So I said I would do a bit of a round-up of comics that I’ve been reading. We’re coming up on the first year of the Marvel Now launch, and I’m a mostly Marvel kind of guy. I’d say it’s been pretty successful, overall. Some nice surprises, and a few mild disappointments.
The first cab off the rank is one of those nice surprises, Dennis Hopeless’ and Kev Walkers Avengers Arena. (I’m going through alphabetically, y’see). I was sceptical when I heard the pitch, basically a Hunger Games/Battle Royall with a bunch of teenage superheros. I picked it up because I’d read a lot of X-23 and all of Runaways and Avengers Academy, where a lot of these kids were from. I’m attached. I want to see what happens to Juston and his sentinel, to Nico and Chase, to everyone. I was kind of expecting a bit of a bloodfest, but what I got was a thoughtful portrait of people pushed to their edge. Alliances shift and change, but for the most part, they aren’t straight up butchering one another. It’s nice.
The book isn’t shy about wearing it’s influences on it’s sleeve. Hell, Arcade (who is actually killing people for once) even references them almost directly in issue 1.
The art is good, too. Kev Walker can draw teenagers that actually look like teenagers, not just shorter adults (which is one of my only complaints about Wolverine and the X-Men, more on that later.)
So, will I be sticking with this? Hell yeah! It’s been really good so far, and I can see it having a proper end point, which is a rare thing in a big two superhero book. Check it out!