Marvel has unveiled yet another new title that will soon be launched under the Marvel NOW! banner, Avengers Arena. Featuring the talents of writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Kev Walker on the creative team, the upcoming title was first teased last week with the “Survive” title card that was released alongside several other Marvel NOW! teasers. The new title will take 16 youthful heroes from the Marvel Universe and force them to face each other in a kill-or-be-killed arena located in Murderworld, a series of theme parks controlled by the villainous Arcade.
Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including members of the Runaways, The Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive?
Series writer Dennis Hopeless spoke with Marvel and elaborated on Arcade’s sinister plot.
Yeah, Arcade has spent a lot of years building “Murder Worlds” that yield very few actual murders. He’s decided it’s time to get back a little self-respect. It’s time for a new kind of Murder World. AVENGERS ARENA is about the unlucky kids he’s chosen to help him try it out.
The important thing is to give each character a chance to shine. These kids were chosen carefully and with specific story beats in mind. We definitely plan on taking advantage of the broad personality spectrum we have in play. Even the characters [that] die off early make their mark on the story. I didn’t throw anyone into the book as cannon fodder.
While I’ve held a very optimistic view on the plans for Marvel NOW! and the titles that are currently being announced, I just can’t escape the feeling that Marvel is trying to cash in on such films as The Hunger Games and it’s original source of inspiration, Battle Royale. Marvel doesn’t seem to be making any attempts at hiding the fact that this is their target demographic either. Just take a look at the cover art for Avengers Arena and compare it to the poster of Battle Royale!
Avengers Arena will arrive in stores this December.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming title? Are you excited for it?