Quick take on the AVENGERS ARENA backlash.

Posted by mattydeNero (525 posts) - - Show Bio

I read the first volume of Runaways and only read Avengers Academy tie-ins to the few major events that were going on throughout its respective run. For me, Avengers Arena is fresh and the fact that I am not as familiar with the cast of characters doesn't have me as emotionally attached as some of these readers. And it's not like Arcade is killing off MAJOR characters. Some of the comments I have read on the reviews for the book have been unfair and lazy. The reason I say lazy is because a lot of cats that comment on review posts don't even read the book.

@Ellie_Knightfall said:

This book is pretty much everything that's wrong with comics.

This is the weaksauce I am talking about. No class. I seriously doubt this title is everything that is wrong in comics. If ANYONE thinks these deaths are permanent: read more comics and stop basing opinions off of shoddy reviews(no offense).

I love comics.

#1 Posted by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually agreed with that comment, and linked (here, I'll do it again ^_^) to a much more thought-out explanation of how I came to the similar conclusion. I'll save you some time by addressing two possible objections based on your blog (supposing you find the time to read that and seek to actually reply).

The first is that I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to comics (and that goes doubly as this is a comics community). While I'd like to believe that none of the points I made in my blog actually rely on intimate history with the industry -- that is to say, while I don't think I made any classic rookie mistakes in my reasoning -- even if I did, it simply means that I'm averse to what comics have become over the years. If not so sensational as "everything that's wrong with comics," I think I'd at least be fair in saying this book's premise (killing loved niche characters off unnecessarily while capitalizing on currently popular trends in non-comic entertainment) qualifies as a reason for non-readers to continue to be non-readers.

The second is that I did not read the books themselves (a point I addressed in my blog). If nothing else, it must be said that I've done as much research about the books as one could hope short of actually stealing it (as I've seen some reviewers elsewhere on the net having done).

You say it's okay because Arcade's not killing major characters, but for fringe readers like myself, or non-mainstream readers like the ones for whom Runaways have always been the stand-out rather than the sideline, he may as well be.

I want to love comics, but killing or threatening the few I've come to love isn't exactly making that easy.

#2 Posted by BR_Havoc (1285 posts) - - Show Bio

I do not think its wrong saying what that member said. I mean deaths in comics are a dime a dozen and none last but what makes this different is that there is no story behind the deaths. Its gore for the sake of gore, pretty much he have a "horror" comic that is filled with cheap deaths that are supposed to be entertainment. Also I hate to say it but it looks as if Hopeless did not even research many of these characters before killing them Mettle is metal all the way threw he his bones would be covered and metal as well. I mean he is pretty much indestructible yet with the snap of Arcade (a powerless human that builds traps) he explodes into a cloud of gore (with no metal I may add) all for the sake to shock the reader.

A comic like this is the major problem with the way many non comic fans view comics they think there ether childish or they are full of violence that is not healthy for people to read. This comic no matter what Hopeless says is death and gore for the sake of shocking reader these are things that drive readers away and what many think is wrong with the medium of comic books.

#3 Posted by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

@BR_Havoc said:

I do not think its wrong saying what that member said. I mean deaths in comics are a dime a dozen and none last but what makes this different is that there is no story behind the deaths. Its gore for the sake of gore, pretty much he have a "horror" comic that is filled with cheap deaths that are supposed to be entertainment.

I think that's also a key. Like I said, I'm a greenhorn when it comes to comics. My main exposure has been through Kyle/Yost's X-Force and X-23 material (hence my Laura affinity), and while that team has a reputation for some unnecessary violence I'd say on the whole theirs mattered. More germanely, I just read Second Coming today. Nightcrawler died. He's a heck of a lot more popular and interesting than probably anyone in Arena, but the reason his death is acceptable is that it worked into a greater purpose, lived up to the nobility we'd come to expect of him, and was actually reflected upon and dealt with within the context of the universe in which it happened. Which brings up:

@BR_Havoc said:

Also I hate to say it but it looks as if Hopeless did not even research many of these characters before killing them Mettle is metal all the way threw he his bones would be covered and metal as well. I mean he is pretty much indestructible yet with the snap of Arcade (a powerless human that builds traps) he explodes into a cloud of gore (with no metal I may add) all for the sake to shock the reader.

I'd heard people complaining about Mettle's death, and aside from the most obvious issue -- he was blatantly fridged as a device for introducing the shocking "real" stakes of the book -- I'd heard mutterings about it also completely ignoring the mythos behind Mettle. Sure enough, his body is supposed to be entirely metal, through and through. Not only should that make his death impossible, but even in the event that he is plausibly killed there's no explanation for blood splattering everywhere. So you have a death which serves not the character nor the universe but the most conventional of plots (again, fridging), directly contradicting Hopeless' claims in interviews that the deaths would be meaningful, completely ignoring the canonical strengths and weaknesses of the character, and in a situation wherein no one really has time to consider the reality of his passing. It's everything that Nightcrawler's death was not.

It may not be everything wrong with comics, but it's sure hitting quite a few bullet points.

#4 Posted by Yai_Inn (352 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the OP - the backlash is unfair. So far the series has done a great job developing a select few characters, establishing a personal interest in what are some of the most uninteresting characters around. The problem is that development has been on characters who have not been killed (yet) and the ones who are being killed are getting little attention outside of the panels they die on. Which is leading many to say this is killing for the sake of killing. But once the series reaches the point where the deaths are those characters who have been the focus of the run the murders will feel more meaningful.

This is not what is wrong with the world of comics. The problem with comics is that the continuity has grown too long and too large for anyone to follow, keep up with or care about. DC realized this and relaunched, Marvel Now is a new starting place without a complete overhaul. But if you look on Marvel's website at their character lists you'll notice they have some 3300+ characters. If they were to kill off a thousand characters they would still have a thousand characters too many for anyone to keep track of. I hope Avengers Arena continues and moves on to killing off many more, adult avengers included. (Do the Avengers really need 10 titles? Does Batman really need 10 titles a month? this is what is wrong with the world of comics.)

If you're a fan who spends more time reading than complaining then this series isn't bad at all.

@akbogert: Nightcrawler's death is a rare gem in the long list of comic book death's. Compare it to popular event deaths this year (Xavier or Spider-Man/Oct) and you'll see NC's was much more deep.

#5 Edited by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn: That's saddening, to say the least. I happened to run across it today while in the midst of trying to parse my emotions over the likely death of X-23 and/or Runaways kids, and its brilliant execution merely underscored the sloppiness of these deaths.

That said, I still fail to see why "cleaning slate" is necessary at all. If Marvel did not intend on using these characters in the future, they could have chosen not to do so. As of now, the best imaginable purpose their deaths serve is to establish that henceforth Arcade is a legitimate force to be reckoned with (and that's not even necessarily what the plan is -- none of us knows, obviously). Difficulty of keeping track of fringe heroes is an imaginary problem that hardly requires resolution. If a character is simply never used for a decade or two, new readers will never worry about them and old readers will either forget or cherish the short runs those characters had.

But to proceed with slaughtering characters which have established (and now, coming from the woodwork, vocal) fans with no obvious purpose other than to crush those fans' hopes of their beloved characters ever showing up again...well, why wouldn't that draw backlash? No one who loves the characters would want to see them die, and people who don't know or care about them don't really benefit too greatly from those deaths either. It seems that Hopeless is capable of creating new characters that readers find interesting (people can't sing Deathlocket's praises loudly enough, it seems). To the extent that the arena concept, and the empowering of Arcade, could have just as easily been achieved without killing established niche favorites, it seems the backlash this comic gets is justified. Perhaps if it establishes a legitimacy for what it's doing beyond the simple shortening of a universe roster, some of the rage will subside.

#6 Edited by BR_Havoc (1285 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn said:

I agree with the OP - the backlash is unfair. So far the series has done a great job developing a select few characters, establishing a personal interest in what are some of the most uninteresting characters around. The problem is that development has been on characters who have not been killed (yet) and the ones who are being killed are getting little attention outside of the panels they die on. Which is leading many to say this is killing for the sake of killing. But once the series reaches the point where the deaths are those characters who have been the focus of the run the murders will feel more meaningful.

This is not what is wrong with the world of comics. The problem with comics is that the continuity has grown too long and too large for anyone to follow, keep up with or care about. DC realized this and relaunched, Marvel Now is a new starting place without a complete overhaul. But if you look on Marvel's website at their character lists you'll notice they have some 3300+ characters. If they were to kill off a thousand characters they would still have a thousand characters too many for anyone to keep track of. I hope Avengers Arena continues and moves on to killing off many more, adult avengers included. (Do the Avengers really need 10 titles? Does Batman really need 10 titles a month? this is what is wrong with the world of comics.)

If you're a fan who spends more time reading than complaining then this series isn't bad at all.

@akbogert: Nightcrawler's death is a rare gem in the long list of comic book death's. Compare it to popular event deaths this year (Xavier or Spider-Man/Oct) and you'll see NC's was much more deep.

I went in with an open mind with this comic and frankly I am no attached to any of the characters other then the pair of the Runaways stuck there. What I will say is that in that first issue (I read all three only bought the first) is its just shock and horror for the sake of doing it. The development of characters that so many people that defended this book with is weak at best. Even when the major characters die there deaths will just be cheap gorefests to try to shock the fans of the characters by the end of this book I doubt there will be one meaningful death. Hopeless said himself that Mettle has one of the most noble deaths of the bunch yet he forgot to even research the character he was killing. So how thought out or meaningful could any of the deaths be?

The idea of well there is too many characters so we need to murder half of them so people will not be confused is silly. I mean if you do not know what to do with a character then do not use him or her. Put them on the sidelines and bring them back when needed. Do not make 10 other books like this train wreck just to kill off characters because people get confused and people like to see gore.

#7 Posted by InkInk (181 posts) - - Show Bio

I think its funny that Hopeless went from a rising star at Marvel to a hack in the span of 3 issues. This series is one that will haunt his career for a bit afterwards. I have thumbed threw all the books but its awful art is solid but the writing is just weak and the attachment and development of the characters people talk about is all from the books they were already in Hopeless just tries to cash in on it and fails. Guess he has the perfect last name for him writing.

#8 Posted by Yai_Inn (352 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

That said, I still fail to see why "cleaning slate" is necessary at all. If Marvel did not intend on using these characters in the future, they could have chosen not to do so. As of now, the best imaginable purpose their deaths serve is to establish that henceforth Arcade is a legitimate force to be reckoned with (and that's not even necessarily what the plan is -- none of us knows, obviously). Difficulty of keeping track of fringe heroes is an imaginary problem that hardly requires resolution. If a character is simply never used for a decade or two, new readers will never worry about them and old readers will either forget or cherish the short runs those characters had.

I think plan is that creating an on-going where a character dies in every issue will sell a lot more than if these fringe characters were left in their typical series, or left unused for decades. It's an easy way to make money.

@akbogert said:

But to proceed with slaughtering characters which have established (and now, coming from the woodwork, vocal) fans with no obvious purpose other than to crush those fans' hopes of their beloved characters ever showing up again...well, why wouldn't that draw backlash? No one who loves the characters would want to see them die, and people who don't know or care about them don't really benefit too greatly from those deaths either. It seems that Hopeless is capable of creating new characters that readers find interesting (people can't sing Deathlocket's praises loudly enough, it seems). To the extent that the arena concept, and the empowering of Arcade, could have just as easily been achieved without killing established niche favorites, it seems the backlash this comic gets is justified. Perhaps if it establishes a legitimacy for what it's doing beyond the simple shortening of a universe roster, some of the rage will subside.

I disagree. I for on am sick and tired of seeing the status quo that is hero beats villain and comic book deaths never last. I am a fan of the Runaway characters, loved X-23 in X-Force and even enjoyed her own series, and liked Cammi in Annihilation. I hope they all get good deaths, but I for one am excited that heroes are being killed, in what I hope is a permanent fashion.

@BR_Havoc said:

I went in with an open mind with this comic and frankly I am no attached to any of the characters other then the pair of the Runaways stuck there. What I will say is that in that first issue (I read all three only bought the first) is its just shock and horror for the sake of doing it. The development of characters that so many people that defended this book with is weak at best. Even when the major characters die there deaths will just be cheap gorefests to try to shock the fans of the characters by the end of this book I doubt there will be one meaningful death. Hopeless said himself that Mettle has one of the most noble deaths of the bunch yet he forgot to even research the character he was killing. So how thought out or meaningful could any of the deaths be?

I didn't see the need to address Mettle's metal body (it would be unnessesary for the new reader). Arcade explains that in this murder world he is god. And if god decided to hold him in place and transmutate his metal to blood and explode him I can deal.

@BR_Havoc said:

The idea of well there is too many characters so we need to murder half of them so people will not be confused is silly. I mean if you do not know what to do with a character then do not use him or her. Put them on the sidelines and bring them back when needed. Do not make 10 other books like this train wreck just to kill off characters because people get confused and people like to see gore.

Putting the character on the sideline doesn't make money. It's a business first and gore and killing will sell, more than what these characters would typically sell. There's little point in keeping them around.

#9 Posted by arnoldoaad (1007 posts) - - Show Bio

@InkInk said:

I think its funny that Hopeless went from a rising star at Marvel to a hack in the span of 3 issues.

wait

when was he ever considerate a rising star?

I never heard of him until this and Cable & the X-force

#10 Posted by InkInk (181 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn said:

@akbogert said:

That said, I still fail to see why "cleaning slate" is necessary at all. If Marvel did not intend on using these characters in the future, they could have chosen not to do so. As of now, the best imaginable purpose their deaths serve is to establish that henceforth Arcade is a legitimate force to be reckoned with (and that's not even necessarily what the plan is -- none of us knows, obviously). Difficulty of keeping track of fringe heroes is an imaginary problem that hardly requires resolution. If a character is simply never used for a decade or two, new readers will never worry about them and old readers will either forget or cherish the short runs those characters had.

I think plan is that creating an on-going where a character dies in every issue will sell a lot more than if these fringe characters were left in their typical series, or left unused for decades. It's an easy way to make money.

@akbogert said:

But to proceed with slaughtering characters which have established (and now, coming from the woodwork, vocal) fans with no obvious purpose other than to crush those fans' hopes of their beloved characters ever showing up again...well, why wouldn't that draw backlash? No one who loves the characters would want to see them die, and people who don't know or care about them don't really benefit too greatly from those deaths either. It seems that Hopeless is capable of creating new characters that readers find interesting (people can't sing Deathlocket's praises loudly enough, it seems). To the extent that the arena concept, and the empowering of Arcade, could have just as easily been achieved without killing established niche favorites, it seems the backlash this comic gets is justified. Perhaps if it establishes a legitimacy for what it's doing beyond the simple shortening of a universe roster, some of the rage will subside.

I disagree. I for on am sick and tired of seeing the status quo that is hero beats villain and comic book deaths never last. I am a fan of the Runaway characters, loved X-23 in X-Force and even enjoyed her own series, and liked Cammi in Annihilation. I hope they all get good deaths, but I for one am excited that heroes are being killed, in what I hope is a permanent fashion.

@BR_Havoc said:

I went in with an open mind with this comic and frankly I am no attached to any of the characters other then the pair of the Runaways stuck there. What I will say is that in that first issue (I read all three only bought the first) is its just shock and horror for the sake of doing it. The development of characters that so many people that defended this book with is weak at best. Even when the major characters die there deaths will just be cheap gorefests to try to shock the fans of the characters by the end of this book I doubt there will be one meaningful death. Hopeless said himself that Mettle has one of the most noble deaths of the bunch yet he forgot to even research the character he was killing. So how thought out or meaningful could any of the deaths be?

I didn't see the need to address Mettle's metal body (it would be unnessesary for the new reader). Arcade explains that in this murder world he is god. And if god decided to hold him in place and transmutate his metal to blood and explode him I can deal.

@BR_Havoc said:

The idea of well there is too many characters so we need to murder half of them so people will not be confused is silly. I mean if you do not know what to do with a character then do not use him or her. Put them on the sidelines and bring them back when needed. Do not make 10 other books like this train wreck just to kill off characters because people get confused and people like to see gore.

Putting the character on the sideline doesn't make money. It's a business first and gore and killing will sell, more than what these characters would typically sell. There's little point in keeping them around.

Have you been to many comic shops they have piles and piles of this series. I talked to the owner of the shop I go to all the time he said we can't give them away. People do the same thing they come in flipp threw it see who dies say thats stupid and put it back.So where is this making Marvel money?

Dude if you are sick of the status quo of comic then stop reading them or go read a comic like the Boys were the heroes are bad and the "villains" are good. Lots of death and gore in that title but unlike this one it HAS a story that was thought threw. Not slapped together to shock readers.

By failing to address Mettle's body and saying well Arcade is god heret shows that the writer himself doesn't care to even think about the books story its a lazy book with lazy writting the only reason it gets even mediocre review is because the art is pretty good.

Gore and killing is not really selling all that well by the looks of it and sidelining a character can build hype for his return to an ongoing Marvel does it with Ghost Rider, Moon Knight and they even did it with Daredevil.

@arnoldoaad: That is true but Marvel tried to add to his hype saying he was.

#11 Posted by Yai_Inn (352 posts) - - Show Bio

@InkInk: So you're saying a bunch of people aren't reading this comic and then they're complaining about it...

I see you're point about sidelining but I don't think these are the characters that could build hype by being placed in comic limbo (perhaps a return of the Runaways but that's it). I look at it like this, if you do like these characters you get to see them starring in a Marvel Now title and not going by the waste side. If in ten years some writer does want to work with these characters they will likely be resurrected (and if done properly hype can be built around that). If you don't like these characters, then this is a book filled with killing, gore and a change in the status quo.

#12 Posted by InkInk (181 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn said:

@InkInk: So you're saying a bunch of people aren't reading this comic and then they're complaining about it...

I see you're point about sidelining but I don't think these are the characters that could build hype by being placed in comic limbo (perhaps a return of the Runaways but that's it). I look at it like this, if you do like these characters you get to see them starring in a Marvel Now title and not going by the waste side. If in ten years some writer does want to work with these characters they will likely be resurrected (and if done properly hype can be built around that). If you don't like these characters, then this is a book filled with killing, gore and a change in the status quo.

From what I have seen and heard yes. People come in the read the issue in the store or flip threw to the gore pages and say its a stupid book. I think that shows that a large core group of readers do not care for the storyline. So why make a book that has such a niche market?

Many of the fans of these characters (I really enjoyed Avengers Academy) do not want to see there favorite character get slaughtered for the purpose of shocking people. The deaths are meaningless plan and simple so in a market flooded by the biggest cliches in comics now death for shock vaule why make a book around it? is it supposed to be tongue in cheek humor to Mavel?

So I see it differnt to me if you care about these characters the book is filled with killing, gore and change for the sake of shock and its terrible on many levels. I think many fans of characters like X-23 would of been fine seeing her take a break for a year then get her own title again instead of what we are left with is a poorly planned and thought out book that is trying to cash in on an already over done idea kids killing kids.

#13 Posted by TheReaper111 (127 posts) - - Show Bio

i get your argument but i don't want to read a book whose whole purpose is to kill characters i like that don't really have a chance to come back (except x-23 of course)

#14 Posted by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn said:

@InkInk: So you're saying a bunch of people aren't reading this comic and then they're complaining about it...

I'm not positive whether this was a genuine inquiry (if so, InkInk has addressed it) or more of a snide dismissal of complaining based on secondhand knowledge. If it's the latter, though, do consider the nature of the complaints. It'd be one thing if people were saying the art or writing sucked without having read the book. But if the complaints stem from the premise and implications of the book, then it would actually hurt them to purchase it (just to confirm their suspicions) because Marvel will simply look at sales numbers in determining whether people want the book to continue. Just think of the flip side. If these complainers had picked it up, people would say "Yeah, but you still bought it, so it must not be that bad."

I'm also going to go ahead and post the addendums to my former post (now that I can actually do so without being blocked) in case they were missed due to being edits:

January 9th: 2:01 EST

@Yai_Inn: Everything you say about the business angle of this is true.

However, backlash is generated not by business but by emotion, and in terms of things that can legitimately be expected to p**s people off, I think you're hard up to find a better example. So if the crux of your argument (re: this topic, not necessarily the overall series' legitimacy) is that people shouldn't complain because Marvel's just looking at their bottom line, that's fine, but it ignores that comics are art as much as they are commerce, and art's the reason people are complaining. The fact that this particular book seems to be completely disregarding the emotional component of its readership is precisely what makes it so appalling to people like me.

You didn't really address why these characters had to be killed (as opposed to an original cast) other than to say that it's beneficial for making money (though as most people who are interested in Arena because of the characters are now boycotting it, I'm not sure where you get the idea that that's actually a great boon to sales).

And again, even if they must die, none of them can get good deaths, because their deaths are all simply part of this side story. At the end of the day, regardless of the minutiae, the sentence reads "died in Arcade's Murder World, Avengers Arena #x." The noblest of deaths within this story is still irrelevant to the greater world from which the characters came, which means even if they receive a somewhat respectful death insomuch as Arena is concerned, their death will in the grander universe sense be quite meaningless. Add to this the insult of blatantly disregarding character immortality (I just don't accept that "God" explanation), and yeah, again: backlash.

The weight is doubled, of course, when you have Hopeless in interviews specifically addressing worried fans and specifically promising to make the deaths meaningful, and then fridging and/or disregarding canonical rules while killing them in the first couple issues.

At the end of the day, I still feel this is a commentary on the erosion of comic books. I don't know which is worse: that Marvel thinks they can make money off of shockingly murdering teenagers, or that they may quite possibly be right.

January 10th: 11:10 a.m. EST

@Yai_Inn: You acknowledge that the people who will appreciate this book are the ones who don't like the characters, which leads me to two questions: 1, is that group large enough to justify an ongoing series and 2, is the readership that sadistic, that the only thing they like about the book is that it kills characters people care about?

It just seems to me that the people who fit into your category of "excited because at least they're in something" would be far better served by the same cast of characters in a book in which they weren't being slaughtered. Not only does that lend itself to greater longevity, but it brings in all the people currently refusing to buy it in hopes the thing dies. As business seems to be the focus of Arena's defenders, I guess my real question is, do you actually believe that the group of people who will buy this book because of death appeal is larger (and therefore more profitable) than the group who would buy the book simply because of the characters in it?

#15 Posted by danhimself (22442 posts) - - Show Bio

I look at it this way.....the only character that I even remotely care about is X-23....so if I can get some enjoyment out of seeing the rest of them hunt and kill each other in gruesome ways then so be it....all of these characters were destined for limbo anyway

#16 Posted by Yai_Inn (352 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: To answer you questions

1) No I don't think the cast is large enough to sustain an ongoing and the pacing is moving far too quickly to keep this series as anything but a mini. In book one Arcade says it will end in 30 days. In book three they had already reached day 8. I don't think the 16 kids in the arena is a large enough cast to keep it going (and mathematically it's difficult picturing this series passing 16 issues - at least one dying per book). That said I don't think the series stops with these kids. I'm willing to bet that their abductions didn't go unnoticed and that some older heroes might come looking for them, this is what I'm hoping at least (I like Cammi but if she gets killed and Drax finds out about it all of a sudden this book is AWESOME)

2) Not at all. I don't think the characters people care about will be the ones dying. I think the death appeal (for me at least) is that this is not status quo. If they had them all in their typical style book (Academy, Runaways, Young Avengers, Young X-Men, etc.) they would sell their usual 15-20,000ish per copy. I'd be willing to bet, that even with people boycotting this it still sells 20,000ish (perhaps more). While this also allows Marvel to do some much needed house cleaning (during the perfect time of a semi-relaunch no less). On top of that, whichever characters come out of this alive will have tons of development, surviving the "arena" will be something that will haunt/stick with the character for their career (if later writers don't completely ignore it). Additionally anyone who does die (who has a large fan base) wont remain dead.

I think X23 probably has the largest fan base out there. I doubt she dies... I hope she does though. And I don't think she'd stay dead. It's exceedingly easy for another writer to come along and bring a clone back to life.

My thoughts on the series:

I view everything about this series as a trade off. In Marvel Now they could of had the young characters in a typical style young super hero team book (I'd only be reading it if it got really good reviews). Or they could do something different. They went with a Lord of the Flies premise.

In issue 1; Hazmat was the focus character, and her development was average. If she survives this though there is the potential for a lot more development. Downside was Mettle had to die - I'm okay with this because his death will make Hazmat a more interesting character (and I already have Mercury to fill my niche for "all metal young super hero who needs more development") Furthermore Arcade is established as an actual threat, which is new and fun. Overall this was a win.

Issue 2: Deathlocket was focused and introduced and she is an amazing new character. I'm sure you've heard in other places already how interesting she is. When she dies it will be sad - because of this issue. Downside was Red Raven was killed. And who cares about that? This isn't even the original Red Raven. Though the way she died was stupid. All it did was establish that the characters are in a dome and they can't fly out of it, could of done that without killing her. However, overall this was win simply because Deathlocket is wicked.

Issue 3: Cammi was the focus here and after following her all through Annihilation it's nice to see her get more development. She's a character who would rather be turned over to alien torture camps than be sent back to Earth - and we don't get to find out why :( waiting anxiously. Downside was Chase was crushed to death and Darkhawk was killed too. Darkhawk's death is meaningless because there's a bunch of them and any writer who wants to write a Darkhawk can. And Chase's death has the potential to be meaningful when we get to see how the rest of his camp responds to his death. Again another overall win.

I think most of the complaints people have about this book revolve around the fact that 1 to 4 characters they like could be killed off. And I feel that their complaints are unjust because 1) I doubt the popular characters are the ones that do get killed, and 2) popular comic book characters never remain dead for long. However if Nico is killed off and remains dead I will be upset. But the very fact that she could be killed has me interested in this series. There is a very high threat level here that is absent in most comics.

#17 Posted by impossibilly (885 posts) - - Show Bio

I've bought and read all three issues Avengers Arena. I'm enjoying the series and think it's both well written and well drawn. I will buy issue 4.

I don't think this series is a meat grinder. So far, two characters have died. I thought Mettle's death was handled well. He grew as a character in issue 1 and went out like a hero. Red Raven was created for the series just to die. Will more characters die? Maybe. If their death stories are told as well as Mettle's was in issue 1, I won't mind.

A lot of the Avengers Arena backlash reminds me of Kathy Bates's character in Misery.

#18 Posted by InkInk (181 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yai_Inn: This is a reply to you point that people should be happy that these characters are showing up in a book and that if they die in this one the popular character will come back soon enough.

OK so I am a huge fan of the character Moon Knight he is my favorite hero. Over the years he has failed to keep a stable fan base and many of his books get cancelled but I am fine with him being on the sidelines for 6 months to 4 years because I would rather see him come back and be used right. If they had Avengers Arena part two and they threw MoonKnight, Hellcat,Mockingbird and Luke Cage in murderworld I would be pissed so I see why big fans of Nico and X 23 hate this book. They are using three favorite heroes in the worst way and using a story that has been done to death in recent years.

You say that most of the books this characters were in soldless then 20'000 copies a month and you would be right but the way I see it you have taken a group of cult characters and used a storyline that has been over done and many people are sick of. So right there you have lost more fans. Marvel keep releasing teaser after teaser this is not a good sign its an attempt to build hype showing fans that do not want to read this series that well in a few months your favorite is still alive so come read this adventure.

Many people fail to realize that this was not even the idea pitched for this book. The idea Hopeless pitched was for a book that was about the british heroes that are in this book. The first arc ws supposed to be this Murderworld idea and that was it. Marvel wanted to cash in on BR/HG fans so this crapy comic was created. So how well thought out could any of this story of been? in the few isses there has been and I have read. Hopeless has failed understand the background of the characters and ther abilities this shows me that once again this was not his first choice on ideas. That he had to slap most of this together and it is showing.

#19 Posted by Sharkbite (292 posts) - - Show Bio

"Many people fail to realize that this was not even the idea pitched for this book. The idea Hopeless pitched was for a book that was about the british heroes that are in this book."

And that right there is such a big part about what makes this a good example of what is wrong with comics. Avengers Academy was doing well, selling well, and securing fans who stuck with the title for over 3 years, sales actually upticking gradually over the final year. The idea was working so well that Hopeless wanted to tell the story of another academy of youth superheros, this time not with the premise of them all being twisted potential villains, but more akin to Initiative, focusing on the training and growth of teens into full blown heroes.

Good ol' Joe Q working the creative control says "No." It's a good enough idea it's worth looking at, but heaven forbide a new book be launched without having tons of cameos from more popular characters. So we take Briton Academy and we add in Avengers Academy, Runaways, and a couple other odds and ends. This is a symptom of the "Deadpool or Wolverine must be in every book" obsession with guest-stars. Characters were shoehorned into the book that the writer knew little about and as a result, they are already being poorly handled. It's not a matter of the risk they may die, but rather that they don't even get to be themselves.

Then starts the deaths. Death is fine in comics on occasion, but it's honestly pretty overdone. Look at Academy as an example: they were able to bring in the same amount of tragedy, character development, and interest through other actions, having powers that cut them off from humanity, the first time they took a life, discovering the adults they trusted believed they were destined to become villains, encountering their own future Evil counterparts, and so on. Deaths in comics are a dime a dozen. Killing someone (or threatening to kill them) just for shock value is weak writing. The fact that Captain America, Thor, heck, even Punisher gets to come back to life, that cheapens the meaning of the death until watching Mettle explode is just "Oh hey. Look. They're trying to make us take Arcade seriously."

But with these fringe characters, they don't nessesarily bring them back to life. Alex Wilder has been dead for almost a decade. Runaways doesn't kick out ressurections on a monthly basis. So instead of getting a Volume 4 of Runaways to continue a great story that still maintains a loyal fanfollowing, we get a cheap shock-value death of a handful of characters, and then we're written into a corner so a handful of good titles will most likely not be relaunched.

Death for the sake of shock. Characters crammed into a book when the writer has no understanding of who they are. All so that they can capitalize on a cheap pop culture reference. That is exactly what we're talking about when we say "This is what is wrong with comics".

With the HUGE deal that it was for X-23 to take control of her own life, and finally acknowledge and break the shackles of other people (including the X-Men) making her kill, and how she just flipped out on Finesse for forcing her to kill Jeremy at the end of Academy, it is impossible to believe that she just stands by silently while Arcade explodes Mettle, and then agrees to participate in his Murderworld. This is exactly what she swore she would never do again, be forced by someone else to start killing. She's made it perfectly clear that she'd rather die than be controlled. She should not have stopped stabbing Arcade until one of the two of them was dead. From issue #1, Hopeless has made it clear that the extra characters he was forced to include, he has no idea what they are actually like.

#20 Posted by crimsonspider89 (817 posts) - - Show Bio

I read one argument and laughed. These character have no potential to be revived and the deaths are meaningless. Also read another, and saw people unfamiliar with Mettle's character. That line from Mettle was nothing like him. He showed more heroism during the tie ins to FI which were actually good.

And yes I have read all three issues at the store.

#21 Posted by SUNMAN (7181 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvels done a lot of things in the last 8 years that I've really loved and a lot of things I've really hated. Avengers Arena falls into neither category.

#22 Posted by Joygirl (19277 posts) - - Show Bio

"Difficulty of keeping track of fringe heroes is an imaginary problem that hardly requires resolution." This.

#23 Posted by hunterscarlet (55 posts) - - Show Bio

The real problem is everyone is judging the book by it's cover. The concept was meant to look like a death match, but anyone who has actually been reading would know there's more to the story than that. Only two people have actually died. That's less that most comics. If your upset about seeing a character die join the club, because chances are you've seen a character you love die and not come back. Iv'e had this plenty of happen plenty of times and Iv'e gotten over it. I don't harp on it and trash writers or make a petition or in any circumstance send them death threats. You can't make a fuss every time something happens in comics that you don't like. If your that bothered don't read it. That might be your best shot at getting it cancelled. Feeding controversy is just making it more popular. Issue 5 came out to today and Iv'e been enjoying it so far because I realize there's more to it than just killing and this book wouldn't have been approved if it was just simply a "kill" book where one person walks out of it alive. I first picked up the book very interested and was pleasantly surprised to find out that these people aren't killing each other and it's more of a story of surviving. Yes people have died but once again less than most. He's actually introduced more characters than he's killed. As for character development, he's actually done a lot and he's slowly telling you who these people are. Lastly for those calling it a ripoff. You should know that almost no comic book in the last decade or more is entirely original. Most writers have taken inspiration from something else. And as far as purely comic book concepts go, it's a little bit more original than most current stuff. So I for one am going to keep reading because I can see these things a little more clearly!

#24 Posted by hunterscarlet (55 posts) - - Show Bio

@SUNMAN: And sun man I can respect your opinion a lot more than those just instantly making a fuss.

#25 Posted by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

@hunterscarlet said:

The real problem is everyone is judging the book by it's cover. The concept was meant to look like a death match, but anyone who has actually been reading would know there's more to the story than that. Only two people have actually died. That's less that most comics. If your upset about seeing a character die join the club, because chances are you've seen a character you love die and not come back. Iv'e had this plenty of happen plenty of times and Iv'e gotten over it. I don't harp on it and trash writers or make a petition or in any circumstance send them death threats. You can't make a fuss every time something happens in comics that you don't like. If your that bothered don't read it. That might be your best shot at getting it cancelled. Feeding controversy is just making it more popular. Issue 5 came out to today and Iv'e been enjoying it so far because I realize there's more to it than just killing and this book wouldn't have been approved if it was just simply a "kill" book where one person walks out of it alive. I first picked up the book very interested and was pleasantly surprised to find out that these people aren't killing each other and it's more of a story of surviving. Yes people have died but once again less than most. He's actually introduced more characters than he's killed. As for character development, he's actually done a lot and he's slowly telling you who these people are. Lastly for those calling it a ripoff. You should know that almost no comic book in the last decade or more is entirely original. Most writers have taken inspiration from something else. And as far as purely comic book concepts go, it's a little bit more original than most current stuff. So I for one am going to keep reading because I can see these things a little more clearly!

Alright, I've been sitting on a blog for the last two weeks or so, but this has convinced me it's going to need to be published. To directly address something though, I've yet to read a single series where a character died in the very first issue. Or where that death completely defied canon. Two characters dead in two issues -- that is more than most books, not less. The fact that the body count hasn't risen since then doesn't make that exceptional fact any less true. And "he's actually introduced more characters than he's killed" is ridiculous. If you have a brother and someone kills that brother but gives you two new adopted siblings, do you really just say "oh, well now I have more, so it's cool?" No, of course not. When you invest years and emotions into someone -- fictional or not -- you can't just replace them with someone else and have that be considered a trade-off.

I can't believe someone actually just came out and said "he's slowly telling you who these people are." That was a major point of the blog, and now I have definitive proof that I'm not making it up. Hopeless is slowly introducing the characters. As if no one knows or cares about them already. As if most of the people reading the book need to be told who they are because they don't know or care either. As if the whole book is written under the assumption that its audience will not consist of actual extant fans of the characters. As if it didn't even try to respect those people or assume they'd be part of the readership.

#26 Posted by Sharkbite (292 posts) - - Show Bio

AA12, Arcade gives his horrible pseudo-explanation for Nico's resurrection. Except that, once again, Hopeless proves that he has no clue what he's doing with these characters.

"The Staff of One requires a blood sacrifice..." Yes. To SUMMON IT. Not to cast with it. Never before has it been remotely implied that Nico needed a blood sacrifice to cast a spell; the staff itself belongs to her bloodline as a family relic. It conceals itself within her body. She can only summon it into our world through her own blood. The actual saying goes "When blood is shed, the Staff of One comes forth." Of course, Hopeless's attitude has been that the staff is just something Nico carries around with her all the time, like a Thor's Hammer thing, and now apparently he is convinced that blood is required to make it cast spells. /sigh. Moron.

Second, Nico has expressly stated on more than one occasion that the Staff of One CANNOT RAISE THE DEAD. She tried it with Alex. It did not work. She explained the exact same thing with Gert. The Runaways have lost friends in tragic ways; Nico hasn't simply been saving the one-time-cast of resurrection for herself. Again, Hopeless, you are hopeless.

#28 Posted by akbogert (3213 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainm: Excuse me?

A book is published which has a character explicitly saying something wrong as a means of explaining an event in the book -- in an issue in which several other canon-violating events have also transpired -- and you have the gall to say "wait for an explanation" to cover up the explanation just given, while using sexist insults to silence legitimate criticism?

I don't know where you think you are, but calling users whiny girls and morons and telling them to "shut up" is pretty uncalled for.

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