Marvel NOW! The Younger Heroes Hope That The Odds Will Ever Be in Their Favor in AVENGERS ARENA!

A week ago we got this teaser from Marvel Comics:

And now we know what it means. Today, over on came the announcement of Avengers: The Hunger Games Avengers Arena from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Kev Walker.

What’s it about? Arcade transports 16 young heroes to an island ominously named Murder World to engage in a game of life and death sure to leave everyone hungry.

Who are the young gladiators pitted against each other in a kill or be killed scenario? Hopeless fills us in:

[It’s] a fun mix of both [familiar and unfamiliar characters]. Fans of Avengers Academy will hopefully be excited by the next chapter in the lives of Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, Juston and his Sentinel and X-23. Speaking of schools, who are the Braddock Academy? After his last appearances in War of Kings and Nova, Darkhawk soars again! Staying with sci-fi, just wait until you see what Dennis and Kev have planned for Annihilation’s Cammi, baddest girl in all the galaxy. And last but certainly not least, direct from the pages of the dearly missed Runaways, we have Chase and Nico!

One might imagine that these 16 young heroes will find away to defeat Arcade without having to kill each other… No? Hopeless again:

People die in this book.


It’s sort of ridiculous how huge our cast is at the start. But if you’re going to kill a lot of characters you gotta have a lot of characters.

There’s a lot more to read over on in the excellent interview conducted by a familiar name.


  1. This sounds incredibly gimmicky. However, I’m a big fan of Avengers Academy and the Runaways, so I’m in on this.

  2. haha they even ripped off the Battle Royal cover-sounds really dumb to me

  3. Avatar photo DDangelico (@DavidDangelico) says:

    What a sad world we live in where people call this a Hunger Games nod rather than a Battle Royale… SMH

  4. Is this where the Runaways are gonna be at in December ?

    Why ? I mean this premise sounds very gimmicky (even though the creative team sounds very strong) and I don’t want any Runaways to die or any of these other teen heroes to.

    Also this looks way more like Battle royal than Hunger Games.

    • The cover is definitely an homage to Battle Royale, but in terms of content, I’m thinking this is gonna be soft like The Hunger Games. They should get serious and make this a MAX title.

    • @lifesend: MAX title indeed! If they’re gonna kill em, do it right and start by knocking off all the lamest characters I’ve seen in years out of Avengers Academy and some of the younger X-men….X-23 should kill a few and just go back to X-force, she works well there.

  5. They should have gone with the title “Disposable Avengers”.

  6. shame on marvel shaaaaaaaaame!

  7. My money’s on Darkhawk In A Suit.

  8. No…just…no!

  9. Your premise is bad! And you should feel bad!

  10. Wow, this one sounds……interesting. LOL But I don’t really know any of the characters besides X-23. Darkhawk, is this the same Darkhawk who teamed up with Ghost Rider in the ’90s? Man, I’m out of touch……

  11. I find the premise of this title downright disturbing. Honestly, thinking of this makes me angry.


    additionally, Arcade’s theme park has been called Murderworld since 1978


    But yeah, let’s have a bird over fictional characters getting murdered in a place literally known only for that.

  13. Yes, it’s a rather shameless rip-off of Battle Royale, but it’s nice to see marvel do something that’s a little different for them, rather than just another “black ops” team. and i do quite like the cover.

    i’ll keep an eye on it.

    • Maybe the cover is a homage to Battle Royale but the premise isn’t, I mean, people have been going to pit friends against each other for many many years. Honestly you can call this a rip-off of either Hunger Games or Battle Royale because the point of the fighting isn’t even close to either of those stories, in fact it is the same premise as all of Arcade’s stories, so how about we stop with the comparisons to Hunger Games and Battle Royale since they have nothing to do with anything.

  14. im in battle royale is one of my favourite movies

  15. Should these teens really be that scared, I mean how many Marvel hero’s ever been killed while at Murder World.Usually it’s just Arcade getting his ass kicked.

  16. WOW. If only Marvel had thought of this years ago when it would have been new and relevant. OH wait! They did, it was called Contest of the Champions with JRjr on art. Just when you thought it could get worse…….

  17. Battle Royale, which was a rip-off of “Lord of the Flies,” which was a rip-off of Hobbes, who was riffing on the Bible, which was a rip-off of everything ever.

    Are new readers going to buy this because it looks like Battle Royale and feels like Hunger Games? I hope so. Personally, I love the idea of an ongoing set in Murderworld. It’s something Marvel hasn’t done before. Out of all of the Marvel: In a Little While news, this is the first that has felt like a departure for the company, even if it’s derivative of other literature, just like all other literature.

    If we want to talk shameless, derivative and boring, can we talk about the new Thunderbolt$?

    • @Quinn how was Battle Royale a rip-off of Lord of the Flies-Battle Royale was a group of students force into battle by the government. Lord of the Flies was a bunch of kids turning into savages when left stranded on a island with no adults to supervise where is the rip off???

    • @walterwhite – Kids vs kids in a closed environment? As plausible as insisting Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale.

    • Walter, weren’t you calling things ripoffs just a second ago, but now you can’t take it?

      Quinn was being silly.

    • I enjoyed all three and am actually looking forward to this title. With that said go easy on walterwhite, there are far less parallels between Lord of the Flies and Battle Royale than there are between Battle Royale and the Hunger games. LOTF was also a lot better than those books too.

      The list (which I made after my knee surgery and couldnt do anything) of Battle Royale and Hunger Game similarities is ridiculously long.

    • P.S. Are you actually blessed with the name Walter White or are you just a breaking bad fan.

    • @Vichus Just curious what Quinn meant, wasn’t offended at all nor care if someone doesn’t share my opinion-Still looks horribe and dumb- RIP-OFF House of Ideas my ass

      @jprister Thanks for the backup bro, and great points-Name handle is just because I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad which as you know 100% original

  18. Avengers Arena – because DC’s The Culling went so well.

    Honestly, the glee with which the creative team announces that teens will get killed is just sad. If it’s characters I like, I don’t want them killed (temporarily, obviously, this is Marvel). And if I don’t care about them, well, who cares? I could see this as a mini-series, but not an ongoing … wouldn’t the older heroes come a-looking for the kids? Wouldn’t the kids join forces and use their considerable experience to beat Arcade?

    OK, this is where Marvel would say, exactly, buy the book and see how we get around this sort of thing, but the premise of Murder Is Cool just isn’t for me. Still, full marks for shameless ‘homaging’ – I’m old enough to remember when Marvel led rather than followed.

  19. “Hey, the kids like Hunger Games right?”

    This is truly terrible.

    • This feels like Disney saying, “The Hunger Games is popular, and the Avengers are popular”.

    • That is absolutely what they are saying, and while I too think it is stupid, I can’t really fault them for thinking it. They want to sell books. They look at things that are selling. They adapt their properties to fit that mold so as to increase interest in their product. Unoriginal? Sure, but what isn’t? Standard business decision? Yup. At the end of the day, comics fans have to remember that the heads of these companies (not the creators) care more about bringing in more revenue (i.e. not long term comic readers) than they do about their core audience, which is dwindling rapidly. And I get it, they do not owe me anything. And in turn, I will not buy things of theirs if I don’t have interest in them.

  20. So the premise is: Watch all these characters you have grown to like die for the sake of a tired gimmick that was tired long before the Hunger Games showed up? Or is it This book is serious because we kill people and killing is serious.

    What a waste. Even if they kill 790 characters, most of them will come back later anyways.

  21. Ugh. Sounds like Rob Liefeld and Mark Millars horrible Youngblood BloodSport series that only lasted one issue years ago. Nothing makes me less interested in a book than killing established characters to get attention.

    Plus they’re really gonna piss of Ron when they kill Darkhawk.

  22. Maybe the cover is a homage to Battle Royale but the premise isn’t, I mean, people have been doing the pit friends against each other for many many years. Honestly you can’t call this a rip-off of either Hunger Games or Battle Royale because the point of the fighting isn’t even close to either of those stories, in fact it is the same premise as all of Arcade’s stories, so how about we stop with the comparisons to Hunger Games and Battle Royale since they have nothing to do with anything.

    • Very true. Much like how people say the recent Dredd movie looks like The Raid (Dredd was in the works before that btw), people just compare everything to a recentish example for some reason.

  23. i dont know sounds like a cool idea but u know most of the people to be killed are the ones u have not heard of. Good to see Darkhawk

  24. Currently Americas Got Powers is doing this.

  25. hmm I think the cover could use some more A’s

  26. The first thing by Kev Walker I won’t be picking up since the early 90’s. What a terrible premise for a series.

  27. 1960’s Stan Lee: “Hey! The kids like surfing these days, right? That gives me a great idea!”
    1980’s Chris Claremont: “That Alien movie did pretty well, huh? Say… I know what to do!”
    Does anybody really believe there was some mythical era when Marvel DIDN’T crib from whatever else was perceived as popular at the time? This is Not. A. Big. Thing. And, like the Brood and countless other “shameless rip offs” in Marvel’s history, it could be pretty cool! Or not.

    • Technically, it was Jack Kirby who came up with the Silver Surfer. (sorry, I can’t help myself 😉 )

    • Fair enough! (never apologize for giving credit to the king.)

    • Wait. So since Silver Surfer surfs, his entire character, whose only link to surfing is he has a surfboard, is a ripoff of surfing? I’ll give you the brood thing, but come on. Even then, you are right that there are ripoffs; but at least do one someone wants to see.

  28. The best thing to come out of this so far is the identity of the “familiar name” who did the interview on Way to go, man!

  29. Pandering

  30. What a waste of paper. I struggle to see how this will be an ongoing title. Also, Cammi from the Annihilation series, she was just a regular girl, yes? One that Drax thought was his daughter. Why would Arcade want a non-powered/gageted teen on his Murderworld, might as well fill the place up with other regular folks and rip off Saw? How does he even know who she is? Does he have a Marvel Handbook?

  31. Wow, this is incredibly stupid. At least it will look good with Walker on art. Still stupid though.

  32. May be Marvel can reprint some of those old issues of Arcade vs the X – men and whom ever else, I remember enjoying that issue when I was younger.

  33. Nonsense! I don’t believe comics have grown over cynical and obsessed with needlessly gruesome and gimmicky stories! Just look at this delightful book called Avengers Academy, and another book from a few years ago called Runaways. Both have excellent drama and sad poignancy while managing to be lighthearted and fun throughout, as two groups of teenagers try to learn how to be superheroes while battling authority figures and trying hard to keep from turning into bloodthirsty, cynical adult super villains. Isn’t it just wonderful? Why, if comics were overly dark and shallow in the slightest, they’d probably get all of these characters together and force them to kill each other in massively out-of-character and exploitative ways! But we know that’ll never happen, right? Because there’s another book called America’s Got Powers with exactly the same premise which is in turn ripped off of The Hunger Games which is in turn ripped off of Battle Royale which is in turn… oh fuck it! REALLY? REALLY? Fuck you, Marvel. Seriously, fuck you.

  34. So we have loved characters from different fan favorite comics, an amazing artist in Kev Walker, an up and coming talent in Dennis Hopeless was pretty great on Legion of Monsters and X-Men Season 1, and a cool concept.

    Remind me how this is a bad thing? Seriously, you guys are being WAY to cynical.

    • Absolutely agreed. The amount of hate we’re seeing here seems kind of ridiculous, from my point of view.

    • Well, I know this is pointless to point out, but nobody can remind you why they have a different opinion than you. And negative impressions on an idea are no less valid than positive ones. This idea, if taking itself with any degree of seriousness, has the recipe to be one of the silliest comics ever written, I’d say.

    • To further expand on that, if this is a parody and some kind of commentary on something, or just schlocky entertainment, maybe it could work on some level. If there’s serious drama to be had, where somebody holds a dead Darkhawk and says “Damn you Arcade! This damn game, you making us kill eachother, this is evil! A madhouse!”, I mean… ha well anyways, I just can’t see this going somewhere interesting.

      And the whole “we’re killin’ people!” thing is the tackiest marketing move in comics.

    • Might have something to do with most of these characters getting offed.

  35. This is a shame.

    Wasting a great artist like Kev Walker on such a stupid idea. Was considering on trying this on the creative team alone….But I don’t care for this premise and Marvel’s lack of ideas is really start to bother me.

  36. At a time when comics are experiencing a new high point of success with original, sophisticated and diverse stories among creator owned and small press titles, DC and Marvel have become preoccupied with shallow, grim stories pandering to the most tasteless appetites of a shrinking niche audience. All the while, more classic treatments of the DC and Marvel characters are having unprecedented commercial and critical success in film and television.

    The one good thing I can say for them is that the Big 2 are really helping me shrink my pull list. The worst thing I can say about them is that they have provoked me into being snarky on the internet, which I hate doing.

  37. Gimmick aside, they had me at Kev Walker. Not to mention Avengers Academy was one of the only Marvel titles I read that introduced new characters I actually cared about. I’ll give it a shot.

  38. Am I the only one who thinks it is messed up that Darkhwak has been around for more than twenty years? I remember buying that book when I was in middle school when it first debuted.

  39. This will run 12 issues ( give or take a few issues ) and the survivors will then return to earth as a team. Having gone through such a harrowing experience. They will probably arrive in time to factor into/ participate in Marvel’s next “event”. I for one will give it an honest try.

  40. Yes, it’s like The Hunger Games which is in turn like The Lottery but also alot like Battle Royale. What matters is what they do with the characters and where they take the story from this common starting point. It could be incredibly awful or it could be incredibly awesome. From the interviews with Hopeless, I am certainly giving it a shot. I am happy to do ‘The Culling’ on a few more New 52 titles to make room.

  41. Who in all of Marvels canon making decisions as an Avenger would go for a stunt like this, Ares?

  42. Has Marvel just ran out of ideas they gotta steal other peoples ll the #1’s im cool with even thought its just them trying to captialize on the New 52 and now they rip off Battle Royle I have heard the word homage but a homage is doing something simiar not a stright forward rip off i’m glad the only marvel title I read is ASM now this is just getting disgraceful whats next bringing back Jean Grey the thousandth time ohhh wait they are.

  43. Personally, I’m waiting until Marvel figures out a way to cash in on “50 Shades of Grey.”

  44. I know this is probably going to sound outrageous and stupid. But hey MARVEL, if you ever need some ideas call me. Why don’t you guys just have ARCADE setting this whole thing up so he can choose who the next ARCADE is going to be while he retires.

    Call it AA, Arcades Academy. Boom.

  45. I like the idea of more Darkhawk, but I’d rather see him get his own new series than be involved in this premise.