'Avengers Arena' pits X-23, Avengers Academy, Runaways in fight to the death

By Steve Morris

The ‘survive’ teaser has been unveiled today at Marvel.com, revealing Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker as the creative team for a book called Avengers Arena. The series will see sixteen teenage Marvel characters sent to Murderworld (Arcade’s home) and pitted against each other to the death. 16 characters enter; apparently only one leaves alive. And yes – these are going to be real deaths.

We’ve got Darkhawk; x-23; Mettle, Juston, Reptil and Hazmat from Avengers Academy; Nico and Chase from Runaways; Cammy from Annihilation; along with seven new characters. Presumably one of them will have a bow and arrow, there’ll be some killer hornets somewhere, and towards the end some mutant dogs will evaporate out of the ground to savage somebody.

As suggested, Arcade will be the villain sending these 16 characters to the Murderworld Island, and will apparently be upgraded in villainy. Formerly the madcap deathtrap inventor who never ever had success, editor Bill Rosemann says that Arcade will now have become “a sick freak”. The deaths are going to be lasting, and nobody is safe. Issue #1 is out in December.

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Comments

  1. It’s the Merry Marvel version of Battle Royale! (right down to the school outfits)

  2. Yeah, nice homage!

  3. What’s a “real” death to comics?

  4. Ugh, how incredibly tasteless. Why is it always the teen characters shoved into the meat grinder?

  5. John.smith says:

    ‘ And yes – these are going to be real deaths.’

    er first these are comic characters so cannot be ‘a rel death’ and secoundly this is Marvel so they’ll all be ‘alive(sic)’ in a couple of months!

  6. Sphinx Magoo says:

    I agree with Aaron. Ugh!

  7. Lisa M. says:

    I like a lot of the characters named in the article. So, the fewer characters I like in the MU, the fewer Marvel books I need to buy…

  8. Brain says:

    Teen Titans already did this several years back. I didn’t buy that and I haven’t bought a Marvel comic in some time.

  9. I can’t even believe this is serious. How stupid!

  10. Adult murder, now that’s more tasteful!

  11. Jason says:

    It saddens me that Darkhawk is in the mix. D&A set the character up to be more than cannon fodder if not a major player on the cosmic front.

  12. Apollo9000 says:

    If the set up a twitter account for fans to vote who should get murked, it can also bite from the Batman Death In The Family storyline.

    Don’t know what to do with your younger characters? Pit’em in death matches and let the chips ( and bodies) fall where they may.

    Perhaps, in death, they’ll be more important.

  13. i was hoping for stories with the avengers academy characters that showed them joining other teams, getting involved with other heroes, basically becoming more involved with the rest of the marvel universe, guess that ain’t gonna happen. the premise of this story just seems wasteful and silly. i’d rather these sixteen characters die saving the planet than die in such a pointless and senseless manner. total crap. thanks for letting me rant.

  14. Nick Jones says:

    Here are the three top reasons I hate this.

    * The premise is purely aiming for shock value, with the series’ sole selling point apparently being fifteen kids dying in grotesque fashion.
    * It wastes the potential of all of the characters involved, most of whom are from series with loyal (if small) followings. If you wanted to see another Runaways book or the Avengers Academy kids make the main team, you’re apparently just supposed to sit back and enjoy those kids you like meeting their pointless, gratuitous deaths instead.
    * It’s a blatantly obvious rip-off of Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, demonstrating the complete lack of creativity and originality at the alleged “House of Ideas.”

    Who’s the target audience for this, anyhow? It’s obviously not the people who like these characters.

  15. Suzene says:

    Oh, for the love of–! Paging Mr. Bissette!

    But I would so like to thank Marvel for taking one of their few books I was sincerely enjoying and turning it into a cynical exercise in maiming. God only knows what kind of audience they’re hoping to attract with this premise, but I’m not it. The money I was spending on Avengers Academy will be going toward trying out various Image titles. So glad to see the Big Two doing their part to support creator-owned work.

  16. If only one of these 16 will “live”, is there really any doubt it will be X-23?

  17. filippod says:

    When I read the interview yesterday I felt disgusted and outraged.

    Because of the premise, because of how it is presented in the interview, because of the whole subtext the cover adds.

    I thought to myself that it’s only comics, that the cover is maybe just a tribute to Battle Royale, that the execution of the book will maybe actually be meaningful.

    I slept over it. Today I read the interview again and it was disgust and outrage all over again.

    Really, this never happened to me before in many (many!) years of reading comics. Weird.

  18. Richard H says:

    Awful, sick way to use their teen characters – all fairly recent new characters too, none of whom deserve this.

    I mean, what happened to creating hopeful storylines for teens to identify with. God knows, we need hopeful optimistic empowering storylines these days. Like the original Runaways series – that was hopeful, fun and serious done right. (Bring back Mackenzie Cadenhead)

    Awful how they’re wrecking the Runaways characters. Those characters don’t deserve this. If Marvel can’t do hopeful teen books right, why not give them to Disney?

    This book – I’m getting a creeped-out feeling – it’s like dirty old men wanting to get their kicks off by murdering kids for fun. And getting other dirty old men readers to come watch.

  19. Richard H says:

    Oh – and did Dennis Hopeless even read the Drax storyline, where Cammi was introduced? That was a touching book, delicate, really moving.

    Yet the way Hopeless raves about getting his hands on her and these characters (in a CBR interview) – it’s like he couldn’t give a shit for any of that. He just can’t wait to kill. Is this what passes for storytellers these days at Marvel??

  20. Wow, that’s a lot of dead children.

  21. Lorrie says:

    Snuff comics starring teens. What a shame superhero comics have come to this. And to those who say that death isn’t permanent in comics, for characters like these, it tends to stick. Regardless, it’s a horrible concept that doesn’t even have the social commentary of a Battle Royale or Hunger Games. It’s sole purpose is to kill those young characters for the reader’s amusement. Sick.

  22. And where’s Power Pack? How about some good old-fashioned sibling rivalry?

  23. Very sad to see this come out of Bill Rosemann’s office. The editor who turned out quality books like Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther Man without Fear (with David Liss). His self-written Deadline mini was also brilliant.

    Sure, all those ongoing books got cancelled – but they were also mostly standalone quality works, unhindered by the usual Marvel mega crossovers. They also catered to specific audiences who don’t necessarily do superhero.

    I guess Marvel hasn’t got time for specific audiences and quality these days. It’s all about the quick $$$. I guess books where characters are killed get the easy greenlight. Books that probably don’t take a lot of brainpower to create.

    Sad to see Rosemann go with the company flow.

  24. Jackie says:

    This makes me sick

  25. Jason says:

    For all the folks that think X-23 will be the last one standing I would bet anything she will be one of the first taken out. Although seemingly the best equipped to survive a scenario laid out like this. If the writers actually follows what the character has gone through lately, she would probably rather die or kill herself than kill another child.

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