. Lunge and/or Loner are two feats that make him a lot better for minimal extra cost.

For just 60 points, Bronze Tiger is one of the better characters in the game. And so he takes Heroclixin’s top spot among the best Black Characters in ‘Clix.

Hope you enjoyed this month’s Top Ten countdown. Be here Monday for another Custom Mod. Until then, happy heroclixin’ this weekend!

#4 is the Mr. Hammer-Time himself…

V Steel (#069 Origin)

I reviewed this piece way back in 2007, and am basically just quoting from that review. 10 range is GREAT for sniping until he can Charge for big damage with Super Strength. (Lunge is his feat, to get extra reach on that move.)

Then, don’t be afraid to push for a Close Combat Expert KO, because his AV spikes from a starting 10 to 11 and never sinks below 9. His damage is also excellent throughout, and his defense spikes to 17 TWICE down the length of his nine clicks, even if his reducers quit after only seven. Ending with Outwit and 4 damage can be a rude shock for opponents.

Great stats and virtually no wasted points makes for an affordable tentpole for 300-point games.

 

#3 is the similarly-armored


War Machine (#200 Hammer of Thor)

Compared to Vet Steel, War Machine almost seems a bit of a downgrade, with less life and less powers — especially in the close-combat department.

But he gains top-dial Running Shot and a second target to go with his 10 range while also maintaining 3+ natural damage for most of his dial. And, to make matters worse for enemies, he gets an AV spike to 11 with Penetrating/Psychic Blast in mid-life as well.

If War Machine has a weakness, it’s that he’s not quite so dangerous in close quarters. But again, his base damage is almost always high enough to take on any comers. Definitely worthy of the #3 spot on the Black list!

Finally, be here tomorrow to behold the best of the Black!!

is the oldest figure on the list yet…

Fatality (#053 Cosmic Justice)

With TK, she offers mobility for the team. With RCE, she offers big damage. At 68 points, you can’t beat that. The pricey Trick Shot or Elite Sniper feats might pump her cost too high, but with the right shields and/or tie-up, hey, why not use ’em?

Like most older figures, her DV is pretty sad (even with Super Senses) and her late dial stinks. But she’s still one of the most solid black characters in HeroClix.

 

#5 brings us a tie between

Nick Fury (#091 Sinister / #2-11 Classics)

and

Storm (#057 Mutations and Monsters)

Fury is pushable for sure, with the ability to do a fair amount of hurt for relatively few points. All that Stealth up front helps keep him safe, and his fine attack stats and powers (Psychic Blast, Willpower AND Outwit) make him a serious threat. But his end half isn’t nearly as threatening as the front, and pushing him to click #2 (because you will push him) takes him closer to that end, so he’s on the bottom half of the list.

Conversely, Storm is all about long-ranged power (especially on her second click). A slight weakness to being based is mitigated by her “Goddess” SP that grants Force Blast and Quake in addition to Energy Explosion and Smoke Cloud.  She’s a little high-priced to be so fragile, but she’s still worth every point.

On the home stretch, now. Be here tomorrow for #4 and #3 on the Black List! :)

The #8 piece is one of the first black heroes created:

Black Panther (#024 Avengers)

A dial chock-full of Leap/Climb and either Perplex or Outwit makes BP an excellent support piece. His starting 11 AV puts him among the elite fighters. It’s his wild card status, however, that makes him most versatile, allowing him to:

  • share that 11 AV with Batman Enemy/Sinister Syndicate TA users;
  • hide with Batman Allies;
  • peer at Stealthed targets with Superman Ally /Ultimates;
  • deter attacks with Mystics, and so on.

Costing nearly 100 points with no range or moving attack keeps the king of Wakanda out of the running for highly competitive figures. But on this list, he stacks fairly well. Add either Lunge or Pounce to give him some extra fighting oomph. Or play him as pure (if expensive) support and make him a Brilliant Tactician for Avengers, Fantastic Four, Ruler or Spider-Man Ally teammates.

#7 is that enforcer from the future:

Bishop (#014 Mutations & Monsters)

100 points gets you, initially, a strong ranged fighter with Running Shot and 19 DV from shooters. But you’re playing him to soon push him to Outwit.

The drawback, of course, is that he’ll suddenly become a prime target, and his 17 Toughness won’t protect him much from even light hits. But said light hit lands him on the potentially more dangerous RCE, while a big shot simply leads to still more Outwit.

His end-dial bearing Regen gives him both potential to come back to solid fighting shape and to serve as an X-Men team battery. It’s for all this utility, in addition to his strength as a secondary attacker, that he’s the #7 top Black character in ‘Clix.

Tomorrow we hit the midpoint!

As should be customary for Heroclixin’ in the future, each month I’m taking a week off from the usual features to do a Top Ten countdown. Last Friday I introduced this Top Ten Black Characters in HeroClix list (along with an honorable mention).

Here’s my #10:

Black Manta (#049 Arkham Asylum)

On the surface, he doesn’t look like much. But he’s got a SP granting Perplex for himself or other swimmers, so suddenly he can:

  • HSS-lite at a respectable 9 AV;
  • Psychic Blast a brick using either 11 AV or for 3 damage;
  • Increase his range to 7 squares, tagging that target who thought he was safe;
  • Protect himself with an 18 DV.

All for less than 70 points. His Injustice League TA isn’t very good, and his keywords stink, too. But he’s just good enough to make this Top Ten list for his way of slipping under the radar and doing way more hurt than he really ought to.

_________________________________

#9 is one my favorite HC pieces ever…

Veteran Mr. Terrific (#018 Legacy)

With a mediocre-at-best DV of 16 with Willpower and mere 2 damage, even his double-target Incap at 8 range with Outwit don’t look remotely worth 80 points.

But the “T” also stands for “team.” You have to use that JSA TA to shore up his DV. Then (since he’s Golden Age anyway) add the feat Protected, which is all but made for him (and highly character-accurate, representing his tricking enemies to hitting a T-Sphere-generated hologram double).

Now force your opponents into a devil’s choice: hit Terrific, activating Protected to push to becoming a Stealthed PCer, or leave him alone and let him keep Outwitting and Incapping just about every turn with Willpower.

Either way, you win, even if the worst happens and he falls, because they just spent at least three actions focusing on him instead of the bigger fighters he’s running interference for. “Fair Play” at its finest and enough to be the #9 top black HeroClix.

Come back tomorrow for #8 and #7!

 

I’m interrupting my usual weekly features to start a new regular monthly one — Top Ten Countdowns! (I had such a blast doing the various Top Tens of 2010 that I didn’t want to stop.)

It’s February, a.k.a. “Black History Month.” In its honor, I’m counting down the Top Ten Black Characters in Heroclix.

For the purposes of this countdown, here’s my definition of “black character”:

  1. A character of African descent.
  2. A character visually indistinguishable from such, regardless of origin.

In years past, I used to include Egyptians such as Asp in this category, simply because there weren’t many good Black characters to go around. And while I’ll still put M+M Apocalypse on my afro-teams, I no longer strictly count him. Similarly, I won’t be including Little Sure Shot; his sculpt is African, but the character is Native American.

Introductions are done. Who’s #10? Be here Monday to find that out. Until then, here’s the Honorable Mention foreshadowed by the art up top:

Captain America (#019 Secret Invasion)

At a svelte 49 points, black Cap here buys you a long dial of tie-up. Very similar to the barely-cheaper Guardian from Collateral Damage, he loses the older piece’s three clicks of Toughness for just one but gets much better numbers (especially in DV, though, in practice, they fare just about the same). A good filler for Soldier themes, too.

When I first heard of the 50-points-and-below requirement for this tournament, I aimed to field the 43-point Molly Hayes and a few other favorites.
But then I had the mother of all dice-rolling meltdowns. I decided my next team shouldn’t miss so much and opted for high attacks over anything else.
Warlord 50
The Holiday Killer 43
Spider-Man (Secret Invasion) 50
Peter Parker (Web of Spider-Man) 50
Harbinger 50
Impulse (DC 75th Anniversary) 49
= 292 points.
THE STRAT
With two wildcards, this team centers around Batman Enemy Holiday Killer to leech his high AV. The fact that he’s stealthy and a Willpower’d Outwitter with 8 range also helps. Harbinger ferries him around to position while Parker pushes to Perplex. Then, and only then, do my chief fighters Warlord and Spidey get into the fray, with Impulse making hit-and-runs as opportunity presents. As needed, Harbinger would shoot or use her swap-places SP to get the others into or out of trouble zones.
FIRST ROUND was a truncated one, as I’d been delayed about half the match. No KOs were made and I won the roll-off. But I was well on my way to clobber the team, so I think it was a deserved win.
SECOND ROUND was against a Soldier theme of Captain Metropolis (Watchmen) leading a pair Thunderers of Qward and Easy Company Soldiers (DC 75th Anniversary) on the Graveyard. Holiday Killer  blocked LOF and took opportunistic shots to stop the Thunderers, leaving the rest of the team little threat to me.
FINAL ROUND saw me stuck on the Web of Spider-Man Bridge against a bunch of shooting X-Men. In an effort to get some offense going, I used Harbinger to taxi Holiday Killer close enough to bring it. But she was improbably KOed in just two attacks (thanks Cyclops from Danger Room) and HK critcally missed past his key 2nd click. That left Spidey, Parker and Warlord easy, easy kills for Vet Havok and I was down to just Impulse against Havok, Rookie Nightcrawler, Rookie Jean Grey, Vet Psylocke (X-Plosion), and Exp. Pyro.
Impulse proceeded to last nearly the remaining game, KOing Havok, Cyclops and Pyro before finally getting beaten. I must’ve made 9 of 10 Shape Change rolls, keeping my assailants tied down and blocking each other’s LOF.

It was pretty much this cover, except featuring X-Men instead of high-schoolers.

A lot of people will think of Johnny Quick (DC75th Anniversary) when considering speedsters 50 points or less. Me? I’ll always look to Impulse first. :)

CAPTAIN AMERICA (Avengers)

There was once an excellent painter at WizKids who decided to cross over into sculpting. He was less than entirely successful.

Attempting to recreate this beefy, heroic he-man:

…he produced this elephantiasis-headed 101-pound weakling:

Oh. This was the "before" Super Soldier Serum shot, right?

Anyway, just as I wrote some weeks ago that a pair of characters made it onto my favorites of 2010 simply because their sculpts were fantastically fun, so this one proves the inverse. It’s so BAD that despite having a decent dial, it never hits my table.

I decided to replace him with another World War II-era ‘Clix with better proportions: SGT. ROCK from Cosmic Justice.

Here’s how I tackled this months-long project:

  • Removed CAPTAIN AMERICA (Avengers) sculpt from base (and rock).
  • Used hobby knife to remove shield from Cap’s arm.
  • Removed SGT. ROCK sculpt from its base.
  • Used hobby knife to remove rifle from SGT. ROCK’s left hand.
  • Glued shield to SGT. ROCK’s left arm.
  • Filed down grenade in SGT ROCK’s right hand.
  • Filed down sergeant insignia on SGT. ROCK’s helmet.
  • Filed down shirt lapels and dogtags.
  • Glued rifle to SGT. ROCK’s right hand and arm.
  • Repainted SGT. ROCK with acrylic paints.
  • Glued modded SGT. ROCK sculpt to CAPTAIN AMERICA (Avengers) base.

Completed mid-2010. Though I still haven’t run the piece in an actual game…

IN TWO WEEKS: Another ambitious mod of a returned character. Next Monday, though, will be a new Top 10 series (something I plan to make a monthly event). Be there!