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The Fifth Color | ‘Avengers Arena,’ or how to kill kids the Marvel way!

Avengers Arena #1

It’s like a hit list! Whee, kids! Fun!

Avengers Arena is unfair. From the initial announcement of this book, it had everything going against it. We were going to lose one of the very few strong teen books to make way for an obvious cash grab for the Hunger Games scene and, by age discrimination alone, force young heroes to hunt and kill one another. Raise your hand if you were hoping to just get a new Runaways book? These are some fan-favorite characters here, seen in drips and drabs, and when they finally get some on-panel time, we find they’re nothing more than targets in an absurd trap set by villainous joke Arcade. Arcade! Their lives were in peril thanks to low-rent Elton John with a Rube Goldberg fetish!

But the worst sin of Avengers Arena is that it’s actually really good.

Yeah, I am absolutely serious. Avengers Arena has surprising potential, and it has introduced some interesting characters and developments that keep me grudgingly coming back each issue. It’s hard to admit that, considering how much I really wanted to hate this book, based on little more than its Battle Royale cover. Despite the calm, honest words of Avengers Academy writer Christos Gage when he asked readers to give the new book a chance, the whole premise turned me off. When the first issue of Avengers Arena came out and we lost our first teen hero, that death proved how right I was. Why trust a book that’s just going to kill everything you love? And why kids?

It seems unnecessarily cruel to put together an ongoing series promoted to us as sensationally as possible. Don’t get too attached to anyone! Kids will die! They might even kill each other! The shock value of teens in terror can pull the reader right out of the narrative and forces us to look at the value of the story line than just enjoying the ride. Kids have to be killed for a reason, not just as scare tactics and and cheap heat.

So why does the death of children hit us harder than your usual comic book demise? Why is the loss of a child’s life so difficult to bear in the super-heroic medium? And why in heaven’s name do I keep reading Avengers Arena?

Children and comics are practically peanut butter and jelly; kids love to read them, we love to see them fight crime. Kids are adventurous, have less responsibly to jobs and security, see the world with a wonder that can set the tone for the reader and give us someone we can all relate to. After all, while we’re not mutants or cosmically radioactive, we’ve all been or are kids at one point, right? U.S. culture has venerated youth — from TV to movies to music, teens are traditionally cutting edge. And of course, seeing someone like yourself in the pages of a comic can generate an audience and tap into a demographic. Strong female characters theoretically bring strong female readers. On a less cutthroat note, children in comics can represent potential, the future and hope.

New Mutants v. 1 #60Which is why we kill them. The more childlike they look or act, the more shocking it is when they’re murdered. These deaths affect the reader just as much as all of the points mentioned above can lure the reader in. It’s a loss of innocence and can challenge the reader’s values of life and death.

Getting back to the cutthroat points, killing a kid can spur the surrounding characters into action just as much as finding a supporting female character stuffed in a refrigerator can, no matter if the action is revenge or change or simple despair. All of this will result in a much more dramatic story if done correctly. If not, everyone will call you on it; if there’s one thing comic fans like less than change, it’s being emotionally manipulated.

There’s just a wide range of ways to get this wrong, why would writers keep coming back to the dead kid well? Back in the days of Bucky Barnes, Stan Lee originally thought teen sidekicks were reckless and irresponsible for adult heroes to have along, and I can’t say I disagree. Our heroes are here to protect us, and to let the innocent fall makes the whole thing seem a sham. On the other hand, if no child suffered then there’s inconsistency to pull us out of the story; we’re going to notice if the children in the story become Teflon. How do you manage this tightrope-like balance?

runaways v.2 #18It’s managed best with bravery. Let’s face it, rarely are our heroes actively sending children to the front lines; more often than not, it’s kids (super-powered or not) jumping into danger. In Avengers Arena #1, Mettle puts himself on the line to save Hazmat and dies quickly; on one hand, the death is used for shock value, but contextually, Mettle died to save the girl he loved, a brave act. As adults, we may have reservations on the threat of death for children, but kids won’t see it the same way. In Runaways, Gertie Yorkes technically dies twice, once as a version from the future to warn her friends about an oncoming villain, the second time as her present self while rescuing Molly from the Pride and saving Chase from a killing blow. From the time the kids ran away from their supervillanous parents, they knew they would be hunted and stopped at any costs, and yet the took the chance and their lives into their own hands. Bravery in adversity makes heroes out of all of us.

The basic premise of Avengers Arena feels cheap. Without context and depth, it’s a concept that lessens what our teen heroes have already gone through and cheapens what they’ve made of their lives and how much we’ve gone through watching them from issue to issue. But writer Dennis Hopeless seems to know that and is taking particular care to show these teen heroes as human, with small moments of emotion and frailty before letting them show their strengths. Five issues in and we’re learning more about those involved then we are in their demise. It’s not the deaths that truly matter, it’s what they do about it and how they persevere through them.

All we ask as that these deaths not be in vain, but for heroism and the triumph of good storytelling.

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Comments

52 Comments

I was a little ticked when one of my favorites from Avengers Academy bit the dust in the first issue. However, my 7th and 8th grade students love the book. I quit reading it after the third issue, and thought about not getting it anymore, but my lil’ fanboys put up a fight. It’s one of their favorites, and honestly, they have pretty good taste in books.

“Deathmatch” is doing it better. A lot better. Money better spent.

I was sad when Academy stopped and excited about Arena, and saddened all over again when Mettle died, but at least he died in a rather heroic fashion. And Deathlocket is a great character as well!

I’m still scarred by the previews of X-23 pouncing on Hazmat, and Hazmat thinking, “She’s gonna gut me.” That’s become my catch-phrase for imminent failure against stacked odds.

I need more convincing that this isn’t an evil mag. The Japanese movie Battle Royale wasn’t an enormously pleasant experience…

Rollo Tomassi

March 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

It’s the lowest selling NOW! title. Hopefully it will go away soon.

Thanks to everybody who DIDN’T buy it!

Any death dished out by Arcade is a death in vain. There is no such thing as a “heroic” death at the hands of Arcade. Being killed by Arcade is the equivalent of having the price on your head collected by Greedo. Epic lame.

Its a seriously well written book. The characters are well fleshed out and interesting. Arcade and the setting is just a vehicle for some interesting character driven stories. I hope folks are giving this an honest chance because so far, this is a book that does not deserved to be canceled because its poorly written. Kudos to the creative team!

The writing is hard hitting and sharp with good touches of characterisation. The art in the last couple of issues have been good. All would make this a great read except one problem – the premise on which this series is set. What is its USP is also its weakness. Firstly, being a fight-to-the-death book makes it difficult for readers to invest emotionally with any characters. Secondly, it all has to end at some point. Whether all the young heroes die or they survive and defeat Arcade makes no difference. Soon as we come to either eventuality, the reason for the series to go on expires. If this was a mini-series then it makes sense. But as an on-going, it’s like bring ice-cubes to the Antarctic.

Dennis Hopeless. Never has a writer’s last name been so apt because that’s what reading this series makes me feel. Hopeless had obviously had no clue what to with Darkhawk but take the amulet off of Powell and put it on pathetic character like Chase Stein. His handling of Darkhawk’s power shows a lack of understanding of the character and his abilities. It would have taken all of two seconds for Hopeless to use Wiki which would have given a better grasp on Powell than he had.

Jake Earlewine

March 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

What Allura said. For sure.

The premise is poor, so no matter how good everything else may or may not be, the premise is still poor.
How can you identify with, or invest in, any of these characters?
A contest is not a story.
And Arcade is no Red Skull or Dr. Doom, but merely a parody of a villain.

“Avengers Arena” is the only Marvel book I’m picking up right now besides “Young Avengers.” I was just as dubious as anyone else about the premise, but Hopeless has quickly won me over with the strength of his writing. He’s wisely foregone the “gratuitous violence” route and instead gone straight for the FEELS. The series thus far hasn’t been about fighting in any serious way, but instead getting the reader to care about and empathize with these tragic, doomed children. I’ve never read “Runaways” or “Avengers Academy,” but I’m now seriously considering it to learn where a few of these fascinating characters came from. Here’s to hoping Hopeless gets his full, planned 50-issue arc, even if the sales aren’t so great.

i had no hope for the eseris to begin with, but it drove me into a rapid rage i never felt before by the msicharacterization of Arcade.
When i imagined this series, i imagined Arcade sitting around in a secret on site lair, manpulating traps he had set up all over the island and attempting to feed doubt in their minds.
the arcade here looked like he ate the infinity gauntlet.
not to mention there has been five isues and all the needless deaths were either done by arcade or accidents.
and i cannot stop thinking about how IDIOTIC some of the deaths as. aside for the fatal act of just having sex in any form of media for mettle, his deat was Inanccurate and moronic. Brave as he was, he blew up as if he was made of tissues, but he is a being of livign energy resistant and durable metal, he should of blown into shards, cause you can’t burn somethign that is resistant to energy so easily.
not to mention the death of Red RAven…. oh god, its dumb. I recently read hopeless saying she died because she had holoow bones………. Obviously he never heard of bird bones before, which while hollow are not totally brittle and are meant to be ligyht, and thought that her bones were like joker from Mass Effects legs. it shows how ignorant the author of the story is about the characters he is writing about.
not to mention how many things are ripped off. Such as saying that they need someone to die every month, similar to battle royal, and they rip the insta kill explosives from the same god damn series too.

this….. just needs to die. scrap its existence and actually use these new charactes to make new stories.

AND ANOTHER HTING. if these people are tired about writing the same characters ,or need a break, why do they have to kill them? have them go through an amazing adventure that ends up exhausting them, forcing them to retire, perhaps for a time, perhaps forever, isnteado f a ridiculous death.

they are planning to kill woverine next year i hear. the problem with that, aside of the infinity gauntlet or maybe the pheonix force, maybe, nothing can kill wolverin. certainly he is not unstoppable, if still a force to reckon with, but the man regenerated after losing pretty much all of his soft tissues once. and his bones cannot be destroyed.
which made his death in the ultimates eris all the more idiotic. how could magneto blow him up? his bones are made of fucking adamantium, and even with his powers the most magneto could do is warp his skeleton temporarily.

To each their own, man. I personally feel that Arcade is working great as a scary villain you want to see punched in the face. (It probably hel

ps that I’ve never read a story with him before Arena.) I don’t think Mettle was killed off because he had sex, I think he was killed off because it was a fitting end for his character and an important catalyst for the development of several other players (particularly Hazmat).

Characters’ deaths don’t always mean writers are bored with them. In the hands of the right writer, they can be important and powerful. (SPOILERS) I mean, Glenn was my favorite character in “Walking Dead,” and I still think his greatest scene ever was his shocking and cruel death, where he got beaten to death with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire while sobbing out his wife’s name over and over. That’s the kind of emotional punch I’m hoping to eventually get from this series.

This is my favorite comic on the shelves. I loved Avengers Academy, and Runaways, and love seeing these characters put in this situation. It is actually in character for Arcade to totally rip off The Hunger Games, and do this. I can’t wait till next issue to learn about how he got this upgrade in power. I love Deathlocket and The Braddock Academy kids as well. I do not understand the hate towards this book, unless you are really scared of your fav. character dieing. Cause if you have actually been reading the book, it is an incredible story, well written, and full of great characterization. Even if the concept is unoriginal. The art is phenomenal, and Hopless’s is handling the characters with understanding and respect. I look forward to this book more than any other. Kudo’s to Marvel for being so ambitious, and Hopeless for knocking it out of the park.

huh. a well written teen book that kills off it’s characters? what could be better. how about a well written teen book that purpose isn’t to kill off it’s characters?

I find it sad that Marvel would treat its newest characters (ie created within the last 10 years) like this – yet keep their franchise characters unchanged (Spidey, X-Men etc).

These characters – Runaways, Academy, Sentinel, Cami from the Drax book – being all teens, could’ve been used to reach the teen market. All 4 books were lovingly created by their writers and artists and are beloved amongst fans – yet look how Marvel treats those characters.

What an insult.

If it was a book of all of Hopeless’ characters, that would be different. We’d be watching him kill HIS own characters.

Sure, all these characters belong to Marvel now, not Christos Gage (Academy) or BK Vaughan (Runaways) or Marjorie Liu (X-23) – but all their hard work is being crapped upon here with this book.

Only one month after Avengers Academy finished with a feeling of hope – they kill Mettle off in Arena 1.

Just like that.

No thought whatsoever – just for shock value.

For those of you who don’t understand the hate, maybe my comments here can help.

It’s good this book has low sales.

@HDO

Had your 7th and 8th graders read the different series before Arena? Because then maybe they’d understand that treating these amazing new characters in such a disrespectful way (to their readers and their creators) is why Arena sucks.

@Poneley

It’s a well-written book, I agree. But it would’ve worked better without the Academy and Runaways characters. Instead Dennis Hopeless is just crapping all over other people’s work, for laughs. Just read the letters page for how much he gives a shit. Us debating this book is probably giving him a rise.

@Chris Powell – agreed. I also think the look of Chris Powell/Darkhawk isn’t the Chris Powell I know. Doesn’t look like him. Chase Stein, by the way, is awesome; just not the way Hopeless writes him though.

I wonder how Sean McKeever feels about how his character Juston Seyfert and his Sentinel are being used. Anyone whose read the 2 miniseries will surely feel the love and passion he has for his character.

I thought Mettle’s death was well written, he went out a hero.

Red Raven… not so much. But then she’s the second Red Raven and not nearly as interesting as the original, which is saying something. I like the original Red Raven but I know I’m in the minority.

Chris Powel and Juston Seyfert are both missing, but I doubt they’re dead because they aren’t going to not show that. Juston’s Sentinel was clearly curling around him, to protect him, when they were attacked.

I’m not familiar with all the pre-existing characters, but for the ones I do know, I think they’re being portrayed rather well.

A lot of people are jumping to conclusions before reading the book. They should try giving it a read first. Sure, if you don’t like it, then fair enough but don’t make assumptions before giving it a chance.

Shout out for “Deathmatch” Awesome.

KD

They read all of Avengers Academy from the start, and they’ve read some of The Runaways.

They were likewise ticked to see Mettle go. But they understand comics, enough that they don’t think they’re really dead. The running theory right now is that some of these deaths will result in a big reveal at the end where many are still alive.

This is a slow-boil series, so we can’t expect the writer to give away too many surprises too early. There are many questions to be answered, from the infinite cosmic like powers of Arcade, to the dubious deaths and missing characters.

Already in the book we have characters voicing the theories and questions bandied about by the readers. Is it all magic? Is it all a computer simulation? Are the deaths real or fake?

Am I annoyed that some of my favourite characters are being killed off? Yes. Has it stopped me from buying the book? No. I guess because I’ve never read Battle Royale or Hunger Games (though I have seen the movie), I’m not getting the feeling of literature deja-vu. I am intrigued enough by the premise put forward by the writer Hopeless, and I am eagerley anticipating the payoff.

As for those who have dropped the series, I’m sure once the series has been collected in collective trade and all the revelations have been discussed and all surprises revealed, they will be back.

Songbird/Diamondback

March 3, 2013 at 10:08 am

I’m sorry, but killing off Mettle and doing NO reflection on that? They kill a major character of Avengers Academy just to make Hazmat become some jerk that people will cheer that she’ll get killed off?

I’m sorry, but I still just HAAAAAATE this book.
Bad enough that the wrong characters who are actively jerks are running around in other books. God!

I think the uncritical investment in childhood innocence implicit in this article is a major stumbling for many people. At its core this book is a story that has been told again and again in American writing, and I’m barely aware of what The Hunger Games is (Community kind of explained it I guess); basically, this book is good but even if it wasn’t, I’d disagree with the “moral outrage” to abstain from buying it.

And seeing these responses kind of validates the book for me.

It’s the “Anti-fanboy Book”. For that it gets props.

I HATED the concept of this book when it was first promoted. But I have to say its won me around. Yes, I’m disappointed in the death of Mettle and even Red Raven for that matter. But I was also disappointed in the deaths of the Wasp and Hawkeye, and look how that turned out.

I’m really enjoying the characterisation (and i’ve not really read any Darkhawk, so I have no idea if his appearances in Arena are out of character or not). Loving seeing characters like Cammi make a comeback, and enjoyiing new arrivals like Death Locket and Kid Briton.

Am I hoping that its all a computer generated nightmare and they’ll all be alive at the end? Yes. Is that likely to happen? Probably not, but I’m enjoying the ride for now.

the fact that so many people are divided by this series, is the reason i like it. each month, i anticipate it like someone driving by a car wreck who says “I’m not going to look” but does so at the last minute anyway. i was upset that Mettle died, right after an uplifting end to Avengers Academy (as someone said earlier), but his death hooked me from the start. however, for someone to think this going to come down to Hazmat or X-23 being the only character to survive is much ado about nothing. they’ll all be resurrected at some point or we’ll find out this is all some bs illusion or game. and i have to disagree with the reader who said we cannot get emotionally invested in a character who is (more likely than not) going to get killed off. i attempt to put myself in the characters’ shoes (watching loved ones die, starving, freezing, wondering if anybody “on the outside” is coming to save them – and most importantly – wondering when it is there turn to die) and i feel deeply, deeply connected to them. the fact that there is so much hate toward it and that it challenges readers to step outside their comfort zones, is why it works – for me. i can’t speak for anyone else, though.

I disliked AA from the moment that the book was announced because it sounded cheap and derivative. I never got into Avengers Academy or Runaways, but it seemed liked a waste of characters. Hopeless and many of the supporters here like to seem edgy without actually being edgy. Picking off 3rd and 4th rate teen heroes and antagonizing their small, vocal, messageboard fanbase is not being edgy, it is being Marvel or DC.

I don’t mind character death, I have been reading Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones since the 90s, and the deaths there have never bothered me. But its hard to find enjoyment when the characters are essentially hunting game in the story. It’s tawdry and I think even 1980s Alan Moore would have trouble getting it to sell, the quality does not matter.

And all those people talking about being edgy and the book being anti-fanboy, why don’t you do something really anti-fanboy and support creator owned works. Crazy I know. This is a Marvel superhero book, don’t try to pretend that it is anything other than that.

Chaos McKenzie

March 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

It’s too bad the controversy is overshadowing what is an excellently written character piece. I think readers need to relax, anyone with a passing knowledge of Arcade knows this is going to turn out to be a virtual reality scenerio.

We’ll get to know the cast, extremely well, killing members off until it starts to wear thin, then one of the players will start to realize the illusion and the story will advance with them getting free. I doubt any of the characters killed in the arena will end up being actually dead.

If you can get over that, and just enjoy the story, it has been freaking brilliant. The new characters and the teen angst is some of the best around!

So just keep reminding yourself, it’s ARCADE, it’s a game, it’s a trap, the story happens around the confines of that. Deep breaths and enjoy…

AVENGERS ARENA. i hated this book when it was announced but I still tried it out, IT’S GOOD. give the book a shot guys, it’s one of my faves at the moment.

None of these characters are killed off.

They’re all in a virtual reality world.

All that’ll happen is some previously ‘heroic’ teens will have to think twice about themselves after they kill off one another for survival.

All some big mind*&^%

They have HP bars, for &^%s sake.

Just enjoy it for what it is.

I third the motion to give Deathmatch favour over Avengers Academy.

While reading it, I don’t feel that I’m reading a Battle Royale homage/ripoff, nor do I feel dirty as AA makes me feel. Everything about Avengers Academy reads like it was brainstormed by The House of Idea’s marketing department; why else is the word “Avengers” even in the title? Did we really need another Avengers book, especially one where a third rate villain is killing children?

Deathmatch is selling out for a reason, whereas Avengers Academy is gathering more and more dust at the local shop.

On a related note, I miss the days of a single Avengers title. Although I enjoy Uncanny, New, and the adjectiveless Avengers book, nothing Marvel is putting out today matches Kurt Busiek’s turn writing the comic. His talent shines when you consider the amazing stories he was able to tell without readers needing to buy two or three books, two or three times a month, to get the full picture. Oh, and George Perez art! Drool.

Baron Von Munchausen

March 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

First off, thank you Carla Hoffman, for this article. It’s about time someone approached this in a way that is not just mindless promotional pablum.

Avengers Academy, and Avengers Initiative before it, were the breaths of fresh air in the Avengers universe. They were violent, and yes there were deaths, but there was also idealism and hope. I was extremely disheartened to find out Academy was being replaced with this teen thrill-kill comic book. I’ve given it a chance and disagree that it’s good. The characters are good (they were already good), and the way they are interacting is somewhat interesting, but the premise and plot direction are as base and cynical as they could be.

Mettle had a great story arc in Academy. To have him killed for the sake of being killed was just horrid. Hopeless claims to have researched all these characters, but that is not evident in the writing. What difference does his research make? It’s a thrill-kill comic.

In the latest version of The Avengers, around 2 million people are killed – entire cities laid waste – within 3 issues or so. This, in the wake of “Fear Itself”, in which thousands of people were (sometimes graphically) slaughtered. And those are just two of the many apocalyptic “events” Marvel has pushed on us for the last decade.

What the hell is becoming of the Marvel universe? Seriously, this is what the youth-driven Avengers Initiative & Avengers Academy series have lead up to? I hate to draw the obvious correlation to 9/11, but it’s pretty damn obvious that after 9/11 Marvel has gone for bigger and bigger death tolls in all of its larger storylines. How many times must thousands die, how many times must D.C. lie in ruins, Manhattan reduced to a crater, Beijing destroyed, Dubai shattered, Perth erased off the map, before we just admit that these stories are no longer about heroes? Now the teenage characters star in a series where they are forced to kill each other, or be killed, their bloody ribs flying into the face of their beloved, their dead eyes staring into space from their broken-necked corpse? Surely in the Marvel universe, 9/11 must now exist as a footnote, a tiny opening salvo in this escalation of mass death and destruction.

Get a grip, Marvel! Your characters are considered heroes because they used to prevent these atrocities, not simply react and join in!

Can they bring in this new Nova in and kill him off so we can get Rich Rider back in the main title then?

I was actually interested in the premise, but the writing has been mediocre. The plot drags on and on and all the “great” characterization everyone is going on about, is buried under uninspired dialogue and mountains of exposition.

As a long-time fan of Battle Royale, I find this book nothing but a poor man’s version of that. It was obvious from the first issue this is just a VR game of Arcade’s. I still cringe when i think about the first issue where Arcade mentioned that the reason none of the JG mutie kids were there was because security was too tough (this was the same month the school was invaded by the evil circus freaks I believe). Ha.

I will concur with the people above that Deathmatch is doing it much, much better…

I’ve got to say, AA has become one of my favourite series of all time. Excellently written, in spite of a dubious premise.

I actually think the low sales but strong reception that’s come out of this book is the BEST we could have hoped for. We do not need this book, we do not need a book like this. But Hopeless makes it pretty good. Hopefully, once it’s cancelled, he makes something properly thought through pretty good as well.

man something having potential isn’t actually a sign of it being good

I’m not reading this. I outright refuse. I don’t care how good the storytelling may or may not be. To me, finding something like Avengers Arena entertaining is like taking popcorn to a school shooting. And yes, it is the same thing. It doesn’t matter who pulls the trigger, the instigator is murdering children for one reason and one reason only: the notoriety.

I just can’t get behind the whole premise, not when you consider that death in comics is meaningless. Who cares if they die when resurrection is the most common superpower in comics?

I was interested in the premise. My worst expectations were fulfilled. Then another real life situation in which a real life mentally disturbed person killed children. Too many similarities. I thought the series would be canned immediately by Marvel. I found myself completely uninterested and unable to read more serialized stories about children essentially being murdered (or forced to murder) by an insane person. There is no healthy entertainment value to be found here while the real thing repeats itself in the actual world. It’s a shame that this is the sort of story being published using the Marvel world with Marvel world children in it. Is this supposed to make the reader sad? Or enjoy sadistic murderousness?

I have to agree that killing off other creator’s characters just to cash in on The Hunger Games is a rather pathetic marketing ploy. “Well written” isn’t good enough- it’s simply a bad idea all around.

Whoever said ‘Battle Royal wasn’t a pleasant experience” is absolutely right, but that is one hell of a movie and this book is steeped in that film. So is Hunger Games for that matter.

But here’s the thing, this talk about how such and such doesn’t know or respect the character is a little naive. This is his JOB!
He has bosses and editors and co-workers who are also writers. The guys is trying to tell the best story he can and the company that pays him is supporting that effort.
These characters, all of them, are fodder for stories. Their lives, deaths, sanity, dietary preferences are all just tools that people use to shape and form the stories we read.

I will say that this is a rough book though.
There are like 8 people who love Runaways and Darkhawk 1 fan has posted in this comment section, so really yes in a way you are being punished for following the characters you like.
The good news though is that Gwen Stacey and Uncle Ben aren’t in this book so everyone will be back soon enough if the right ideas come up.
And who knows, maybe this is all in Arcade’s head because SLEEPWALKER GOT TO HIM!!!!

No one is dead. It is a hoax to generate fanboy rampage. You guys are being played.

Arcade even said so himself. Stop and think about how he is able to control this environment so completely and how he got all those powers all of a sudden. It’s called Murder WORLD. The characters either are all in a computer generated digital dream world, like the Matrix or in a sim like Dr. Doom’s Littletown. Arcade has given his in-game avatar all those powers, that’s where they came from. Mettle and the others are all still alive, just taken out of the game. Any way you look at it, it is not real. And everyone will be back once the story plays out.

The fact that it is well written is more than enough.

I would much rather read a well written comic where bad things actually happen as opposed to a poorly written comic…period.

This article lost me when it said it was “quite good”.

It isn’t.

And I am NOT one of the people who condemned it without reading it. I actually thought it had a lot of promise.

The problem is… it is boring. We lost Academy for this?

I bought it up to the latest issue, but I have now dropped it.

I’ve been kind of disappointed with Marvel Now, but Avengers Arena has been one of my “must reads”. And I can’t explain why! First, I wouldn’t have cared less about ANY of these characters with the exception of Nico, Chase, and X-23. But since reading it, I’ve really come to like (or in some cases like to hate) some of these characters! When Mettle sacrificed his own like to protect Hazmat, I instantly grew to love them both. Red Raven died before there was any character development. I’m really loving Apex! She’s complex, evil, manipulative, I love her. And I hate her. Death Locket is great. Kid Britton and Nara are just vile. I like that, though! It makes it more interesting when I’m rooting for some of them to lose. Not Apex, though, I want her to survive, though I can’t imagine where she’d pop up again after this. I would have liked to have seen some of the Avengers Initiative kids in this, Cloud 9, MVP, Butterball, Hardball and Komodo? Oh, that would have been sweet. Maybe some of the new New Warriors who Marvel let drift into limbo, too. Tempest, Blackwing. But, alas, we aren’t so lucky.

An absolutely great, must-read book proving that all the naysayers were wrong. And Deathmatch is as good too, further proof that the concept is a good one.

This comics is the last straw that drove me away from Marvel. I don’t even care if it’s well written or not, it just says clear and loud and with a lot of cyniscism what was just suggested until now: the characters from those past 20 years are just fodder and redshirts, especially the young ones.
How am I supposed to care about Miss America Chavez, Shark Girl or Genesis knowing that in a few years, they’ll be dead or in limbo, with (unlike Sabretooth or Wasp) very little chance to come back?

How the hell did I get Walking Dead spoiled in an Avengers Arena post.

Anachronism, if you want to post spoilers, put the title of the thing you are spoiling BEFORE your (Spoilers) tag.

I think the story is great. I don’t know much about the characters so I haven’t got much to go on but I think a little blood letting would do the MU good. I think of this as their rite of passage. Maybe AA will evolve these characters from youngbloods to full fledged bad asses. I think Hopeless has the potential to kick start some serious stories if he plays it right. If Hazmat makes it I’m sure she’d become a cool anti hero.

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