majingojira

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majingojira

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One of the weird things I noticed with this issue, aside from the dismissal of legitimate PTSD symptoms (avoidance of others from Nico), is the two strawmen that were employed. One for Dennis' detractors at the beginning (while thoroughly missing the point of the detractors in the process of course), and one for his FANS (the "Death Locket Fanboy", generally portraying them as creepy obsessives). Between this, the lines in the beginning about the world being 'fooled' to watch and Katy Bashir's BS about "The people watching at home" from Arena, there's some real passive aggressiveness going on. The letter at the end about his "Deal With It" tweet not only portrays Dennis as someone of low intelligence, but someone who I think hates doing this series.

Also, this reviewer calling Arena a "Breakout Hit" is beyond delusional and pushes this review into Poe's Law territory. How can I take a review seriously when it's that brazenly idiotic? Arena is many things, but a "Hit" is not one of them.

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majingojira

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Damnit, it's an old gag, but I can't help but laugh at it. A classic pratfall told well.

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majingojira

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@avengers_4everxx: There's two problems with your reasoning. The first one involves the word "Continuity".. See, we've already seen some of these kids deal with PTSD level events, the Runaways and Hazmat are practically defined by them. Hazmat was ready to die in Fear Itself for the sake of others and watched Mettle fall apart inside due to his actions (IE: taking a life). The Runaways--good lord, where do I even start with them. The other side of it deals with how extremely over hyped the events of Arena are in Dennis Hopeless' mind. Let's face facts here, the game Arcade set up was complete crap. It was so crappy that he had to interfere multiple times just to get it to work. The rules so loosely defined, the threat hanging over their heads so vague, that frankly, it's hard to buy the level of PTSD that would cause such a deep change.

In the lettered preview, we get a grand illustration of this in Chase's declaration that "Arcade Won!" Chase has dealt with probably more PTSD than most, losing his parents like the other Runaways, he also dealt with the loss of Gert and years of abuse from his father--the last of which gave him a massive guilt complex where he'd blame himself for bad things that happened to him. This includes calling his parents "Practically Saints". If we got some logically consistent PTSD for Chase, it would most likely involve his guilt, the control Katy put him under and what he did to Nico. He'd blame himself for it, for getting her killed and the loss of her arm. It would stem from that place and go from there.

But that's not what we get. We get him basically betraying Nico AGAIN without a shred of guilt about him culminating in more Arcade aggrandizement. Dennis Hopeless is a massive Arcade fanboy and things like this are proof of it. That and the monologues in Arena about how awesome the game and Arcade are. Seriously, I think there's like half a dozen of those that series.

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majingojira

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#4  Edited By majingojira

I'll be honest, the colorist here is nowhere near as bad as what as being done in Arena, but that said, the prognosis is not good. I do enjoy Kev Walker's overall style (mostly because he can draw women who have something smaller than a D Cup), but his redesigns leave a lot to the imagination. Chase looks like Quire (a horrible fate indeed), Nico's gauntlet arm continues to present clothing problems that are far more distracting than anything else on the page, Death Locket continues her bland path, as does Bloodstone (glowing eyes do nothing for his character design being little better than closet cosplay in waiting) and Hazmat's Hoodie of Nuclear Boredom. Though I'm rather sad we don't have a picture of Anachronism. The covers show him to be a crazy crossbreed between The Ultimate Warrior and WCW's Sting (back in his "Crow" phase), including a 'blank' championship belt. I don't know about any of you, but that design begs to have all his dialogue red like the Ultimate Warrior. DESTRUCITY!

Hopeless himself has pretty much singled himself out as the single worst Writer currently on Marvel's payroll, and the tease is going to do more to keep away the people already driven off by Arena from this title than entice anyone. Instead of threatening the characters they love with death, they're threatened with being turned evil. If it's an established character from something other than Arena, then there will be more internet rage (and continued low sales).

Though I am curious to see if Hopeless can find a way to re-introduce these characters in an even worse manner in this series than he did in the first three issues of Arena. IE: "Being a Hater is a relate-able, humanizing trait", exposition dumps and rushed flashback sequences (in the first, second and third issues, respectively). Given these previews, I'd say he's going to be at least on par, what with Chase's behavior only really being explainable by replacement or possession.

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majingojira

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#5  Edited By majingojira

One of the things that strikes me as odd is that defenders of Arena, even in published reviews, always say that the characterization is great, but just leave it at that. Maybe it's my love of science wanting evidence, but even in English classes, a reason as to why something works would be nice. I mean, I know the urge to not post spoilers is huge, but then again, I never really was bothered by them.

But really, the misquoting Tsun Tzu in this issue really just cements my negative impression of Hopeless as a writer. And that opening monologue by Katy flies in the face of everything we've seen Arcade actually do in this series, but there's no indication that she's supposed to be talking out of ignorance or that the reader is supposed to doubt her. She's talking about how cool Arcade is. Again. And we as readers are supposed to gobble it up.

That's Telling, not showing.

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majingojira

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While, true, it obfuscates my core problem with the idea. Primarily, that the meaning becomes lost when "I like this a whole lot" allows a story to become equal to or rated the same as something truly groundbreaking: a genre definer and defier; a meta-narrative commentary, questioning and then answering of an entire genre, sub-genre or medium; or even a near perfect retelling of a classic story. I mean, liking something a whole lot should not color a review to that extent. Sure, it will color a review, but a reviewer of any merit should be able to acknowledge their biases and look at the broader picture. If a 5 star rating is tossed around frivolously, it loses all meaning and the reviews become, well, worthless. We are all just viewers with opinions, but just how aware we are of it counts for a lot, as well as how aware we are of the medium and/or genre we are reviewing.

This is not an either-or proposition either, again, Roger Ebert comes to mind. Agree or disagree, he presents his reasons well (a majority of the time) and the best ones are hard to argue.

Or to be more topical: SF Debris. He provides his opinion, but he also gives a lot of analysis, justifications and reasoning for it along with jokes about magnetic balls.

I don't care what people argue, as long as they do so well. This? This didn't do it well, for reasons already described.

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majingojira

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Ya know, the more I think about this sort of review, I think it's more an attempt to rile people up or make up for the hate it gets from nonprofessional fans online than an actual review. akbogert covered the problems with this review far better than I could. It also makes me question the overall veracity of the star system on this site, because the I keep seeing 5 star reviews for books, even when I like them, are not worth that level of accolade.

Or maybe I'm just a very strict in my review nature from reading too much Roger Ebert.

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majingojira

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Lack of punctuation notwithstanding, that's just a plain old Appeal to Authority, a well known logical fallacy. It doesn't help your argument to use it. I understand that you don't like seeing a series you like ragged on, but keep in mind that the series' actions cause the exact same reaction in others. That is why I call it vile. All it does is cause strife.

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majingojira

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I'm still baffled that people believe the deaths in here weren't all throw away when even Hopeless himself admitted that one was intentionally a throw away and pointless -- and he regrets it. Let's not mention Juston. I'm tired of people bending over backwards and over analyzing single panels to justify that thing.

What is said to drive it forward is, really, all it has. The "Suspense" of who will die is the only thing driving it forward, and that shallowness is the real undoing of the series. It has nothing to offer other than "What happens next". It's hard to look back on it without finding faults or even finding fans who look back and go "That was a great scene" or "That death really worked in the long run." There's only "What happens next" and nothing else.

And honestly? When everyone involved has to act really stupid in order for the suspense to work, it just doesn't.

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