By akbogert 17 Comments
First, I was going to add this to the end of Hopeless. Heartless. Careless?. But I'd already double-posted there (just yesterday, mind you -- so check the end of OP or the most recent comment if you care), and CV wouldn't let me triple-post.
I then resolved to mention it in the blog I considered inevitable based on the solicits and interviews pointing to the "shocking conclusion" of Issue #6, which came out today. But as it turns out, today's issue may actually have been a pretty exemplar one, the one real bone I have with it having already been brought up elsewhere (that Arcade manufacturing his own working Trigger Scent recipe is outright PIS which simply serves Hopeless' need to make Laura a killer or pariah and ignores the canonical difficulties of replicating or acquiring TS).
So here we are. I'm going to bring it up here. It's a simple point, and one I don't want getting lost in a sea of other ones. I want this front and center.
See, I'm frequently accused of overreacting about Avengers Arena. And despite the fact that I've said ad nauseum that I understand there is more to this book than "just killing," people who argue with me inevitably still say "this book isn't just about killing." But, I say, it's still about killing -- killing is still an intrinsic part. "But only two people have died," they say. Well, three, if they say it today. So they're dying slowly. Doesn't mean they're not dying.
This weekend I got lucky enough to click my way into about 200 free comics before Marvel's promotion destroyed servers. This allowed me a great opportunity to, among things, check out some books I was on the fence about, and some books I refused to put money towards but would like to see how they were being handled. Avengers Arena #1 was actually one such book. I have now read it. I've read the comments sections. My thoughts on the matter can be found in the aforementioned addendum to my last blog. I expected that to be the end of thinking of Arena, but then I got to the back of Avengers #1, and I found this:
Also making its debut this month is Avengers Arena #1! For those fans who complain that Marvel has too many young heroes in our stable, Arcade is out to do something about it -- by imprisoning sixteen of them on Murderworld Island and forcing them all to fight to the death! ... So if you're a fan of Hazmat, Darkhawk, the Runaways, Mettle, Cammi and Nico -- or if you can't stand the sight of 'em -- AVENGERS ARENA's got something you won't want to miss! [emphasis added]
Read that over again. Let it sink in. It's old news in many respects, but it's there, and it happened.
This, folks, is how Marvel marketed its own book.
I understand that people wanted me to formulate my opinions based on firsthand experience. But now that I've done so, I'm honestly confused. What, precisely, was I expected to find that would change my mind? Where is this cache of good will that I've been missing? Every qualm I have seems to be justified.
Solicits lie, the devil's advocate says.
Yeah, that's true, they do.
But this isn't that simple.
What we're looking at here is a company listing a group of characters and -- pay attention -- actively advertising a book with those characters to people who hate them and think they're superfluous. Guaranteeing that that audience won't want to miss what happens to the characters they hate.
Think about that.
Are you still going to sit there and tell me I've got this all wrong?
(PS -- I really did write a considerable amount regarding my experience with AA No. 1 in that other thread. I'd definitely appreciate if people also took the time to read that and maybe address it as well)