Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Thursday, May 8, 2008

MSN reports on the Super Hero Squad video game

MSN has an article about the recent THQ video game news, but accuracy-wise... well, it has it's points. Here's a rundown, both high and low:

"Simon Phillips, President, Marvel International and Head of Worldwide Animation and Video Games, added, 'Licensing of the Marvel Super Hero Squad brand is a priority for Marvel, as we see it as a great entry point for kids to experience our renowned characters...'"

This quote reminds me of something I read on a forum once when the initial news of a cartoon came out. Someone said that their reasoning for not liking the show (based entirely on the fact that it uses Super Hero Squad as a name, complete with all the prejudices that come with it) was that as children's first experience to these characters, they're going to feel that other versions of the character (ie, comic book versions) are "wrong."

We've all met the type of fan who calls Morph his favorite X-Man, or who loves Spider-Man, but has only watched the movies. It happens, but does that mean Marvel shouldn't put out movies, cartoons, alternate universe like the Ultimates and Marvel Adventures, all because they don't want kids to see the "wrong" characters? What if Marvel believes the versions we love, complete with 40 years of baggage, Gwen Stacy's death, Karen Page's addictions, alien costumes from secret wars, mutant power enhancing drugs, a married Spider-Man, what if all that is considered "wrong" by Marvel.

Back to the article though: "An all-new Marvel brand, Marvel Super Hero Squad features an exciting, super-stylized look of the greatest Marvel Super Heroes, serving to expand the traditional Marvel audience to a core 4-10 year-old audience. Fun and humor are waiting around every corner in Marvel Super Hero Squad where popular characters including Iron-Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, The Fantastic Four, and many more are thrust into adventures in a single caricatured Super Hero City. Along the way, they will have to thwart the plans of popular Marvel villains Doctor Doom, Magneto, Iron Monger, Loki, the Abomination and countless other infamous baddies."

For the FIRST mention of Spider-Man in relation to one of the SHS spin-off, and for mention of Iron Monger, this gets a heads up. One would assume, but should not take for granted, that if Iron Monger is involved in the video game or cartoon, a figure won't be too far behind, and Iron Monger may be the mysterious huge bad guy hand from last night's posted artwork. It would also make sense in giving Iron Man a bad guy to go against.

"Additionally, Marvel Comics is now featuring Marvel Super Hero Squad comic strips within several of its all ages books and will be introducing a dedicated Marvel Super Hero Squad comic book series in fall 2008. Marvel has already secured deals with Hasbro as master toy partner, Disguise/Cesar for dress-up and Mega Bloks for construction toys and continues to seek deals with industry leading partners to develop merchandise based on the unique look of the Marvel Super Hero Squad property."

Now, Mega Bloks has held the Marvel construction toy license for a while, which is one reason why Lego Spider-Man ceased to exist, and why we have those Spider-Man and Friends Duplo-sized playsets consisting of chunky mini-figs and tree-houses of 10 bricks, but it'll be interesting to see what, if any, Super Hero Squad construction toys are made, and whether they'll be "compatible" (whatever that means) with the current line.

The dress up information is just... well... interesting.

And finally, Marvel currently includes classic editions of its Mini-Marvels strip in it's younger Marvel Adventure books, so is MSN getting the Mini-Marvels and Super Hero Squad confused, or are they privy to upcoming information? After all, "The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995" according to their disclaimer. Still, Fall 2008 is the first we've heard of a date for the comic, so we may start seeing previews for it any time now.

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