This issue has been a long time coming. Since ‘Avengers Arena’ began, the readers have wondered what the outside world thought about the missing kids. Someone had to have noticed that they were gone, right? Well, after twelve issues, we’re finally going to dig into that exact idea.

When we last left the surviving members of the game, Deathlocket had stumbled upon Arcade’s lair after she was dealt with during Nico and Apex’s intense final showdown. Now, in the latest issue, we take a break from the happenings in Murder World similar to issue seven and we venture back into the real world to get another perspective thanks to guest writer Christos Gage.

When the Runaways visit Avengers Academy, young Molly Hayes tells headmaster Hank Pym that she suspects that Chase and Nico have been kidnapped despite the constant communication that she retains with them. With the idea in his head that something is up, Giant Man goes forth and searches for evidence supporting his theory that these kids who all went missing around the same time are all connected somehow.

After reading the preview for this issue, I was extremely excited for this one to come. I had been wondering from the start about what the Runaways or the students at Avengers Academy thought about their missing friends. But when I got into the book, it turned out to be something that I wasn’t expecting at all. First of all, that preview was pretty sneaky. Well done, Marvel editors. But that wasn’t the only thing that threw me off.

I wasn’t expecting this to be a one and done issue. I thought that this was going to be a new arc for the book and I was excited to see where it would finally end up. Plus I was stoked to see Molly and Hank working together a bit and I hoped that there would be more down the line. Instead, I was taken on a complete swerve. I didn’t see that twist coming and I never thought that things would get so elaborate. And I know that I’m being vague, but if I go into things any more, then I’ll spoil the issue for you, which I do not want to do because you need to read it. Seriously. As much as the last issue was a game changer for the people still in Murder World, this one is a game changer for those on the outside.

Honestly, I had to read this a few times before I wrote this review because I couldn’t believe the direction that it took. And now knowing that the next issue marks the beginning of an arc called ‘Boss Level’, one could assume that the climax is rapidly approaching, which I’m very much looking forward to. ‘Avengers Arena’ has turned into a book that I really look forward to reading because it’s really unexpected and it managed to surprise me at every turn.




Written by Christos Gage
Art by Karl Moline, Mark Pennington, & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky