Avengers Arena #9 Spoiler Free Review
My first "official" review on Comic Vine, I figured it'd be for a book I've been enjoying.
Let's first take a look at the cover as that's the first impression of the book. It's a nice cover by Dave Johnson featuring Apex controlling Juston's Sentinel like a marionette. Would this bring new readers to the book? Probably not. But it is refreshing to see a woman of Indian descent grace a cover.
Now for the actual comic. Dennis Hopeless gives us another good issue. If you have been enjoying the series as I have you'll most likely enjoy this issue. The cause of some of the mysterious attacks in previous issues is revealed finally. It's a pretty decent surprise that I didn't see coming. The main focus of this issue is on Apex. Apex is an original character of Hopeless and she has quite an interesting backstory. I enjoy these moments where we step into the past and focus on an individual character and their history. The main problem with this is that it so far for the most part has focused on Hopeless' original characters and not on more known characters such as X-23 or Nico. That is understandable as many readers already know their history, but I can't help wanting to see more of a focus on the characters that brought people to the book rather than Hopeless' creations. When the truth about Apex is revealed the group must decide what to do about it. This results in a scene that may frustrate some readers, as the outcome of it is quite obvious. We get another addition to the death count. Again this may frustrate some, especially since this death was avoidable. There is also some tension brewing between Nico and Chase, which is mostly over Chase' new found powers. Should this worry Runaway's fans? We will have to see in future issues (The next issue seems to focus on Nico so that may hold the answers). Most of the other characters take a backseat role to Apex's origin story, so if you were hoping to see more of X-23 kicking butt, you may want to pass on this issue.
The art is on par with the other issues. Kev Walker does a great job with this issue yet again. If you've enjoyed his work from the previous issues, you won't be disappointed here. The few action scenes are done well and flow nicely. The death scene from this issue is about the same as most of the others, and done more tastefully than the Red Raven one.
Final verdict- This was a good issue in an otherwise great series. It offers some solid backstory on Apex while also propelling the story forward. It does have some frustrating scenes that may infuriate some readers. If you've been enjoying this series so far I recommend picking it up. If you are one of the people who's hated this series then why are you still buying it? As I can't give comics a 3.5 anymore, this gets a 3 out of 5.