pspin's Avengers Arena #9 - Game On Part 2 of 5 review

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Avengers Arena #9 Review

Avengers Arena #9 Review


The history of Apex is revealed and someone dies.

The Good:

The story was average. Dennis Hopeless has had the tendency to write the original characters, such as Apex, much better than the existing ones but for whatever reason Apex routinely falls flat. This story gets into her (his?) backstory and honestly it is boring. The only good part was whne they were deciding whether to kill Apex or not and their decision comes back to bite them in the ass, who would have guessed.

Dennis hopeless was completely average here.

The art by Kev Walker was once again the best part of the issue. The art really flowed well with the colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu and set an appropriately dreary and dark mood.

The Bad:

I don’t know what it is but I cannot bring myself to care about Apex in the slightest. This issue expands on his/her/its backstory and it doesn’t really get the sympathy rolling. There is the idea of making an unsympathetic villain (i.e. Red Skull) and up until now Apex could have had that going for him/her/it (whatever) but this issue really kicks that idea in the teeth. She-Apex is a total bitch and completely manipulative and wants to kill everyone but He-Apex doesn’t and He-Apex doesn’t even try to do anything about it when he has the chance, he just throws a pity party and everyone falls for it. Making a character with split personalities where one is sympathetic and the other is not is very difficult and unfortunately Hopeless gets it wrong.

I think the part that made me not like the issue was the sheer stupidity of everyone that isn’t Juston, Chase, and Nara. They want to kill Apex but everyone else out votes them and then bad things happen. Anyone with eyes could have seen Apex’s escape and killing of a certain character coming. The series up until now has been realistic from the point of the tension and what the groups do but this was just so obvious it is ridiculous.


This issue was flat; something about it just didn’t click the way that the previous issues about the original characters have. The writing was average and the art was great but the story just didn’t have any emotional punch to it. (Unless you are a big fan of Juston.)

2 (2.5) out of 5

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Edited By ChanceEncounter

couple things, one, not some people die.

two, I don't think in the end they're trying to make Apex sympathetic at all. Either half. Katy is clearly not sympathetic, she's an unapologetic sociopath. And while the back story for Tim sets up some sympathetic feelings because of Katy's hijacking of their body, in the end, that's all torn away when he chooses relinquish control in order to ensure his survival, even if it's only as a passenger in Katy's body.

And it's not "stupid" to not want to kill Tim. HE hasn't done anything to them (to that point none of them even knew he existed), and has been just a much a victim of Katy's nature as they have. It's human. Plus, a lot of them are still trying to do everything in their power not to play Arcade's sick game (basically everyone who isn't Katy). But it's clear now that Katy is a target for all of them, especially X-23 and the rest of the Avengers Academy crew.

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Edited By pspin

@chanceencounter: Ok one person did die and I have bad grammar. I really am sorry I didn't catch that the first time but it is fixed now.

Hopeless was trying to make the reader experience an emotional connection to Apex by making Tim a helpless whiny bitch and Katy evil, which is fine and I would be on board with that except for the fact that the have the same body. When I saw this, I saw a guy who didn't even try to help at all, he just sat there and told everyone how weak and ineffective he was at life and a hardcore sociopath which made me hate the character and not care at all about Tim since he didn't even try.

I understand not wanting to play the game but the problem was more from the reader standpoint, there was no "maybe this will work out, maybe it won't." I thought it was very clear that not killing Apex was the wrong move and someone was going to die for it. While I don't expect amazing things from this book, a sense of suspense would have been nice. I felt that it was like watching a movie for the hundredth time, you know what is coming and it ruins it a bit. Some of the characters, particularly X-23 and Cami really should have seen that coming.

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