Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set – Howard Stark

howard-stark-fatherThis February sees the newest release for WizKidsDice Masters, Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set. The first starter set has an Iron Man focus introducing new mechanics.

I’ll be reviewing a card a day until the whole set is completed and then general thoughts on the whole set. But, beyond discussing the cards and how they fit into the Dice Masters game, I’ll also focus on the characters themselves and if the card reflects their comic history.

First up is Howard Stark who makes his debut in the Dice Masters game.

Art: Michael Komarck, Operation S.I.N. #3 cover

Comic origin: Howard Stark first appeared in Iron Man #28 back in 1970 and was created by Archie Goodwin and Don Heck.

Best known as Tony Stark’s father the character’s history has been fleshed out, especially due to his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he’s played a significant role.

The character is a brilliant scientist and ruthless businessman he’d go on to found Stark Industries with his father where he focused mainly on weapons.

He was later recruited to be a part of science organization known as The Shield (don’t ask, it was weird). He also was revealed to have met Nick Fury back in the day and recruited Fury into being a defender of Earth from extraterrestrial and extra-dimensional threats.

howard-stark-expert-businessman

With his wife Maria, Howard had a son Arno and would later adopt Tony.

Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident which may not have been an accident!

Live action version: Played by both Dominic Cooper and John Slattery and has appeared in animated shows as well as Agent Carter (Cooper), Iron Man (Slattery), Captain America: The First Avenger (Cooper), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Cooper), Ant-Man (Slattery), and Captain America: Civil War (Slattery).

Howard Stark: Father

Card playability: When I see a 2 cost card, I immediately take notice. With a SHIELD team affiliation, Ally, and at level 3 protection from being targeted by Global Abilities the card is a cheap addition for decks that need to get characters out quickly.

Card vs. Comic: The Ally fits the card well. Howard Stark in comics (and even the movies) has felt like the person that works with others as opposed to being out front and being the hero. Not being able to be targeted by globals feels like it fits a bit, maybe some cool tech prevents it?

Howard Stark: Expert Businessman

Card playability: A little more expensive at three cost, the card’s value is in his ability. To be able to sacrifice the character die and then give other dice you control +2A is pretty cool and something I could see myself using in a SHIELD team. It’s not too expensive and a great way to boost a wave of dice attacking.

Card vs. Comic: Like above the card as an Ally feels right, and the fact you can boost other dice feels even more legit. This is Howard Stark arming his allies, which really nails the feel of the character.

howard-stark-brilliant

Howard Stark: Brilliant

Card playability: Another card whose role is to sacrifice itself and boost another character die. Spinning a die up could be cool and I’m positive there’s some combos to come out of just that, but the Iron Will is interesting. For those not familiar with that ability the short version is the character cannot be KO’d unless it was previously damaged this turn or if it is simultaneously damaged by two different sources. It’s a pain to deal with so could become a helpful ability to keep a die around. It’s not a bad ability, but one die vs. all your dice, I know which way I’m going.

Card vs. Comic: Like above the card as an Ally feels right, and the fact you can boost other dice feels even more legit. This is Howard Stark arming his allies, which really nails the feel of the character.

Final Thoughts: Howard Stark’s debut in Dice Masters feels right. He helps other dice which fits the character well. A 2 cost character is always nice and fits my style of play but the “Expert Businessman” is the one that really catches my eye. To be able to boost your entire team with a +2A could be a game winner if played right and at least swing the momentum. Not a bad card that I see some use, but it’s not necessarily a game changer by any means.

 

WizKids provided Graphic Policy with FREE product for review.