Later this year, not only will X-23 be picking up Logan’s legacy as the All-New Wolverine in comics, she’ll also be carrying the claws into “Marvel Puzzle Quest”! We spoke to D3 Go! Producer Joe Fletcher about Laura’s debut, the inclusion of cosplay covers in the game, and more!
Marvel.com: When did the process begin to bring X-23 into the game as the All-New Wolverine?
Joe Fletcher: Pretty much as soon as we got the news! We had wanted to bring Laura to the game for a while now, and hearing that she was going to be on one of the All-New teams was the push that we needed to slot her into our release schedule. Not that she wouldn’t have made it anyway, but with the likes of Totally Awesome Hulk, (totally 90’s) Cyclops, and Red Hulk all hitting our game at about the same time it’s been a rough time for most characters to get a look in!
Marvel.com: What was the coordination like with Marvel Publishing since the character is so new and has not even debuted in the comics yet?
Joe Fletcher: As per usual, the Publishing staff has been on point with any questions and resources we needed. Concept art, abilities, all the stuff that we needed to make sure that Laura won’t just look her best, but that she’ll have the feel of the character that you see on the comics pages. After that, it’s a matter of multiple check-ins as we implemented her to make sure our in-house art was on point and the Puzzle Quest-ized abilities still felt like a good round of her character. We’re very pleased with the result.
Marvel.com: What can you say about Laura’s abilities?
Joe Fletcher: Hot off the heels of some new tech that we put in with Old Man Logan, X-23 has a similar setup where one of her abilities changes forms if you meet a trigger. In this case, it’s her Green with Laura Holding Back. In standard form, it deals some damage, making it useful as a single target attack. However, when the team gains enough Red AP, using this has Laura giving into her inner beast, turning the move into Berserker Fury. In this form, it does the same great single target damage for only 8 AP, but also adds powerful Strike tiles to the board, making additional matches deal more damage.
In true Weapon X fashion, X-23 also has healing powers which are shown in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as the Red Passive, Savage Healing. Every time Laura makes a Green, Red, or Purple match, she’ll heal some of her taken damage. At max level, a single match can heal up over 10% of her life, so she makes a great front line tank. Opponents are going to need some good burst damage or a way to stun her to keep her from staying on her feet.
Finally, we have her Purple ability, Tracking Prey. Here, she takes advantage of her enhanced senses to track down and set a trap for her opponent. This ability places a Trap tile on the board, which does an absolute ton of damage if the enemy matches it when Laura springs her trap. Players that enjoy using Daredevil’s Ambush will also love this move. Akin to Ambush, it’s also effective when matched by the player, dealing a still decent amount of damage and also placing a Strike tile on the board. This ability costs less to use as more Strike tiles are placed, with X-23 being able to set powerful and often unavoidable traps for only 6 AP a shot with enough tiles out.
Marvel.com: Which other characters does the new Wolverine pair well with?
Joe Fletcher: Her abilities work very well with more Strike tiles out on the board, so she’s a natural pairing with one of the other Wolverine family, Daken. Daken can place Strike tiles on Green matches which will power Laura’s Holding Back and their color strengths complement each other well. Similarly, Blade’s Thirst can create Strike tiles on Red while leaving Green to X-23, but both use Purple to great effect so it’s a harder thing to say which ability you’d want to use.
To go for a more standard matchup instead of pushing just the Strike tiles, Cyclops (Classic) works very well with her too. They only overlap on one color (Red), so it’s easy to keep Laura out in front pretty easily while using Cyclops’ abilities to strategically take out tiles and create matches. As well, his Yellow can help boost her Green, letting her take out opponents pretty quickly due to its relatively low AP cost.
Marvel.com: Finally, what can you tell us about the cosplay covers making their way into the game?
Joe Fletcher: Starting today, we’re going to be featuring a select set of variant covers in the game, just in time for Halloween! These covers are based off the great cosplay variant set that Marvel is releasing with some of its titles in the coming month. We’ve got six of them that we’re proud to show off to fans: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (Spider-Man), AVENGERS #0 (Steve Rogers), CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #1 (Sam Wilson), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 (Gamora), INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 (Iron Man Model 35), and ASTONISHING ANT-MAN #1 (Ant-Man). Definitely looking forward to players checking them out in-game; I’m going to see if I can’t collect the set personally, the work done by these cosplayers is amazing.