My first thought when I saw the solicit for Avengers Arena #1, I thought, “wow, they’re really ripping off Battle Royale. I mean check out the solicit.
Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including cult faves like members of the Runaways, The Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive?
And now, check out the cover.
And now the Battle Royale poster.
So, first glance, it seemed like a pretty blatant rip-off. But, then I saw the second cover.
So apparently they have a theme going of homage covers. So, I let that slide. I then looked to see how many issues this would run because it mildly had my interest, and that’s where the real surprise was for me. This isn’t a mini-series. This is an ongoing title. How is this not a mini-series? Well, I suppose the writer could have a bit of a longer view on what they want to do in 20 to 30 issues, but does anyone actually think that this will last that long? Does anyone actually think that Marvel won’t do anything for 2 years that will have an impact on this title? I don’t, and that is a major factor that is keeping me from giving this book a chance. I don’t have confidence that it will be allowed to fully run its course.
Marvel has a history of having a quick trigger when it comes to cancelling low selling titles. Anyone remember The Order? Or how about this latest attempt at Alpha Flight? It was launched as a mini-series, was announced as an ongoing, and then cancelled within what would have been the original mini-series run. And I see something like that happening to this title. Marvel is going to announce that, SURPRISE, it really is a mini-series and ending quickly. This will force the writer to do a rush job of reaching the ending, or as close to it as they can get. And those prospects are not something I feel like investing in.
And then again, maybe I’m completely off base. Maybe there is a set plan that won’t be messed with. Maybe everything will be alright. And if by some chance that’s the case, maybe I’ll get the trade.