by Ed Fortune

Spider-Man has a unique position in the Marvel Universe thanks to a rich roster of villains and some rather involved storylines. The recent Beyond storyline involves a pan-dimensional corporation, Spidey’s clone Ben Reilly becoming a mascot for the said corporation, and an ageing Peter Parker getting his life back together, all the while dealing with a lot of classic Spider-Man villains. It’s a fun storyline, and Wizkids have used it to release a whole range of Spider-Man-themed Heroclix, with a full starter set game, booster packs, etc.

The Marvel HeroClix: Spider-Man Beyond Amazing Miniatures Game follows the formula we’ve come to expect from Wizkids. HeroClix is a fun skirmish miniatures game with pretty simple rules, but new players typically need a little help getting into it. They designed a format for this a while ago; one box with ten pre-painted models, some map tiles, counters, two bespoke dice and all the rules and introductory scenarios you need. This is a slickly designed intro box, easily the best we’ve seen.

Models-wise, the box sees Spider-Man teaming up with Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman and Spiderling to defend New York City from Venom, Bullseye, Shocker, Hydro-Man and Mysterio. Hydro-Man is especially dynamic, as they’ve gone for a silverly blue to represent his water-like legs. ( Spiderling is Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s daughter, by the way, making this set a family team-up). The scenarios provided take you through the game, and the conflicts are well-balanced. Heroclix has been pretty well balanced for a while as a game, with the novelty from each new release focusing more on the models than the rules. The counters are solid and sturdy, though Wizkids will sell you ‘poker chip’ style tokens in a separate packet if you need something a bit more robust.

If you want more than the ten models in the set, Wizkids, of course, does Boosters; the Beyond Amazing range is a pretty comprehensive set of Spider-Man heroes and villains. Highlights include both Daredevil and Matt Murdock in full lawyer mode, a very nice Doctor Strange, an amazing-looking Rhino and one of the most dynamic versions of the Vulture we’ve seen. (He looks almost happy).

In addition to the Sinister Six, we get various Carnage symbiotes, including Rocket Racoon as a Carnage and Carnage Silver Surfer, and yes, it’s as fun and as silly as it sounds. No Spider-Ham in this release, but we do get Peter Parker with a bag on his head. Venom fans will be delighted to note we get a Venom version of Thanos.

We get plenty of Venom variants in the core set also because everyone loves Venom.

The Play-At-Home Kits for this release also have a Venom theme; they feature a little model of the symbiote in a jar, and either Miles Morales or Peter Parker Spider-Man depending on the kit, as well as a decent paper mat (though honestly, the tiles in Miniatures Game are much better).