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National Video Game Week Countdown: Day Two

Welcome to National Video Game Week here at Marvel.com! To celebrate the occasion, we’re taking a look at the gaming history of our very own friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And who better to swing with us through the annals of Spidey-game history than the dev team at Insomniac Games? This stellar group—hard at work bringing the Wall-Crawler to life on PlayStation 4— have run the gamut of web-slinging video game action over the years, from arcade cabinets right up to the PlayStation 3.

Each day, we’ll bring you the thoughts of someone new at Insomniac, so check back to hear more about all of these spectacular, amazing versions of Spider-Man!

Today we bring you Ryan Schneider—Chief Brand Officer at Insomniac Games! He recalls for us some fond memories of “Spider-Man: The Video Game,” an arcade game he loved in his high school days.

“I’m going to go off the beaten path here for a bit: the arcade game from the early 1990s,” says Schneider. “It became a small part of what had become an afternoon ritual for my friends and I in high school.

“A local convenience store near my house had the Spider-Man arcade game for what was probably a couple months. It was located across the street from the Chinese food buffet spot my buddies and I would loiter at and pump quarters into ‘Shinobi’ on many afternoons—probably my favorite arcade game of all-time. I was pretty decent at ‘Shinobi’ but my friends were absolute masters. I grew tired of watching them play all afternoon; plus I was getting sick of having to buy the beef with broccoli just so we didn’t get kicked out of the restaurant again. I remember liking to play as both Spider-Man and Hawkeye—even with his garish attire—switching from game to game since I knew them best from the comics. Looking back, the lack of web traversal for Spidey was a bummer, but as a moody teen, punching and throwing things more than made up for that shortcoming and at least I had a web attack! The best part of the game was progressing to fight the classic villains. As most arcade games were back then, Spider-Man was hard as hell though. I never came close to beating it—damn you, Electro and Doc Ock!—but could make my way through a few boss battles. It was also cool to switch between platforming and combat in the game—maybe that’s why I became so immediately drawn to ‘Ratchet & Clank!’”

Tomorrow a Spider-Man game of more recent vintage makes the cut!

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Secret Empire Exposed: The Finale

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Nick Spencer kickstarted an epic tale starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 last year and this week, he wrapped it all up with SECRET EMPIRE: OMEGA #1 along with artists Andrea Sorrentino and Joe Bennett. 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before getting to the main event, let’s look at a few of the side stories that found their completion in this issue. First, as Clint Barton wept over Black Widow’s casket, Bucky Barnes found himself in Madripoor looking into the upcoming assassination of a general who aligned himself with Hydra. When the guy gets shot, Barnes thinks that the killer had to be Black Widow.

At the same time, Emma Frost and Hank McCoy talked about the dissolution of the mutant nation New Tian. While McCoy said that the efforts to put forth a solid mutant society would mean a lot to younger generations, Frost regretted that they would never know who their actual queen was.

Meanwhile, we also caught up with one of the more surprising members of HydraCap’s crew: The Punisher. Feeling betrayed and used, Frank Castle decided to make it his mission to burn Hydra to the ground. As Punisher continued his crusade, Nick Fury looked on and said to Control, “He’s ready.”

With those mysterious set-ups out of the way, it’s time to talk about the main confrontation in this issue which came between Steve Rogers and his Cosmic Cube-created copy with the octopus tattoo across his chest. To do so, Cap broke into a jail holding just the one captive.

Inside, he faced the man with his face. HydraCap, still convinced that the reality he understood thanks to Red Skull’s essential brainwashing of Kobik, was the correct one and one still worth fighting for. He also brought to Steve’s attention how quickly people seemed to turn on one another and reach for the power he offered them.

Rogers, while concerned with the damage HydraCap did to his image and reputation, still saw some good in the whole situation, hoping that this whole nasty endeavor would stop some people from blindly following anyone, even himself.

Ultimately, though, the true Captain America believes in the goodness of people and the resilience of his homeland. We’ll see him trying to make up for the mistakes a man with his face made over in MARVEL LEGACY #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695.

The Empire Strikes Back

Upon leaving HydraCap’s cell, Steve Rogers warned his double not to leave his cell, letting him know that he’d be able to spot him no matter the face he wore. As the guards rushed in at the very end, though, one of them whispered something in his ear: “Hail Hydra.” So, while the threat of HydraCap seems low at this point, don’t be surprised if we see him again!

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“Marvel Future Fight” Enters the Age of Apocalypse

The X-Men joined the “Marvel Future Fight” team only a few months ago, but Apocalypse has already sniffed them out. Ever ready to eliminate those mutants he sees as beneath him, the powerful villain brings a new Age of Apocalypse to the world of “Future Fight.”

You’ll need to assemble your team, suit up in some new uniforms, and take the fight to the High Lord himself. Maybe—just maybe—you can bring him to your side.

To get the full rundown of everything the Age of Apocalypse brings to “Future Fight” fans this month, we grabbed a few minutes with Minkyun Kim, Dev Director at Netmarble Monster.

Marvel.com: Age of Apocalypse comes to “Marvel Future Fight” in a big way with this update. After the addition of the X-Men back in June, fans have certainly been eager to see some content from one of the team’s biggest events. What can you tell us about the apocalyptic additions?

Minkyun Kim: In this update, we will be telling an X-Men story from an alternate dimension with our mutant heroes under Apocalypse’s control. You’ll be able to experience World Boss content along with the X-Men, traversing an apocalyptic world.

Marvel.com: To combat the villainous Apocalypse, several of the recently added X-Men suit up as their Age of Apocalypse counterparts. Who will sport these new uniforms?

Minkyun Kim: In the first Age of Apocalypse update, you’ll be able to check out the comic uniforms for Cyclops and Beast, who appear as minions of Apocalypse. In a later Age of Apocalypse update, uniforms for Rogue and Wolverine will be available.

Marvel.com: And of course, some new faces join the team, as well. What do the Maximoff twins each bring to the table?

Minkyun Kim: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will appear as World Bosses. They also play a very important role in the story. A huge event will affect not just the Age of Apocalypse dimension, but also the world of “Marvel Future Fight.”

Marvel.com: Not one to be left out of an interdimensional battle, Cable arrives on the scene as well. How will his unusual mix of psychic abilities and massive weaponry play out?

Minkyun Kim: He’ll have his basic weapon, a futuristic laser rifle. He will also be able to throw a smoke bomb, which will cover the enemy’s vision while he teleports away. With his rifle, he can fire at the enemy furiously or [launch] rockets and leave them suspended in the air using psychokinesis before suddenly activating them on unsuspecting enemies.

He is also able restore his health by meditating. During the meditation, he can use his psychokinesis to throw military knives to keep the enemy away.

If he needs more firepower, he is able to get support fire from the floating nation, Providence. He can also pull out a large plasma bazooka and destroy whatever is in his way. You’ll soon be able to experience his very powerful weapons and his amazing strength.

Marvel.com: Alongside the Apocalypse update, World Boss mode gets an overhaul. What changes are coming to the fan-favorite game mode?

Minkyun Kim: New users had a difficult time with the original World Boss modes, and it also felt too long. To alleviate this, we created a Beginner Mode for new users. Beginner Mode will enable players with lower level characters to participate in this core game content.

Marvel.com: Players will also be able to get their hands on a new currency with this update. What are Boost Points?

Minkyun Kim: The amount of energy consumed when playing through content will decrease, or the amount of experience gained will increase, depending on the amount of Boost Points a player has. Previously, Hot Time events enabled players to log into the game at specific times during the day to gain these effects, but players who lived in other time zones were unable to utilize it. Boost Points enable all players to make full use of these bonus effects, regardless of when they log in or what character they play.

Marvel.com: Apocalypse himself will join the fight in a few weeks; how will players recruit him and what will the world’s first mutant add to their team?

Minkyun Kim: To acquire Apocalypse, players will have to complete a newly added challenge in World Boss, unlock his stage and face him like other World Bosses in order to collect Apocalypse biometrics.

Apocalypse is a very powerful character who does not use any weapons. Even his slightest movements can crush the ground or blast enemies with a dark force, keeping [his opponents] at bay. He is also able to remove enemy buffs and can enhance himself [to] keep himself at an advantage. He deals continuous damage and his ability to deploy floating stones is also advantageous. He can also enlarge himself and destroy things around him with increased strength.

For all the latest on “Marvel Future Fight,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Uncanny Avengers: Best Friends Forever

UNCANNY AVENGERS writer Jim Zub takes the goal of the Unity Squad to heart: to unite people of the Marvel Universe regardless of status, power level, race, or creed. And even though the squad’s been technically disbanded, Marvel Legacy gets a kick start when he brings two old friends back together—Wonder Man and Beast.

On October 11, Zub joins artist Sean Izaakse with a new start for two of the Universe’s best pals in UNCANNY AVENGERS #28! We caught up with Jim to hear more about how one of Marvel’s greatest friendships will impact the Unity Squad.

Marvel.com: It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Wonder Man and Beast together—how did you first become familiar with their connection?

Jim Zub: I’m a big fan of Simon and Hank, absolutely. I grew up on ‘80s Marvel stories and read backwards and forwards at the same time—enjoying new super hero stories while also collecting back issues from the ‘70s—so their friendship acts as a central component to how I see both characters. It’s a classic friendship on the same level, for me, as Power Man and Iron Fist or Wolverine and Nightcrawler.

Marvel.com: Did you do any research to refamiliarize yourself with their dynamic? What’s key to getting that dynamic correct?

Jim Zub: I always read key issues for characters I’m writing, this story included. I dug through classic AVENGERS storylines where they both appeared and reacquainted myself with their antics.

There’s a playful honesty to Hank and Simon’s friendship that I really enjoy. I wanted to make sure I reflected that here in UNCANNY AVENGERS. They’re silly, but beneath that silliness exists a strong humility and the ability to admit when they’ve screwed up. Hank and Simon are truthful with each other even when it hurts. They know when to joke and when to dig deep into the heart of a problem.

Marvel.com: How did Sean Izaakse’s artwork help to nail the tone of their friendship?

Jim Zub: Sean’s an exemplary artist and the kind of collaborator who brings his A-game to every page. No matter what I write, he’s always going to deliver something even better than I originally imagined—it’s pure joy.

Sean’s a big ol’ Marvel nostalgia buff like I am and the instant he found out he would be drawing Hank and Simon tipping pints and kicking butts his enthusiasm drove the whole thing forward. He handles quiet moments of conversation and big action with equal confidence. I think readers are going to love it.

Marvel.com: What brings Simon and Hank together in issue #28?

Jim Zub: Both Beast and Wonder Man are heroes who have struggled to find their place and that’s a big part of what this issue of UNCANNY AVENGERS will be about. Sometimes you need to sit down with someone you trust and lay out what you’ve been doing so you can figure out where you should go and what you want to do next in life. These two friends are trying to find their way after difficult times and bad choices. It’s part confessional, part drink-up, with a side of super villainy that needs to be taken care of.

Marvel.com: What made this storyline the right way to open up the Marvel Legacy era for UNCANNY AVENGERS?

Jim Zub: Beast and Wonder Man haven’t been mainstays of the series, but their story symbolically reflects where the whole team finds themselves right now. Steve Rogers disbanded the Unity Squad in the lead up to Secret Empire, but they’re still around—out of shared purpose instead of a formal Avengers mandate. They’re looking for a new path and finding people they trust to stick with them through thick and thin.

Marvel.com: Besides Simon and Hank, who else can fans expect to encounter in this issue?

Jim Zub: The rest of Team Uncanny will be here as well—Rogue, Human Torch, Doctor Voodoo, Wasp, Synapse, Quicksilver, and The Scarlet Witch. These characters illustrate a Venn diagram of different parts of the Marvel Universe: human, mutant, inhuman, mystic—you name it. I’m juggling a big ol’ pile of super heroes and it’s a ball.

Marvel.com: For fans familiar with the Beast-Wonder Man buddy comics of old, what would you say to convince them to snag this issue? And for fans who may be less familiar, what’s your pitch?

Jim Zub: The heart and humor you remember from classic Beast and Wonder Man AVENGERS stories will be here—but we’re not just retreading the past. It’s easy to jump in and get a feel for where these characters are now and the decisions they’re making moving forward. We’re respectful of continuity without getting mired in it.

Marvel Legacy draws upon an understanding of what’s come before to take a confident step into the future. That’s what we’re doing on UNCANNY AVENGERS and across the Marvel Universe. I hope you’ll join us.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #28, written by Jim Zub with art by Sean Izaakse, hits on October 11!

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