Tagged: Arcade

Faster Avengers, Kill, Kill: Avengers Arena volume 1 review

Avengers Arena vol 1: Kill or Die

Written by Dennis Hopeless

Art by Kev Walker & Alessandro Vitti

Marvel, collecting issues 1-6, $15.99

It’s pretty much a given that no one stays dead in mainstream comics. Hell, I’m sure there’s a gambling pool out there wagering on when both Charless Xavier and Peter Parker are coming back (my money says 2014, when First Class: Days of Future Past and the Amazing Spider-Man 2 are scheduled to drop in theaters). After all , the lot of them are hugely lucrative IPs, why would they kill them off when there’s money to be made?

That being said, there’s also money to be made in death. The first Hunger Game film proved that, and I’m sure the sequel will do the same. Also see the Japanese Classic “Battle Royale” which spawn 2 movies, a long-running manga adaption, and a ton of imitators. Hell, even highly-publicized and eventually retconned comic book deaths do well for the big 2. So leave it to Marvel NOW to capitalized on this craze, with a book where Avengers are forced to kill Avengers in canon. But not with their A-listers like Iron Man and the Hulk, but with their underaged counterparts instead!

“Avengers Arena: Murder World” takes 16  teenaged ( well 15, and Darkhawk, who’s well into 20s) Marvel heroes and pits them against former D-list villain Arcade. Writer Dennis Hopeless (the most ironic thing about this title for sure) has no problem admitting that books like the Hunger Games and Battle Royale influenced this title, going as far as having Arcade admit that those books inspired him to step up his game. No more pinball machine deathtraps for him, Arcade’s turn Murder World into an ever changing island, where resources are scarce, and no one leaves until all but one are dead.

Hopeless, having to follow up to such writers as Christos Gage and Brian K. Vaughn, does an excellent job of capturing the voices of teenagers, which comes as no surprise to anyone’s who read his excellent X-Men: Season One graphic novel from last year. Each character sounds unique, but faithful to their established history as well, and his new characters are interesting too! Well those who make it past issue 6 that is. Expect a large body count by the time you wrap up the first trade, as both several old and new characters meet their end in this volume. The impact of their deaths only hits harder thank to the wonderful work of Kev Walker. Walker, a vet of both Marvel’s Thunderbolts and 2000 AD’s Judge Dredd, style is ugly as hell, and I mean that in the best way. These kids look like teenagers, so when they bite the bucket, it hurts. He’s assisted by Alessandro Vitti, a talented artist in their own right, and Frank Martin helps both artists keep a similar style going throughout the title.

When this book was first announced, there was a ton of hate on the internet, mostly because it was new and different, and there’s a small vocal community for most of these characters. Understandable to an extent, because no one wants to see one of their favorite characters die for sales/ try to appeal to an audience who’s not reading comics to begin with by ripping off a book/movie big in pop-culture. But the title has seemed to find an audience, which is great,  because. Hopeless and Co. present a cool mystery (“How did Arcade become a legit threat?” “Will these deaths permanent”) and a great title. Much like Hawkeye last month, it wouldn’t kill you (JOKES!) to read Avengers Arena.

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Mrs. Peel, We’re Needed.

BOOM! Studio’s Steed and Mrs Peel #2 may not be for everyone as it is A) Written by Grant Morrison, B) Based on semi-obscure 60’s British spy/sci-fi show “The Avengers” and frankly C) A BOOM! Studios book.

I am SHOCKED to find I missed plugging a fun Grant Morrison book. SHOCKED I say.

I think I could draw these three factors on a triangle and tell you “Choose any two reasons why you won’t buy this book.” There are those; and I suppose after some of his Bat-Book hi-jinx I can understand how you feel; who vowed never to pick up a Grant Morrison book again. Then there are those of you who have never seen The Avengers, or who would never buy any titles not from Marvel or DC.

Let me point out a few things The Avengers have brought to fandom, shall I?

A WORLD WITHOUT THE AVENGERS

Let’s forget that the TV show of the Avengers predates the first Bond movie by a year…after all, the Bond novels existed before the Avengers TV show, right? One thing to consider, however, was that The Avenger’s was the first to rely on heavy gimmicks, such as trick umbrellas, hidden walkie-talkies and bladed hats.

It’s the Avengers, not necessarily Bond, that gets credit for Spy-Fi. Without the Avengers, I don’t think there would have been a Nick Fury: Agent of Shield.

You wouldn’t have Emma Frost, the White Queen, tromping around in her skivvies in the X-Men, that’s for sure. Legendary X-Scribe Chris Claremont is a Brit, and John Byrne, though born in Britain is actually a Canadian…both of these men watched the BBC during formative years, and (shamelessly) mined The Avengers for ideas to put in comics. Continue reading

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