Tag Archive: The Thing


As part of the Marvel Video Games panel Saturday at San Diego ComicCon, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game director Arthur Parsons revealed a plethora of the 150 characters that look to inhabit TT Games’ LEGO-fied Marvel Universe.

A special focus was given to the heavies, the hulking brutes who are far larger than most LEGO characters and were given their own trailer (embedded below). In it we see the Blob, Rhino, Kingpin, Lizard, Colossus, the Thing, and the Juggernaut join the likes of the Hulk and Abomination. We even catch a brief glimpse of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor in LEGO form.

Parsons had more up his sleeve at Comic-Con, playing a slideshow that a whole host of other Marvel characters set to make their LEGO debut. This list included the likes of:

  • Dr. Doom
  • Jean Grey
  • Beast
  • Gambit
  • Storm
  • Elektra
  • Magneto
  • Vulture
  • Silver Samurai
  • Punisher
  • Green Goblin
  • Iron Patriot (pre-order bonus)
  • Squirrel Girl
  • Sabertooth
  • Deadpool
  • Howard the Duck

And to cap off the cast additions, Parsons revealed that some Marvel execs, including the legendary Stan Lee (who then appeared on stage to arguably the loudest applause of the entire Con) would also appear in the game.

At the heartfelt behest of a young boy, Parsons also revealed that Doctor Strange had made the cut, and mentioned that Troy Baker will be playing Loki, Clark Gregg will reprise his role of Agent Coulson, and Nolan North returns to the character of Deadpool.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes’ brick-building mayhem commences on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, 3DS, DS, PS Vita, and Wii U this fall (sometime later for Xbox One and PS4). Excelsior!

Make Mine Marvel

I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t want to be a superhero. Whether it was wielding the Hulk’s impossible strength, firing lasers from my eyes like Cyclops, or cutting things to ribbons with Wolverine’s claws, superpowers have always been at the forefront of my imagination. So, I’ll admit that I relished being able to go hands-on with Gazillion Entertainment’s upcoming free-to-play MMORPG Marvel Heroes.

The story starts off with vintage Marvel bad guy Dr. Doom getting his hands on a Cosmic Cube—and the chaos he intends to bring down upon the citizenry of the world will be significant. Therefore, Marvel’s mightiest heroes from across all major lines must come together to root out Doom and his allies. Being as obsessed with comics as I am, this story may look like it’s been done before—on the surface, anyway. But the game’s writer, Brian Michael Bendis (best known for his long run on The Avengers), is clear that it’s difficult to write for a game like this.

“The challenge was to come up with a story that hits as much architecture and landscape in the Marvel Universe as possible without it feeling too much like a knee-jerk thing,” he says. “What’s interesting about the Marvel Universe is that there are just as many interesting things going on at the street level—let’s say the Daredevil level, the Spider-Man level—as there are at the cosmic level, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Silver Surfer, the Galactus level. The cool thing—and the interesting idea for us—was to actually start the story at the ground level and kind of roll like a snowball downhill. As you discover more and more about the actual story and play through the game, you get to travel up toward the cosmic level of the Marvel universe, all the while not getting newcomers lost or confused. I looked at it like this grand opportunity to create almost like a Marvel event comic unlike anything you’d actually seen in publishing. And at the same time, create like a Marvel lifestyle product, if that makes sense. Then, there are some fans who live and breathe these characters—and are going to live and breathe this game. This is going to be, if done well, the next step of the worldwide community of comic-book fans and Marvel fans and just fans of games. To create something that really lives and breathes like the Marvel Universe for them all to live in is a real treat—and a real challenge.”

If you should live and breathe these characters, as Mr. Bendis so aptly puts it, then you’ll probably be as excited as I was to see what he was talking about. I was fortunate enough to play through three of the story’s dozen chapters; in that time, I went from Mutant Town in New York City to the Kingpin’s penthouse to the Morlock sewers to the Savage Land—hopping through some of Marvel’s most iconic locations in a way that makes sense to the story. I also took on iconic baddies like Sentinels, Mutates, A.I.M., and the Purifiers, not to mention individual supervillains like Green Goblin, Tombstone, Sauron, Bullseye, and Lady Deathstrike.

But including characters that we expect to see in a game like this isn’t going to be enough—the gameplay needs to be there, too. Fortunately, Gazillion president and COO David Brevik has a bit of experience in making games like this really shine (he created Diablo I and II, if you didn’t recognize the name).

Steering away from fully customizable avatars, Marvel Heroes wants to make you feel like those great characters we all grew up loving, so you only play as established characters from the Marvel Universe. If you want to smash with the Hulk, you can do it. If Ms. Marvel is more your thing, then no one will stop you. Or maybe purple really does it for you, so Hawkeye’s your man. If they’re a hero in the Marvel Universe, you can unlock them and play with them at some point. And if you don’t like their standard look, you’ve got a bevy of alternate costumes you can unlock—like, if you’d rather your Captain America have that 1940s helmet instead of his modern mask.

And playing with these characters feels as great as you’d expect. Setting hotkeys for special powers or just left- and right-clicking makes it so you can fire a variety of beams with Cyclops or set the world on fire however you wish with the Human Torch. It couldn’t be easier to start mowing down Mole People or putting the screws to Pyro than that.

As Brevik explains, though, you can’t just go it alone if you really want to get through the story and the inevitable expansions down the road. At times, you’ll have to team up, and Gazillion’s trying some different ways to make some of those feel more spur-of-the-moment than camping out in front of a dungeon entrance looking for help.

“We had an idea about the way that we’d like to get invites going and get people together,” he says. “We have events that are more traditional encounters, making sure that there are opportunities for people to socially get together and group up. You hang out in town, and people are like, ‘I need help with the Kingpin fight!’ or ‘Oh, I’m on that, too,’ and group up and go to this thing together. That’s something we wanted from the very beginning as part of the design. Then, we have optional grouping, which is this loose grouping out in the public combat zones. Green Goblin suddenly pops up, and then everybody can get together dynamically and work together, and everybody gets rewarded. So, there isn’t an official formalization of the grouping there. There’ll be other ways to group and other ways to do things, especially in the endgame, that I think will also play right into the kind of MMO hands that people are used to.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the crafting system. Going to certain characters like Forge at the X-Mansion or Hank Pym at Avengers Tower will allow players the chance to upgrade their equipment or add buffs to items like Cyclops’ visor or Deadpool’s katanas. This just gives you an even deeper connection to the experience; it hearkens back to Diablo while still featuring the Marvel flair players expect.

Marvel Heroes is shaping up as one of the more special free-to-play MMO experiences. With the power of the Marvel license, writers like Brian Michael Bendis, and David Brevik’s Diablo background, every Marvelite will likely be shouting “Excelsior!” when this game’s finally open to everyone—hopefully sometime later this year.

We have a new heavyweight champ at the top of the box office and it is little surprise with the incessant PR campaign the movie had to see Real Steel as the big grosser last weekend with over $27 million. The Ides of March had a strong debut with over $10 million to take the distant number two spot as well, which was just enough to edge out the previous week’s top two, Dolphin Tale and Moneyball, which did fairly well with over $9 and $7 million respectively to come in at three and four. And I think none of these movies have much to worry about in terms of competition with the trifecta of new movies being released this week.

1) The Big Year (Fox)

Three avid bird watchers compete to see some of the rarest birds in North America and their rivalry hopes to lead to hysterical hijinx.

I look at this movie and it screams comedic potential, but I’m just not sure if all the elements will gel into something worth watching. Comedy legend Steve Martin teams up with Owen Wilson and Jack Black as men who are all rivals with each other in one of the most ridiculous of past-times imaginable in bird watching. Off the beaten path scenario with some great comedic actors sounds like a recipe for success, but everything I’ve seen of it so far says it comes off as too smart for a good chuck of your audience, much like a movie like Sideways. I would love to see this do well and will probably see it because I’m a fan of everyone in it, but I do so with baited breath.

2) Footloose (Paramount)

A city kid moves to the country where rock ‘n’ roll have been banned and his rebellious nature gets the better of the community.

Why? The slew of remakes we’ve seen in recent years is bad enough as is without making a poor remake of what was already a poor movie to begin with. Anything that revolves around dancing of any kind means I’m out. I’m sure this will appeal to the teener-bopper audience and 12-year-old girls everywhere will claim it to be their favorite movie for the next three weeks, but otherwise avoid this like the plague. Also, I think Drunk Hulk from Twitter (@DrunkHulk) had a rather apropos statement in regards to this movie: “SORRY FOOTLOOSE REMAKE! DRUNK HULK NO SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT TAKE AWAY BACON!” Well said sir. Well said indeed.

3) The Thing (Universal)

The discovery of an alien spacecraft at an Antarctic research installation leads to the de-thawing and subsequent confrontation of a monstrous creature not of this world.

Another remake. At least this one is a horror movie and Halloween is upon us, but still. Some things are better just left alone and I understand the temptation to re-do movies like this with modern technology, but from trailers I’ve seen, the special effects used here still seem to be from 20 years ago and are going more for a gross-out factor than anything that could inspire true terror. Good horror movies are hard to find nowadays because most behind the scenes movie people see them as easy profits, especially this time of year, because they’re cheap to make. But when the horror genre is dipping into the remake fountain as well, you know Hollywood is clearly out of ideas.