Last month we reviewed the first issue of Marvel’s newest comic book series Avengers Arena, if you missed that review and want to get caught up to this review you can check it out here. While I will try and remain as spoiler free as possible for this review of issue #2 there will be some spoilers for the previous issue so if you didn’t read #1 yet be warned things might get spoiled for you. With that being said the premise of Avengers Arena is that Arcade has decided to take the students of the Avengers Academy and trap them all on an island, and with no way out he has given them no choice but to fight each other to the death (Battle Royale style) for his own amusement. In the first issue Arcade killed Mettle himself to prove a point and to make it easier for them by doling out the first death on his own.
After the surprise death of Meddle in the first issue the second issue picks up with everyone in a shocked state and coping with what they just witnessed, Cammi decides to just split and go off on her own and that’s how it all starts. In this issue some new characters are introduced and the central character it focuses on is Deathloket (a new original character) with flashbacks giving more of a back story to her character and more of a origin story. I’m not sure if this will be a trend throughout the series as it kind of felt like an episode of lost with the focus on just one character’s back story and how they are coping with the situation they are in now, and also what brought them to the island, so yeah it’s a lot like lost. Other new characters introduced are members of the Braddock Academy, who have yet to be really explained except for a quick introduction as to who they are.
This issue had one death, which might be another trend for the series, and I wont say who but it seems that besides arguing and a lot of running around no one has taken the first real step in starting a fight with other members yet. Which in turn makes you wonder how much longer before we see the fighting that was shown in a flash forward during the first issue. Avengers Arena still has my interests peaked though even if the comic is still doing a lot of character introductions and taking a turn for a slower pace then it’s first initial issue had. My only concern is that this slow approach might make readers lose their interest in it.
It should also be noted that while the first issue’s cover paid homage to Battle Royale, the second issue’s cover was definitely a Lord of The Flies inspired cover. Speaking of art, Kev Walker does a great job with his artwork style in the comic, with really being able to draw out the emotion and expressions in certain panels where no dialog is present you can almost know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling in those situations. The comic itself looks impressive and his style alone could carry this series for a few more issues if the story falls flat. But, being an optimist here’s to hoping that the series picks up the pace soon.