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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 

Mercenary Arcade becomes more vicious in Avengers story

USA Today reports that Marvel's publishing Avengers Arena, which pits teenage protagonists against the crooked Arcade and his Murderworld maze, and in today's trendy landscape could turn out to be a very unpleasant trip:
Marvel Comics' youngest superheroes are feeling the deadly effects of The Hunger Games.

Avengers Arena, debuting Wednesday as part of the publisher's "Marvel NOW!" initiative, places 16 teenage do-gooders in the continuous peril of Murderworld, run by the assassin Arcade, and only one of them can make it out alive.

Death is a major part of the book's concept, according to writer Dennis Hopeless, but fans of characters such as X-23, Reptil and Darkhawk need not worry about Avengers Arena becoming "a meat-grinder book where all of their characters die for shock value," he says.

"It does have really high stakes, but it's a very character-centric piece. It's designed to get you in the head of these characters and fall in love with them and be scared with them."
Not scared with, just feeling sorry for them. What if it's some minor characters who end up in the meat grinder? Even that's not what I'd want to read a book like this for, but all the signs are pointing to that this'll be much more grisly a ride than any story with Arcade I'd read years ago, which were actually a lot more fun and suspenseful than this is bound to be under an editorial board that's become notorious for cranking the violence level in their books up more than it used to be in the past.
Avengers Arena also marks the grand return of Arcade, a popular X-Men supervillain in the 1980s who's evolved from a mastermind making death traps for a price to the most evil version of Jeff Probst ever by way of Francisco Scaramanga.

Getting beaten down by superheroes over the years has turned the psychopath into a joke, and he's on the way back to respectability with his best killer amusement park.

"He's always been a smart guy, he builds all this stuff himself, but our version of him has taken the time to build Murderworld where no one is going to escape, where he is the most powerful person there and until you figure something out, you're going to do what he's saying," Hopeless says.

"His personality is the same, but a whole lot scarier. He's serious now. He's not going to let you get out of this."
Don't worry, I won't even be entering his park; 4 dollars is just too high a price to pay for admission anyway. What made Arcade work years ago was that the writers didn't usually lace the tales with the mean-spirited tone this Avengers story is likely to have, and that's why they were a lot more fun. Marvel NOW is only bound to take the word "fun" out of the house.

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It's like Linkara of the web series "Atop the Fourth Wall" said... all Marvel (and DC) with their younger heroes is put them through pointless Hunger Games ripoffs.

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