AA’s recommended comic for you today is Avengers Arena. One of the Marvel NOW! titles that doesn’t quite get the attention it should due to it’s counterpart, the Korean book Battle Royale.
Sixteen teenage superheroes (consisting of Cammi, Darkhawk, Hazmat, Mettle, Nico Minoru, Reptil, Juston Seyfert and his Sentinel, Chase Stein, X-23, Apex, Nara, Kid Briton, Red Raven, Death Locket, Cullen Bloodstone, and Anarchronism) are abducted by supervillain Arcade and brought to his latest version of Murderworld that is somewhere in Antarctica. The heroes are required to kill each other for Arcade’s enjoyment. We all know just by the cover of the book that his main influence would be Battle Royale, but even then we know that there is always more to it than just killing. These are all teenage heroes who have troubled pasts, nothing to lose, and everything to gain from their decisions.
What has been delivered so far is that it’s not just murdering of young adult heroes. There is a story and a reason for everything occurring which as we can tell will be unravel as time progresses. We see how they develop into heroes. Whether they die or not is irrelevant. It’s about making the tough choices that question who people like them are as people. Hopeless was able to put them in a situation where the main story questions everybody’s morality. A question as to what we are willing to do and what we are unwilling to do when our backs are against the wall. Then everything comes down to “Where do we cross the line?”
The one thing about this book that stands out the most is the fact that it constantly challenges where you stand with your sympathies. Nobody is completely innocent, not everyone there is pure of heart. It’s not about the style of the book, more so about the substance. That substance comes from the twists and character development. Leave aside any and all judgement about them being killed off or ignored for future use. It’s the story progression that matters most.
Again Avengers Arena is one of the most underrated of the Marvel NOW! titles. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves and surely is entitled to it, give it a read and you surely won’t regret it.
And stay tuned!