pspin's Avengers Arena #10 - Game On Part 3 of 5 review

Avengers Arena #10 Review

Avengers Arena #10 Review


Nico fights Apex in this mess of an issue.

The Good:

Nothing. This might sound hard to believe but I enjoyed absolutely nothing about this issue.

The Bad:

***Spoilers Ahead***

The story starts off exactly where 9 left off, with the aftermath of Apex’s escape and goes downhill from there. Chase/Darkhawk and X-23 find her and get their beaten with zero effort at all; then Apex attacks the rest of the camp and fights Nico, who gets the crap kicked out of her, then dies. Character death is something, that when done right, is great and moves the story along and then there is this.

Up until now, I have kept an open mind to the series and been curious to see what happens; I have even forgiven some of the more glaring lapses in Dennis Hopeless’ characterization of certain characters to see where the story goes but this issue was an inexcusable butchering of not only characters but of the aspects of the mythos of the Marvel Universe itself.

If I listed all of the inconsistencies in this book based off of previous appearances, it would be horrendously long, so I will focus on a few major ones.

1. X-23. Over the course of this series, Laura has been the most inconsistently portrayed because, let’s be honest, she should win, she is a killing machine that can regenerate. The only thing stopping her from doing that is herself and she has been wavering lately but here it goes all out the window. She just runs off and finds Apex to fight her but instead of using the stealth skills everyone knows she has and has demonstrated at various points in her life; she just charges right in. That isn’t even the worst part, she lasts three panels before getting beaten. It isn’t even with a laser or something; the sentinel picks her up and slams her into the ground once.

2. Darkhawk. Chase has the Darkhawk armor now and that is fine but he gets taken over by Apex in all the greater of three seconds. Apex can manipulate technology with her mind, but the Darkhawk armor is alien and there is a person inside of it, one that is a friend to Nico, who he brutally attacked. The alien part was at least acknowledged but if Apex is as powerful as she seems, this series just got a whole lot shorter.

3. Nico and the Staff of One. This was the worst part of the issue and a complete disrespect to the character and her staff. The staff is one of the most powerful magical objects in the Marvel Universe, the fact that is can’t get everyone off the island is fine, whatever, but here it is broken You read that right broken. It happens after Nico breaks her leg in a fight, which is fine, but then Apex commands Darkhawk to attack Nico, who tries to get Chase to stop but it doesn’t work, again fine. But instead of fighting back, she gets her arm shot off with one laser blast from chase that also breaks the Staff of One and there are no magical repercussions at all, it just breaks like a cheap toy. This is nothing more than pure disrespect on the part of Hopeless to Nico, the staff, every story they have been in, and most importantly, the fans.

4. Another point with Nico is that when she is about to die, she casts a spell: help. Why wouldn’t she heal herself and then cast help? This is just lazy writing.

Dennis Hopeless has butchered characters here. Before it was mostly little things for the sake of the story but this is simply bad writing. It is like he wants the final show down to be between the characters he created for the series so everyone else has to die weak deaths. There is nothing fun about the issue nor even interesting unless you want to see a character be butchered by the writer and the other characters.

The art by Riccardo Burchielli wasn’t bad per say but it did not fit the issue very well.


It was like Dennis Hopeless heard some of the hate that the internet was saying about this book and then gave the readers the finger and did whatever the hell he wanted just to piss them off. This issue is full of nothing but bad characterization, bad writing and most importantly disrespect. Unless you like the artists, don’t buy it.

1 (because I have to, this is a 0) out of 5

2 Comments Refresh
Posted by DJBWAB

I made an account on this website just to address this, because I know that the internet has gone crazy over this subject and I want to set this straight (Not trying to sound disrespectful in anyway btw),

Where did you read that the staff of one cant be broken? Let me know and Ill go read it right now. Nico was my favorite character too, so I feel where you are coming from. I followed her through all 3 Volumes of Runaways (she was my fav character there too) and I was originally very sad at both the announcement of her involvement in this series and the final page of issue 10. But can I ask you a question? How does it feel now knowing that a fictional character has caused you so much rage and sadness? I cried for Nico. I did. But something else to remember is that she went out like a boss. She died ensuring that people she barely knew could have a chance at life. And also I hate to break it to all of you, but another Runaways series isnt happening. Or at least it would be drastically different anyway. Same for all of these pre-existing characters. Mettle wasnt gonna be recruited for the Avengers any time soon, why else would the execs give these characters to Dennis anyway. At least they were chosen for Marvel Now. I love this series because it makes me FEEL something as I read (fear, excitement, love, sadness, etc.) Something rather rare in many Marvel comics. Also, when you talk about mischaracterization, maybe factor in that these are teenagers in a situation they have never been in before, and ask yourself if dennis explaining in the story that "maybe x23 rushed in because Juston's body landed near her and she was so overwhelmed with rage that she rushed in, underestimating an enemy she had no prior experience fighting", or that Nico thought the spell "Help" would both help her and her friends, killing two birds with one stone and conserving a healing spell when she may need some more soon"?

Posted by DJBWAB

Just made my own review. Please click on it down below.

Other reviews for Avengers Arena #10 - Game On Part 3 of 5

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.