Tagged: Darkhawk

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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The best of 2011: Super Late Edition part 2

by Chris Troy

And we’re back! By now you’re probably all expecting me to start creaming my pants over the 2011 Marvel Universe offerings, and this WILL happen, but let me address my other picks for the year first.

NECA had a rad year, releasing some really solid figures based on a variety of video games series like Gears of War 3, the Assassin Creed series, Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm, & Crysis 2, as well as several film properties. The Gears 3 figures are my favorite, as they’re a mixture of solid sculpts, accessories, and plentiful articulation. NECA also won me over with their Heroclix releases ranging from comic stuffs like Marvel & DC (including some of their movie counterparts) to game franchises like Street Fighter & Gears of War (popular series is popular), as well as sci-fi/fantasy properties like Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. Truth be told though, the NEXTWAVE figures that dropped this past year are the reason I care the most about Heroclix, and I really don’t think I can be faulted too much for my excitement .

Since I’m already on the topic of comic-related stuffs, let’s talk DC. We’ll start off with DC Direct 2011, which had a nice catalog of figures for the year, most of them being Batman, or at least Batman-related. I kid, there was a ton of Green Lantern love as well, between the Blackest Night/Brightest Day/GL proper series lines. I’m real glad that I now own a complete series of modern version of the Green Lanterns in scale with one another thanks to DC Direct. But if I’m going to have to pick a favorite DC Direct figure this year, it’s going to be the Commander Shepard figures from the long-delayed Mass Effect 2 wave, which was canceled after the 1st set because Bioware was upset with the delays of it’s release. Despite it not being NECA quality, it’s still the ONLY Shepard figure to date, something I hope changes in 2012 with the release of Mass Effect 3. NECA, Square Enix, one of you need to make this happen. Continue reading

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Countdown to NYCC part 2

by Chris Troy

Hey FPNYC faithful, in a few short hours, yours truly will be at the Javitis Center, fan-gasming over the nerdfest that is the 2011 New York Comic Con. Despite being a show veteran, this is my favorite convention of the year, and I’m really excited to see what the likes of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Bioware, & Capcom have to offer to the attendees this year. And depending on security, I may decide to stalk Captain America himself Chris Evans come Saturday. For you know, article research related reasons. REALLY!

Last article we focused on a lot of the comic goodness that will be at NYCC. I’m not saying I won’t be talking about the onslaught of Marvel Universe figures we received over these last 2 weeks later on in the article, but I decided to  focus on something a little more animated first. Cartoon Network & Adult Swim will have a large presence at NYCC once again this year, hosting a ton of panels with sneak peeks of a lot of their new and returning program. Regular offenders Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will be in attendance, talking about their hit show “The Venture Bros“. And in case you want something other than DVDs signed by the duo, FPNYC currently has in stock the 8′ Venture Bros classic Mego-style figures (or dolls, if you’re up for the particular debate). The 1st 2 waves in the series consist of the likes of Hank  and Dean Venture,  their old man Dr. Venture,  Brock Samson, the (mighty) Monarch, and “humorless #$@!” Phantom Limb. These retro style-figures go for about $15-$20 a pop, and probably wont be around long, given the show’s rabid fanbase.

We also received a ton of product from Cartoon Network’s newest revival hit, the Thundercats! Bandai-Namco will also be at  NYCC, but I’m none too certain if they’ll be much of a push for the show at the convention. That doesn’t mean a trip to FPNYC to check in on these figures isn’t warranted. Bandai has released 2 different toy lines based on the new show (as well as some toys based on the 80s versions as well!). There’s a line of 6″ figures consisting of the likes of Lion-O, Panthro, & Mumm-Ra (The Ever-Living!), as well as 2 different 4″ figure lines, one standard line that covers most of the show’s cast, and a deluxe one that comes with big-honking accessories. Prices range anywhere from $10-$20 depending on the figures, so keep an eye out for them on our shelves the new time you come by. Continue reading

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