The First Playable Villain in Avengers Alliance Isn't All BadSDear Playdom, when you announce a playable "villain" for the wildly popular Facebook role-playing game Avengers Alliance, I expect a real villain, not Mr. Flippity-Floppity Magnet Man.


Readers that have been following X-Men continuity since the early days are familiar with Max "Erik Lehnsherr" Eisenhardt's propensity for switching sides at the drop of a hat. Normally it takes something unfortunate happening to his hetero life mate, Charles Xavier (that's how he ended up mentoring The New Mutants back in the day), but sometimes he just feels like it. Or he's a clone. But sometimes the clone is evil and he's good.

Readers that have only been reading X-Men sporadically for the past several decades are probably incredibly confused.

As it stands in the comics, Magneto is currently medium-evil, having cast his lot with Scott "Cyclops" Summers, who recently killed Charles "Professor" Xavier in an insane fit of the plot requiring it. This made Hank "Beast" McCoy so despondent that he pulled the original X-Men forward in time to make everyone have feelings for Jean "Marvel Girl" Grey again. I have no idea how I've kept up with all this.

Comic readers will also be aware that Alex "Havok" Summers, fresh front a brief stint with X-Factor, is now leading the Uncanny Avengers, which is likely why he's the main focus of Avengers Alliance's latest Special Operation, "Cry Havok." That, and because "Cry Magneto" isn't a literary reference.

In the Special Op, players will face off against the likes of Living Pharaoh, Living Monolith and Dragoness (Havok-appropriate villains) in a series of turn-based RPG battles. Completing the whole shebang adds Havok to players' teams, where he'll whine about how much better of a leader his brother.

Completing missions and objectives will also earn players Lockboxes, giving them a chance at fabulous cash and prizes. Unlocking one guarantees a common or possibly rare item. Unlocking ten at once earns the player a collectible comic book cover. Gather all eight of those unlocks Magneto, the game's first playable "villain", though I suppose if he's joining the Avengers he's not technically a villain anymore.

I mean, if the criteria for being the first playable villain is a reformed villain, then Hawkeye had that gig nailed already. So did Rogue. And Emma Frost. I'm sure there are plenty more slipping my mind. Hell, Cyclops is in there and he killed Professor X. Dude.

You can play Avengers Alliance over on Facebook. It makes a lot more sense than the comic continuity anyway.