Marvel HeroClix Wish-List: M.O.D.O.K.’s Hover-Chair (Vehicle) (v1.1)

Title says it all.

But, here’s another 3,000 words or so in pictures….

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“H.A.M.M.E.R.?” (v1.2)

H.A.M.M.E.R.? What does it stand for? Absolutely nothing. According to Wikipedia, anyway. The Marvel comics writers that cooked up that little organization never got around to fleshing out the acronym.

It was more of an inside joke among the writers, I guess, as well as being a “clue” (speaking “in universe”) put out there by H.A.M.M.E.R.[HAMMER]’s director, Norman Osborn (who at this time, the public thinks was on the up-and-up, having successfully convinced everyone that he was never the Green Goblin, and had been framed). HAMMER was to replace S.H.I.E.L.D.[SHIELD] after the organization was dissolved in the aftermath of the “Secret Invasion” by the extraterrestrial Skrulls.

Personally, I think these brainiac writers weren’t trying hard enough, as if the task of acronyms was beneath them some how. I, lowly peon that I am over here in my little “shack” of a blog nestled out in the boonies of the interwebz, am willing to take a swing at the HAMMER acronym.

How about: “Hostile Alien [&] Metahuman Militarized Exigent Response”?

Tangent: I only bring this up because I’ve been working my way through the “Dark Reign” storyline missions of the Marvel Puzzle Quest game.

Tangent: Hope the organization gets worked into Marvel’s TV/Cinematic Universe.

I get that trying to reflect any of the “real world” evil and natural disasters going on — ISIS, Ebola, massive changes in weather patterns — is hard to do in a sci-fi/fantasy/superhero/spy/action/dramedy show like “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but that’s kinda the thing with Marvel Comics through the decades: They might not address the Real World’s problems directly, but they do slip them in by “proxy” into their narrative universe.

HYDRA was first introduced into comics in the 1960’s, and was an amalgamation of fears of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism. A.I.M. was an offshoot of HYDRA; they split to focus on even more extreme and dangerous, science experimentation and exploitation, using terrorism and other activities for funding.

I think Disney/Marvel and thier creative teams may be leaving certain opportunities untapped. The movie-created “Ten Rings” as a more pseudo-religiously zealous group (an ISIS-like organization, if you will; I am in no way trying to downplay the real world evil ISIS is causing), with their own militancy and hardline view of how the world should work, and how they should be in charge.

There’s also the Golden Claw’s “Atlas” network.

The “Zodiac Cartel” from the comics, as an international organized crime syndicate, more interested in money and “guaranteed revenue streams” than “ruling the world”. Twist for TV: Strange “Raiders of the Lost Ark” kind of obsession with also procuring “relics of power”. (“Underground/black market” for Asgardian items, and more? Stuff like this was hinted at in season one as well, even if it all has been “tidied up” as “blame it all on HYDRA”. Which I think is the wrong way to go. Gotta portray HYDRA as pervasive, shadowy, but not monolithic. In competition with other organizations, as well as opposed by SHIELD and similar organizations.

HAMMER: Meant by the U.S. Government to replace SHIELD as the “first line of defense against the super-weird” that is the Marvel Universe. But, what happens [speaking more in the Marvel TV/Cinematic universe now], when the “super-science/espionage/defense” role is taken over by those who are more interested in being in bed with the military/industrial complex, for personal gain? This kinda stuff was hinted at in Season One of MAOS, with CyberTek.

The TV-MCU already has its “Rising Tide” ‘pro-superhuman proliferation’ organization. What kind of xenophobic homegrown counter-groups are there to that? From the comics, organizations like the Friends of Humanity, the Watchdogs, the “Scourge of the Underworld” could all serve competing roles for this if “ported” into the TV-MCU.

“Hail Hydra! Immortal Hydra! Cut off one [head], two more shall take its place!!” So,…. what happens when the heads start arguing with each other? SHIELD may have been dissolved as political retribution for failing to stop Hydra infiltrating it in time, but Hydra did the “splinter cell” thing as well.

W.E.S.P.E.? Maybe?

And what about The Hand?

 

Wish-List: M.O.D.O.C. Squads (Brubaker Era, v1.7)

Upfront: Not a “re-post” of an older post. Ground-up post, recycling older ideas from several older posts, adding a few new ideas. First posted about these guys around 2010. Afraid we’ll never see them. Hoped to see them in the CAPTAIN AMERICA set. Didn’t. Hope they could be part of a “MARVEL MONSTERS & VILLAINS” set. 

The “M.O.D.O.C. Squad”. Two versions of this concept, coming from writer Ed Brubaker’s incredible, seminal run on the various Captain America titles. A definite threat to Cap. In away, a spin of the “Man Out of Time” motif that sometimes recurs in Captain America comics: Steve Rogers, Captain America, is the first “super-soldier”, and as the origin goes, the process turned him into a “peak human” fighting machine. But, that was during WWII. Is he “outdated”. Well, this being superhero comics, the “old warhorse” still takes these teched-up clowns to school, goes all “Old Army” on their asses.

The “M.O.D.O.C. Squad” first appeared in issue #8 of Brubaker’s inaugural run. The acronym stood for “Military Operative Designed Only [for] Combat” (as opposed to “public relations” or something, I guess). Assumptions: Bionic enhancements. Sensory enhancements, benefits multiplied by sharing the input data among the hive-mind. These guys have been able to increase their own speed during combat, although Cap takes them down fast enough that we (the readers) never get a sense at how far they can take that, and what kind of effect that has on their bodies. A.I.M. probably knows, which is why they can only do it in stages, in response to threat assessments of their opponents; I assume AIM is trying to “prolong the service life” of their property. On the surface: maybe a mix of the tech AIM has used to create M.O.D.O.K., “dumbed down” and possibly spliced with their Adaptoid tech.

The second version appeared in Brubaker’s “Captain America: Reborn” limited series. The acronym “M.O.D.O.K.S.” apparently stood for “Military Operatives Designed Only [for] Killing Superhumans”, which they failed to do, quite spectacularly. I guess all the bugs hadn’t been worked out. Really, they come off as just a visual gimmick. Norman Osborn created M.O.D.O.K.S. for use by his H.A.M.M.E.R. organization and they were co-opted by the Red Skull and Crossbones in the “Reborn” story.

I prefer to think of them as “M.O.D.O.C., Types I & II”.

Things I’d like to see in HeroClix:

  • Two types, playing off of the venerable Jack Kirby concept of M.O.D.O.K. (“Mental Organism Designed Only [for] Killing; originally it ended with a “C” for “Computing. It was the 1960’s, and he could have represented “a human turned into a mainframe computer”.)
  • “Type I” looks like a special forces soldier, with a sci-fi spin. Vest/body armor and a headband that looks similar to tech on MODOK’s hover-chair. Unclear if they were surgically implanted cybernetic enhancements,  sort of an “overlay” (equipment to be worn and removed as needed.
  • “Type I” appeared to be linked/networked in a “hivemind”. Appeared to share sensory input of their surroundings, react quickly to their opponents and changes in their environments. Also, could “boost” their speeds, by at least 15% at a time; no indications if this was detrimental over the long term in anyway. Cap took them down as quickly as possible as soon as he realized how quickly they were starting to adapt.
  • “Type II” appeared in the “Reborn” storyline, looked more like MODOK, but apparently without the mental powers (like psychic domination, mental telepathy, projection of psychic energy as beams or blasts). Emphasis was on a flying heavy-weapons platform, again linked in a kind of “hivemind” to aid in coordinating tactics and directing fire.
  • Obviously, they’d make great “generics”.With the Marvel and DC 10th Anniversary HeroClix sets in 2012, WizKids did an amazing job retooling its “BattleField Promotion” mechanics.
  • With “Battlefield Promotion” and given some “split dial” designs we’ve seen lately, WizKids could put a set of 3-click stats on a dial that “BP’s” into a 5 or 6-click set of stats. Points: 25 points and 45 points. I can’t decide on particulars between the 25 and 45 point version, though. The 45-point one has to be the better all-around combatant of the two. Have to reflect the info-sharing of the hive-mind for both. So, should the 25-point be mostly about *competent” generic-level stats (8/16, capped 2 damage) and mostly about basic “pawn” functions, just very good at them (Leap/Climb for mobility, Plasticity, Combat Reflexes, Range value of 4 or 5) ? That would make the 45-point slightly better (9/17 down the dial? access to the Move & Attack ability? maybe Super Sense and BCF?)
  • So, should the 25-point be mostly about *competent” generic-level stats (8/16, capped 2 damage) and mostly about basic “pawn” functions, just very good at them (Leap/Climb for mobility, Plasticity, Combat Reflexes, Range value of 4 or 5) ? That would make the 45-point slightly better (9/17 down the dial? access to the Move & Attack ability? Maybe Super Senses and BCF?)

  • If WizKids is feeling frisky, that second set of stats could further “Battlefield Promote”   a new figure, with maybe 7 or 8-clicks of life, possibly with some sort of new-fangled “Wild Dial” mechanic, as we’re looking to see used on characters in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN set (FEB 2013). Points? Not sure. 55? 60? A third MODOC soldier on another dial, at 55 points, and maybe at its “peak”, a MODOC soldier that has survived other engagements and has a slighty more “Leader-type” role to play when around the other two MODOCs.  Maybe a “Reverse-Minion” Special Power or Trait?  Not sure; I didn’t like that for the CAPTAIN AMERICA set’s Adaptoid/Super-Adaptoid, as you couldn’t get the most out of the Super-Adaptoid without having a few of the lower-point Adaptoids on the team.

  • There’s also still the option of some sort of “Minion” special power or Trait ability. I love the idea of having both the 25-point and the 45-point MODOCs on the same dial, as either “split-dial” or “multiple starting line’ designs.  But, we could instead have a “split-dial” 25 point MODOC with the Battlefield Promotion SP for one choice, and a “Minion” power for another choice.  Have the 45-point and the 55-point MODOC on the same dial instead, having “multiple starting line” and/or Battlefield Promotion.
  • In a twist not hinted at whatsoever in the comics, maybe a “Battlefield Promotion” of a “Type I” into a “Type II”??
  • As far as the more-MODOK-looking “Type II” MODOCs, would be kinda cool to assume that maybe AIM intended them work with the ” ” MODOCs. Kinda like the “Type II” is a “tank/Bradley Fighting Vehicle”, the “Type I’s” are infantry. AIM’s version of “combined arms tactics”. So, make MODOKS a Vehicle. 🙂 They are their own “Pilots”; the MODOCs are “Passengers”.
  • One of the trends in the game has been to make generics around (or often above) 30-points, and really pretty effective combatants. I see these MODOKS as a more expensive generic.  Maybe 60 to 70 points.  Range-based attacker, obviously.
  • Options for design?  (A) Actually give the buggers a Range value of 12.  Energy Shield/Deflection.  That’d scare your opponent.  No Penetrating/Psychic Blast, though.  Damage values of 2 and 3 down the dial, maybe some Energy Explosion, as a Special Power so they can have 3 Targets when using EE.  Simple, bringing some firepower to Hydra, AIM, or the Red Skull.  Or, (B) go counter-intuitive for a ranged-based character and give them a 6 range value and an SP that allows the “Neapolitan selection” of the standard ranged powers.
  • Either way, Minion “linked mechanics” for “buffing-up” attack values when other MODOKS are around, or maybe the ability to use the Ultimates TA when near each other.  Or, since they *might* rely on a hivemind over individual interactions with non-MODOKS, they could only benefit from the use of the Hydra TA coming from another MODOKS, but up to 3 squares away.
  • Maybe mimic the M-11 from HoT by way of a steady stats down the dial, BUT (!) only 4 or 5 clicks of life; one solid hit by a ‘big gun’ superhero should take them down.  The problem should be getting in close to them.  If (B), they should have some move-and-attack ability to use with that short-ish range value; if (A), well, the 12 range is scary enough as it is uncommon in today’s game.
  • Assuming they aren’t made as Vehicles, it would be cool for them to have the {Transporter/Wing} symbol, but just the {Wing} symbol would be fine as well.
  • If it’s a Vehicle: Came up with a bit of a Trait-based gimmick for these things as well.  Stick with me on this:  The first row of “K.O.” is *NOT* K.O., but the Special Object {Gear} symbol! (The {Gear} symbol is often used for Special Objects.) When it takes damage and hits this {Gear} symbol, the player stops turning the dial and places it in the squares where it was originally.  Since I imagine the MODOKS sculpt to be mounted length-wise on a “peanut” double-base, he/it becomes this massive Special Object, considered “blue ringed”.  Characters with Super Strength could rotate the way it faces, pivoting it around either end of the “peanut”.  It other wise can’t be moved.
  • You’d have to do 3 damage to it in one go — just like a regular object — to destroy it as normal and remove it from the map.  Until then, characters could use it in a similar fashion to the Broken Drone 3D object from DANGER ROOM or the Laser Turret special object: Give an adjacent character with the Spy, Soldier, or Scientist keyword a power action.  They may use the damaged MODOK-S to make a ranged combat attack as a free action, using line of fire originating from MODOK-S, as if he had a range of 6.  The attack deals 1 damage, but does not destroy the “MODOK-S turned 3D special Object.”
  • And if you’re wondering, this inspired by a panel in the “Reborn” story where — I believe — “Bucky-Cap” kicked a downed Super-MODOK and it fired at another Super-MODOK.MODOC_Squads_Mash-Up_IIMODOC_Squads_Mash-Up_I

EDIT (2016-02-19): Just adding in some more pictures. Still want to see these guys. Otherwise, just some spellchecking.

modoc_squad

avengers_a-i_modoc_squad.jpg 003_modoc_squad.jpg 002_modoc_squad.png 001_modoc_squad.png 000_modoc_squad.png

MODOC_Squad_005

M.O.D.O.K. & Vehicles (v1.1)

Someone over on HCrealms.com started a thread suggesting HeroClix Vehicles based on Marvel Comics properties. I piped up about wanting Giant/Colossal Vehicles and associated Pilots. Brought up the Shogun Warriors again, and Red Ronin. And suddenly remembered how MODOK used a gigantic exoskeleton once or twice.

This lead the irrational need to make a new “collage”. And it started out as *just* about the exoskeleton. Then everything else MODOK-related that I’ve ever wanted to see become HeroClix sort of “creeped in”. Including the Brubaker-created M.O.D.O.C. “hivemind” Super-Soldiers and the “MODOK-S Heavy Weapons Platforms”, which I’ve covered before. (Repeatedly.)

I’ll probably elaborate on this in an update, later.