Avengers Arena is one of the biggest surprises to come out of the Marvel NOW relaunch. Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker will take 16 young heroes (including members of Avengers Academy, Runaways and Darkhawk) and throw them into a Battle Royale scenario. The kids are trapped on an island by a classic X-Men villain. Arcade is back and he’s created a new Murderworld for Marvel’s young heroes. This concept sounds like a mini-series or one-shot but Hopeless and Editor Bill Rosemann tells Comics Newsarama this is definitely an ongoing series.
“Dennis and Kev have thought long and hard about how and why these characters will react to the scenario and the ripple effects their actions will create. Each month — and, yes, this is an ongoing monthly series — they’ll use the creative space to dig deep into the emotions of each character. As to what our cast will look like a year from now, well…”
“Yeah, this is definitely a long game sort of story. We need the space to explore all the different ways a worst-case scenario like Murder World affects this massive cast. I’m not sure we could have done them justice in a miniseries,” adds Hopeless.
I love the villain at the center of this new book. Arcade may not have a great track record for assassinating his targets but he’s definitely a twisted character to enjoy. Rosemann and Hopeless discuss the plan to make Arcade a potent enemy.
“When at his best, Arcade’s creepy façade of a cheery carnival barker is a calculated play that both distracts his targets and also leads his unsuspecting foes to underestimate him. And never forget he began his career by murdering his own father before embarking on a successful run as a freelance assassin. Dennis and Kev both completely understand his potential and knew instantly how to peel off the cheese to reveal his untapped terrifying core. Previously, Arcade always left a way out of his deathtraps, giving his prey a sporting chance, but now… soon everyone will learn that to underestimate Arcade is a deadly mistake,” declares Rosemann.
“Arcade doesn’t get a lot of respect and we all kind of understand why. For the longest time, nobody ever died in Murder World. But despite all of his failures over the years, Arcade is a brilliant guy. Deranged and bizarre, but brilliant. He designed and built all of those crazy death traps,” says Hopeless.
“The scenario Arcade has cooked up in Avengers Arena is a game changer for him. It’s his way of saying, “You don’t respect my reindeer games? Fine. Respect this!”
You could call Arcade the Seneca Crane (from The Hunger Games) of Marvel. The question is who will survive to become the Katniss or Peeta?
For the entire interview here’s the Comics Newsarama link.