Marvel’s Defenders official trailer was release today. The trailer starts with Matt Murdock interrupting Misty Knight’s integration of Jessica Jones, from there we get some good action sequences throughout the trailer, antagonist’s Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) and Elodie Yung (Elektra Natchios) are also feature in this trailer. So far, The Defenders looks interesting, this is sure to causes some buzz until its August release.
Iron Fist is put through a gauntlet by the council of Lui-Shi, there goal is to bring legitimacy to Lui-Shi as one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, replacing K’un-Lun after its demises. The council is taking advantage of his vulnerability, they are well aware of Rand’s situation and his need to reclaim the title of Iron Fist once again.
The council of Lui-Shi is using Danny Rand to further their legitimacy as a member of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, with k’un-Lun demise Lui-Shi hopes to gain the chi of Shou-Lao the undying. It’s a plan that can only flourish if Danny Rand is defeated, while some are sure of his defeat some aren’t as optimistic. Council member Seng doesn’t agree with letting Danny Rand into their competition because of him being an outsider.
In his own way, Danny knows he’s being used, but he’s okay with it because the goal is mutual. The question is would he have been so quick to enter Lui-Shi if he was able to use the chi of Shou-Lao, and it’s hard to say. The fact there’s a tournament involved makes it tuff to answer, one of is weakness is that he’s gullible when it comes to fighting. A trait the Lui-Shi council is using against him, two members find particular interesting are Wolf and Patience. These two seem to understand the true goal of this tournament, and that’s to united all the temples. When it comes to Wolf he understands defeating iron Fist will not be easy and shouldn’t be taken lightly, even without his Chi abilities Iron Fist is still a formable opponent.
Conclusion: I’m really starting to like this story so far, I’ve never really followed Iron Fist comics in the past, but after seeing that debacle of a TV show it made me want to go back and read past and present runs of this character.
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Andy Troy
Cover Artist: Mike Perkins & Andy Troy
In Ed Brisson’s Iron Fist #1 we get the aftermath of Danny Rand’s decision to leave K’un-Lun, the mystical city is left unprotected and therefore is destroyed. Issue picks up with Danny Rand struggling to find his purpose now that K’un-Lun is gone, his connection to the chi of Shou-Lao the undying and K’un-Lun is what made him the Iron Fist. Becoming the Iron Fist, fighting and protecting K’un-Lun was the path he followed, the path of a warrior. But things have changed, and Danny deals with it by drink and entering street fights for money, just so he can feel that sense of purpose once again.
Midway in the issue he come across a fight name Choshin, from the island of Liu-Shi, he challenges Danny to fight and at first seems to hold his own against Danny, but he stops the match, admitting he would lose if they continued. Choshin offers Danny Rand an invitation to Liu-Shi, and as expected Danny is reluctant to take his offer but quickly changes his mind once Choshin offers to help him find the answers he seeks about his life without the Iron Fist.
Conclusion: After that debacle of a series “Iron Fist” I had questions about Iron Fist and so when Ed Brisson’s Iron Fist was release I figured I would give it a shot. In my opinion felt Iron Fist is more compelling when written darker, and so far, Brisson’s run is going in that direction and I like it. Artist Mike Perkins work is more on the heavy sketch and shade style which gives the issue a darker tone. All in all, this was a solid setup first issue.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo
Published by: Marvel Comics
New Avengers #28 whisks us out of the main AVX timeline to flash back to Hope and the final chapter of the legendary Iron Fist who challenge the Phoenix. Unfortunately we did get a bit confused in all of that, thinking the girl was possibly Hope when it was a girl from legend instead. Apologies there.
The issue is a story of training and Hope’s continued struggle with her destined occupational promotion to Phoenix host, given the attachments of doom and destruction it’s understandable she wouldn’t be excited about the prospect. New Avengers 28 drops us back into the realm of the Iron Fist as the story completes and Hope sits confused hoping to know what she needs to do next. Unfortunately with something this cosmic and powerful there’s no way to just tell someone what they need to accomplish, instead Master Yu Ti sets her down to learn her paths that may follow as she empties her mind.
What happens after that point is a shock as her path deviates from the story told to her, instead of pursuing the Dragon she must pursue the Spider and learn its ways to best assist her challenge in saving the Earth and going head to head with something like the Phoenix. It’s here we get some insight that elaborates the moon struggle from AVX #5 and the growth Hope had been searching for to be able to take on the challenge, fortunately it doesn’t throw readers back into the fray as the story is still to be continued between her and “The Spider”. I have to admit that during the issue it gets a bit abrasive to see Hope constantly fighting around with people she should feel confident in, demanding to know answers and not going along with the rituals even though she just heard about the other host doing these things.
Even with that, I can’t knock this side story as it brings humor, elaboration and some tension into the mix. There is no one stop solution from the Iron Fist to handle the Phoenix which is a deviation from everything we’ve seen so far from the other factions involved.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo
Published by: Marvel Comics
In the last issue we took an adventure through K’un Lun as prophecy unveiled a new Iron Fist to take on the great battle against the Phoenix, while there wasn’t much to say on it the new soul would in fact be Hope, the one who prophecy showed could shape and control the force with the right power. The story resumes with Hope training vigorously to master the techniques and skills needed to battle and harness the Phoenix Force, of course some new guests join to watch and help guide this process which has the entire nation on end. If the Earth falls so does everyone in K’un Lun, this bid with the Iron Fist is the only thing they feel can protect the realm and the mortal world.
For those hoping to see some higher activity over the last issue, there is a large boost that comes along in this story, outside of the mystery guests that come up we also see Hope engage in training to be a proper candidate for the title and power of Iron Fist. The story shows her endless determination and fury within, even though the force is closing in she makes no break in devoting all of her power into this intense regimen. The story is pretty concentrated here and having a renaissance man suddenly appear to make next generation constructs is about the only thing that really throws a wrench into any of this for a double take moment.
The story is evolving and we’ll have to see where it all goes, we have heroes from all areas uniting to help The Avengers and the X-Men in all of this madness and many of them just trying to aid Hope in whatever her pursuit is. The tension and arms race is growing rapidly and we’ll find out where it all goes in the upcoming story lines.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mike Deodato and Will Conrad
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Mike Deodato and Marte Gracia
Published by: Marvel Comics
Everyone is in on the Phoenix racing across the universe, even the K’un Lun have been drafted into the drama with visions of the battle of the Iron Fist and the Phoenix engaged in a struggle of power.
New Avengers 25 investigates the power of the Iron Fist and the secrets behind the force known as the Phoenix, as few were aware, their group has manuals on taming the energy. There is little time to spare and Lei Kung has to race to master the knowledge to pass it along to the Iron Fist. It’s a huge chunk of side story to the AvX storyline but it keeps the momentum going for yet another potential showdown in this madness. Everyone seems to have a solution against the Phoenix Force but with so many contenders only a few will make it to that final platform for a fight.
For those hoping to see some battle details about the current conflict, this is a hard deviation that falls back to the earlier weeks for extreme side reflections. While some interesting pieces do come out about the Iron Fist legend it’s hard to say this is a must have to a library for the Avengers vs X-Men conflict going on right now. If you’re a hardcore fan feel free to check it out, otherwise it might be a safe skip that will get elaboration once the issue with Iron Fist arrives.
New Avengers #25 arrives this week, centering around the AvX conflict and especially around Iron Fist and his mysterious relation tot he Phoenix Force. While the force isn’t there yet it’s getting intense as you can see in the gallery pages below, with Hope already embracing the energy and things going south really fast we’ll see where this all takes off in 2 days.
On Tuesday one of the greatest Capcom battles returns, 12 new characters, revised fighters and the continued fight against Galactus will roll out on retail shelves. So what’s the verdict? We skipped around the basics that many will find boring and instead decided to focus on the fighters and changes themselves. Expect a separate article shortly focusing just on Heroes and Heralds, our preview copy didn’t have mode unlocked yet so we just blazed through all the characters.
Read up below to decide if it’s worth your time or if you’ll hold out with the original for now.
The big boy is back, this time he’s available in Offline SP mode with most of the devastating attacks from boss mode. Use hand crushes, infinite supers, deadly punches and even the finger flick to toss the AI off walls and develop mini combination strikes. It doesn’t really come into play given so many of his attacks hold concentrated death or 150+ hit attacks that cripple characters for life. Unfortunately, he is only available for offline arcade mode. So no online surprises in ranked matches. If you have a previous save file from MvC3, Galactus mode is available right away. Otherwise, he will be unlocked after accruing 30,000PP.
I felt it would have been an interesting mode for offline versus combat. The VS series has been a favorite party game for most players and using Galactus would make any newbie (or uninterested GF/wife) competitive against more seasoned fighters. Galactus is a fun stress reliever but his mode isn’t gonna be your long term boredom killer.
Strider is back in action, for those hoping he has returned to his original MVC glory days, those might never return, while he does have Ouroboros as a backup, the majority of his attacks suffer from age in an era of Advanced Guard counters and new fighters. He’s not a wash as a character but timing is critical in how he fights and plays support to the rest of your team, by no means is he a front line fighter anymore with characters like Vergil in the mix. His transition mimics closely to the Strider of the MVC2 era which was very much nerfed for sanity back then.
Strider is better suited to a stick and move style. His move set allows for quick escapes if things start to get too hairy. He can rush in but his low health makes it dangerous to whiff against a power puncher like Wesker. Having two level three specials sounds impressive but in actuality, it sort of limits his rush down tactics by waiting for levels to build and in a Vs game waiting gets you Ko’d.
Objection! He’s a mystery character in many respects, we spent a bit of time trying to get used to his abilities but it’s still a bit of a mess. You actually have two modes of function, regular mode and secondary where he uses evidence found in battle for special attack bonuses. Add in deciding which super to use at times, Maya is great for a direct offensive but if you need ultimate domination of the screen you can also call out the judge who blacks out the screen for absolute devastation across the screen. He’s quirky but he’s fun, I just don’t know where he might fit in outside of pure support on a team given the strength of Maya’s defense ability.
The little lawyer that could is surprisingly more complex than I had imagined. Searching for evidence takes some time and luckily his Maya call ins can buy you some time and even outright protect you while you snoop around. If you manage to collect three pieces of evidence and hit an objection, he turns into a beast. This Turnabout or, “Light” Phoenix Wright mode, boosts him to devastating levels. He also gains the added bonus of being invincible when you call him to assist in this mode.
Speed doesn’t describe Vergil properly, nothing does really. His attacks are quick and easy to execute, his pure speed and connections are unrivaled in many respects and it’s enough to drive other players up the wall. Fortunately his attacks aren’t as simple as Dante but if you combine the two it’s a pure headache for anyone you’re facing as they just don’t stop their offense. Fortunately if you can juggle Vergil his strength does tend to go down a little faster than the rest of the field.
I’m glad Vergil isn’t the annoying button mashing spam peddler like Dante but get ready to see A LOT of him online. The cross up ability of Vergil is a new level of frustration to employ. There is good enough balance that he doesn’t feel cheap and his combo ability will make him an early favorite online.
Melee goes to new heights, Frank packs an assortment of weapons and short-range strikes against his opponents. Not our favorite addition to the roster at all but what can you do. His range is limited but when he swings that zombie around I would say watch out. The golf club and bat are some of the more common power moves to start or build a chain and they really leave a mark. His power comes from charging in with a power move or two and then connecting and bouncing opponents for extended combos, be sure not to let your guard down around him or he’ll end up chipping away more health than you expected. He’s a solid character and for those who were begging for him to be added they’ll no doubt have a field day with him.
The key to staying in a match with Frank is to take lots of photos! No, really. Taking photos after your combos levels Frank up and boosts his attacks and makes him more potent. It may take a bit too long to get maxed out so a good defense is needed to stack his offense.
A slower fighter bringing all to many memories of Tron Bonne for attack variations, while his floating and swipes seem to accelerate some combinations, his general movement comes off sluggish at times. To buff that, Capcom gives him a higher damage ability than others, it’s not the perfect solution to an issue like that but with so many characters getting super speed upgrades it might be all they can do. Granted it is fun flying over special attacks with the right timing and wasting someone elses super bar, he’s just not able to deliver that critical combination after the fact. Couple in that his air combinations are a bit tough to pull off but they can setup some powerful team attacks.
Firebrand is a flyer. As long as you keep that in mind, he can be more useful than trying to work on the ground. His air control is among the best in the game. Its a bit early to right him off but his low damage output and chunky feeling makes it tough. That being said, he is fun to use.
Slow, clunky, huge. These normally show a problem character, in the case of Nemesis though… it’s just a list of reasons to stay away from him as an opponent. While everyone seems to have taken a dive on damage points Nemesis stands above the rest, his hard swipes bouncing players and his rockets adding insult to injury. He’s slow but he’s massive and takes a lot of damage before he becomes compromised, if you’re using decent support characters you can defend him when he gets in a bind and resume what can only be said as pure abuse to your opponent.
Nemesis is one of the more straight forward, no frills fighters. Which is actually a good thing for him. He is a Tank and I think his boots are made of lead but having a rocket launcher keeps him balanced. His movement speed is among the slowest in the game but many of his specials cover ground well and he luckily has a dash.
Fei Long fans may find themselves at home with Iron Fist, his moves strike quick and when chained can inflict a ton of damage. He’s a close range fighter that works best on a weak defense but when combined to an air combo or primary special he can take command of a fight. In a battle of heavyweights Iron Fist will be able to juggle opponents enough to chip their health into the abyss, if you’re able to handle keeping it on the ground or to smaller jumps he’ll devastate anyone hoping to spend the match purely in high altitudes. Relying on him as a backbone to any team is a wise idea just from his endurance.
Iron Fist is good at two things, Wearing pajamas and beat downs. He is one of the more balanced fighters with good speed, defense and power. He feels reminiscent to Hayato from MvC2. There is also something very satisfying about the way he literally kicks and punches your opponents faces in. He also has good combos and quickness to still be able to compete with fighters with a ranged arsenal.
A powerful character turns to a devastating force, he’s not a button masher delight which is a relief but he is powerful to the point where it’s frustrating. If you’re familiar with Ryu, Ken, Akuma or even Dan you’ll feel right at home with his attack patterns, pretty much every single move is a quarter turn variation for attacks. Even in the worst spots we found ourselves able to pull out victories with Nova based on the variety of attacks and speed at which he can execute them in the battle. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Nova become a commonly encountered opponent by the technical fighting crowd, he fits in perfectly for anyone looking to execute precision strikes.
I was a fan of Nova before I used him in UMvC3 and now I’m a super fan having used him. His ground speed isn’t the fastest but his specials are relatively quick and help him close distance or get across the screen. His mobility and high damage combos make him very useful. Nova is a great addition to any team as all of his supers work in the air as well.
Another non-base player, Doctor Strange reminds us of an earlier Magneto where timing and selection was everything. Spam attacks will not work coming out of him and patience is a must, learning the full range of his moves and combination attacks for quick damage are key. He’s a dangerous character to face though, his range is the screen and his specials are just as far, for someone who can do range, beams and close combat it’s kind of a nightmare to fight someone when they’re in the groove with him. For Marvel fans, they would expect nothing less of Doctor Strange and it’s well reflected in his fighting abilities in the game. Just use a lot of practice before you try to showdown with everyone.
Dr Strange is one of the more unique energy users in the series. There are enough techniques that will let you jump right in and be effective but there is a lot of potential to be found with some training room time. From specials, supers and even basic attacks, the good Dr is plenty fast. His speed is very useful to move around and set up his more tactical spells.
Bringing hell fire and a relentless chain to the screen can never hurt, actually it can and it hurts like a mofo. Ghost Rider focuses on the entire battlefield with his attacks, the chain can dominate from the ground or juggle opponents and call in characters from across the screen. For those irritated with Phoenix Wright defense the chain does physical damage instead of beam damage and can strike through his assistants shield. His supers are critical for timing, riding on his bike is cool looking until you realize someone hopped right over it and took 0 damage. He’s not a tough character to learn and can be a great help in a pinch.
Ghost Rider is like a more bad ass Dhalsim. His chains have an almost projectile range and if you are up close, you can just burn peoples faces. High damaging moves also often cause knockdowns or wall bounce, which are great combo set ups. The Penance Stare is a close range level 3 super but is able to link directly into another combo for massive damage. In fact, were able to link it into a combo that will wipe out a life bar before you are done adding to your combo hit count.
Task Master fans might have trouble taking this one in, Hawkeye is here and ready to roll in the latest battle. Those using him might find him a bit frustrating but we spent some time digging around his combinations to find that he’s not the worst fighter in the lineup and his damage ability is quite high. Direct shots, trick shots and some power supers can really set any opponent up for a fall if timed right. Hawkeye does suffer from the same issue of timing though, while his normal attacks can be chained for support (trick shot and straight shot) his special relies on an open state for the opponent. He’s not for everyone but he can be formidable with the right dedication.
Hawkeye has effective and clever ranged attacks. He also has some pretty effective combos that can be set up from his ranged moves. Although more of a zoning type attacker, he is not a beam spam type as his attacks take some thought to maximize their potential. His speed is decent enough that he can move about and poke arrows into opponents without leaving himself too open. His damage output isn’t very impressive and hurts his overall potential.
One of the big gripes with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was the lack of range characters like Cable, in a sense you have that again. Rocket Raccoon might not seem like the death bringer that the Viper Beam loving cable was but he’s got a lot of speed, simple range attacks (gun) and even an energy cannon that he can use 2 shots at a time from. For jumpers, Rocket Raccoon is going to be a pain, he loves traps and his specials are dangerous no matter how you approach him, distance fails, jumping in fails and close range is just a bad idea. He’s quick and doesn’t do the most damage but he makes up for that in the ability to dash and juggle opponents like mad.
Rocket Raccoon is one of the most fun fighters in the game. His traps are effective and his gun blasts fire in many different directions to make them effective at keep away, anti air or even jump in combo starters. His normal jump is one of the least amazing things in the game. But, he does have a rocket jump that gives him great multi directional mobility. He does suffer from a serious durability deficiency but he does make up for it with his burrow teleport maneuver and all around quickness.
For us, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is a dream, it’s a dream we wished could have happened originally as it really makes it hard to revisit the original game after playing through. The additional characters bring new balance to the field and allow people who aren’t fond of characters like Dante to finally strike back and offer some variety to the game. It has polish and even the original characters have been tweaked out, although some may feel Doctor Doom doesn’t need to jet around at the speed of light in his new form. Overall this is the game that MVC3 should have been, one can only hope that Capcom sticks with the game long enough to release decent DLC options until they revisit the series in the future. At 39.99 it’s a steal for any fighting game fan, for existing owners it might be a tough buy but it’s worth it for what they managed to deliver this time around.
Keep a watch out for our Heroes and Heralds impressions, we’ll have it soon!
This has been a team review by: Franks, Tec2k and Vee