People have said that comic book writers have been running out of ideas for years now. Personally, I choose not to agree with this, seeing how many amazing stories continue to pour out of Marvel and DC week after week. But sometimes, when something is popular enough, others will eventually imitate. Hence, the stigma that comic books only copy other forms of literature.
One such example of literary imitation is today’s topic, AVENGERS ARENA.
Now, what happens when you take 16 youths, throw in various psychological issues, lock them all in a cage, and tell them to fight to the Death? You get Battle Royale…Er…I mean Hunger Games…No, Avengers Arena!
That’s right; Marvel has taken another cue from recent pop culture, creating their own version of the Hunger Games, using several of the most popular super powered teens in the Marvel universe. These characters range from students of the Avengers Academy, students of the Braddock Academy, the fan favorite RUNAWAYS, and even X-23 of the X-Men.
But how did this all happen? How and why are they forced into this fight? Who brought them together for this? The answer?
None other than Arcade, the Master of Murderworld and villain to the Avengers and X-Men alike. After his many failures to kill the heroes of the world with his various incarnations Murderworld, Arcade grew weary, tired, and unhinged. He wanted to win, he wanted to pull one over on the heroes. So he devised one last Murderworld for his last hoo-rah. During his time in prison, he gained inspiration from an “unnamed” book, which gave him the idea to put angst-ridden teenagers against each other in this battle.
Now, thirteen suspenseful issues later, there is one question has plaguing the minds of this title’s readers and the fans of these characters: where are the adult heroes to save them? Don’t they care about these kids or wonder where they have been?
The truth is, they think the kids are all doing fine. It has been revealed that Arcade has hacked the various teenagers’ social networking accounts and cell phones and has periodically been sending posts and updates to the Avengers and X-Men, stating that each of the missing kids are doing fine. He has even dispatched several LMD’s (life model decoys) to take over for the lives of the more average heroes.
Throughout the issue, Hank Pym goes about piecing together information to try and find a connection between the various missing children, only to come up with dead ends and dry leads. After meeting with an LMD of one of his Avenger students (Mettle), Hank can’t help but put the search down and assume only the best, hoping all of the students may one day return to their respective schools.
This issue solved many problems regarding this title. Many fans have been speculating the nature of the Arena, as well as the way such events have gone unnoticed this long. It is a simple issue, dedicated to putting the fans worries at ease. Every possible plot hole regarding the children’s disappearance has been filled so far.
And the biggest hole was even addressed by the writers: how will Arcade get away with this? That’s just it: he won’t! One day he’ll have to reveal what happened, and he will either be killed or imprisoned by the main Marvel heroes. Or perhaps he may die before then? We will only know so long as we keep reading my friends. And trust me, this is a title that is worth it to continue reading.
-The explanations of plot holes given to us were methodical and well thought out.
-The writers didn’t cop out with their explanation.
-Artwork is par of the course for this title, meaning it is of a spectacular quality.
-Took too long to have these issues resolved.
-The fact that we needed an entire issue dedicated to this as opposed to having it explained throughout past issues.