Bring On the A Game!

One of the things I'm really looking forward to with the release of the movie is the tie-in game.
The likelihood of one seems bleak at the moment considering:

a) THQ Studios, who was already working on a tie-in game, shut down their operations. Check out the leaked video of what their game would've been:

b) Marvel and Sega, who published the widely panned tie-in games to the entire Marvel Cinemetic Universerecently parted ways - but not without giving this rabid fan boy something to latch my hope on to, thanks to Marvel Games Production VP TQ Jefferson:
"Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the first in a much larger effort to support the Avengers franchise across not just one but multiple video game touch points. Look for more announcements in the weeks to come."
Then came yesterday's announcement that the Avengers are coming to Marvel Pinball!

Not exactly what I had in mind, but the characters are there and there's a standalone release for the PlayStation Vita as opposed to just downloadable add-on for the X-box and Playstation versions of the game. 

That's probably the only thing I dread about any game that will come out: The platform.
I'm no hardcore gamer. My only gaming gadget is my GameBoy Micro. Tough luck they're gonna release a game for that.
Hopefully whatever games they plan to have will also be for a portable console like the Vita (but my personal preference is the DS) or for Windows (if only because the hardware is here already).

Yes, I want a  console game - not an online/social game like Avengers Alliance, which by the way, has less to do with the Avengers and more to do with the Marvel Universe in general.

Another possibility that I don't mind is a game for Android or iOS! I've been holding off getting an Android tablet or even a marked down iPad 2 because I want to get the right device if they do release a game or an app.

So what type of game would I want to play?

If I had it my way, I'd like the game to be a side scrolling platform game like the classic Captain America and the Avengers (so far the only Avengers console game). I'd rather not have a first person shooter like THQ's game above.

ComicBookResources hit on the right idea to port to iOS and other consoles because I once tried to play the game on my laptop with an emulator and a USB game pad but it just wasn't working (the game pad wasn't as responsive and using the keyboard was hell). I'm also trying to figure out how to set up an emulator for my Micro and play the game.
I also wouldn't mind adding a complete package of the original cartridge to my collection, but I'm not sure I want to part with a significant amount of money (cheapest I found was US$74) for a game that I will never get to play because the console is obsolete.

I also don't mind a fighting game. After all, the Avengers have had one arcade fighting game already. Plus I did enjoy Street Fighter back in the day, so a fighting game doesn't sound so bad.

But what I would really love is an RPG in the tradition of Final Fantasy and Golden Sun! We can have a cast of four to six Avengers (the movie roster) in a single company and go around from Atlantis to Wakanda to Latveria and even Asgard! It would be nice to tie in to the plot of the movie, but I think there's an opportunity here to explore the rest of the Marvel geography. I also hope that they won't be restricted to the movie timeline.

Outside of the video games, I'd really like there to be an Avengers board game. Sadly, it looks like the one from Jakks Pacific won't happen anytime soon.

Thankfully, there's still Heroclix and Hero Attax.

UPDATE: In an interview, artist Ryan Meneirding, who's worked on all the Marvel Studios films, said that there is no official video game tie-in to the movie. At least not one that he's a part of. Check out the interview below. Discussion about the Avengers game starts at 2:45.


We Have An Army

I don't normally post a new entry mid-week, but the reason for the delay of this week's entry should be made immediately clear at the very end.

Anyway, unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably cried yourself to sleep over the awesomeness of the Superbowl trailer that features, among other things, this one memorable line:

Well, if Wonder Man from last week's final issue of the Avengers: Children's Crusade is to be believed, so do the Avengers.

Art by Edward Cherniga for the upcoming Upper Deck trading cards set.
Of course, the movie's continuity is worlds away from that of the current comics but I couldn't help noting the irony.
I did mention in a previous entry how the Avengers is neither a family nor a school.
But an army?

Okay, maybe that sounds about right considering that since the revamp and reorganization of the Avengers franchise about two years ago, there have been four different squads running about regularly and two assembled for only brief periods (i.e., miniseries), including the Young Avengers.

Heroic Age Avengers by Marko Djurdjevic
So here now are my thoughts on the Avengers teams and titles of the past couple of years, quite notable for being the period with the most number of legit A-teams simultaneously in operation. Thankfully Fear Itself hasn't quite shaken up the status quo unlike in previous years when we've seen radically new lineups and titles following the Civil War and Secret Invasion.

We may as well get started with the Young Avengers.
Marvel did right by me when they decided not to let any other creative team alter this group other than their creators, writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung. Sure, they've been involved in a few scuffles here and there, but for the most part, their membership have remained intact... at least until the very end of Heinberg and Cheung's Children's Crusade.

Speaking of which, yes, it was was almost near-torture to endure almost two years plagued with delays for a 9-issue miniseries plus a special one-shot (that Heinberg did with Allan Davis), but every issue that came out left me completely satisfied me as a fan not just of the Young Avengers, but the Avengers in general! And that is already more than I can say about some of the current story lines running through the titles.

As for the main team, the folks we have on the left is pretty much the same as who we had in the beginning of the relaunch. Just swap Thor with Storm and Bucky Cap with the real thing plus add in the Red Hulk, the original Vision, and Quake (No, that's not Maria Hill). Oh, and yes - no more Wolverine and Spider-man!

I don't want this to turn into a case of Bendis-ranting (there'll be time enough for that later), so I'm not gonna comment on the quality of this book so I'm just gonna tackle the cast.

I want to be thrilled that Storm is finally among earth's mightiest heroes but her induction was kinda lame and she so far has not done anything significant. And the Red Hulk and Quake are like Ares and Echo all over again! They just don't belong on this team!

As for Bendis' other group, the New Avengers. Again, not much has changed since the relaunch except for the addition of Daredevil! (Not in picture are Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Mockingbird, and Jessica Jones.) I've been waiting for him to join and now he's finally here!

I want to like this book and its lineup, I really do. It's just that Bendis' writing, supposedly better with these street-level characters, just really left me disappointed with the first 14 issues (WTF was Mockingbird doing with the iPhone?), except for issues 7 and 8.

I'd like to see this team intact when Bendis finally leaves the Avengers alone and let other writers work them. Well, almost intact. Ms. Marvel should really be on the main team along with Storm and Spider-woman. Now that she's poised to become Captain Marvel, who knows?

Throwing a bit of a curve ball here, but this is the other miniseries I mentioned earlier: The Dead Avengers featuring original Captain Marvel, the original Swordsman, Doctor Druid, Deathcry, Yellowjacket, and once again the original Vision! (This storyline took place way before his re-introduction above).

The team was assembled in a 3-issue miniseries that tied in to Chaos War. It was exciting for me to see these characters (who I haven't seen in forever on account of being, well, dead) back in action even for a little while. This isn't the first time I enjoyed an adventure with deceased Avengers, but I'm curious why the Wasp, Scott Lang, and the Jack of Hearts weren't included in the lineup.

And now for the two titles I'm currently enjoying immensely:

Avengers Academy! And no - it's not a girl power book like what the cover on the left seems to suggest. It is, however, very empowering. It started out with the Avengers steering an all new set of characters who also had the biggest potential to end up villains towards the right path.

Now the Academy has opened its campus, which has relocated to the old West Coast compound following Fear Itself, to any young (and already established) superheroes including Lightspeed of the Power Pack, the new White Tiger, and even X-23! Reminds me of the time when the Initiative brought in new recruits also made up of existing characters, including the new Ant-man!

Speaking of the Initiative, I'm glad those guys still frequently make guest appearances at the Academy - even if they're on opposing sides now!

And going back a bit to Ant-man, I'm glad writer Rick Remender kept the little guy around when he took over Secret Avengers after the runs of Warren Ellis, Nick Spencer, and the team creator Ed Brubaker.

Now that Steve Rogers is back with the main team as Captain America, he appointed Hawkeye as the new leader of this covert group, which now also includes Giant Man, the original Human Torch, and new inductees into the Avengers' ranks - Captain Britain and the new Venom!

Though one of the biggest disappointments I had with the original cast was Nova. Hope he can come back so they can do more with him. I hope Shang-Chi comes back also since there's an awful shortage of Asian Avengers!

And now for the reason I was late with this blog.

The first issue of Avengers Assemble featuring the movie cast just hit stores yesterday. Once again, in true Bendis fashion, issue number 1 was just one big prologue that you wouldn't understand until subsequent issues!

It's not exactly an entirely new group, but it is set in regular continuity so it would be very interesting to see the Hulk back in action with his former teammates.

The book will feature a rolling cast from the team's long history, so I hope they feature characters I haven't seen in a while!

This is so far the only regular title I'll be getting when everyone else ties into Avengers vs. X-men since this title won't be affected by that mess! Here's hoping it's worth my while!

Not included in this entry are defunct teams and titles. For a comparison of past and present Avengers lineups, check out Newsarama!


My Avengers Assembly

It's officially 50 days until the movie hits Philippine cinemas, which means I'm halfway through this blasted countdown! As much I'd like to go on a long exposition of anything related to the Avengers, I've had a really long day and I have an even longer day tomorrow! So I'll make this quick.

Here are two recent additions to my ever-expanding Avengers collection that I just nabbed a few hours ago from Greenhills:

The Falcon and the Black Widow loose Superhero Squad figures.
I was hoping to find enough loose figures to complete this lineup:

SDCC 2010 Exclusive Avengers  Lithograph by Alex Ross
The thing about me is that I rarely collect loose toys. I prefer them packaged with Avengers branding.
Avengers Face-Off Superhero Squad
Hasbro Marvel Universe Original Avengers
SDCC 2011 Exclusive Avengers Mini Muggs 
Toy Biz Marvel Collectors Edition Original Avengers
Original Avengers MiniMates
Of course, that's not all I have!

My collection circa 2007.
Click here for detailed descriptions.
Updated collection 2012.
Evidently I have a penchant for smaller items mainly because I'm collecting a team here and I need to conserve space!

Anyway, some of the newer items added to my collection not covered in the previous blog:
Superhero Squad Quinjet
Emperor Doom Graphic Novel and Next Avengers DVD
More books and hardcover collections!
More than 10 years worth of adventures - now in two boxes! 
There's a very special story about this poster. Click here.
Siege / New Year 2010 swag
Huge-ass Marko Djurdjevik Avengers Heroic Age poster!
As you can see, I got everything I wanted and more!
Of course, my collection is expected to grow even more what with all the merchandise tied to the movie and all. Actually, I just placed an order for the following items not related to the movie:

Avengers 7-piece play set figurines
Marvel Universe (more like New Avengers + Hulk!) 7-piece play set figurines
And now I'm also hunting for these items:

Avengers Mini-kit featuring a Captain America figure, an official Avengers logo pin and a 48-page guide book!
Avengers Resin Figures Set of 8

Yep, it's definitely gonna get expensive and expansive here when the movie hits.
Speaking of which, user frenxy77 of the Pinoy Toy Kolektors forums shared this little tidbit:

Looks like we have the schedule of the toys’ local release!
I really hope to add some nice apparel and games to this collection.
Maybe the next time I update my collections blog there will be!