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Murder World is the Avengers Arena


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Analysis: One of the newest titles out of Marvel NOW! without a core group is Avengers Arena. All the heroes are young; you've got the kids from Avengers Academy, The Braddock Academy, and other junior outfits. The chronology, however, is confusing because it happens in it's own enclosed location, giving it autonomy. One interesting purpose of this series appears to be the killing off of minor characters. Whether by unpopularity or whim, a few appear to have died within the first few issues. The main villain development in this issue is Arcade.

Avengers Arena #1 (Takes place outside the scope of any other title, and it currently here without a chronological marker. It may be moved at a later date. Centered on the villain Arcade, he has scooped up Hazmat, Mettle, and many other youthful superhero figures and is placing them in a contest where only one survivor can leave. They try to fight, but just as they were completely controlled and brought to this new "Murderworld", they are powerless to do anything against him. In the final pages, he offers to kill one of the heroes, just to show his competitive spirit. He kills: Mettle.)
Avengers Arena #2 (Continues from Avengers Arena #1 with no other chronological markers. Most of this issue surrounds the character Rebecca Ryker, a child-turned-cyborg of Harlen Ryker, creator of the Deathlok technology. It goes into her origin through flashbacks, while she stumbles through Arcade's Murderworld, until she happens upon the members of Braddock's Academy, introducing us to Kid Britain and the others.)
Avengers Arena #3 (Continues from Avengers Arena #2, after some undefined period. Bannered. Following "Cammi", the story shows her prowess and origin as a normal, non-powered, human girl while she watches the other camps. While observing Justin, an unknown assailant attacks and kills him, destroying his sentinel as well. She attempts to follow, but runs into Darkhawk instead, also on the trail. They decide to work together, but at the end, Darkhawk is destroyed by the same mysterious figure.)
Avengers Arena #4 (Continues from Avengers Arena #3, without any other chronology. This issue centers on Nico, Chase, Hazmat, X-23, and Reptil. The latter three are still looking for Juston, but Nico and Chase decide to try and create a pact with them. Nico manages to create a food-bearing tree as an offering. At multiple times, the two sides nearly trade blows, but the final straw is when Reptil is attacked and nearly incinerated. Hazmat blames Chase, and the group divides again. As a parting "gift", Hazmat destroys the tree.)
Avengers Arena #5 (Continues from Avengers Arena #4, within it's own time period. This issue covers a bizarre series of relationships, stemming from Kid Briton and Braddock Academy, where the UK's greatest are being trained. He's a bully sort of fellow and although he's been in a romance with Apex, he's been cheating on her with Nara behind her back. Once things get going, Arcade pops in and says the fights have been moving to slow; he then causes some earthquakes and the sort while prodding them to race for medical supplies at Sector 2. Deathlocket suddenly becomes a semi-villain, though, when Anachronism and Bloodstone fall off the cliff into the river, she also pushes Nara. Kid Briton gets mad, but Apex tells him it's for the best and that she's done sharing him. Guess she knew all along about their trist. And lastly, Reptil finally comes to, but surprises Hazmat, telling him that it was Deathlocket, not Chase or Nico, that shot him.)
Avengers Arena #6 (Continues from the previous issue. Starting with Nara, Anachronism, and Bloodstone, at the bottom of the chasm, tempers flair realizing how Apex has masterminded and been using Deathlocket. We're starting to get a lot more origin/info about Anachronism, too; he was once a pudgy geek, but now he's bonded to the spirit of an incredible Warlord. By the end of the issue, all the teams make it to the supply dump at the same time, but Nara goes for Braddock. Apex tries to get Deathlocket to shoot them for her, but Bloodstone pulls some weapons out of the box and keeps them at bay. Finally, Braddock has had enough; Nara is calling him weak and he goes to cut her in half. Before he can, though, Anachronism jumps to her air and severs his head.)
Avengers Arena #7 (Continues from the Avengers Arena #6. This issue is composed entirely of a flashback. It follows Arcade in his last few years as a failed super-villain to a point where he hits rock bottom. About to be robbed by Constrictor, one of his traps goes off and takes him out; that's when Arcade has an epiphany and regains his villainous composure. He then returns to one of his assistants, who builds a perfect murder-island for him, giving him complete control through his suit. Running searches for super-powered kids to be his victims, the games are about to begin.)
Avengers Arena #8 (Continues from Avengers Arena #7. Many plots begin unfolding in this issue. X-23 searches around the Sentinel wreckage and finds out Juston survived, but is paralyzed by the waist down. He's rebuilding what's left as a weapon and she helps him. Anachronism is in shellshock after killing Kid Briton, but Nara passionately embraces him as a true warrior while Bloodstone appears jealously guarded. Cammi, Chase, and Nico arrive at the safe zone and both groups appear to work together. Meanwhile Apex and Death Locket are running wild; when Death Locket tries for answers, Apex changes into "Tim", a young man. And finally, Juston has the technical components up an running as a giant, robot weapon. He and X-23 find Apex and Death Locket and he tries to kill them. They all arrive at the safe zone and he attacks Nico for trying to stop him. That's when Chase reveals his secret, that he inherited the Darkhawk power, and attacks Juston. X-23 steps back and watches, thinking she won't have to fight at all; she'll just let them kill each other.)
Avengers Arena #9 (Continues from the previous issue. This issue centers on Tim Bashir, the twin brother of  Katy, and one-half of the person known as Apex. They share the same body, but Katy has turned devious and manipulative and kept Tim hidden for years. As Justin attacks, Tim causes all the machines to halt and has a moment where he can explain what Katy and he are. The group votes in a close election and agrees to let Tim live while keeping him tied up. On the night of the first watch, though, Katy emerges and takes over Deathlocket, kills Justin, and knocks out Nico before taking the Sentinel and escaping.)
Avengers Arene #10 (Continues from the previous issue. The kids now realize Katy is back, killed Justin, and left with Deathlocket and the Sentinel. Nico tells Laura aka X-23 who runs off alone attempting to track her. When Laura finds them, the sentinel catches and knocks her out. Katy then heads to the main group and attacks. Nico is the main fighter, using spell after spell; one of them provides a safehouse escape for the rest of her friends. DarkHawk shows up and Nico thinks she has an ally. Unfortunately, Katy is controlling him and he shoots Nico down, blowing off her arm. At the end, Nico is nearly dead and attempting to reach her Staff of One.)

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