Monday, March 31, 2008

The Coolest Kids in School: Marvel Origins

Marvel Origins. The Set That Started It All. It's weird to think of everything that's come since, of how long Vs has been going on, and how long Marvel Origins was still considered to be THE power set. There were a lot of great cards in MOR: Flying Kick, Blind Sided, and Savage Beatdown, to name a few famous, potent generics. And then there was Dr. Doom, Diabolic Genius and his suite of destruction. Those cards were fairly brutal - and long-lived. Many of them have seen recent reprints, due to their popularity, power, and flavor.

But none of those will be the focus of this update. Nope. Because this is about the underdogs that I ended up loving. The cards that made me WANT to build a new deck, or the generics that I included whenever I had the room solely to dick over my opponent. And in Marvel Origins, that, for me, was...


Burn Rubber was a generic that I could get behind early in the game. I had the Flying Kicks, but I never saw a Savage Beatdown or Blind Sided in my packs. But Burn Rubber, that I had a good 5-10 of. And, frankly, looking back, I'm glad I did. Burn Rubber is a great card to put in a learner's deck. Why? Because it lowers the punishment for forming incorrectly, and good formation skillz are one of the harder things to acquire in Vs, it seems.

It even lets new players be clever. They can purposely form wrong, luring an opponent into an attack. The opponent knows that you're new, sees a situation they can take advantage of. Little do they know that flying into your lonely 3-drop in the support row isn't going to matter at all!

It also allows you to fix formation errors on the fly with its 'move characters' clause. You can falsely telegraph a Mega Blast with it...or you can make it so that you don't have to telegraph it. You can move a front row character to the support row to reinforce another character, thus getting two reinforcements out of it and severely minimizing your damage.

All-in-all, not a particularly powerful card, but a versatile one, and one that helps new players get a handle on things at their own pace, while still contributing to their deck and letting them surprise a more experienced player. And isn't humiliating other players what playing a game is all about?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Interesting Superman News

The essentials: due to a kind of wonky law, the heirs of Jerry Siegel now own the copyright to Action Comics #1. The costume, the idea, etc.... Now, I'm not going to go into a great deal of detail here - the information is provided above, for your viewing pleasure. This is important information, however - both for comics fans, and for fans of the VS System game. If you just go to, they also have on the front page a brief rundown of just what the ruling could mean.

So, I'm curious: what do you all think of this news? It's potentially enormous.

Personally? Well, it's hard to side with the big corporations, but I feel that their pretty much in the right, here. The people being awarded the copyright had nothing to do with the creation of the character - and, more importantly, the copyright was sold legitimately. DC has done all the work in the last 80 years, marketing the character, making him a recognizable figure all the world over. Would the Siegel heirs be willing to repay the 130$ DC bought Superman for, had the character been a flop? I think not. That's simplifying things, of course, but that's my gut reaction.

Obviously, I'll be following this pretty closely. If DC loses Superman, things will be bad for them - real bad. The potential for the Siegel heirs to market Superman out to other companies is also dangerous to the continuation of DC. Not to mention the fact that VS may find that it will have a far harder time making Superman or Team Superman cards...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Waiting (or, I Hate Oblivion)

So, I've been digging through older cards and stranger deck ideas, things that I always enjoyed playing but never took the time to tweak because they weren't really legal in any formats I played. After all, I'm always looking for interesting decks to take to the Megaweekend. Sadly, most of them still aren't - I thought, briefly, about taking my MMK Swan Dive deck to the BYOS tournament, but looking at the schedule, I will very probably be getting my ass kicked in the Modern Age tournament, instead - I promised my girlfriend I would try and win her a Wii. I will try. I will also fail. My Barbara Gordon Legends deck isn't legal in any age but Golden now, sadly.

Further, looking at the schedule, it seems like I'm going to do the Supercrossover Sealed - it's cheaper than the other tournament, and it looks like a helluva lot of fun. Playing in a Silver Age tournament, I'm hampered by the fact that

A) I love jank, and build really fun jank, but I do not build tourny-level superjank. I have the heart, but not the mind.

B) I don't collect playsets. I mean, yeah, I have a playset of almost every Shadowpact card, largely foiled...but that was an extreme exception. I have 2 Mobilize from the Random Punks tourny (thanks, UDE!), no Enemy, no Signal Flare, etc...I have no money-ish rares, really.

C) The only decks I've ever successfully piloted in a tournament environment are Avengers/Other Team team-attack decks. Avengers/Legionnaires was my most successful, but I also played Avengers/X-Statix well, and if MVL hadn't knocked MAV out of format, I would've loved to try Avengers/X-Men.

This is hardly set in stone. I'm still thinking about Silver Age, especially with my Heralds/Legionnaires life-gain deck. It actually plays pretty well against at least one of the big decks - Hidden IG. On the other hand, however, it can't touch Endgame decks. Generally, if a deck wins my trying to push through damage, the H/L deck has a good game. But it doesn't work against many combo decks.

As to doing Modern Age over BYOS - believe me, that makes me a little bit sad. I might have to forego my attempts to win a Wii, as BYOS is one of my single favorite formats. Then again, there's that Random Punks thing for 6$...I may just try and sneak into one of those.

Anyway, my plans for the Windy City Vs Extravaganza are as follows: Supercrossover Sealed, Modern Age, Random Punks, Galactus.

Eating will make this trip painfully expensive. Thankfully, I should have a job starting next week...but not enough of one, that's for damn sure.

So, I hope to see any/all of you at the Megaweekend! I hope to hear about some spoiled Runaways/Young Avengers cards at the Megaweekend! I hope that the Megaweekend is an enormous success, and we'll have many years to follow, so I could attend more than one. I'll be updating each night, so come here for some reports!

I realize this post was...pretty random. Something more normal to come, perhaps tomorrow or Saturday. See you al

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Final Crisis

I thought this ad was really, really cool. Why? Because it strongly hints that Morrison is going to be using a lot of the ideas and stories he began in Seven Soldiers. And, if you look up just a smidge, you may note that I'm a bit of a fan of Seven Soldiers. This is great news for me!

The Best Books You Aren't Reading: Criminal

This is the first in a set of comics-related articles. In case you couldn't tell from the pretentious and obvious title, it's about some of the best comic books on the shelves that have a criminally small readership (that sure was punny, right? Right? Oh, god, shoot me). Today, I'll be talking about Criminal, a book put out by Marvel Comics under their Icon label, and a book that has just very recently gotten a second shot as they released Criminal volume 2 #1. And before I receive accusations of being indier-than-thou (seriously, I don't think Criminal counts as all, but I have been called such), let me just point out: you KNOW all the big-name good books. You know that Ed Brubaker is doing great stuff in Captain America, and some fine work in Daredevil. You know all about Grant Morrison's Batman or All-Star Superman. Those books that sell well, some of them are great - but they're selling well, so obviously, people KNOW they're great. Criminal or Blue Beetle? Those are the books that could use a boost.

While there is continuity to Criminal, each arc is kept apart from the one before it, with a different main character and an all-new supporting cast. Under a less-talented writer, this might cause some problems, but Ed Brubaker, long familiar with noir-styled comics, seems to enjoy being able to shift his focus.

Now, why should you care? That's the question that makes books like Criminal a tough sell. It doesn't have any of the characters you know and love. It's constantly in danger of cancellation. It veers off the mainstream superhero stylings. Why am I asking you to throw down your precious money on a complete wild card.

Well, a few reasons.

The art. The art on Criminal, done by Sean Phillips, is amazing. No, really, it's really damn good. If I had scans - and I WILL have scans once I get my scanner hooked up - I'd post them to prove it. Suffice to say, Phillips' noir-stylings and perfect panelling give the series so much atmosphere it hurts, and he can do a great job with any kind of scene: action, romance, or just the dreaded talking-heads segments.

The characters. The characters are complex and entertaining. They're realistic, and you realize as the story goes on that you can understand why these people became criminals. Leo Patterson is one of the best new characters in recent memory - he's heroic in his own way, but the criminal culture has him tagged as a coward, just because he's smarter than your average crook. Tracy Lawless is a whole other kind of criminal: he's the sort of in-your-face, fearless bastard that you don't want to run into on a street-corner, the one who shows you just how important how you're raised can be.

It never insults your intelligence. Brubaker doesn't assume that you're too stupid to put A and B together. You begin to catch on to all the subtle relationships that exist between even minor characters. It seems like each member of these teams is a fully realized character, one about whom the next arc could be featured without trouble....

It's not a lot, but it's there. Criminal is consistently well-written, with beautiful art and a complex crime story. It won the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2007. And it's a great book with a small readership that deserves a much larger one. If you like crime dramas, heist stories, or getting in close and dirty with the criminal underworld, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal is for you.

On top of a new issue just recently coming out, the first two arcs are collected in trades.

Criminal: Coward

Criminal: Lawless

I sincerely hope you give the book, and others that I'll talk about sooner or later, a shot. Ask your local libraries to pick it up, if you don't want to drop the cash yourself. Libraries are an important resource, and are slowly becoming more and more open to comic books.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Computer!

So, armed with a new computer, I say this: you can now expect a return to regular updates! I know, it's glorious, you're thrilled, you love me, yadda yadda. I'm pretty excited myself, both at the shiny new piece of laptop sitting right here in front of me AND at the prospect of jabbering on about VS with you a little.

Here, in this brief update, are a few things I'm thinking about taking to the Megaweekend.

First off, Heralds/Legionnaires Lifegain. It's a fun silver-age deck that won't go winning...errr...anything, but would be pretty hilariously awesome.

Shadowpact - a default choice for any BYOS. I'm terrible at playing it, but if nothing else presents itself, it's the choice.
Alternatively, I could struggle desperately to build a Crime Lords deck. If I hate myself, I will. Hmmmm...what other teams do I really like that I could do as BYOS? Any suggestions for BYOS teams you'd like to see?, my Wonder Woman/Beast Boy dual-legend deck is a possibility for Modern Age, or Silver, or Build a Legend, or BYOS (it is mono-set, I think).

Undercover, my IG/BoP deck, could be a fun possibility for Modern or Silver.

Legendary, my Invisible Woman legends deck is a possibility for a BYOS, Build a Legend, or Modern, or Silver Age deck.

So, what do you want to face off against in the Windy City?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Untitled? Perhaps.

I must open, my friends, with an apology - it is finals week here at the prestigious Ohio University, and I am swamped with meaningless papers. Sadly, since I am paying them for the privilege of turning these papers in (because I'm an idiot), these must be completed before I can spend much time on the far preferable Vs. and Comic Book related Shenanigans in which I engage.

However, all is not lost! I have some brief news, a report on the Birds of Prey/Injustice Gang deck I built. I also have this news, exciting in the highest degree: I'm going to Megaweekend Chicago! Later this week, I'm going to compile a list of potential decks for me to take to the Megaweekend, so that you know exactly how to kick the shit out of me, should we meet in a tournament. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, thoughts on the BoP/IG deck, after having taken it to the local hobby league.

1) More pumps - I could kill by 6 about 50% of the time. The rest of the time, I would just build a bigger and bigger board that just couldn't do much. I could still win, sometimes, on 7 or even 8...but, still. I'd rather not risk taking it that late.

2) More variety in character - I would often run out of unique characters pretty quickly, forcing myself to underdrop and wasting resource points. Maybe it was just bad luck shuffles, but it was still a definite problem.

3) One More 4 - Hitting Jemm or Vixen on 4 ended up being pretty crucial to my survival, most of the time. I'd add another Jemm, to wall and/or smash on turns 4 and 5. He's a beast.

That's all for now, sadly. I have to get back to examining what Shakespeare has to teach the modern reader about Elizabethan sexuality and gender norms. You can tell that college is teaching me many valuable life skills.

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Incredible Hulk trailer is up

For any who haven't caught it, yet...Merry Christmas.

Deck: Undercover

As some of you know, I rarely get into the Big Guys. I'm not a particular fan of characters like Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, or Batman. I just don't understand the appeal, I suppose. Only the JLA and the X-Men have ever really appealed to me as 'Big Team' books, and each time, it was only because Grant Morrison was writing them. The Big Names are too static for my taste, too unchanging. I know some people like the whole thing, saying it keeps them iconic, but for me, it just keeps em stagnant. Meanwhile, things like Birds of Prey and Doom Patrol and Checkmate and Marvel Boy and Runaways and Young Avengers happen. And I care about those.

As you've seen, I've had to jump through a few hoops, on occasions, to get my pet decks to work. Gotham Knights or Team Superman or X-Men fans can complain all they want - and they do...endlessly - but they've at least got a cardpool big enough to build a deck with. I, on the other hand, have to team my people up. Often, and in bizarre ways.

I didn't get much World's Finest. I would've loved to, but the sad truth of it is that I couldn't afford to buy boxes, and the comic shop that would've gotten the game in my area burned down, DWF for Cal. All I have, I have in singles. Thankfully, that includes almost all the Birds of Prey cards.

DCL came out around Christmas, when I was back at home. 60 hour a week job + comic shop I could walk to on my lunch break = two boxes of DCL built. And that's when I saw the hidden Injustice Gang stuff. I didn't think it would be very powerful - I was of course very WRONG about this - but I started thinking about teaming them up with BoP. Unfortunately, my Birds stuff was still at school, and there was Doom Patrol, and, oh things were just busy. But I recently bought a couple DVDs, and as I watched my purchases, I built decks.

And so, that lengthy prologue out of the way, I present to you...Undercover, my first Birds of Prey deck.


3x Lady Blackhawk, Zinda Blake
4x The Shade, Ageless Enigma
3x Catwoman, Cat O' Nine Tails

3x Superwoman, Earth 3
2x Gypsy, Illusionary Operative
2x Johnny Quick, Earth 3
1x Huntress, Vicious Vigilante

3x Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Hacker Elite
3x Owlman, Earth 3
2x Catwoman, Feline Fatale

1x Jemm, Son of Saturn
1x Ted Grant <> Wildcat, Nine Lives
1x Vixen, Mari Jiwe McCabe

1x Cassandra Cain, Death's Daughter
1x White Martian, Earth 3

4x Aerie One

4x Earth 3
3x Birthing Chamber

Plot Twists
4x The Hook-Up, Team-up
2x Truth and Justice, Team-Up
4x Path of Destruction
4x Pathetic Attempt
2x Crushing Blow
1x Transmutation
1x Bat Got Your Tongue?

The deck can put up a decent offense and defense. You aren't afraid of underdropping - I've played games where I blew up an Earth 3 to play another one and won because of it. On characters like Vixen, you can build up a pretty big barrier to swing through, one that gets bigger with cards like Owlman and White Martian. Path of Destruction, normally not that great a pump, becomes fairly solid in this, if only due to the card-drawing power you have. And thanks to the size of the Birds and the manipulation of the hidden area, Birthing Chamber comes online fast and never really leaves.

Ultimately, it's a simple deck. But, they made the Birds a simple team, so...not much to be done about that. Still, it is fun, and it can win you some games. Give it a shot - it's cheap as hell to build and pretty fun to play.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Recommended Reading: DC Legends

Many apologies for the long delay between posts. As the quarter winds down, I find that I am running out of time to get all my graduate school preparations in order, so I have been rushing about. The weather has screwed me at least once on this, but I persevere - and, eventually, return.

This list won't be quite as extensive. The JLA is comprised of some of the most well-known superheroes the world over. The Injustice Gang is comprised of some of the greatest villains the world has ever known. Great villains, however, rarely have solo-books. Still, I'm going to give you this brief intro the the Injustice Gang Legends - The Joker, and Lex Luthor.

The Joker

The Joker has been the core of many interesting stories. Done right, he's an absolute terror. Like Batman, he doesn't necessarily react well with the DC Universe as a whole, but in Gotham City, the Joker is one of the most terrifying faces evil wears.

Batman: The Killing Joke is alternately one of the most well-loved Batman stories around, and one of the most loathed. Written by comic legend Alan Moore, it is nonetheless a great look into the mind of a madman.

Batman: The Man Who Laughs is a retelling of Batman's first encounters with the Joker, as told by extremely respected author Ed Brubaker. Here are some 'Year One' style stories about the scariest guy around town.

Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor is Superman's most famous enemy, and he's played every role humanly possible. He's been the hero, he's been the mad scientist, the politician, the man of the people. He's been everyone, which can make it...difficult to get a handle on just who the hell he is. Still, here are a few books to check out.

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel is an examination of the rivalry between Lex and Superman. It shows a Lex Luthor enraged at what he believes Superman is doing to our society. It's a little darker than the normal superhero story - obviously, with Lex at the center - and a little slicker thanks to some nice art, and it's a great book to check out to see about the character.

In 52, we saw an absolutely monstrous side of Lex. There's a lot of other stuff going on, but 52 also has some of Lex at his most cold and calculating.

All-Star Superman has been talked about once before, but All-Star Superman #5, titled "The Gospel According To Luthor", is a crazy examination of both Superman AND Lex Luthor. While many A-SS issues have great Luthor moments, this one shines.

So, only two legends. Oh well, I'll be back by the end of the week with another post. Hope you all have an awesome day!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Recommended Reading: DC Legends

I know, I know. generally has a required reading list up before a new set. A...uhh...comprehensive one, though I don't always understand their choices. Still, I've gotta give it to 'em, they've got pretty good taste. But, I figure, a second opinion never hurts, right? So, I'm going to try and go set-by-set to pick out one or two good bits of reading for you, so you can become more familiar with those particular characters.

This first segment will be for the JLA Legendary characters of DC Legends.


I'm going to give you a few options for Aquaman. Three, in fact. First off, we have the recent reboot. It's not the Aquaman you grew up with, true, but it's certainly an interesting story, and it may well be worth giving a shot.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis: Once and Future

Alternatively, you could start with some really old school examples.

Showcase Presents: Aquaman volume 1

Finally, Peter David is a talented writer, and his take on Aquaman was pretty popular for a long time.

Aquaman: Time and Tide

Barry Allen

Barry Allen is old-school popular, and he died one of the most famous deaths in comicdom. He's still got an enormous fanbase, and people are constantly begging for his return. Here's a few adventures central to his mythos.

The Life of the Flash by Iris Allen is a good place to start, as it's basically a 'biography' of Barry Allen, written by his wife Iris after his death.

The Life of the Flash by Iris Allen

Just like Aquaman, the Flash has his own Showcase collection.

Showcase Presents: The Flash volume 1

Finally, the moment that rocketed Barry into legend.... It's dense reading, but if you want to see how Barry Allen died, this is where you go.

Crisis on Infinite Earths


You all know who he is. Batman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time, and his story has been told over and over again. Here are a few places you might like to begin.

Widely considered to be among the best tellings of Batman's Origin, this is the story of one of Batman's first adventures.

Batman: Year One

That was Batman at his peak. If you want to see him gone way off the deep-end in the story that turned the Dark Knight into what he is today...

The Dark Knight Returns

Jeph Loeb is a controversial figure for some comic fans. Some of his work is despised. Most people, however, fully admit that his Batman stories with artist Tim Sale are some of the best around. For another early Batman adventure...

Batman: Long Halloween

Hal Jordan

Hal Jordan is a pilot famous for his lack of fear. He's also famous as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, and one of DC's enduring Silver Age fan-favorites.

With all the reboots going around, how can someone know where to look for a good origin? Well, it's tough, but a friend pointed me towards this collection for a modern retelling of Hal Jordan's origin.

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn

Most comic fans know, Hal went a little off the deep end for awhile. In another famous story, here we see a hero driven to the edge, and pushed over, and what just a little bit of willpower can do in the wrong hands.

Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight & A New Dawn

Of course, nothing is forever in the world of comics. Hal was both unkilled and un-evilled, and the only shock there is that the story is actually supposed to be very good.

Green Lantern: Rebirth

Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter is a funny character. Never quite popular enough to hold his own title for long, he is nonetheless widely considered to be the single most crucial character in the dynamics of the Justice League. Here are a few places to look for him, though to be entirely frank, Grant Morrison's JLA is probably the best for him.

Another Showcase, for his older adventures.

Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter
volume 1

Martian Manhunter was one of many characters who, in recent years, has taken on a brand new direction.

Martian Manhunter: Others Among Us


Another of comics' most popular and enduring icons, the Man of Steel has an enormous tally of stories to his name. Here are a few.

Superman has a ton of origin stories. Seems like his origin gets retold every 5-10 years. This is the most recent retelling, so it's the one they'll be going with for the next few years.

Superman: Birthright

Remember what I said about Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale? Well, they also did some work on Superman on this popular book.

Superman for All Seasons

Finally, if you just want an awesome, absolutely epic set of Superman stories, this is a must read. One of two Superman stories that even people who dislike Superman (like myself) love.

All-Star Superman

Finally, and I'm only doing this because I think this is a book you'll like, Superman gets a 4th book. It isn't in continuity, and it isn't the Superman you recognize, but it's a wonderfully good comic.

Superman: Secret Identity

Wonder Woman

The last of the JLA Legends on one of DC's Trinity, Wonder Woman is perhaps the most important female character in comic book history. Not necessarily the best, though - she's had something of a spotted run, with some highs and some extreme lows. Here are a few good places to start with her.

This is from the Perez-reboot, a fan-favorite take on the Wonder Woman character.

Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals

This is the beginning of Greg Rucka's run on Wonder Woman, which managed to consistently be one of the best titles DC was putting out for awhile. Rucka goes to great lengths to get into her character.

Wonder Woman: Down to Earth

Finally, Gail Simone has just recently begun writing Wonder Woman. She's the first female ongoing Wonder Woman writer, and her first arc just concluded. Here's DC's Wonder Woman solicits.

Wonder Woman

Okay, there's plenty of stuff there to help you get familiar with these iconic characters. I haven't read everything on this list yet, but I'm scouring libraries trying to find the ones I don't already own. Coming soon, I'll work on some of the bad guys of the set. Hope you enjoyed!


I actually really enjoy this deck, though it's not the best I've ever made. Let me know what you think, if it doesn't work for some reason, etc...

15x Daxamites, Army

3x Kate Spencer <> Manhunter, Fearless Renegade

1x Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Hacker Elite
4x Bart Allen <> Kid Flash, Generation Fourth
2x Michael Holt <> Mr. Terrific, Renaissance Man

3x Power Girl, Child of Crisis

4x Barry Allen <> The Flash, Founding Member

3x Keystone City
3x United Planets HQ, Team-Up
3x Birthing Chamber

Plot Twists
4x Justice United, Team-Up
4x A Moment of Crisis
4x Terminal Velocity
3x Enemy of My Enemy
3x Poker Night

This deck is...pretty obvious. I really like it, largely because I now have 6 Power Girl, Child of Crisis, and I want a use for her. I know this breaks my rule of 'build with what I have' - knowing how scarce DCL is, do you honestly believe that I have 4 Terminal Velocity and 4 Barry Allen? And knowing how scarce my monies is, do you honestly believe that I have ANY Enemies?

Still. The goal here is to make it to turn 6 with as much endurance as possible. Stunning up curve should be absolutely no problem for you, nor should teaming up. You want one A Moment of Crisis in your row for turn 6. Name the Flash, and then see how much you can nail your opponent for! Even if you only have two characters - Power Girl and The Flash, that's 4 swings right there. If Bart Allen is still on the field, he can join one of them in a direct swing thanks to his awesome ability. Daxamites will keep you alive far better than they should - against most decks you'll be gaining 4-6 endurance per turn, but against those pesky X-Men decks, you'll be gaining a frankly embarrassing amount of life - 3 recoveries in a turn means 6 endurance per Daxamite. Poker Night and Keystone should keep you from sucking more than you can handle.

The nicest thing about this deck is, even if you completely whiff on Moment/Velocity, you can still beat the hell out of your opponent. Feel free to make alterations or test the deck out as you will - it's one of my favorite decks to play online, and it doesn't do too shabby, generally.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Galactus Humiliates Us

Now, we in Athens have beaten the Big Purple Hat before. We've crushed it, though in the interest of fairness, I will admit that it crushed us right back in the next game just about every time. Batting .500 with the Big G, and with 6 players at our local hobby league, we thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and do a 5-on-Galactus match.

This was a mistake. I will now record for you just how much of a mistake it was.

The Alliance!

Terrell was playing Hamburgler, a Marvel Knights/Manhunters/Future Foes/New Gods/Injustice Gang deck in which every card in the deck in some way facilitated taking cards from an opponent's deck and removing them from the game.

Monji was playing Golden Age X-Men swarm. Lacking the requisite Marvel Legends cards, however, his deck wasn't exactly packing a punch.

Koz decided to throw down the beats with Squadron Supreme. 'Nuff said.

Jeremy threw down a Jean Grey Legends deck, making him the first Silver Age legal deck of all of them.

I followed suit with the deck that I wrote about earlier in the week.

The teams named: Marvel Knights, JLA, X-Men, Squadron Supreme, and Thunderbolts

Turn one didn't open up poorly. Koz nailed Galactus with a Surprise Attack, like the dirty bastard he was, and then the game actually started. Galactus threw down Red Shift, Herald. I had Ray Palmer, Monji threw down Archangel and fetched Worthington Industries, Koz had a Joystick. Jeremy whiffed, and Terrell pitched Dagger to fetch a Midnight Sons, which he then rowed and passed.

And that was 12 to our face.

Turn two began much the same way, as Terrax was thrown down on Galactus' side. Terrell had sexy EA Blade, Nightstalker. Koz threw a Thunder Jet on Joystick. Jeremy provided Black Rose, concealed. Monji had a Jean Grey, Teen Telepath, and I had Red Tornado, Elemental Android.

Cleverly, we swung Joystick into Terrax. Yes, she suicided...but the little-used second feature of the Thunder Jet kicked in, exhausting Terrax and allowing Blade to lock him down. Thanks to a formation error or two, after that, we had absolutely no chance of stunning Red Shift, so we passed and sucked another 12 damage.

Turn 3 began in good spirits, with Terrax out of the equation. Until, of course, Galactus flipped the planet Turbulus, dicking over some of our plot twists for the turn. He then played Morg. Terrell played Enemy of my Enemy, fetching Black Panther, which then fetched him a Philosopher's Stone. A Midnight Sons gave BP the Injustice Gang affiliation...and only then did he realize that he was never, ever going to cause breakthrough. I threw down a 3/3 Beast Boy, Monji doubled that with a Wolverine, Logan. Koz had a Lady Lark with an Image Inducer, and Jeremy had Jean Grey, Teen Telepath.

Thinking ourselves clever, we team attacked everyone but Beast Boy (he wasn't teamed up) into Morg. Knowing himself clever-er, Galactus asked a simple question that shattered us all: You Dare? Still, we had Galactus down to 87 endurance. Admittedly, we were in our 60s, steps.

Turn four came. Taur, Dense Core was flipped, giving Galactus this initiative. He already had two planets, and as we played our characters, we knew we couldn't prevent him from doing breakthrough with all of our boards so small. Especially when he dropped The Fallen One, reducing us all to a single character. Still, we gamely played the turn out. Terrell had Pan, the little-used Manhunter 4-drop, and a Midnight Sons to team up. Monji had Cannonball and a replay of Jean Grey, Teen Telepath. Squad contributed Golden Archer, reinforcing the fact that Squad did literally all the damage we did to Galactus, Jeremy had Iceman, and I had Wonder Woman, Ambassador for Peace. I double Call of the Wild'd...which was only made more embarassing when Galactus flipped Nebulize. Before the combat phase, I played Misfits twice, getting rid of Beast Boy's two counters to search out Beast Boy, Freak of Nature, and Robotman, Cliff Steele.

As we stared at Galactus, we realized we were sucking about 40 damage to the face and giving Galactus a fatal 3rd planet. It was about now that we scooped, and realized just how ineffectual we all had been.

Except Squad.