[All images property of Wizkids and/or Marvel Entertainment]
As far as high-profile comic book characters go, these days, it doesn’t get much hotter than Deadpool. Even before comedian Brian Posehn and writer/filmmaker Gerry Duggan took over writing duties for the Marvel Now! relaunch of the perennial fan favorite, Marvel’s Merry Mutant Merc’ with a Mouth‘s popularity was on the rise – a trajectory rivaled only by Wolverine’s during the 1980s. However, Deadpool’s relatively new status as another household name born under the roof of the House of Ideas has been problematic for fans of Wizkids‘ collectable miniatures game, HeroClix.
This is mainly because, with the exception of REV [Rookie, Experienced, Veteran] versions in the Mutant Mayhemset (and a Rare “Wade Wilson”), the Deadpool figures in subsequent sets were, at best, Rare – but usually Super Rare, Chase, and Limited Edition. In a nutshell, for the casual HeroClix enthusiast this meant that, should you want a newer Deadpool (one with a card and special abilities/traits), it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. On eBay, for example, the most recent versions of the character can sell for as high as $50; $25 at the low end of the spectrum.
And that’s not taking into account that, with pre-“Oreo” base characters no longer tournament legal, the comparative big money you’d be spending on a Deadpool figure would be for a figure that is only usable in games with friends. Because of the rarity of contemporary Deadpools, even old school, Mutant Mayhem versions can go for as high as $10, which is practically unheard of with pre-carded figures. Trying to score one via purchasing a booster pack, or even a “brick” or a case is similarly expensive, and worse yet, no guarantee that you’ll get what you want.
The good news is that, after sets devoted to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X-Men: Days of Future Past(which will be released, presumably, around the time of the respective films’ premieres), the wise-cracking, fourth wall breaking, Chimichanga loving, super violent, insane mutant assassin steps into the spotlight with an entire Deadpool set – which will hit shelves in May. This may be going out on a limb, but I think one can reasonably assume that the titular character won’t be short supply as he has been in past sets. So save the money you were thinking about spending on a Web of Spider-ManDeadpool, and put those hard earned dollars toward a couple pitchers of Margaritas!
[Perhaps I should have called this article “Deadpool Devalues Deadpools” or “Deadpool Kills Deadpool(‘s Secondary Market Value).” I thought about both, but they just didn’t pop.]
Here’s what we know from Wizkids’ site and Facebook pages…
Lots of wacky. In addition to Deadpool himself, we can expect to see members of the Deadpool Corps. This is especially convenient because until the Deadpool set, he was the only figure with Deadpool Corps keyword. So far, only images of Dogpool and Headpool have been released. In the image from Wizkids’ New York Toy Fair 2014 booth, Howard the Duck ‘s nemesis, Doctor Bong (for those who thought he was a Jay and Silent Bob character), and a Deadpool/Thor mash-up can be seen in the background. Fans have been crying out for Deadpanda – however, I’m hoping for Deadpimp (from issue #13 of the current series)
More dual figures. Putting a duo on a team base isn’t new. However, with three duos (pictured) — The Whizzer and Jolt(?); Deadpool and Bob, Agent of Hydra; and Wolverine (or perhaps Daken) and X-23 — the Deadpool set already contains more than in any previous Marvel set.
There are 10 Gravity Feed characters including, yes, Deadpool.
An eye toward themes. There will be a heavy emphasis on Thunderbolts and Heroes for Hire keywords. There will even be a Thunderbolts Fast Forces set including not only Deadpool, but the current lineup of The Punisher, Elektra, Red Hulk, Venom and Mercy.
One of the special objects to be given out at organized play (OP) events will be a straitjacket.
Deadpool is the first set, and character, to feature the Word Balloons trait. Word Balloons are physical word balloons (kind of like removable versions of the “Biff! Bam! Pow!” signs that were attached to the bases of the figures in the Batman Classic line), but act as Feats that can be attached to Deadpool’s base, and switched out as a free action, to give him an even broader range of attacks. It’s hard to say whether or not Word Balloons will be a permanent element of future game play, as they seem to be there both to add a little extra “umph” to Deadpool’s already impressive array of powers, but to bring into play a convention of the book – Deadpool is a character who is aware he’s in a comic. So while I don’t think it’s destined to become a convention of the future, it’s a fun idea.
As for the main attraction, there has only been one version of Deadpool listed on the WizKids site. This particular version is “Uncommon,” meaning that while he’s bound to cost you on the secondary market (eBay and trade shows), he won’t be all that scarce, and call it wishful thinking, but I have to assume this isn’t going to be the only version of Deadpool in the set. The Uncommon version is a veritable “Grab Bag of Ugly,” with 4 clicks of Regeneration (3 of which are a special power), alternating Sidestep and Running Shot for 4 clicks, with another 4 of teleportation on the last 4 clicks of his dial, he’s got enough keywords to be useful to a multitude of teams, or you via another trait, he can shed all his keywords to take on the team ability of an opposing character. And then there are the Word Bubbles, which add a variety of special attacks to his already impressive arsenal. Take for instance, his infamous Sheep Gun…
You can find out more about the Deadpool set, as well as other upcoming HeroClix figures at Heroclix.com.