By Craig Tello
The biggest thing in the Marvel Universe today is also secretly invading a much smaller playing field, as the covert Skrull incursion has spread from the comic pages to the miniature plastic-spun kingdom of HeroClix.
On July 23, WizKids unveils their latest assortment of HeroClix gamepiece-figure hybrids based on Marvel's blockbuster series SECRET INVASION – the first-ever HeroClix tie-in to a sweeping story arc in the Marvel U.
"This is the first kind of editorial, big, primary tie-in," says Jake Theis, brand manager for WizKids, Inc. "We've touched on other story arcs – we've done 'Days of Future Past' and a lot of classic [Marvel] storylines – but this is our first real branding that aligns with a comic itself."
In its sixth year of success, the unique collectible strategy game boasts a vast character roster of about 1,600 unique Marvel figures – including just about every character you can name. This latest upcoming HeroClix set features 60 all-new figure sculpts that depict Marvel's many heroes and even – wait for it – small-scale versions of the Super-Skrulls seen in the very pages of SECRET INVASION!
"The Avengers Super-Skrull is pretty powerful," Theis explains, getting to the juicier stuff with the revelation of one soon-to-be highly sought-after figurine. "It combines some Thor abilities, some Hulk abilities, Hawkeye, Captain America." [Editor's note: Be sure to check out the Marvel.com exclusive shot of this Avengers Super-Skrull!]
While the wrinkly-jawed baddies are available in booster sets (which contain five figures each), Theis also reveals that the Super-Skrull laden set includes a special edition Illuminati Super-Skrull. Limited to 5,000 individually numbered pieces, this particular figure is a mail-away piece, free with the purchase of 10 booster sets.
"With Secret Invasion, there's some brand-new stuff we got to play around with and have some fun," Theis says. "We were able to combine a lot of popular abilities into a single figure and have these little one-man armies that can stomp around the table and give the X-Men and Avengers a run for their money."
Of course, outside of gameplay, ravenous collectors and casual comic readers are also sure to find HeroClix: Secret Invasion an instant hit. And, though he is able to tip us off on the quickly approaching goods, Theis – who just might be a Skrull himself, given his knowledge of this stealthy project – assures a few additional surprises are in store.
"The amount of people [at WizKids] who know what's in our booster packs is relatively low," he explains, describing the clandestine nature of this set. "A lot of this will be a surprise to people when it arrives in July. We were instructed that this was very cloak and dagger, very secret."
According to Theis, it's a secret that's been well kept since the onset of the HeroClix: Secret Invasion project one year ago. After careful planning and coordination with the House of Ideas' most trusted editors, WizKids is excited to release a set that bears both compelling figures and significant revelations for the SECRET INVASION storyline.
"[This set] comes out right as SECRET INVASION is still going on and there's some stuff in the boosters that will be pretty fresh in the comic content," he adds. "Expect a lot of things in mini, sculpt form that you might never see again."
So, get ready for the alien invasion later this summer. And, if you're new to the HeroClix craze, keep your eager eyes peeled for a Fantastic Four-themed starter set, available July 9 – mere weeks before the Skrull infiltration shape-shifts to WizKids' incredible phenomenon.
Now, need we remind you to check out the Marvel.com exclusive shot of this Avengers Super-Skrull? Didn't think so. Get to gawkin'!
Who do you trust? Learn more about Secret Invasion now at Marvel.com/SecretInvasion! Also, read the exclusive free digital comics SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE and the ongoing SECRET INVASION: HOME INVASION courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Plus, don't miss the Secret Invasion animated short!