Review: Avenger’s Arena


Little late, but that happens with me during finals.  Anyways, out of the new Marvel Now initiative, this comic is probably the one I was most looking forward too.  After all Avenger’s Academy was one of two for my favorite Marvel titles, and while that is gone this appeared to be the closest thing to it’s follow up.


Now we seem to have a new writer for this (Dennis Hopeless),but a good deal of the character remain the same from Avenger’s Academy.  In fact, we actually start out the issue at the academy, before soon being transported to what seems more or less a version of War World.  Besides some Academy members there are also new faces.  Some I recognize, others that I don’t.  There’s also a few neat little quips by the villain (who calls himself more like a god).  Like he got the idea from a children’s book while in prison (most likely a homage to Hunger Games), and another that no students from Logan’s school is there because of “having a better security system”.

Its an interesting concept.  Granted, one that’s been done before.  Not just in Marvel (like Mojo’s beloved TV show) but in other places as well (Hunger Games, Battle Royal, etc).  Still, its nice seeing them make note in the comic itself that the idea isn’t suppose to be something new.  More so the comic ends with a somewhat shocking move.  One you’ll probably see coming, but to be safe I won’t give it away.

So its not a new concept, but Hopeless so far handles it well.  With the name of the comic being Avenger’s Arena though, I wonder what will happen when this story finishes up.  The title after all gives the idea of arena style fights like how this is starting off, but I just don’t see this going on forever.  Either way, I’ll be keeping my eye on this comic for a while.


About xxadverbxx

I'm a fan of comics. I use to love DC, but events pretty much starting with the New 52 had pushed me off of them for years. Lately though titles like Gotham Academy and We Are Robin have brought me back to them. I'm much more still a Marvel fan though at this moment who I moved to since New 52 slowly kept pushing me away from DC. Often a fan of X-Men titles while I've really been loving Spider-Gwen series. Film wise I'm upset at DC though I really really want them to do good. At least their TV series are mostly enjoyable (though Arrow has dipped in quality), while I'm a huge fan of the Marvel films. Also, I still really hate Dan Didio and still view him as at least most of what has been going wrong with DC comic wise lately.

3 thoughts on “Review: Avenger’s Arena

  1. “Avengers Academy was one of two for my favorite Marvel titles”: Mine too.
    In the 90s some teen dramas like Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson’s Creek had an enormous (and deeply deserved) success: this led to the creation of comics about young superheroes who were facing not only this villain or that, but also their youth problems. The best one definitely was Generation X, in my opinion: that marvellous comic book closed in 2001, and since then every similar title didn’t last more than a few years. Avengers Academy was no exception. Unfortunately, it seems that teen-drama-like comics are not a big thing anymore.
    I really liked Avengers Academy # 39. Not only because it was the last issue of a great series, but also because of the incredibly old school artistic style. The colouring didn’t have the sparkling touch 10s comics usually are made with, and even the penciller drew the issue in a very classic way. It totally looked like an 80s comic book. I hate digital colouring, so it really pleased my eye.
    The main reason why this series closed, as I just wrote, is that teen-drama-like comics are not a big thing anymore, but maybe this old fashioned look was another reason. Most people grew up reading comics drawn in a modern style and having the sparkling colouring I hate so much, so, if you put an old fashioned issue like Avengers Academy # 39 in their hands, they will tell you “This is a museum piece, put it back on the shelf and let’s get something coming from the 21st century.”
    In Italy, when someone does something that worked in the past, but cannot work nowadays, we tell him/her “You must resign yourself to history.” This would be a perfect occasion to say that, because Avengers Academy was drawn and coloured in a way that was normal in the 80s, but out-of-date for the 10s, and it belonged to a genre, the teen-drama-like comic book, that was a hit in the 90s, but it’s going to be a sure failure in the 10s.
    Anyway, I’m a big fan of old fashioned colouring and teen-drama-like comic books, so I really liked Avengers Academy, and I hope Marvel will always be giving us something like that.
    After the closures of Avengers Academy and the Punisher, the amount of Marvel titles I’m invested in drasticly decreased.

    The Marvel titles I’m invested in are:
    Young Avengers

    The DC titles I’m invested in are:
    Animal Man
    Batman: The Dark Knight
    Detective Comics
    Earth 2
    Green Arrow
    Swamp Thing
    Team 7

    As you can see, DC titles are the double Marvel ones. Of course those titles are not all on the same level: for example, I probably will never stop reading Daredevil, while Earth 2, Katana and the Marvel NOW! titles got a spot only because I like their concepts, but I didn’t read any of them yet, so I may cut them in a matter of months. Anyway, the difference is impressive. And I considered only the New 52 titles: the difference would have been bigger, if I had thrown in Minutemen, Arkham Unhinged and so on.

  2. I think you’re putting too much towards the style of art. Scott over at Comical Musings if I recall right has stated while he’s use to and prefers newer style comics and how they look, its more so the story and not the art. I’ve heard other similar comments. Look at Animal Man as well, while not a high seller, it was constantly getting great reviews and the art isn’t the high digital style. Sometimes art styles can really fit a comic too. Men of War was generally a more earthy tones that worked really well for the type of comic. Winter Soldier has a more older style as well, that works really well for both the character and more so the style of comic it is meant to come off as. Personally, I highly disliked the art of Winter Soldier at the start, but its grown on me after a while. Another good example of non-flashy art doing really well would be Hawkeye, and also Animal Man. While I admit that art has a degree towards which it may make a comic look good (or bad), I don’t think for most its going to make that huge of a difference. Not unless its horribly bad.

    You may be right though that while it gets readers, teen drama things may not be as high up, but I’m not sure. We don’t see a rampant run of real life teen dramas like 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Saved by the Bell, and my personal favorite Boy Meets World. At the same time though, different teen dramas have jumped in. Teen Dramas just putting a supernatural or unreal twist in. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and, as much as I hate to type it out, Twilight among others are all rather teen drama pieces. They just have things like magic, post-apocalyptic world, crappiest vampires/story ever, etc. added along to it. With those being such a hit, super powered teenagers should do quite well.

    I think the bigger issue here really relies on a couple things. First, comic industries, like at least most of America, is hurting a bit right now. They need to watch what they make. More so, consumers hurt a bit for pocket, so need to sometimes keep things tighter than usual in terms of what comics they read, or start to read, and often in those situations they stick with what is familiar/the big names.

    In another view too, Avenger’s Academy may be dead in title, but the heart of it may keep going. Avenger’s Arena as I wrote starts off at the Academy. More so, it seems to be picking up right at where Avengers Academy left off. Some of the roster is the same from A. Academy to A. Arena, and once the current arc ends we may see a more similar A. Academy style and possibly more familiar faces. At the same time, Young Avengers I believe is soon to be out in January, and may pick up some members from Academy while again being in a similar story type.

    • You said a lot of right things, both about how the art can influence the sales of a comic book series and about the new direction teen dramas have taken. All things I didn’t think about before.
      From the previews I saw, it seems that Young Avengers will be the real heir of Avengers Academy. Of course I can’t wait to read it, and I hope it will get enough readers to last. Thank you for your reply! : )

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