Avengers Defenders War is out, and I am in the Sunken Place.
So I’m not a completionist in this game. Nevertheless, I have a number of themes I’ve enjoyed collecting because they make me happy. And for these, I am something of a completionist. A sampling:
- Justice Society keyword
- Legion of Super-Heroes keyword
- Masters of Evil keyword
- Young Avengers keyword
- Guardians of the Galaxy keyword
- Nova Corps keyword
- Iron Man’s many armors
- Diana’s Wardrobe: Each costume variant of Wonder Woman
- Kal-El’s Closet: Each costume variant of Superman
- Every Aquaman, Namor and Atlantis figure
- Every Black Widow figure
- Most variants of Captain America
- Hey, We Thought This Was The Archery Contest: Every character with a bow and arrow
But all of these have been bent or outright broken at points when they simply became too much trouble to keep up. For example, for the Legion, I’m lacking only Supergirl [Crisis ], I think. But she’s a character who’s duplicated about five times over, so I haven’t made acquiring it much of a goal at all. So that theme is bent.
Then there are ones that got BROKE: When the Justice Society added one of HeroClix’s first chase figures, Queen Hippolyta [Origin 217], that destroyed my completionist streak for that theme. Even when I got one later, I was never again pressed to get every JSA-er.
Another example: Iron Man armors. In this case, it was extreme disappointment with a figure that broke me. This collection is largely about the optics, and this one looked so damned stupid that I couldn’t continue.
And so this went from a top priority theme to one that’s……………lower.
But the granddaddy of all my collecting priorities is the Black Box: a collection of every single black character in HeroClix.
Because another thing I decided to do early on in this hobby was to build a competitive team composed solely of such characters. When I started, that was an impossibility. But with time and power creep — as well as an ever-increasing proportion of said characters in the game — it has become not only possible but difficult not to include some melanin-rich representation in some of the top meta builds.
Generally, this has been a breeze to stay on top of. When I started, there were only one or two black characters in a given set. Fantastic Forces had only the Power Man REV trio. I gave the Middle Eastern villainess Asp from the same set honorary Black Box status for YEARS just so I’d be able to build a team.
Fast forward to the past couple of years, which have dramatically increased the number of candidates for the Black Box:
And my Black Box completion was put to its sorest test this past year with the releases of the first such piece to be a chase, Spider-Punk [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 062], then of Jakeem Thunder [Joker’s Wild 053b], a top-level meta competitive piece in the Super Rare prime slot, almost as scarce as and an orders of magnitude more expensive than older chase figures. I spent more money on that than I ever have on a single piece before (sort of. I sold an older meta SR prime to raise the majority of the funds to buy the JT figure).
But now we come to ADW. And it’s got me feeling like the opening image from “Get Out”.
- Two new Luke Cages, a common rarity (which I somehow have not pulled from eight packs) and a Fast Forces version.
- Generic Atlantean Warriors for the Atlantis theme.
- W’Kabi and Wakanda Warriors, an Uncommon and another generic needed in multiples.
- Two new Black Widows [026 and 037]. An Uncommon and a Rare.
- A new Iron Man suit in Iron Man . A Super Rare.
- Two Masters of Evil, a Rare and a Super Rare.
- Three new archers in Hawkeye [004, 022, 067], one a CHASE.
- Two new Cap variants, both unlikely to be remade. A Super Rare and another CHASE.
And the absolute worst, two Super Rares and THREE CHASES to go in the Black Box: Black Panther , Man-Ape , Captain America , Iron Heart  and Black Panther . Before now, I never had more than two in any rarity above rare status in one set. Ever.
And let’s not forget the LE The Man Without Fear , another Black Panther version, released during an event I can’t run as judge of my venue.
I’m screaming inside.