Dracula has risen once more, and an array of new allies—from the speedster Spitfire to former foe Baron Mordo—will be needed to stick a stake back in the vampire lord. We talked to Associate Producer Tony Sherrill about what to expect!
Marvel.com: Tony, what’s the story behind this year’s Halloween Spec Op?
Tony Sherrill: Something sorcerous is in the air. An evil plot is brewing. Vampire attacks are on the rise. Spitfire blazes into action, joining S.H.I.E.L.D. in the fight against vampires, while Doctor Strange rescues an old rival to aid in their search for three shadowy spell-casters. Basically, vampires and witches are running amok and somebody needs to punch them in the face.
Marvel.com: I know these are always a highlight for you guys, so when did you start planning this one?
Tony Sherrill: Halloween Spec Ops are a lot of fun to plan. We started cooking up ideas around February of this year. We generated a big list of characters and selected those that had that Halloween feel. Another fun thing we like to do is add a themed gift to share with your friends. This year’s gift is a Pumpkin Fruit Pie. The Pumpkin Fruit Pie is an homage to Fruit Pie ads that featured prominent super heroes in old Marvel Comics in the 1970’s. We were tempted to add in some pumpkin seeds, but stuck with a thick pumpkin cream filling.
Marvel.com: Who are the villains in this Spec Op?
Tony Sherrill: The Dark Lord Dracula returns with his vampire army; Dormammu’s sister Umar the Unrelenting, sorceress Morgan le Fay, and Hela, Goddess of Death, are the main bosses. You’ll also get to fight The Hood, Jack O’Lantern, and Malekith. Dormammu will be an Epic Boss and has been improved to be a lot nastier. A couple of his new statuses are Sense of Dread—pre-counters attackers with DOT effects—and Prey on the Weak—regains health when attacking or attacked by targets with low health.
Marvel.com: What does Spitfire bring to the table as the reward hero?
Tony Sherrill: As part vampire, part android, and part human, Spitfire has a lot to offer when it comes to slaying vampires. Her Hyper-Speed allows her to take two actions every round, with an increased chance to go first. Her Together Passive has a chance to allow allies to join-in on single-target attacks. She also has a nasty bite attack that has Fatal Blow, and will restore her to full health and stamina when an enemy is knocked out from her bite, in addition to her Accelerated Healing Passive, that gradually restores Health during combat.
Marvel.com: Which other characters will be spotlighted?
Tony Sherrill: We thought Dracula was awesome enough to become a Group Boss. Dracula will have his vampires by his side in all Group Boss battles and will have a new trick for whichever class you may be facing him in. Taking Dracula’s health down by 5% will reward you with Arcane Lockboxes. Collect these Lockboxes to unlock Baron Mordo!
Spoiler: Baron Mordo was offed in Season 2: Chapter 8: Mission 4, when “Dormammu turned the Mindless Ones on him.” But Doctor Strange has his mysterious ways.
Baron Mordo has some fun mechanics. His Shield of the Seraphim gives him a chance to shield himself from damage. Only if an ally is low on health will he consider throwing up a shield on them. He can lock down opponents with his Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, which works like Invisible Woman’s Force Cage. He can Phase and when he’s phased he has several attacks he can use that won’t remove his Astral Form and can bypass Cage effects. He’s also immune to Fatal, Near Fatal, and Brutal effects.
Marvel.com: What else can we win and look forward to?
Tony Sherrill: There is a lot of Halloween themed gear in this Spec Op. From a Witch’s doll, broom, dagger, and wand to an Amulet, Spell Book, Magic Salt, and a Vial of Ingredients that contains an eyeball, tentacle and a tooth. There’s a dreaded price for using the Vial of Ingredients though: Halitosis. I’m really looking forward to playing this Spec Op.