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2.2 stars

Average score of 12 user reviews

How to Kill a Character 101 0

The Death of Gwen Stacy is one of the most iconic moments in comics because primarily of its shock value and how it has been remembered. Personally, I don't think the story as originally told was all that great. It's not enough about Gwen herself, I think, to justify her death. Here, we have that one problem rectified. Through the lens of Marvels, Kurt Busiek provides even more pathos for a character many people today only know for dying. Sure, it perpetuates the "Saint Gwen" idea in their...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Contrived 0

And here I was ready to give this series a second chance. I really was. It was improving, problems were being addressed from the prior issue and things were looking up. Then this issue came around and I was reminded of just how bad Arena could get, not through fault of the concept, but through fault in the writing. The GoodKev Walker is back on art duties and not quite as phoning it in as he was towards the end of Arena.After 22 issues with the character in his stable, Dennis Hopeless finally...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Drudgery 0

I have a pet peeve. A few in fact. The sort of storyline where a hero is taken to their lowest point and has to build themselves back up? That's a storyline I've honestly grown tired of seeing in the last twenty years. When it's done well, it can be entertaining, but it's often little more than bland shock tactics and destroying the established concepts of a character that drew people to them in the first place in a vain attempt at authorial recognition and cheap cliff hangers. Sadly, The s...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

One of Hopeless' Better Issues, but I still take Issues with it 0

This issue feels almost like an apology to the people Hopeless offended with Arena. Making up for and pointing out many of the mistakes he made in Arena, but he doesn't quite get all of it and adds a few new mistakes on top of it. He's learning, I suppose, but it may be to little, too late. With the latest solicits trying to court the notoriously skittish, skeptical and discerning Runaways fans, this is clearly the setup for it.But will it work?The GoodArcade's fate in this issue is actually rat...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Creep Factor 4 0

This issue is notable in only how it reinforces plot points from the prior issue hamfistedly and increases the skeeve factor, to the point where it replaced Arena's vile factor at this point.The GoodYes, there is some good here. Some of the Hero-Villain interaction verges on being human, which for this book is saying something. It's rare, so it stands out all the more. Also, having a soft spot for some ridiculous villains, a few of the cameos were worth it. It stirred my heart to see the Grapple...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Desperately Needed Characterization 0

One of the biggest problems I've had with Hickman's Avengers run, primarily with his new characters, was the lack of sympathetic characterization. Many of them are more plot devices than characters, and frankly destined to probably be as well remembered and loved as The Forgotten One. Here, Starbrand manages to get some desperately needed characterization and addressing his really, really bad origin story. Both contribute to each other. In a City of the Dead, he is confronted with the hundr...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Beligerent and Simplistic 0

Avengers Arena left a fowl taste in my mouth, and in the mouths of many readers. Even reviewing other things by the writer, the faults in Arena proved not to be one off issues, but full blown aspects of the writer's style. In other words "That wasn't a bug, that was a feature!" Avengers Undercover starts out by reminding us of one of the flaws I thought was unique to Arena, but managed to spill over here: Dennis Hopeless is an Arcade Fanboy.The issue starts with a news report about Murderworld t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An Average Yarn with Some Problems 0

This conclusion for the Inhumanity arc honestly didn't do all that much. It's a standard super hero tale in the Marvel Universe that has two things working against it. Despite starting like that, the twitter/tumblr/running third party commentary around the story is not one of them. It's utterly superfluous as far as I'm concerned, but it isn't bad. Just, unnecessary. I can see what's being attempted with it. When in the core of the story, it does work, but the outside stuff just falls flat. Ther...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Thank God It's Over 2

Avengers Arena reaches its conclusion, and now can fade into history (ya know, aside from the last few pages setting up the sequel series Avengers Undercover, robbing this series of a satisfactory ending). It's confused, muddled, and just a bit rushed, but there actually were things worth seeing in this final issue.After getting yet another sycophantic proclamation about how great Arcade is and how his game is so perfect that he didn't need to interfere at all with all the "super cool" (tm) soun...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Mediocre with a touch of vileness. 2

One of the hallmarks of Avengers Arena is that people act stupidly in order to forward the plot. This is an issue that really relies on it to more it forward, as Arcade moves solidly into the realm of Mary Sue villain. But that's getting ahead of ourselves a wee bit. The opening is the conclusion to the Cliffhanger from all the way in #1, as Anachronism rescues Hazmat from X-23. Not out of altruism, but out of revenge. Reptil saves X-23 from being chopped forward as Hazmat begs them to stop ...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

But what's my motivation? (spoiler review) 1

After the high of last issue, we're immediately knocked back into mediocrity by that wonderfully bland villain Arcade. It's funny how a guy who made a giant pinball machine of death has really become a low rent Mojo under Hopeless pen, especially since Arcade's has literally become Dennis Hopeless' mouthpiece in this story. The reasoning he gives as to why now everyone is cracking is almost verbatim Hopeless' reasoning, making it really hard to divorce the two. And, like Arena has been want to d...

3 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Tepid 0

After 14 issues, it seems Hopeless has finally learned the narrative structure needed to kill a character. He employs this, primarily, for his own darlings, which can be good or bad depending on your opinion, but it is not a good sign. That said, it's not particularly gripping or interesting. The featured death has some impact, but that is almost despite itself. The character has been extremely shallow before this and only now that she gets some depth, that character dies. At least it's some dep...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.