Comic Vine Review

34 Comments

Avengers Arena #14 - Boss Level Part 1 of 5 Review

3

We're getting closer to the end. Is there any hope for the kids or are they all going to die?

The Good

We're at day 28. That means we are now seeing what happened one day before this series began. In the first issue, we say some events from Day 29 - more specifically, a battle between X-23 and Hazmat.

As we approach this moment, we do find out more about Bloodstone and what his story is. It's almost surprising we're just now finding out his backstory as it gives readers more of a reason to root for him amongst the others.

Of course the key moment that will grab the attention of many is what sets X-23 off against the others. There are some formidable characters being forced to fight for their survival but X-23 is something else. Seeing her like this makes things more intense. This is something the others immediately realize.

It's great and fitting to have Kev Walker return to capture the vibe presented in the first issue. You can see that a certain something is just hitting the fan and it's not going to be good for the other kids.

The Bad

Fourteen issues in and I go back and forth with this title. I want to think there is more going on here. We've occasionally seen some snippets suggesting that.

I mentioned seeing Bloodstone's backstory here. The problem is, it's almost a little too late. I don't have much interest in him and some of the others. As we are approaching "Day 29," where the series began (before jumping back to Day 1), there isn't a whole lot that happens here. There wasn't much to keep me totally captivated. There are some cool moments but with the way this issue ends, it looks like more of the action will take place next issue.

The Verdict

Is the end near? The series started off with a glimpse of "Day 29" and we are just about there. This issue features the return of Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker as they give us some backstory on Bloodstone and set things up to coincide with the very first issue. While it is important to humanize these characters and the simple conversations do play a role in that, it just didn't feel like very much happened in this issue. We are waiting for answers or closure and we have one more issue to wait (most likely) before hitting that Day 29 moment. What comes after that, remains to be seen. This series continues to be an enigma of sorts. It's a series I want to root for as it seems there is more going on that it appears. Aside from the ending, this issue left me with the feeling that not much really happened.

34 Comments
Edited by TheAcidSkull

yes, why not use x-23 to slaughter people, this book is making me very angry.

and did Hazmat die?

ugh, at least it's a good feat on her part(x-23)

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Posted by ShadowX

I just want this seriea gone and retconned tbh :\

Its filled with plot holes, mischaracterization and ignoring canon.

Posted by Ravager4

@shadowx said:

Its filled with plot holes, mischaracterization and ignoring canon.

And yet there are still people who think it's a brilliantly written masterpiece. I'm honestly not sure which people I detest more, those aforementioned folks, or the ones who are in this just to see these characters die horribly.

Posted by G-Man

@nico4ever: Am I being too optimistic in thinking they're not really dying? I haven't followed much of the discussion over this. But I know there is the 'theory' that none of this is really happening. They're all in a virtual world dying...virutally or something. I just feel like there's something more going on. Maybe I'm being too hopeful.

Staff
Posted by Ravager4

@g_man said:

@nico4ever: Am I being too optimistic in thinking they're not really dying? I haven't followed much of the discussion over this. But I know there is the 'theory' that none of this is really happening. They're all in a virtual world dying...virutally or something. I just feel like there's something more going on. Maybe I'm being too hopeful.

Yes, you are. Hopeless has stated multiple times that it is not a VR simulation or anything like that, and that the deaths are actually occurring. So unless he's flat out lying to us, then your hopes are entirely misplaced.

Posted by G-Man

@nico4ever: Hmm. And of course there's always "comic book deaths" that could bring them back. I'm just perplexed over all this. But I come and go out of the series. Take a few issues off then come back and catch up.

Staff
Posted by TheAcidSkull

@shadowx said:

Its filled with plot holes, mischaracterization and ignoring canon.

And yet there are still people who think it's a brilliantly written masterpiece. I'm honestly not sure which people I detest more, those aforementioned folks, or the ones who are in this just to see these characters die horribly.

it's terrible. i hate it.

Nico and X-23 are on of my two favorite characters and i do not like how this is going.

i feel bad for the fans of Mettle, hazmat and etc. >_<

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Posted by LimboBot

this is actually excellently written.

Posted by Ravager4

@g_man said:

@nico4ever: Hmm. And of course there's always "comic book deaths" that could bring them back. I'm just perplexed over all this. But I come and go out of the series. Take a few issues off then come back and catch up.

That's the thing, though. Yes, they're "comic book deaths" but these are all C-list characters and below that, while they have extremely loyal and devoted fans who love them, Marvel does not see as profitable when compared to the A-listers. The only way they thought they could make money off them is to put them in a book that rips off the Hunger Games, because that's what's popular now. Plus, the Academy kids have only been around for what, 2, 3 years? The characters that DO die in this, probably are not going to be resurrected any time soon, if at all at.

Edited by lifeboy

Im mad! I bought a box of chocolate shreded wheat but it tastes just like regular shredded wheat and not chocolate at all ):<

Posted by Mucklefluga

A bit off-topic but sadly i had the same views that you have on this on The Flash. Although the art is magnificent it felt like nothing really happened. I probably should have just waited for the review for the actual comic to post this ahaha

Posted by MatKrenz

GAHHHHHH, I love this series so much. Riff with great characters, both old and new with such cool designs and backgrounds. Cannot wait for the next issue. As for the passing of the issue, yeah not much happens but we learn more about Cullen and the entire series has been paced like this so I don't have as much of a problem as you do Tony.

Posted by The Mast

Here's me with this series:

*Pops head in door.* "Is Hazmat still alive?" "Yes. Barely." "Ok, good." *Leaves* Hazmat is lucky in that she hasn't had enough focus on her to really BE mischaracterised. I feel bad for the other fans, though.

Posted by MatKrenz
Posted by jwalser3

HOW IS THIS STILL ONGOING?

Posted by animehunter

@jwalser3 said:

HOW IS THIS STILL ONGOING?

Because a second season has been mentioned by Hopeless

Edited by Revendawn

X-23 remains one of my favorite characters and a character that possesses a lot of potential (same could be said for a lot of the characters here) and it's a shame this is the way they are choosing to use them.

Edited by animehunter

@theacidskull said:

and did Hazmat die?

As you can see here from Avengers Arena #1 - Worse Things, it shows Hazmat is alive, injured but alive on day 29

While Avengers Arena #14 is day 28

And according to the cover for issue 17, looks like Hazmat will survive till then,

Along with X-23, Nico Minoru, Anachronism, Chase Stein (New Darkhawk)

So if you go by the cover, which has proved right, by the what the Variant cover for Issue #14 showed then these are the ones at risk at the moment.

Apex, Bloodstone, Cammi, Death Locket, Nara & Reptil

Avengers Arena #14 - Boss Level Part 1 variant cover

Edited by AlKusanagi

@g_man said:

@nico4ever: Am I being too optimistic in thinking they're not really dying? I haven't followed much of the discussion over this. But I know there is the 'theory' that none of this is really happening. They're all in a virtual world dying...virutally or something. I just feel like there's something more going on. Maybe I'm being too hopeful.

Yes, you are. Hopeless has stated multiple times that it is not a VR simulation or anything like that, and that the deaths are actually occurring. So unless he's flat out lying to us, then your hopes are entirely misplaced.

Just like the creators of Lost swore up and down that they weren't in Purgatory when people figured out their big twist so quickly... It's all virtual and, at most, a couple of throwaway characters will die because they weren't unplugged quickly enough.

Posted by jwalser3

@jwalser3 said:

HOW IS THIS STILL ONGOING?

Because a second season has been mentioned by Hopeless

I thought they would have ran out of teens by now.

Posted by muttput

The five characters in the cover above. do we not think the writer is going to leave them alive to be their own team?? That's the only positive out come i can come up with. Also isn't X-23 significantly more popular than any of the other characters in this to die??

Posted by Veitha

I'm loving this series

Edited by Smart_Dork_Dude

@shadowx: Meh, this whole thing and the disastrous "The Culling" thing DC did was just a cheap knock-off of Hunger Games for sales.

Honestly neither of them make much sense, but at least this(From what little I've read of it), makes more sense in most areas than The Culling did, which was a cluster of horrible sledehammers to the face for any Teen Titans fan and plot canyons. Yes plot canyons, for when plot holes just aren't enough.

Posted by animehunter

@muttput: @jwalser3: Although I'm not sure, but I think that's what he's going for where they team up to go after Arcade.

Unfortunately regarding x-23, her popularity might be the very reason she gets killed off, at least that what I'm afraid of, that her death will be such a shock, that the reaction would have a rippling effect to all the characters that cared for her and would add more motivation to take down Arcade, especially Wolverine who in a way saw her as his adopted daughter.

Posted by jwalser3

@animehunter: Is this canon? I really hope not. I was p!ssed first issue with the death of mettle.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

You know what? They just killed my last favorite character in this book.

Whatever. Just WHATEVER!
I'm beyond mad today with this and what Remender did! I'm so annoyed that they went out of their way to make a book to satisfy gore nuts! But people are okay because these NEW CHARACTERS are replacing them!

GOD I HATE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!! I want to punch anyone who likes it!

Posted by MatKrenz

@cafeterialoca: Come and get me. Also if you hate all these books why are you reading them ? Is someone forcing them in your hands or something ?

Posted by healed1337

@animehunter: Except that she's already been strongly hinted to be appearing in at least one X-Men book after this series ends. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/07/21/x-men-full-panel-report-from-sdcc-amazing-x-men-longshot-and-x-23/

She was mentioned in a Brian Wood interview recently as well.

Posted by animehunter

@animehunter: Except that she's already been strongly hinted to be appearing in at least one X-Men book after this series ends. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/07/21/x-men-full-panel-report-from-sdcc-amazing-x-men-longshot-and-x-23/

She was mentioned in a Brian Wood interview recently as well.

Just saw it, I'm happy that there's that, but I just hope it's not something to get our hopes up. At least it alleviates some of my worry about it.

-Will X-23 be showing up in the X-Books soon?

Lowe said that he can’t say where, because he didn’t want to spoil anything. But yes. At that point Bendis made huge pointing motions to himself, so look for her to show up in either “All-New” or (more likely) “Uncanny.”

Do you have the link for the recent Brian Wood interview where he mentioned her.

Posted by new_onslaught

Isn't #18 the last issue? I think what they call "season 2" will have a different title, but I'm not sure. I hope Hazmat and Nico survive.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@matkrenz said:

@cafeterialoca: Come and get me. Also if you hate all these books why are you reading them ? Is someone forcing them in your hands or something ?

Could it be that He enjoys and likes the characters here? therefore wants them to make sure that everything goes well? Nah, that's to stupid of a reason >_>

This book not only has a bad premise but is horribly written. HORRIBLY.

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Posted by QuantumVertex

This has been a great book but the execution has been on and off! Some issues are awesome, then others are really slow and don't really go anywhere. I was under the impression this book wouldn't have had so many issues before a resolution! Don't get me wrong i enjoy the book and i have come to love alot of these characters but story-wise there have been peaks in valleys in the writing to stretch the story out! This book has really made me love Nico, Hazmat and Nara! Very interesting characters i hope have a future!

Posted by lykopis

I have so much to say but then why bother. Stupid ideas and stupid delivery and stupid reveals and stupid mis-characterizations and stupid "gee, like we didn't see that coming" and of course the stupid "ah -- so that's what Bloodstone is" convenience.

But yes, please, by all means -- make it a five issue story arc -- this supposed "end" but completely avoid mentioning the two mutants...

ugh.

Like I said. Why bother. The writer has already lied to the readers -- I just want my favourite character free of him so a writer can fix the crap he's smeared over her.

Posted by michaelthemighty17

i love this book as well @Veitha