Let me preface this by saying that I was actually excited for Avengers Arena. Battle Royale's one of my favorite movies so going with that set up had me jazzed. X-23, Nico Minoru, and Chase Stein are my top three favorite Marvel characters so I was glad to see them again.
Then the feedback came and it told a different story.
Apparently almost everyone hated it, shots were fired, things were said, some of which I'm guilty of. But in the end I decided to leave well enough alone, keep reading, and go on my merry. If the book turned out good I'd have a good laugh to myself, and if not then the worst thing it did was waste my time and I'd just have to go find a better book.
Now from what I gather, there's seems to be a theory floating around that this is all a virtual reality, which given this is Arcade's doing makes sense. He's done it before. The problem that people pointed out was that if this was a virtual reality then where's the tension? Good point, where is the tension? What if there never was to begin with?
Now you're probably asking yourself, how does that justify the Virtual Reality theory man?
I have to admit this gave me something to think about. Then I changed the focus from WHAT to WHY and something dawned on me.
I realized something about all these kids, they are the future of superheroes. If this is a virtual reality they are gonna come out of it completely different then when they went in. They are gonna view themselves and each other in dramatically different lights. And what better way to cripple the superheroes of tomorrow than to sow dissent and distrust among them right now.
In other words, Arcade may be doing this not to entertain himself but to sabotage the future. But there's still one elephant in the room, is this what Dennis Hopeless is going for?
I don't know. I don't know the guy, I've never spoken with him, I'm not in his head, I know about as much as everyone else does at the moment. However he has said that what will define this book is the choices the characters make, and if my theory holds, I can only imagine what all these kids are gonna think of each other when all is said and done.
Now is Avengers Arena gonna be as good as I first thought, oh God definitely not. It's pacing so far has been very uneven, there's a real lack of the kill or be killed atmosphere, and six issues in and there's finally a fight. If this is gonna be a twelve issue series it has not gotten off to a good start at all. But is it gonna be as bad as the nay sayers well say? I'm holding out hope that may not be the case. I'm just gonna keep reading and see where it goes, and if it's good, if it's bad, well I already pointed that out.