Review

Avengers Academy just ended it’s two year, forty issue run last month and with things sort of unclear as to what is next for the group of teenage superheroes Marvel Comics released Avengers Arena #1 this week. From seeing the cover you can instantly tell this is going to be a great series since the cover art done by Dave Johnson is a spot on resemblance from the film Battle Royale you can only assume that there will be a bloodbath among the future Avengers in the making.

Alright let’s jump into the story behind Avengers Arena, in this series there are sixteen members from the Avengers Academy: Apex, Cammi, Anachronism, Bloodstone, Chase, Ryker, Nara, Reptil, Nico, Darkhawk, Kid Briton, Red Raven, Mettle, Hazmat, X-23, and Juston Seyfert (with his Sentinel he’s been working on). Now that is quite an impressive list of teens who are facing off against each other. I should probably tell you why they are fighting and how this came about as to avoid any sort of confusion when you read further on. So it’s Christmas Eve and the Avengers Academy teachers are all at Tony Stark’s awesome Christmas party (I mean really who would want to miss that?) and with most of the students back with there families there is only a handful of students left behind. Then, nothing. Literally nothing happens and next thing you see is the sixteen teens suspended in the air unable to move and a voice starts speaking.

Enter the villain Arcade, who you might remember from the time he has the X-Men trapped in a pinball machine, it happened trust me look it up. With Arcade making quite a return it seems that he is tired of his normal traps and tricks blowing up in his face, sometimes literally, and upset that his ratio of traps-to-deaths are a bit low he has come up with a genius plan to get rid of fifteen superheroes at one time. But, there’s a catch, he isn’t going to be doing the killing this time and nor is his trap as instead the superheroes will have to fight each other to the death until there is only one remaining left alive. Now you may be thinking ‘Isn’t Arcade just some crazy villain who creates lame traps that never work?’ well you might have been correct in the past but since Marvel has started it’s new revitalization of characters in it’s Marvel Now campaign it seems that Arcade is a bit more menacing and a formidable foe. After taking multiple high powered attacks from some of the Avengers Cadets (that’s what I’m calling them for now on) he was left unscathed and promptly proclaimed that he is no mere Villain but in turn a God, I may have paraphrased that a bit.

The overall tone that you are getting throughout reading Avengers Arena is that they are all helpless in this situation, all attempts to stop Arcade are pointless and with him showing them that he can overpower them and even control them all at once is just a hint at what he is capable of. To avoid spoilers I can tell you this, he made a compelling argument to convince them to fight each other by letting them decide who was the weakest and he would kill them first to get the ball rolling. Who dies is a shocker and how it was done really sets the fear within the group as they are undoubtedly about to fight to the death.

While none of the fighting really starts in this issue, besides in the beginning that is sort of a flash forward of what to expect with a quick look at a fight between two of the Avengers Cadets, this issue really sets a good tone of what’s to come and also shows that Marvel is done with their usual storylines that they have been running for years now. I should also note that the artwork from Kev Walker and color from Frank Martin are great and the style in which they chose for this series is clean cut and very detailed. This is definitely going to be one of the newer series from Marvel to keep track of and read as I’m sure it’s only going to get more violent and bloody from here on out.

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About the Author

Mark
Mark
Owner of ThoseGamingNerds, I've been in the gaming journalism scene now for 7 years and other than that it's all comic books and movies for me.