It appears that I was so distraught over the death of Nico Minoru in ‘Avengers Arena’ #10 that I just couldn’t bring myself to write about issue #11. But I’m back once again with #12 where my woes need not be present anymore because of a series of events that brings back one of my favorite characters of this series.

But before we get to that, the last issue caught up with Avengers Academy graduates Hazmat and Reptil who have been MIA for a few books. While recovering from some injuries that were suffered early on, the pair found refuge on a beach to recuperate. However, as Reptil worked his way back to his normal self, his partner seemed to be less and less like herself with each passing day. When the rest of the contestants of Arcade’s sick game came strolling onto their beach thanks to Nico’s spell, Hazmat was confronted with her denial and steered back into the path that she was meant to be on.

Now, in issue twelve, a fallen warrior gets up to face the murderous Apex and her mechanized army of Deathlocket, Chase Stein/Darkhawk, and Juston’s repurposed sentinel. This arc ends with a massive battle that changes the game on Murder World.

Basically, this whole issue is one big battle that we’ve all been waiting to see. No holds barred hardcore action in this issue. There hasn’t been a fight like this in ‘Avengers Arena’ yet, and I’m glad that it included these two bitter rivals. And yes, I know that not naming names is frustrating, but for the sake of exposing spoilers (which Marvel clearly didn’t think about when they released the preview of this issue), I avoided using the names of the combatants in this paragraph. Regardless, I assure you that there’s a good, old-fashioned superhero beat down in this issue.

Additionally, the ideas being thrown around by Apex and her role as a hero or a villain are quite interesting. It’s almost reminiscent of ‘The Dark Knight’ where Harvey Dent had a similar debate with himself and that reoccurring quote about dying a hero or living long enough to become the villain. It’s cool to see where Katy takes the idea and how that leads to her fate.

Finally, we get to see a bit more of Arcade than we’ve seen in the past issues. I can’t really say what he was doing in this issue without giving anything away, but he’s certainly right when he says on the last page, “Gotta expect the unexpected.” When I reached the end of the book, I had to look it over a few times to really get what was going on with this page. There’s something strange afoot on Murder World and I’m looking forward to the next arc to find out more.

Final Score:



Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Kev Walker, Jason Gorder, & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover by Dave Johnson