Avengers Arena #1
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Avengers Arena #1

Writer: Dennis Hopeless Artist: Kev Walker Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: December 12, 2012 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 27 User Reviews: 5
6.7Critic Rating
7.4User Rating

Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including cult faves like members of the Runaways, The Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive? The rising star team of Dennis Hopeless (X-MEN: SEASON ONE) and Kev Walker (THUNDERBOLTS) dare you to tune in to your new favorite comic NOW!

  • 9.0
    Comics Are Not Dead - Comics Are Not Dead Dec 14, 2012

    Avengers Arena #1 is an awesome book that successfully sells the HOPELESSness of the character's situation, and with great art like this, it's a definite buy. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Marvel Disassembled - Mike Dec 13, 2012

    This is truly a love it or hate it type series.But I really dug the book, despite everything that's supposedly “wrong” about it. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Dec 11, 2012

    While this book wears its influences unapologetically on its sleeve " and yes, the fact that these overpowered teenagers have accepted the new status quo so quickly is a little much to swallow, even with Arcade's new-and-improved powerset " there's still something guiltily, trashily fun about Avengers Arena. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Eric Halloran Dec 18, 2012

    [1] http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40986, Steve Sunu, Hopeless and Walker Populate "Avengers Arena" For Marvel NOW! Thu, September 13th, 2012 at 9:21am PDT Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Fanboy Buzz - ChrisDeneen Dec 31, 2012

    The first issue has hooked me but only time will tell if the series ends up being anything special. I cant help but find myself wondering if we might be getting a new group book after the dust is settled. One perhaps forged from the survivors of Arena. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Barron Network - R.Barron Dec 12, 2012

    The flash forward kind of gives away who is going to survive the next 30 days which is a buzz kill for me. Another thought I had is who is honestly going to be X-23?? This looks like its going to be a fun book so not too much to rant about. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Super Hero Hype - Spencer Perry Dec 12, 2012

    The first issue of Avengers Arena is solid. If you think that you won't be able to read it due to your sworn allegiance to The Hunger Games or Battle Royale you should take a deep breath, put that aside, and pick it up anyway, it's a great read. Hopeless juggles a wide cast of characters with ease and Walker's art has us eager for the rest of the series because he draws the brutality beautifully. Marvel has a golden opportunity here to tell a great story and show that they're capable of killing of characters and not bringing them back magically. Let's pray they don't mess that up.  Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    iFanboy - Ron Richards Nov 26, 2012

    The best way to counter and combat any of the rabid fan bases preconceived notions is to deliver a quality book that surprises and that's exactly what Hopeless and Walker have done. This could be the fresh, exciting bit of “new” that we've been hoping for with Marvel NOW!. Avengers Arena #1 is anything but predictable, filled with high stakes consequences and it's clearly going to be a ton of fun. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Major Spoilers - Zach Woolf Dec 16, 2012

    I'll admit that when Avengers Arena was announced I moaned a little bit and all the way up to the reading of this first issue was skeptical about this series. Well count me as converted because I'm here to stay. The paring of Hopeless and Walker has already delivered an issue that is able to able to able emotionally and physically while covering all the needed bases for a first issue. Marvel NOW continues to pump out engaging books and you can now put Avengers Arena on that list. Go pick up Avengers Arena #1 even if you have your doubts, it won't disappoint. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ScienceFiction.com - Ben Silverio Dec 17, 2012

    Though the book has the internet up in arms because of the premise and the so-called "spring cleaning" of characters, I find it intriguing and can't wait for the next issue. Fans of 'The Hunger Games', 'Lord of the Flies', 'Battle Royale', and the like should really think about giving 'Avengers Arena' a chance. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Minhquan Nguyen Dec 12, 2012

    I have my doubts as to whether Hopeless can deliver a story strong enough to overcome the inherent distastefulness of his premise, and while this issue doesn't settle the matter either way, it does have signs of being more than just shocking. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Read Comic Books - Roderick Ruth Dec 12, 2012

    Frankly, this series has polarized many readers who are fans of this title because they do not want to see their favorite characters dying. They love the characters, but don't want to see them die. Let me break it to you guys; these characters have had cancelled runs and simply put, have a difficult time co-existing anywhere else in the Marvel Universe. Though it breaks my heart to say it, each one of these characters are completely disposable and we should all be thankful that Hopeless, Walker, and Martin are giving us another shot at enjoying them. While some characters may stay dead (please keep Darkhawk and Nico alive!), who knows what their future will hold "it is comic books after all". Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Crave Online - Andy Hunsaker Dec 12, 2012

    For those of us who split the difference, it's going to be one hell of a headache. Read Full Review

  • 7.3
    IGN - Joshua Yehl Dec 11, 2012

    But -- and this is a Nicki Minaj-sized but -- the idea of children killing each other in stories like The Hunger Games and Battle Royale was for political and social satire in order to make us look at the world differently, and it is that notion that will make or break this series. As it stands, Arcade has created this deathmatch simply because he likes to watch people die. Does Hopeless have some bigger ideas behind Avengers Arena? Or is he just going to make us watch our favorite teen heroes kill each other to cash in on the popularity of other franchises? It's hard to say now, but in the meantime, Arcade makes a statement that Avengers Arena is a deadly place to be, and by the last page you will be convinced that this series has taken the kid gloves off. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Forces Of Geek - Atlee Greene Dec 17, 2012

    You don't know if this is meant to be a long term series with the 30 day timeline or a cheap way to get rid of some characters that will probably come back anyways. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Book Therapy - MrComicBook Dec 13, 2012

    Avengers Arena has a lot of potential for a series. If you liked Avengers Academy, give this book a shot. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Modern Age Comics - Alexander Moser Dec 13, 2012

    Avengers Arenais more like a sequel toAvengers Academy, but any new reader can get interested. I wish we got more of an introduction to the other characters in the book, but fans ofAcademywill definitely enjoy it. If you can look past the glaring problem that it might all be a dream,Arenais an enjoyable read, especially thanks to the art. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Dec 10, 2012

    Let's get ready to...watch young characters die. This is not going to be a heartfelt book. If you're a fan of the character brought in here, you'll be happy to see them in a comic but you're bound to get irate if they are here simply to be killed off. The idea of sixteen characters being gathered by Arcade and forced to fight or kill each other seems unlikely. But there will be death here. It will be gruesome. This isn't the typical Avengers book you're used to. We have to believe that there will be more to this comic than just watching kids get killed. The hook is not knowing what's going to happen. This book has a lot of unknowns to it. Dennis Hopeless is going to have to tread carefully as readers are bound to make angry comments when they see characters they love get killed. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Unleash The Fanboy - Marcell Dec 15, 2012

    So does Avengers Arena deserve the hate that has followed it? No, it is a pretty decent issue with a nice set-up, high stakes, and a sense of fear and anxiousness about what will happen to these characters. Is the premise a good one? Oh hell no, but Hopeless does a decent job with the material and Kev Walker's pencils are pretty good to look at. The story isn't good, but it's not bad either. The book seems like it could get better from here (despite the wrongful/meaningless deaths) & against my better judgement, I would recommend it. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    X-Man's Comic Blog - x-man75 Dec 13, 2012

    I'll keep reading this series, mainly out of loyalty to some of the characters. But as the deaths mount, my interest will wane and I can easily see this as a book that gets dropped down the road(if it lasts that long). Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    CHUD - Jeb Delia Dec 14, 2012

    Whatever virtues stuff like Battle Royale and Hunger Games may possess, Hopeless and Walker seem content just to let you know they've read them (or are at the very least aware of them), rather than growing or expanding upon the “inspiration.” It's not impossible that there's a grand plan underlying this comic that will reveal itself in future issues, but I'll take the risk of missing out on it. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Dec 15, 2012

    Despite the problems with the plot, it's clear Marvel made the right choice when it tapped artist Kev Walker for this project. His style, tinged with rougher edges and sharp angles, suits the harsher tone of the storytelling here. The 16 young heroes all look young, and his portrayal of the more extreme powers at play here is effective. He offers some gruesome visuals - such as the effect of Hazmat's powers on X-23 and the fate of one of the young heroes at the end of the issue - but such gore is clearly to be expected and is part of the pitch for this series. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Comic Book Resources - Greg McElhatton Dec 12, 2012

    "Avengers Arena" #1 right now feels decidedly average. For a book that promised a lot of controversy and shock, so far it hasn't delivered on either. Over time this could still easily shift in either direction, but for now it fails to stand out among the pack of other Marvel NOW! titles. Read Full Review

  • 4.2
    Multiversity Comics - Vince Ostrowski Dec 14, 2012

    If you're going to write a book that is very clearly asking the audience to just accept a wild premise without explaining it, then just dive right in. Issue #1 isn't a book that seems to want its readers to come back for more, because it takes too long to get to the point, without saying much of anything. Dennis Hopeless is a talented writer and is ready for the big leagues, but this issue doesn't really show it. Instead, “Avengers Arena” #1 feels like exactly what it should have been actively avoiding: an excuse to latch on to a trendy premise and an excuse to kill off excess characters. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Dec 13, 2012

    This was probably the Marvel Now book I was the most curious about, but it solidified one thing for me while completely disappointing me; this is not a reboot at all. This is literally just a marketing ploy and creative shakeup. Nothing is cleaned up and frankly it's getting messier with each new issue I read. Marvel NOW is just an overhyped sales gimmick used to knock DC out of first place, well it worked, but frankly they're running out of steam as well so don't pat yourselves too hard on the back. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comic Book Revolution - Rokk Dec 18, 2012

    I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to waste $3.00 on Avengers Arena #1. Instead, go purchase either the Hunger Games Trilogy boxset on Amazon for $25 or Battle Royale manga. You can get all 15 volumes for just $3-5 a pop over on Amazon. That way you will get a far better bang for your buck and also enjoy far superior stories than the unoriginal and unimaginative slaughter-fest that Hopeless is offering with Avengers Arena. Hell, you can go to Amazon and buy the granddaddy of them all, The Lord of the Flies for just $7.00! The point is that I simply do not see who Avengers Arena #1 will appeal to other than readers that dig stories about slaughtering teen-agers. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    The Comic Book Revue - Jay Mattson Dec 13, 2012

    Much like Cable and X-Force #1, there isn't much to like about Avengers Arena #1. The characters are cardboard cutouts of their former selves from Avengers Academy or the ill-fated and consistently neglected by Marvel Runaways, Arcade just seems ridiculous without any real motivation beyond wanting to see some murders. Plus, the entire series doesn't really have a place in the Marvel universe--the only connection it has to anything else is that the characters used to be more integral to what was going on. Now, they're literally on a different planet and totally separate from anything else going on. Why? In what way does that add to the greater Marvel narrative at all? Is this series going to end once everyone is dead? I can't imagine reading Avengers Arena #75 in a few years because it's quite obvious this series won't be around that long. Read Full Review

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