Avengers Arena #3 Review

16 kids entered Arcade’s Murder World in order to compete in a fight to the death for 30 days. Things are starting to get heavy for the young heroes, will they be able to find a way out, or will they succumb in order to survive?

Here is Marvel’s Summary:

  • X-23 vs. ANNIHILATION’s Cammi!
  • A mystery opponent vs. AVENGERS ACADEMY’s Sentinel!
  • Who is the killer stalking the competitors in their sleep?
  • Plus: Darkhawk equals death!

It is day 8 on Murder World, and things continue to heat up for the young heroes. The dread surrounding the kids new environment continues to mount with each passing day as a mysterious assailant has been attacking the camps for 4 days and sowing seeds of distrust among some of the kids. High in the trees Cammi scopes out what is happening and finds the culprit attacking Juston (Avengers Academy) & his Sentinel. She chases who she THINKS is the attacker but when she runs into Darkhawk, the two agree to help each other out and hunt whoever has been attacking them. But Darkhawk is ambushed by a mysterious figure and loses his crystal after he and Cammi split up and search.

Hopeless again shines a spotlight on one of the kids this issue as he did with Deathlockett last time. This time the focus is on Cammi, we saw some of her in the last issue, but some of her past and how she got to the island is shone more prominently here. She was captured by S.W.O.R.D. (S.H.E.I.L.D.’s alien threat branch) and her some of her backstory is explained in the form of interrogation by Abigail Brand. Telling those unfamiliar with her about her role in the “Annihilation War” a couple of years ago and what she has been doing now. We get a peek into her character when she tells Brand she would rather be thrown in a Shi’Ar prison than return home to Earth, which adds another layer to her. She is also shown to be pretty resourceful, when she joins with Darkhawk she tells him she set up a field full of mines in the ground and deactivates them with a code phrase,they excahnging some good dialogue and Cammi even comments that Darkhawk is a bit “too long in the teeth” to be with the rest of them (I guess Hopeless forgot that tidbit of info).

Another good moment for her is while searching for the attacker in the snow, she’s jumped by X-23 (My personal favorite) who says she doesn’t have the attackers scent, says sorry, and walks off leaving Cammi in the snow. Hopeless writes the moment well, as he shows this has an effect on Cammi and she starts to say to herself “Stupid. Weak. Slow.” over and over. The shadowed attacker angle is another good plot point since it adds to the fear and starts to show some of the kids come apart and mistrust one another.

The art on the books is still pretty good, and fits the atmosphere well. Darkhawk’s armor going haywire looks pretty freaky, and the mysterious shadow watching him looks very unnerving as no one knows who it is.

Avengers Arena is still a pretty good series, and with each passing issue it continues to dig itself out of the hole it was in before it’s release. I can now say with issue 3 this book is a recommended read (Please don’t kill me fans)

This week’s cover homage: Hunger Games


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