Marvel HeroClix Wish-List: The Vulturions (v1.1)

The Vulturions! Not as impressive as the sound! I used to have the original appearances of these guys (and I had the entire run of “Web of Spider-Man”; gave them up to charity [Operation: Comix Relief]). In reading up about them now, looks like they made an appearance during “The Initiative Era” as well.


They’re basically using tech stolen from Adrian “The Vulture” Toomes. “Honcho”, the leader of the group, is the only one with enough tech-savvy to understand the electromagnetic anti-grav harness, or at least how to repair them and keep them running. Naturally, Toomes is not happy when other people are using his tech.

Honcho apparently wasn’t that great of a tech. They may have snazzy flight suits, but they never tricked themselves out with any sort of weaponry better than — get this — blowguns. Not that I expected wing-mounted weapons like Kyle “Nighthwk” Richmond of the Defenders, but would hope for something better than blowguns. Would have been cool if they’d gotten some, I don’t know some Terrible Tinkerer-designed shoulder-mounted weaponry or something. (Think: the alien from the Predator movies.)

I think they’d make a good Common-rarity generic for “street-level” Marvel teams.

I’m going to repost the old Bruce Wayne clix preview from WizKids, as it has a design layout I like; three completely different play-styles on one dial. The whole group — the original 5, or the more recent 3 — could be represented on one dial, with the team configured anyway the player desired. (No, I’m not saying I want to see the exact same dial. Just an example of the “split-dial” design technique.)



Ret-Con: Vulture (IC REV/LE) (v7.1)

EDIT (2014-09-19): Top-to-bottom rework of a post from 2012-01-30, with some tweaks to the “Ret-Con Trait” language, and a few more “collages”.

Vulture! Flying vicious old bastard! He’s tenacious for such an old guy, and a sort of “tech villain” but without the diversity of gimmicks or equipment. Cripes, in some of the early Stan Lee/Steve Ditko stories, despite the advanced “anti-gravity magnetic flight harness”, he’s also brandishing a .38 snub-nose revolver rather than some retro-sci-fi “energy blaster” or something else.

It would appear Adrian Toomes “One Great Idea” for his entire life has been his “flight harness” invention, a sort of limited anti-gravity harness — presumably very energy efficient, maybe consuming less power than anything Tony Stark needs to stay aloft — which he uses in conjunction with some arm-mounted wings for propulsion and steering.  He’s occasionally enhanced it a bit.  Plus, this “magnetic harness” also had the side effect of making old Man Toomes much stronger than he’d otherwise be. Not superhumanly strong, but skirting the threshold.

He tends to focus on revenge against Spider-Man, corporate america, and keeping himself going via a “subsistence level” of crime.  I like to think that he’s so angry at the competitive douchebaggery of trying to develop tech for “legitimate” technology industries, that he’s forgone trying to regain or get new patents on his tech, and just provides for himself and launches occasional attacks on sectors of industry out of a need for revenge.  (Not all stories reflect this; this is just me talking.)  He’s not about to join “Occupy Wall Street”; he probably thinks they’re too “soft”.

But, I read a lot into certain characters and concepts, stuff that has often never appeared in the comics.  He’s a “simple” character, that could use a re-work, more definition.

The version that popped up first in HeroClix was the Rookie/Experienced/Veteran/Limited Edition (a “Unique”) from INFINITY CHALLENGE (2002).  The sculpt depicted is from the “Lifetheft” storyline, although the dials don’t reflect the the Vulture’s “gimmick” in that story of restoring his youthful vitality by “draining the life-essence” out of people. I hated that story.

IC Vulture Stat Tower

This REV/LE has mostly been about being a *cheap* taxi and “Pawn”. [I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to use the concept of “Pawn” in the game of HeroClix to mean “Line-of-Fire blocker, Mastermind Fodder, Tie-Up”. Vulture is sort of a “Pawn+”, in that he’s still — even in today’s game — a cheap little “Taxi”.]

Compared to a lot of characters that debuted in HeroClix’ inaugural release back in 2002, Vulture received a “ReClix” relatively quickly with 2005’s FANTASTIC FORCES set that expanded the power-set in a way faithful to the character.  And the sculpt was, well, fantastic.


Some complained about the attack values, but for the points he was much, much better. *Maybe* still a “Pawn+”, but even better at it.

The next iteration of Adrian Toomes wouldn’t appear until 2013’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN set.

ASM019 Vulture

Pretty logical evolution of the designs that came before. I like very much. Now at 61 points, more “Tertiary Attacker + Taxi”. I feel obligated to only play him with other Sinister Syndicate team ability characters, though, for those points. That’s mot so bad a hang-up to have; plenty of SinSyn options.

So, this is supposed to be a “Ret-Con” post for the IC version. Conundrum: I think well enough of the quirky character from the comics to want to see his old “Lifetheft” version to be “more of a threat” in today’s game, kind of *just barely* “punching outside of his weight class” for the points at every level. But, can’t over-do it. So, no “stat buffs” just some “additional options” to be a character that your opponent can’t take a chance on ignoring. “Harassment” of a kind.

“Ret-Con Trait” imbedded into the “collage” below. ([Reminder: all my amateur RCT’s are meant to be tacked onto the character for no additional points, tailored to those specific versions of that character with that set symbol.]

IC Vulture Ret-Con v2

Yeah, he still can’t hit anything on his own. Still needs “support” in the stat modification or stat replacement areas during combat. I’m sure the tactics are pretty obvious, they’re common enough.

BONUS “FIND”: <– Yep, Marvel hasn’t met a “Golden Age” idea — from either its time as “Timely Comics” or its later “Atlas Comics” era — it can’t “recycle”!


Wish-List: Jackdaw (v1.1)

Jackdaw! Or Blackbird. (Preference: Jackdaw. Always wondered why Marvel tried to change her name.) I first encountered her as Blackbird in the pages of Greunwald’s run on the Captain America comics of late 80’s/early 90’s. I swear I thought of her as Jackdaw at the time, even though I had never read her original Incredible Hulk appearances. I think that was a result of reading about her in a Marvel handbook. (Sidenote: a “Jackdaw”, according to the dreaded Wikipedia, is a bird in the crow family, apparently frequent in parts of Europe.)


She’s “under-used”, difficult to find info on. What I mean by that is: “Who is she? What are her powers? Does she actually have any, or is she a ‘tech-villain’??” She refers to herself as a spy, and she starts out working for The Leader. Eventually ends up working for Superia as part of her Femizons. (Superia: “Taking the ‘War between the Sexes’ to the next level.”)

I hope she’s a mix of actual physical enhancements plus sci-fi-tech. Her roles as “spy” and “thief” kinda splices into Hulk’s “Rogues Gallery” elements of the Spymaster or Ghost (from Iron Man’s gallery) and The Vulture (from Spider-Man’s bevy of animal-themed robbers, muggers, and violent thugs). Even if that costume that *seems* to grant Flight is in fact armored, she seems capable of taking, of enduring quite a bit of physical knocks.

As far as HeroClix goes: Unfortunately, she screams “Pawn” to me (tie-up, Line of Fire blocking, Mastermind fodder”. With the {Wing} symbol, she could also be a competent taxi, or at least be more independent in zipping it for tie-up duty. Would actually like to see her with the {Wing/Transporter} symbol.

Working the “Spy” angle, and given her first appearances in Hulk’s comic, you could work in some sort of “object manipulation” type of special powers or Traits. Not making objects, but taking them, or denying use of them. Relics and Resources and Special Objects. Doesn’t need to completely deny use of said objects; just screw up their use, somehow.

Looking at some of the versions of DC Comics’ Catwoman we have in the game can give you a better idea —

DARK KNIGHT RISES #203 Catwoman (Attack slot) Cat Burglar: Catwoman can use Flurry. Give Catwoman a free action when she is adjacent to a heavy or light object and exchange that object for any other object on the map or held by another character; after doing so, roll a d6; on a result of 1-3, remove the exchanged object from the game.

DC HEROCLIX 10th ANNIVERSARY #015 Catwoman (Trait) Bad Luck When I Cross Your Path: Other characters within 6 squares of Catwoman assigned a relic or a resource can’t use the effects of the relic or resource.

BATMAN #007b Selina Kyle (Trait) Procurer of Fine Artifacts: Selina Kyle can use Stealth. Give Selina Kyle a free action when she is adjacent to a character with a relic on their character card and you may roll a d6 that can’t be re-rolled. If the result of that roll is one of the numbers required to pick up that relic, place the relic on Selina Kyle’s character card. Selina Kyle is not limited to rolling once per game for each relic.

Cant Help Myself: During the beginning of your turn, if Catwoman is adjacent to a relic or any character with a relic on its character card, remove that relic from the game.

— or it might be a bit simpler, such as with the Thule Society Priest–

FEAR ITSELF #001 Thule Society Priest (Attack slot) Relic Guardian: If a character attempts a relic roll while adjacent to a friendly character named “Thule Society Priest”, modify the relic roll by +1 if not already increased by this effect. If a character attempts a relic roll while adjacent to an opposing character named “Thule Society Priest”, modify the relic roll by -1 if not already decreased by this effect.

— The trick will be to keep her relatively cheap. “Mobile Pawn” has to be her main function, the “object use-disrupting” a perk.

ASIDE: While I’m thinking of Relics and such, a long while back I did a “wish-List” post for Roger Bochs, the creator of the “Box”, which was originally psi-helmet controlled robot. In Jackdaw’s initial appearances in the Hulk’s books, she at one point puts on a sensor-vest-thingy that allows her to control the giant Megalith robot. “Dear WizKids”: it would be cool to get Megalith, and a relic to control him. Another obscure character from Hulk’s history is always welcome. (And might lead to Roger Bochs/Box. Love the idea of a 3D relic, used for one character in the game to “control” an automaton. Not exactly like the recent The Zombie from the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN set, but similar, I suppose.)