Friday, February 29, 2008

The Order: The Next Right Thing

The Order had quite a lot stacked against it for me, right from the start. It was a part of the whole Civil War aftermath, an event I felt was so dependent on human cruelty and stupidity that I just began to ignore most things associated with it, lest I catch the stupidity like a virus. The Order was on the list of things I ignored. It didn't help, of course, that the only thing I had ever read by Order writer Matt Fraction was "The Immortal Iron Fist". IIF is an amazing book, mind you, but I attributed most of the amazing to Ed Brubaker, a longtime favorite writer of mine, and just assumed that Fraction was...there. Doing things. In the background.

The Order cements him as a writer to watch out for, however. On the recommendation of scans_daily, whose excellent recommendation strength led me to Annihilation, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, and Blue Beetle, I decided to pick up "The Order: The Next Right Thing", a collection of the first five issues of the series. And it was worth it, especially for the cheap asking price.

The Order deals with a team of superheroes in California. They are given powers by a process Tony Stark has invented. The powers last for one year. If they survive the year without dying or getting fired, they are forced into retirement, losing their powers forever. In the very first issue, a number of team members get fired, showing that Fraction isn't afraid to keep the line-up shifting, but despite the suggested impermanence of the characters, the book goes to great lengths to make you care about them.

Each issue is told in the style of TV hit "Lost", in that there is an overarching plot to the series, and an ensemble plot each issue, but each issue focuses on helping you 'get to know' one of the characters by opening and closing with the interview that character went through to get the job with The Order.

On top of the interesting storytelling decisions, there's also art by Barry Kitson, one of the better artists working in the medium today. His art is crisp and clean, the characters are differentiated by more than just the costumes they wear*, and most importantly, they look like people. They do not have triple the muscles of any normal human. The women are actually attractive, with some variance of body type, rather than two large sacks of fat perched atop a broken spine.

So, good art and good writing, with interesting new characters. Finally, the book avoids the pratfalls I was expecting from a CW spin-off: the heroes are genuinely good people. They aren't perfect; no one is. But they aren't megalomaniacal assholes who run roughshod over the wimpy human populace, and that's become too much the view of superheroes some books have taken on. The Order is culturally relevant in some ways, but it's also just a damn fun adventure.

Check it out.

*For a book in which this is a particular problem, read some recent issues of Teen Titans. Supergirl and Wondergirl are both angry, angsty, stick-thin blondes. You literally cannot tell them apart aside from the earrings Wonder Girl has.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lazy Man's Tourny Report

As I said yesterday, I was taking a Beast Boy/Wonder Woman legend deck - "The Beast With Two Backs" or "" - to a Build A Legend event. And lo!, but it went down. Now, you won't get a blow-by-blow because I'm a lazy, forgetful bastard, and I forgot to take notes...but you will get a brief report.

Round One: FIGHT! vs. Wolverine

This match got off to a lucky start for me. I went first, dropping Ray Palmer <> The Atom in my concealed area, and passed to my opponent, who threw down Wild Child. With my swings, I took Ray into Wild Child, knocking my opponent down 3 endurance to my one.

49 - 47

Round two was equally lucky. I was sure I was about to get faced for twenty damage...but my opponent whiffed, having Wolverine, Logan and Wolverine, Bub...but no 1 or 2 drops. I, no the other hand, had Aztek, Chamption of Quetzacoatl, and because Wild Child exhausted to his own effect, I swung for 4 more damage, but my opponent flipped an X-Men Assemble, and I started to worry. Wild Child was now a 5/1.

48 - 43

It was my initiative on three, and I had Beast Boy, Garfield Logan to his Wolverine, Logan. Now, a 3/3 to his 6/6 didn't seem that impressive, so I threw down a Call of the Wild on Beast Boy, making him a 5/5, and swung at Wild Child, making him a 6/6. Atom and Aztek didn't have the muscle to take down Logan, but Logan had reinforced Wild Child anyway, so we went on to the next turn, with Wild Child becoming a 6/2. A Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning on his side made me sad.

48 - 42

For my opponent, a couple different people came down. Shadowcat, Phase Shifter popped into his hidden area, as well as Cable, Nathan Summers, burning me for 4. I dropped Wonder Woman, Ambassador for Peace. The Atom chilled in the Concealed area, and Aztek stayed in the back row, with Wonder Woman and Beast Boy in the front. He got Beast Boy stunned, but he had to team attack to do it, putting BB at a respectable 8/8. That left him with 9 attack on the board, which he tried to swing into WW. Like a gentleman, I reminded him of Aztek, and he passed attacks to me. Wonder Woman took Wild Child down, but Logan reinforced once more. In recovery, he flipped a Muir Island putting Cable at 6/5 and Wild Child at 7/2, then drew with Xavier's.

41 - 38

My build, and I played Robotman in the support row and passed. He matched me, KO'ing Logan to play Wolverine, Bub. Dayton Manner and two team-ups came up in my row, and I have a 9/9 Robotman, a 8/7 Wonder Woman, and an 8/8 Beast Boy. Beast Boy took down Bub, doing 6 to him and 3 to me, and then Wonder Woman and Robotman took Cable and Wild Child down once more. He passed with Shadowcat, and recovered Wolverine and Wild Child. I realized that I had forgotten to play the two Fury of the Amazons in my row. Oh, well. I got my prevenge when I watched him Cerebro away his only Berserker Rage earlier that turn.

38 - 27

On a particularly dull turn, we both whiffed. He had another Cable, Nathan Summers, I had a Mento, Steve Dayton. That was that. Robotman activated, and received a Dayton Manner, becoming a 12/12, while Beast Boy sat pretty at 9/9. WW, Ray Palmer and Aztek were chilling. He took out Wonder Woman and Beast Boy, but didn't have the punch to take out any more. With Robotman exhausted, however, neither did I. I recovered Beast Boy, he recovered everyone (and flipped a second Assemble!), and we moved on. Endurance totals become fuzzy here, so I'm gonna stop them.

Turn 7 was the last turn. I dropped Wonder Woman, Founding Member, he dropped a couple characters. I showed him my two Furies, and that combined with 3 characters with flight (one of which was an 13/13 3-drop thanks to a second Call of the Wild), he scooped.


I don't really want to talk about my next match. It was against Revenge Squad, playing Lex Luthor Legends (a bit haphazardly). While I had a strong early game, his characters got big, fast, and missing my 6-drop was the kiss of death. He ended up winning by almost 30 endurance.


Coming right off that rousing victory, I stumbled into a match against the Punisher. We both opened with 1-drops - Ray Palmer for me and Black Panther for him, and we each took two. Thankfully, I KO'd Panther with Adam Strange after that.

Round two began with him playing 2-drop Punisher, Suicide Run concealed, and my playing Aztek visible. I took 2, but so did he.

Round three is where things got bad, as I completely whiffed. He did not, however, throwing down a Ghost Rider. He took 3 to the face, and then kicked the shit out of me. To add insult to injury, he Suicide Run'd Aztek.

Round 4, he threw down Punisher, Guns Blazing, fully equipped. I completely whiffed again, and that's when I folded. Looking through my deck, it would've been another 2 turns before I drew a single character.


(thankfully, after I took my loss, the guy played me again. I won that one, but it was a much closer contest)

My final battle of the night was against another Wolverine Legends deck.

This is the battle I remember the least of, the be entirely honest, so my report will be scattered and dull. Apologies all around!

The game opened up pretty similar to my game against Sean in round 1, but the endurance was kept pretty close. Going into turn 7, I had 14 endurance, and he had 13. He had a full board - Wolverine, Bub with a Mandroid Prototype, Domino, Cable, Jubilee, Gambit, Shadowcat, Jean Grey (2), Beast, and Sabertooth. I had a 20/20 6-drop Beast Boy, a 15/15 Robotman, and a 6/6 Mento, Steve Dayton. I played the Misfits, unsure if I should search out Wonder Woman, Ambassador for Peace or Wonder Woman, Founding Member. My fear of Fastball Special and X-treme Maneuver - he was packing 4 of each - prompted me to search out Ambassador for Peace. I played her behind Beast Boy, and geared up for battle.

Bub was enough to take out Robotman, so I reinforced with Mento. I had 9 life left. Beast, Shadowcat, Cable, Jean Grey, and Sabertooth team-attacked Beast Boy, and had just barely more attack than I could pump out of. That left him with 5 attack on the board, and me with 3 life left. And this is where I lost the game.

He played Turnabout on Jubilee...and I passed. Had I remembered to use Wonder Woman, AoP's ability, I had the game. But...I passed. And so, I lost the game, ending up at -2.


I came in second last place, which was pretty disappointing, especially given that, had I not made that last mistake, I would've gotten one of the 4 Flash t-shirts that were being given out. Ah, well.

The deck performed well, even when I did not. Only one deck there - Revenge Squad ongoing - completely outperformed me. I feel that stood pretty well with the other decks, though, after seeing the metagame, I almost wish I had included Starfire + Starbolts in the deck as my 5-drop.

And there you have it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Legendary, pt II

Tomorrow there's a Build A Legend (Silver) Tournament I'm attending. Not a big one, but I still had to build something. I like my Invisible Woman deck, but it's certainly nothing special, and my complete apathy for the characters and teams involved means I definitely won't be sticking with it.

So, for all of you, here's a drastically inferior (right now) deck, the one that I'll be taking with me.

Legendary (pt 2): Beast Boy/Wonder Woman
3x Ray Palmer <> The Atom, World's Smallest Hero
4x Aztek, Champion of Quetzalcoatl
1x Elasti-Girl, Rita Farr

1x The Chief, Niles Caulder
3x Red Tornado, Elemental Andriod
2x Adam Strange, Champion of Rann

4x Beast Boy, Garfield Logan
2x Mento, Steve Dayton

2x Negative Man, Larry Trainor
2x Wonder Woman, Ambassador of Peace

3x Robotman, Cliff Steele

2x Beast Boy, Freak of Nature

3x Wonder Woman, Founding Member

4x The Multiverse, Team-Up
3x Forbidden Loyalties, Team-Up
2x Headstrong Charge
4x Call of the Wild
4x Fury of the Amazons
4x Misfits
3x Freak Out

3x Dayton Manor

3x Lasso of Truth

Now, as I always say, I only build with what I have, normally. No Enemy for me, and I only currently have 2 Mobilize, so that's not the best option. Even so, I think that there are a few changes I would definitely make. First, axe the 1-drops. I generally just don't have much use for the little bastards, other than an early team-up and discard fodder. They're not bad...I'd just rather put more 2, 3, and 4 drops in their place. That's all I'll go with for now, but there are improvements to be made. It's also 62 cards, but that's the price I pay for wanting to do a dual-legend deck while lacking one or two cards. Also, you'll notice 1-ofs like The Chief...yeah, in two boxes of DCL, I pulled 1 Chief, two Mento, 1 Elasti-Girl, 1 Dayton Manner, and 14 Robotman. Friends traded me the rest of the Doom Patrol stuff.

On a decent draw, turn 7 will often be a 15/15-19/19 Beast Boy, a 13/13 Robotman, and a Wonder Woman with a couple Fury of the Amazons. And that should be the ballgame.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Young Avengers

Who are these upstarts, you ask? Well, since you obviously have no taste* and don't deserve to know, I will answer you fairly. They're the Young Avengers, Marvel's best answer to the Teen Titans, and they rock.

Young Avengers happened at the right time in comic book history. Honestly, the idea wouldn't have worked as well at a different point in Avengers history. It came at one of the worst points. It took the senseless 'Avengers: Disassembled' and ran with it, crafting a story of a team brought together because they were the 'next generation' - a group of youngsters with ties, sometimes unknown, to the Avengers, who decided to follow in the footsteps of their elders and idols.

Part of their appeal lies in Marvel's much lauded, rarely existent 'realism'. You hear it all the time: "Marvel's more realistic than DC." It is, of course, a conceptually idiotic claim, but it's a popular one. A huge problem with claiming realism in any comics universe is the stagnation built into the industry that results in characters having 70 years worth of stories taking place within 10-15 years of a life**. However, one of the things that I've felt gives at least a passable illusion of change is the concept of the Legacy Hero, the hero who has taken up the mantle of an older hero out of respect or family ties or plenty of other reasons.

Young Avengers are Legacy Heroes. Here's a brief introduction...

Patriot: Before Steve Rogers became Captain America, the government tested the Super Soldier Serum on some African American members. Patriot is the grandson of one of those men. Patriot knows he's following some pretty enormous footsteps by inviting comparison to Cap, and he's got some inferiority issues...but he's a pretty heroic kid, when push comes to shove.

Hawkeye: Kate was given Hawkeye's bow by Captain America, and named Hawkeye's successor. Born to wealth, unexpected tragedy (because in order to do good, you have to have a tragic origin...) strikes. Instead of collapsing, Kate dedicates herself to helping out everyone she can, eventually joining the Young Avengers. She doesn't have powers, but she's good with a sword and great with a bow. She's the only member of the team that didn't have pre-existing connections with the Avengers.

Hulkling: A super strong shape-shifter, Hulkling is one of the earliest members of the team, and is currently in a relationship with another member of the team, Wiccan. Confident and openly gay, he and Wiccan are, in many ways, the back-bone of the team.

Wiccan: A budding magician, Wiccan comes from an extremely supportive household and he finds acceptance in the Young Avengers that he never had at school. He's honest and genuine, and like Hulkling is just an all around good kid.

Stature: Daughter of deceased Ant Man Scott Lang, Stature gained his ability to grow to enormous heights. She joins the Young Avengers both as an act of rebellion and as an honor to her dead father. Sadly, her home life isn't great: her father, being an NYC cop, hates superheroes, while her mother desperately wants to keep her out of the life that killed her father and ruined his relationships.

Speed: Yeah, his name's not very creative. And he's a little psychotic. But he's the 'edge' of the team, the one who's always trying to push the boundaries. They steal him away from his imprisonment as a recruit for the Kree/Skrull War that was breaking out above NYC.

Iron Lad: Iron Lad is the team founder, here, bringing the Young Avengers together to fight off Kang the Conqueror in the absence of the Avengers. He has quite a tangled past with Kang - oh, time travel - and is the focus of the first arc.

The Vision: After the Vision dies in Disassembled, a new Vision - with all of the knowledge and a bit more power, but none of the experience - arises. The Avengers have reformed by then, and they try to hold him back, but Vision, eager to help, just off and joins the Young Avengers.

The Young Avengers have larger than life adventures, something the current incarnations of the Avengers are lacking. The Young Avengers also have something the Avengers title has, for me, always been lacking: a sense of connection. The writer, a former scribe of The OC, does a great job at showing the kids become both friends and superheroes, of giving me a sense that they're growing up a little bit, but aren't succumbing to the pervasive darkness of the Marvel Universe. The Young Avengers Special especially, I think, shows them as a beacon of hope for the older heroes in the Marvel Universe.

Now, this wasn't a review. This was an introduction. An explanation, a little, about why I like the series. It's posted for two reasons. First off, I just recently bought this and lo! but it was good. The other reason? The Young Avengers will be making an appearance in the Vs System TCG come May in the Marvel Universe set. So, for all you Vs. fans wondering why Hawkeye is now a hot teenage girl...this is for you.

Hope you enjoyed.

*Or you just don't read comics. Which could mean that you have bad taste, or it could mean that you just don't have the time or money. If so, I apologize.

**Grant Morrison gives good interview, and this is him talking about a fascinating project of his: trying to shove all existing Batman stories into a coherent continuity for the Dark Knight.

Where you can begin reading:
The entire Young Avengers miniseries was released in Hardcover recently.

Or, check out the first arc. It costs less.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Warren Ellis Presents: FreakAngels

If you're unfamiliar with Warren Ellis' work, or you don't read many comics, then here's an opportunity:

Warren Ellis Presents: FreakAngels

FreakAngels is, apparently, a free project Ellis is putting out with Avatar Press. While it may eventually be collected in trades and sold, it is for now being produced free online, so there's no reason not to give it a shot.

Ellis' work isn't always gold, but the amount of great stuff he produces is more than enough to warrant giving this a shot.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Updates will be coming slowly but surely for a few weeks. My computer is destroyed as though by the hand of God, and I am left forced to return to the library for access to computing systems - a tragic fate, as it is rather quite the walk from my apartment.

Still, I endure. And I hope you stick with me. Real-people update to come soon, probably on comic books.

...actually, definitely on comic books. I want to talk about the Young Avengers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I have to thank Rian Fike for the shoutout on today. It was pretty cool to get a mention, and I hope you all continue to enjoy my blog. I'll post pretty pictures sometime soon. With a review.

Heralds/Legionnaires life-gain, pt. the End

3x Triad, Luorno Durgo
1x Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
4x Plasma, Replacement Herald
1x Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
1x Human Torch, The Invisible Man
1x Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krin
1x Mon-El <> Valor, Lar Gand

Plot Twists
4x Past, Present, and Future, Team-up
4x We Are Legion
4x Foiled Assassination
3x The Herald Ordeal, Team-Up
4x New Recruits

3x Birthing Chamber
3x Worldeater Apparatus
3x Soul World
2x Cosmic Tuning Fork

Okay, I added numbers. I generally don't put 4 of any non-unique location in a deck. I took out Elemental Converters - discarding one of your high-cost cards is too much of a cost if you don't hit Soul World. That makes 30 support we're done there for now.

A few characters I've found are very important.

Timber Wolf, Brin Londo
He's the ideal character to bounce to Foiled Assassination, and re-dropping him rarely hurts. Four of him.

Chameleon, Reep Daggle
Protection. Not a 4-of, but still damnably nice. One of.

Sensor, Jeka Wynzorr
More protection, 1-less cost. Three of.

Silver Surfer, Skyrider of the Spaceways
He'll pull your late-game out for you, early. He'll make sure you have what you need, whether it's Saturn Girl, or Human Torch, or Galactus. 4-of.

Apparition, Tinya Wazzo
Hidden hate, just in case. You just might need her. 1-of.

Bouncing Boy, Chuck Taine
His big advantage? The bouncing. Throwing down a body if you need it, discard fodder if you don't. He's easy card advantage. 1-of.

Jazmin Cullen <> Kid Quantum, Hero of Xanthu
She's free Cosmic-Surge. She's worth the cosmic counter cost. 3-of.

Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem
He's a nice 'just-in-case'. 1-of.

And there you go.

3x Triad, Luorno Durgo
1x Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
4x Plasma, Replacement Herald
1x Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
1x Human Torch, The Invisible Man
1x Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krin
1x Mon-El <> Valor, Lar Gand
4x Timber Wolf, Brin Londo
1x Chameleon, Reep Daggle
3x Sensor, Jeka Wynzorr
4x Silver Surfer, Skyrider of the Spaceways
1x Apparition, Tinya Wazzo
1x Bouncing Boy, Chuck Taine
3x Jazmin Cullen <> Kid Quantum, Hero of Xanthu
1x Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem

Plot Twists
4x Past, Present, and Future, Team-up
4x We Are Legion
4x Foiled Assassination
3x The Herald Ordeal, Team-Up
4x New Recruits

3x Birthing Chamber
3x Worldeater Apparatus
3x Soul World
2x Cosmic Tuning Fork

Now, this isn't a perfect deck by any means. Here are a few things...

Things you may want to try!
More 1-drops, the better to underdrop with.
Silver Surfer's Surfboard, from MEX. If I had some, I'd try it out. Never have, though. I imagine it'd be great.
Kindred Spirits, in place of Cosmic Tuning Fork.
Wildfire, Drake Burroughs is awesome, and he probably has a place in this deck. Give it a shot.

Yeah, play around with the deck list, make it your own. This isn't the best build. I've even had better, I think,'s a start. It's an astonishingly fun build, so go give it a shot.

I personally guarantee it will annoy your friends. Please, enjoy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Drafting for Beginners

I don't get to draft very often. I have, in fact, drafted three times in my life. I've done sealed plenty, but I tend to prefer constructed. Largely because I don't have the money to keep up with sealed, but also because I enjoy making the bizarre decks that do what they're told. Draft, however, I've found to be a great deal of fun, albeit a great deal of fun that I'm terrible at.

So, I bought a box of MTU online, for about 30 dollars. There were still some things I was looking for from the set, and I generally strongly prefer opening packs to buying singles, because I'm a masochistic twat, so there it was. When, *ding*, the bell in my head went off and I realized that we had a box of MTU - why not draft it on the local Vs. night?

And thus, verily, did we do that.

And here's what I learned.

1) In MTU, it's worth dropping an 8-drop. Underworld has some stall elements, Spider-Friends is pretty much all stall, and Defenders have some stall elements. Having 4-drop Spider-Man in my first pack, I decided I was going to go stall, though I didn't know what to. When one of my first-round packs wheeled a 7-drop Spider-Man, I had a further answer, but nothing beyond that. It's wasn't until the second round gave me both Noble Kale and Blackheart that I knew I was in business.

2) RTFC. I wheeled two team-ups because they weren't Underworld or Spider-Friends stamped...completely forgetting that 'Secret Defenders' and 'The Contract' can team-up anyone. That almost killed me early game. My only 'team-up' was Demonic Embryo - a far cry from a #1 choice. Yeah. Read the F#@$ing Card.

3) Team-ups never wheel. Ever.

4) Remember what you've pulled aside. I had been pulling awesome stuff, Blackheart, Noble Kale, Madelyn Pryor, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Deathlok. I got some freakishly good stuff. Unfortunately, while my late-game was stunning in its power...I only pulled one 3-drop, and only two on-team 2-drops. Thankfully, I got stuck with a couple Syndicate 2-drops, so I had something to play, but still...remember what you put aside. Three 7-drops and four 6-drops are, perhaps, a tad too much.

So, there you go. Common sense, 100%, but still...I didn't remember it. I still won both my games, by scraping through until 8 and Noble Kale-ing them to death. The last game we played was a hilarious sealed 4-player free-for-all, which I did not win...though not for lack of trying.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Losers

Ah, tragic news, my lovely friends, tragic news indeed. Shadowline, a branch of Image comics, recently hosted a comic book contest for writers. Now, most of you don't know me. It's my fondest dream to write comics. I don't particularly want to write movies or novels or even short stories. I wouldn't mind TV, but I don't particularly have the flair for it - also, most shows I've liked have ended pretty quickly, so I don't think that my tastes are the most...marketable.

Comics, though? I understand a lot about them. I'm no particular wunderkind, and I'm not a spectacular writer. But I love comics, and I'd like to think not in the creepy way that comic fans have a reputation for. I don't love just a few characters - I love the medium. I love Y: the Last Man just as much as I love All-Star Superman. I love John Roger's Blue Beetle and I love Ed Brubaker's Captain America. I just downright love comic books. I talked about why, earlier, so I won't go into it again.

So, yeah, contest. 5,000 entries. Very, very obviously, I have a minute chance of winning. My pitches, I made four, were varied in quality. Two were very, very good, I thought. Two Not bad, not great. I had real hopes for two of them.

The top 10, the people moving to the next round of the competition, were announced today, and alas! but I am not on that list. I check four or five times, just in case.

I know it's not the the end of my chances to break into the industry, not even close. And it's not the only thing I hope to do with my life. But...not being an artist myself means it'll be about 100 times harder to get in the industry, and getting into grad school is getting to be a pretty huge hassle.

Well. Life can be a hassle at times. Still, I have to hope. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Deck-building: Heralds/Legionnaires

What we have.

Triad, Luorno Durgo
Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
Plasma, Replacement Herald
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
Human Torch, The Invisible Man

Plot Twists
Past, Present, and Future, Team-up
We Are Legion
Foiled Assassination
The Herald Ordeal, Team-Up

Birthing Chamber
Elemental Converters
Worldeater Apparatus
Soul World

So, what else is there? Well, there's Cosmic. The last bit. It's an important bit, though. As you may have guessed. There's too many to list them all, but I will hit on some that I thought about.

Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krin
Celebrity Status
Many Worlds
New Recruits
Terror Incognita
The Power Cosmic Unleashed
Legion Headquarters
Mon-El <> Valor, Lar Gand

Cosmic Tuning Fork
Blinding Light
Franklin Richards, Creator of Counter-Earth

Blinding Light: Maybe. Slots are running low, however, and while you will be stunning people in team-attacks fairly often, this is only useful in one instance: to put a counter on Cosmic Boy.

Cosmic Tuning Fork: Yes. You need the filter. Simple as that.

Franklin Richards, Creator of Counter-Earth: Maybe. He's great, it's undeniable, has downsides. It doesn't share an affiliation, and you frankly don't need your people hidden that desperately. There's only one character you really want hidden, and even he's not entirely necessary.

Legion Headquarters: No. Moving a counter around isn't worth it, since they won't be sticking around.

The Power Cosmic Unleashed: Probably not. Again, it's only really worth it for the Cosmic Boy counter (or, in very rare circumstances, Human Torch). Still, those are two very important characters.

Pacification: No. You're dropping too many characters. It's not worth it.

Terror Incognita: Probably not. Then again...Silver Surfer (2) can search it out, even as a 1-of, and it 100% guarantees that Galactus will win it for you on 9. So...maybe.

Mon-El <> Valor, Lar Gand: Yes. As a 1-of, he's easily searched, and he's normally absolutely enormous on 8. A great wall and an even better smasher.

New Recruits: Yes. Great, simple search for you.

Many Worlds: Nope. Versatility is nice, but it isn't enough.

Celebrity Status: Maybe. It's not bad, but it depends entirely on your opponent, and as such, it's a little hurt. I'm going to say no. Against some decks, it will never matter, even a little.

Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krin: Yes. Definitely. One counter on him buys you a fair bit of endurance.

Triad, Luorno Durgo
Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
Plasma, Replacement Herald
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
Human Torch, The Invisible Man
Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krin
Mon-El <> Valor, Lar Gand

Plot Twists
Past, Present, and Future, Team-up
We Are Legion
Foiled Assassination
The Herald Ordeal, Team-Up
New Recruits

Birthing Chamber
Elemental Converters
Worldeater Apparatus
Soul World
Cosmic Tuning Fork

Franklin Richards
Blinding Light

That takes us to the end. We just need to round out the characters, and that would pretty much end it. You're so close. So close! But not yet.