At this point and time in ‘Avengers Arena’, we’ve reached the point of no return. In the last issue, we got our first legitimate kill of the game. Darkhawk and Juston are MIA, but they’re not confirmed as dead, Mettle was killed by Arcade, and the dome surrounding the island killed Red Raven when she tried to escape. However, when Kid Briton met his demise at the hands of Anachronism, the whole world for these young heroes had changed. They have fallen prey to their captor’s sick and twisted competition and they’re going to have to live with their decision to do so. But for most of them, they won’t have to live with it very long since all but one of them is going to die anyway.
The first kill came about when the two separate Braddock Academy factions both reached the supplies that they needed. Things got heated between the two groups and then Kid Briton pushed Anachronism over the edge when the Captain Britain from another dimension threatened to attacked Nara. Since the hulking Celtic warrior has a thing for the mysterious water-breather, he jumped to defend her before their brash classmate could make a move. Next thing we know, we have a headless hero and the end of the issue.
Since that’s a lot to take in, the most recent issue acts as a buffer between what just happened and what’s about to happen. Issue #7 takes us into the life of Arcade and what lead to his creation of this Murder World for these teen heroes. Essentially, the villain discovers just how much of a laughing stock he is among his peers during his birthday party, so he sets out to prove them all wrong by pulling off a successful scheme.
First of all, Arcade is a sick bastard. It’s one thing to take teams like the Avengers or the X-Men and put them into a Murder World situation, but to take these kids who aren’t fully trained is pretty despicable. That being said, Dennis Hopeless managed to make me feel sorry for Arcade. No matter how downright evil his actions and his intentions have been, I felt a great sense of compassion for the villain as I read through this issue. It’s really interesting to me that when shown in a certain light, anyone can seem like less of a douchebag.
Overall, this was a nice little tale. This prequel of sorts filled a great need. Until the last panel of the last issue, Arcade really wasn’t making himself noticed. We weren’t getting anything from him because he just sat back and watched his handy work. But now we have a pretty adequate amount of information on the main antagonist and what drove him to this plot. That sort of background is always nice to get since most of the time there’s more motivation than what we see on the surface.
Now that we’re fully caught up on the life of Arcade, we’re ready to get back to the action. I really want to see how the other Avengers Arena contestants react to Anachronism’s actions. Chances are that people aren’t too happy about it, and I’m looking forward to seeing that.
Avengers Arena #7
Written By Dennis Hopeless
Art By Alessandro Vitti & Rain Beredo
Cover By Dave Johnson