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First Look: AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #1

One of these heroes will become a villain.

This March, ask yourself the question: If you were a teen superhuman and all the adult heroes failed you when you were kidnapped and tortured, would you switch sides and break bad? Marvel is pleased to present your first look at AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #1 from Harvey Award winning writer Dennis Hopeless and critically acclaimed artist Kev Walker!

Damaged, broken, and forever changed by their experiences in Murder World, five conflicted young superhumans are out to prove to the world they can still be heroes. Now, Bloodstone, Hazmat, Deathlocket, Cammi, Anachronism, Chase, and Nico are going rogue and heading deep undercover with the Masters of Evil. And they’re going to take them down from the inside!

But the longer these teens spend undercover, the deeper they descend into darkness. And the line between good and evil blurs. Before it’s all over – a new super villain will be born!

“In many super hero comics, the series jumps from adventure to adventure, never taking the time to dig deep and explore how a traumatic event would truly effect the protagonists. AVENGERS UNDERCOVER turns that situation on its head by using this trauma as the starting point, “ says editor Bill Rosemann. “What happens after your teachers abandon you? Where do you go when you no longer fit in with your old life? When the world has rendered their judgment as to what lies in your heart, how to you prove otherwise? Dennis and Kev have the answers—and to get them you’ll have to follow our heroes down a rabbit hole of pure evil.”

“There aren’t any rules this time,” says writer Dennis Hopeless in an interview with Marvel.com. “The game is over and the kids who have survived have to go back to real life. AVENGERS UNDERCOVER is the story of what that feels like. We explore the PTSD of the thing.”

“What sorts of life decisions do these kids make once they realize that they don’t really fit into their old lives anymore?” continued Hopeless. “Can they get any of it back? If so, how? And if not, what’s next?”

Their time in Murder World prepared them for death. But nothing can prepare them for their new lives among the Masters of Evil. The longer they stay undercover, their path’s become more clear: Join up with the Masters of Evil for real, or be discovered and killed! If you thought Murder World was dangerous, you haven’t seen anything yet – and it all starts this March in AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #1!

AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #1 (JAN140692)

Written by DENNIS HOPELESS

Art by KEV WALKER

Cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA

Variant Cover by MARK BROOKS (JAN140693)

FOC –02/17/14 On-Sale -03/12/14

51 Comments
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Posted by TheAcidSkull

-_-

Online
Posted by Cavemold

bad art double pass

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

-_-

So I'm guessing you're really excited for this book?

Posted by frozenedge

dang it Marvel stop throwing so many promising series at me. My wallet can barely handle you, DC, and Valiant as it is

Posted by TheAcidSkull
Online
Posted by Perfect 10

five teens then go on to list 7 lol but looking forward to this book. too bad it comes out in march. it looks sooo good. either hazmat, bloodstone or anachronism will be the baddie. hazmat has always had bad side to her and bloodstone and anachronism i dont know well enough to say they never will cross the line especially when both have

Posted by darkrider

i want avengers academy give us avengers academy

Edited by Dstick88

meh i will def skip.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

These pepole realise that Cammi is only 10 years old right?

Posted by laabitres

this looks good nice to see that the characters are getting more developed

Edited by Mxyzptlk_CV

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

Edited by Maddpanda531

Huh. Didn't read Arena, but this looks interesting. Still won't get it, though. I have too many titles as it is.

Posted by LB70145

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

It is a combination of most of these characters being drastically changed unnecessarily and the other half of these characters are so new no one really caring about them.

It just makes me sad that Hazmat, Nico, and Chase are being dragged into this. Nico and Chase especially, they don't even want to be part of the superhero community. Hazmat I can kind of understand but half her angst is taken care of now that she doesn't need to wear her containment suit. Cammi being brought in is kind of random, but I guess they needed a bad ass normal. Seriously, that is one obscure character to bring into this.

However, I do find Deathlocket, Anachronism, and Bloodstone interesting.

Posted by MatKrenz

@jonny_anonymous: Well I guess you grow up fast when you witness the Annihilation Wave and then left in space to fend for yourself.

Posted by akbogert

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

I don't even think "pessimism" is the proper word. Hopeless demonstrated over the course of the last year a complete inability -- bordering on incompetence -- to properly characterize the Runaways. It is not about saying "this new thing will be bad" and more about saying "there's nothing new here -- a writer I despise continues to have authority over the handling and distortion of characters I loved before he started writing them."

The premise isn't the problem -- it's the writer, and the fact that he has done nothing whatsoever to convey that he understands why fans found his characterization in Arena problematic.

Add to that the promise that someone dies within the first three issues and the déja vu is palpable.

Posted by MatKrenz

@akbogert: It's not like Hopeless is first writer to screw up the Runaways. Their characterization have been all over the place since their third volume in 2009.

Edited by akbogert

@matkrenz: No, he just does it in an especially offensive way.

Having seen the lettered version of the opening preview page here, I can safely say Chase, as a character I am capable of caring about, no longer exists.

Posted by dreamfall31

Seems like a neat idea for a series, but I got too many on my pull list already!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

rt looks nice, but I'm passing on these. Trying to keep my pulllist Avengers FREE.

Edited by MatKrenz

Anyway it's cool to read the next chapter of Hopeless and Walker's story for these characters in a little while. Hopefully they do the 'Young heroes being tempted into becoming villains' better or at all than Academy did. Because that series dropped the ball when it came to that premise.

Posted by Sammo21

@madeinbangladesh: ? So the issue looks good to you but you're passing because it has the word Avengers in the title? I don't get it?

Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf

Just bring back the Runaways. You know you want to Marvel. Just dump this shit and go back to the young kids who actually rock!!!

Runaways forever!!!! <3

Posted by RaggedScarecrow

It's $2.99, has Kev Walker's art, and uses Nico; that's three good reasons for me pulling this. I can't wait to see Walker's take on Bagalia! As for the character going full-on villain, I'm betting on either Aiden or Cullen (and hoping for the former).

Edited by majingojira

I'll be honest, the colorist here is nowhere near as bad as what as being done in Arena, but that said, the prognosis is not good. I do enjoy Kev Walker's overall style (mostly because he can draw women who have something smaller than a D Cup), but his redesigns leave a lot to the imagination. Chase looks like Quire (a horrible fate indeed), Nico's gauntlet arm continues to present clothing problems that are far more distracting than anything else on the page, Death Locket continues her bland path, as does Bloodstone (glowing eyes do nothing for his character design being little better than closet cosplay in waiting) and Hazmat's Hoodie of Nuclear Boredom. Though I'm rather sad we don't have a picture of Anachronism. The covers show him to be a crazy crossbreed between The Ultimate Warrior and WCW's Sting (back in his "Crow" phase), including a 'blank' championship belt. I don't know about any of you, but that design begs to have all his dialogue red like the Ultimate Warrior. DESTRUCITY!

Hopeless himself has pretty much singled himself out as the single worst Writer currently on Marvel's payroll, and the tease is going to do more to keep away the people already driven off by Arena from this title than entice anyone. Instead of threatening the characters they love with death, they're threatened with being turned evil. If it's an established character from something other than Arena, then there will be more internet rage (and continued low sales).

Though I am curious to see if Hopeless can find a way to re-introduce these characters in an even worse manner in this series than he did in the first three issues of Arena. IE: "Being a Hater is a relate-able, humanizing trait", exposition dumps and rushed flashback sequences (in the first, second and third issues, respectively). Given these previews, I'd say he's going to be at least on par, what with Chase's behavior only really being explainable by replacement or possession.

Posted by micah
Posted by Avengers_4everXX

Some of you need to realize that just because a writer has his characters react to the horrible things that happen to them, doesn't mean that they're out of character. Like boohoo, Walker wants to realistically portray PTSD, and he realizes that a bunch of teenagers wouldn't act the same way in a situation like Murderworld as they did when they were in the real world. Sorry. Real people are changed by tragic events, comic book characters should too

Edited by fACEmelter88

Soooo pumped

Posted by majingojira

@avengers_4everxx: There's two problems with your reasoning. The first one involves the word "Continuity".. See, we've already seen some of these kids deal with PTSD level events, the Runaways and Hazmat are practically defined by them. Hazmat was ready to die in Fear Itself for the sake of others and watched Mettle fall apart inside due to his actions (IE: taking a life). The Runaways--good lord, where do I even start with them. The other side of it deals with how extremely over hyped the events of Arena are in Dennis Hopeless' mind. Let's face facts here, the game Arcade set up was complete crap. It was so crappy that he had to interfere multiple times just to get it to work. The rules so loosely defined, the threat hanging over their heads so vague, that frankly, it's hard to buy the level of PTSD that would cause such a deep change.

In the lettered preview, we get a grand illustration of this in Chase's declaration that "Arcade Won!" Chase has dealt with probably more PTSD than most, losing his parents like the other Runaways, he also dealt with the loss of Gert and years of abuse from his father--the last of which gave him a massive guilt complex where he'd blame himself for bad things that happened to him. This includes calling his parents "Practically Saints". If we got some logically consistent PTSD for Chase, it would most likely involve his guilt, the control Katy put him under and what he did to Nico. He'd blame himself for it, for getting her killed and the loss of her arm. It would stem from that place and go from there.

But that's not what we get. We get him basically betraying Nico AGAIN without a shred of guilt about him culminating in more Arcade aggrandizement. Dennis Hopeless is a massive Arcade fanboy and things like this are proof of it. That and the monologues in Arena about how awesome the game and Arcade are. Seriously, I think there's like half a dozen of those that series.

Posted by Teerack

Can we just have a 100 page one shot of the Punisher "punishing" Arcade?

Posted by caladbolglight

If Chase Stein with a mohawk and 90's shades is a thing, then a big double pass on this

Posted by HushoftheWind

im just pissed/dumbfounded/depressed/ that they are calling this an Avenger book.

Edited by MatKrenz
Posted by AgeofHurricane

I need some properly substantiated context for that NicoxChase scene, but other than that
...GRRAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS SERIES!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

@sammo21 said:

@madeinbangladesh: ? So the issue looks good to you but you're passing because it has the word Avengers in the title? I don't get it?

Every comic I read that involves the avengers just bore the hell out of me. (Avengers, New Avengers, and Uncanny Avengers), so I don't buy anything involving them. The book doesn't interest me that much.. I just liked the art. I got so many other MARVEL NOW! series that I need to buy that I have to skip some few.

@micah said:

@madeinbangladesh: Why, the core avengers title, Uncanny and World are all sweet

None of them grabbed me. I was really bored reading them (Uncanny, Avengers & New Avengers)

Edited by micah

@madeinbangladesh: You should read the last couple of issues of Uncannys Ragnarok now saga. A freakin celestial shows up, Cap and Thor go to war with the Apocalypse twins. New Avengers is more philosophical but nonetheless is an interesting read. World reminds me of Justice League Unlimited. But I do see your point. We all have different taste

Posted by w0nd

@lb70145 said:

@mxyzptlk_cv said:

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

It is a combination of most of these characters being drastically changed unnecessarily and the other half of these characters are so new no one really caring about them.

It just makes me sad that Hazmat, Nico, and Chase are being dragged into this. Nico and Chase especially, they don't even want to be part of the superhero community. Hazmat I can kind of understand but half her angst is taken care of now that she doesn't need to wear her containment suit. Cammi being brought in is kind of random, but I guess they needed a bad ass normal. Seriously, that is one obscure character to bring into this.

However, I do find Deathlocket, Anachronism, and Bloodstone interesting.

does it seem like chase and nico are part of the super hero community? Super powered but not super hero. Theyve been runaways orphans put in a battle arena and who knows what now. i just wish they filled in the gap at the end of runaways

Posted by LB70145

@w0nd said:

@lb70145 said:

@mxyzptlk_cv said:

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

It is a combination of most of these characters being drastically changed unnecessarily and the other half of these characters are so new no one really caring about them.

It just makes me sad that Hazmat, Nico, and Chase are being dragged into this. Nico and Chase especially, they don't even want to be part of the superhero community. Hazmat I can kind of understand but half her angst is taken care of now that she doesn't need to wear her containment suit. Cammi being brought in is kind of random, but I guess they needed a bad ass normal. Seriously, that is one obscure character to bring into this.

However, I do find Deathlocket, Anachronism, and Bloodstone interesting.

does it seem like chase and nico are part of the super hero community? Super powered but not super hero. Theyve been runaways orphans put in a battle arena and who knows what now. i just wish they filled in the gap at the end of runaways

If they are actively joining this revenge venture, they are really going against their established personalities and motives. Nico and Chase are team mom and dad respectively for the Runaways. That being said, are they just abandoning Karolina, Molly, and Klara? Are going to put their lives at risk for... why would they even risk their lives for this? They don't have much of a stake in this mission. Granted they were used and some people they knew were hurt (in one case killed), but I don't think that is motivation enough to undertake such a dangerous mission. Personally, I just don't see them joining this team. I also find the premise of this story highly problematic. If I had just survived the ordeal that these kids just went through, the last thing I would want to do is go on a dangerous/risky revenge mission. Not to mention, taking revenge on Arcade is not going to get their old lives back.


The Runaways have been in comic limbo for too long. I really hope someone chooses to pick them up and soon.

Edited by lykopis

@majingojira said:

I'll be honest, the colorist here is nowhere near as bad as what as being done in Arena, but that said, the prognosis is not good. I do enjoy Kev Walker's overall style (mostly because he can draw women who have something smaller than a D Cup), but his redesigns leave a lot to the imagination. Chase looks like Quire (a horrible fate indeed), Nico's gauntlet arm continues to present clothing problems that are far more distracting than anything else on the page, Death Locket continues her bland path, as does Bloodstone (glowing eyes do nothing for his character design being little better than closet cosplay in waiting) and Hazmat's Hoodie of Nuclear Boredom. Though I'm rather sad we don't have a picture of Anachronism. The covers show him to be a crazy crossbreed between The Ultimate Warrior and WCW's Sting (back in his "Crow" phase), including a 'blank' championship belt. I don't know about any of you, but that design begs to have all his dialogue red like the Ultimate Warrior. DESTRUCITY!

Hopeless himself has pretty much singled himself out as the single worst Writer currently on Marvel's payroll, and the tease is going to do more to keep away the people already driven off by Arena from this title than entice anyone. Instead of threatening the characters they love with death, they're threatened with being turned evil. If it's an established character from something other than Arena, then there will be more internet rage (and continued low sales).

Though I am curious to see if Hopeless can find a way to re-introduce these characters in an even worse manner in this series than he did in the first three issues of Arena. IE: "Being a Hater is a relate-able, humanizing trait", exposition dumps and rushed flashback sequences (in the first, second and third issues, respectively). Given these previews, I'd say he's going to be at least on par, what with Chase's behavior only really being explainable by replacement or possession.

@majingojira said:

@avengers_4everxx: There's two problems with your reasoning. The first one involves the word "Continuity".. See, we've already seen some of these kids deal with PTSD level events, the Runaways and Hazmat are practically defined by them. Hazmat was ready to die in Fear Itself for the sake of others and watched Mettle fall apart inside due to his actions (IE: taking a life). The Runaways--good lord, where do I even start with them. The other side of it deals with how extremely over hyped the events of Arena are in Dennis Hopeless' mind. Let's face facts here, the game Arcade set up was complete crap. It was so crappy that he had to interfere multiple times just to get it to work. The rules so loosely defined, the threat hanging over their heads so vague, that frankly, it's hard to buy the level of PTSD that would cause such a deep change.

In the lettered preview, we get a grand illustration of this in Chase's declaration that "Arcade Won!" Chase has dealt with probably more PTSD than most, losing his parents like the other Runaways, he also dealt with the loss of Gert and years of abuse from his father--the last of which gave him a massive guilt complex where he'd blame himself for bad things that happened to him. This includes calling his parents "Practically Saints". If we got some logically consistent PTSD for Chase, it would most likely involve his guilt, the control Katy put him under and what he did to Nico. He'd blame himself for it, for getting her killed and the loss of her arm. It would stem from that place and go from there.

But that's not what we get. We get him basically betraying Nico AGAIN without a shred of guilt about him culminating in more Arcade aggrandizement. Dennis Hopeless is a massive Arcade fanboy and things like this are proof of it. That and the monologues in Arena about how awesome the game and Arcade are. Seriously, I think there's like half a dozen of those that series.

Just had to quote this because reading your own thoughts on a forum is a freaky experience. Great job.

@ageofhurricane said:

I need some properly substantiated context for that NicoxChase scene, but other than that

...GRRAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS SERIES!

If you can't wait, it goes basically like this:

Chase is being interviewed by a reporter on television, Nico swoops in and calls him out on reneging on their promise to never speak about what happened and Chase retorts that the whole world knows anyway and Arcade "won". Might be a staged argument in front of the world to act as their cover for "going underground" as undercover agents. Maybe.

For me, I don't have enough investment in the new characters and the ones I do know, I don't recognize. So really, what this series represents to me is an entirely new set of mutants off to an entirely new environment. One of them coming out evil isn't interesting because why not? Going bad, good good -- it doesn't matter.

It could be pessimistic of me but all I see is a scrambling and mish mash of characters with non credible drama pulled out of the wazoo to keep what they had hoped would be a premise which could be milked more. It didn't work, and they should move on. Making it another "oooooh, let's see who's gonna be the bad guy" falls flat for me. **shrugs**

Posted by mikey776

This should be good I wonder who will turn bad

can't wait to read it

Posted by michaelthemighty17

omg.omg.omg fangasm

Posted by Mxyzptlk_CV

@akbogert said:

@mxyzptlk_cv said:

Why so pessimistic guys? This looks real interesting from the plot synopsis I just read...I will definitely give it a try...

I don't even think "pessimism" is the proper word. Hopeless demonstrated over the course of the last year a complete inability -- bordering on incompetence -- to properly characterize the Runaways. It is not about saying "this new thing will be bad" and more about saying "there's nothing new here -- a writer I despise continues to have authority over the handling and distortion of characters I loved before he started writing them."

The premise isn't the problem -- it's the writer, and the fact that he has done nothing whatsoever to convey that he understands why fans found his characterization in Arena problematic.

Add to that the promise that someone dies within the first three issues and the déja vu is palpable.

Ok...I get what you mean....

Posted by Lykida

I like Dennis Hopeless, been a fan of Hazmat and Nico for some time and enjoyed Bloodstone in Avengers Arena. I'll give it a try.

Posted by 2cool4fun

Oh yey it's Avengers book number 50!! Can't f-in wait.

Posted by Blizaga101

Yep I'm exited for this, walkers art is some of my favourite in marvel, hopeless did really well with molding these character for this particular story.

Edited by sparty-dbq

My guess is Hazmat is the one who turns. The whole reason she was admitted to Avengers Academy in the first place was because she had the tendency to turn evil. And as the only surviving AA student (besides X-23) to make it out of Murder World, she'd probably be especially pissed off at those who promised to protect her and the others from this kind of thing.

Edited by SupremeHyperion

Does she have to look exactly like Cyborg though?

Posted by fodigg

I don't want to be that guy complaining about too much drama and angst in a Teen Hero book but come on now. Arena was derivative and heavy-handed, and its only redeeming quality was some interesting new characters. Let them breathe and grow a bit instead of recycling them through the same grinder.

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