Last week, I went over our next Challenge format: The BOO Battle Box, where Darby and I will be putting together 300 custom cards to build a Battle Box out of. Battle Box is a great format, and I think that this will give Darby and myself something to channel our creative energy into while everyone is busy doing other things this year.
On Monday, we looked at my Justice League animated heroes, which started my brainstorming around superheroes. Today, we’ll be looking at a continuation of this theme, as I explore more comic book superheroes and villains.
Let’s jump right in!
Comic book superheroes and villains are a rich, mostly unexplored source for BOO cards, and I’ve been looking forward to creating some for a while now, ever since we first started the original BOO draft. I’ve always liked superheroes and villains, from DC’s Superman and Batman, to Marvel’s X-Men and Spider-Man. Now, with Darby and I gearing up to build a custom Battle Box, the time seemed right to make some of these great characters into cards!
Last week, I looked at the DC superheroes that I would make into cards: The animated version of the Justice League, which I have long considered to be the finest version of those characters. Today, we’ll be looking at the rival company’s characters — Marvel’s superheroes, and what I would do with them.
Let’s dive right in!
In the last eight years, the Marvel brand has been at an all-time high, thanks to an influx of well-done big-screen movies, and former Marvel B-team The Avengers now have as much brand name recognition as the Justice League (this is despite the longevity of characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman). That’s a huge deal, and Marvel only looks to be going full speed ahead, as they crank out even more movies going forward.
One thing I didn’t want to do with this BOO Battle Box set was to recreate anything that we had already done in past BOO sets; what that meant was that the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were off limits, as my wife had covered that in her BOO III set. Her set was very ambitious and I thought she’d pulled it off very well, cramming a lot of plot moments from the movies and a metric ton of different characters into only 45 characters.
So if the movie characters were off limits, what could I do with Marvel superheroes and villains? Well, quite a lot, as it turns out.
Marvel had licensed out many of their characters years ago, and thus cannot do any movies about those characters themselves. I could add those characters into this BOO Battle Box set, as they would make fantastic cards. If I were to mix them in with the Justice League cartoon cards, these would even mix very well, as there are cartoon versions of each character I’m looking at today.
Let’s take a look!
SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS:
Marvel’s flagship character has been for a long time the Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker, a character who was bitten by a radioactive spider in a freak accident and gained special powers. He’s always been a popular character because unlike most heroes, like Superman, Spider-Man has to deal with some very tragic things happening to him, causing him a lot of angst, and people relate to him.
My BOO version of Spider-Man would be based off his (extremely) old cartoon, one that I watched as a kid, and one that had a very catchy theme song of “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can.” Here is our first card today:
Spider-Man is a sizeable creature, to represent his strength (for such a tiny guy, he’s actually quite strong in the Marvel universe). He has reach, because in Magic all good spiders have reach, can fly to represent his ability to web-sling, and his mini-Sleep ability lets you lock down opposing creatures, just as he does with his webbing. I think this is a flavorful way to represent Spider-Man, and he would play very well in our upcoming Battle Box.
Going with Spider-Man could also give me several key iconic villains to work with as well; from Green Goblin, to Doc Ock, and many others. All of these characters could also be made into BOO cards.
From Spider-Man, I looked at another Marvel cartoon flagship:
THE UNCANNY X-MEN:
Back in the 90’s, one of Marvel’s strongest franchises was a superhero team called the X-Men, a comic based on ‘mutant’ characters, outcast because of their special superpowers. Much of the team’s popularity came from the character Wolverine, who was an anti-hero who didn’t mind killing and was considered a badass.
There was a cartoon in the 90’s which stayed fairly close to the actual X-Men storylines, and had episodes based on storylines like The Dark Phoenix Saga, and their fights against popular villains Apocalypse, Magneto, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. What better Marvel franchise to base some BOO cards around than this?
The Hugh Jackman movie version of Wolverine was a character whom I’d already made into a card, back in the BOO Draft III:
This version of Wolverine was quite powerful and aggressive, mimicking his healing powers with always-on regeneration, and his berserker fury with the Juggernaut clause of “must always attack”. I liked this version, and I felt that he played very well during the draft; he felt like a Wolverine card should.
This is my updated version of Wolverine:
I’ve changed him from a hybrid card to just multicolor (hybrid cards are too good in the Battle Box format), and he is now a red/white card. Wolverine’s not evil, so having him in red/black didn’t really ever make sense; hence, I’ve moved him to the other most aggressive color combination.
One thing about this card that I know I’ll have to keep in mind is that the existence of such a card (and my Superman card from the Justice League) will require Darby and I to come up with some very good removal spells, to keep cards like this in check. His always-on regeneration basically blanks any burn spell aimed at him and makes him a monster in combat; to kill Wolverine, an opponent would need a -X/-X effect, or a spell that would exile him. Darby and I would have to make sure such things are in the Battle Box.
I like my version of Wolverine, and think he’ll be a great addition to the Battle Box, if superheroes is the direction I go with.
The leader of the X-Men is Cyclops, who can shoot ‘optic beams’, or powerful lasers from his eyes. Cyclops was simple enough to design; he shoots down opposing creatures, and is a smaller creature himself because he’s not actually that strong in the comics. Vigilance gives him extra usefulness here; you can attack, and use him to shoot down a defending creature before it deals damage.
Storm is another card that was simple enough to design. Storm can control the weather, and often uses lightning to incapacitate her foes; hence, I figured that Arc Lightning as an activated ability would make sense. She should be extremely useful against swarms of tokens, or to just straight up deal 3 each turn to your opponent.
Our final preview card is the founder of the X-Men, Professor Charles Xavier, better known as Professor X. Xavier is a very powerful mutant in the Marvel universe, since he can both read people’s minds, and control minds as well. To represent this, he has a built-in Telepathy, and taps to use Ray of Command. This should make him a potent controlling card, and a nightmare to have to fight through.
So that’s a quick look at the X-Men. The cartoon that I’d be basing this on would have even more characters to use; there are far more X-Men good guys, from Beast, the popular Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Gray, and Banshee, to various villains, like Magneto, Juggernaut, Apocalypse, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Any and all of these characters would make excellent BOO cards.
There also happen to be other Marvel cartoons that I can work into a BOO set as well:
There are lots of Marvel characters to work with, if I decide to go this route. What will be my ultimate theme (or themes) for the BOO Battle Box? Stay tuned to find out!