Marvel has revealed the book behind the Survive teaser that ran last week, and that I jokingly said would be a zombie title.  Instead of going the obvious route, Marvel is looking overseas and borrowing heavily from the movie and manga series Battle Royale, all the way down to the cover for the first issue.

The solicitation for Avengers Arena reads: Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including 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?

In a time when so many readers are world savvy, and when copycats are chased out of conventions on a rail, it makes me wonder how many people are going to buy in to this product, or who is going to roll their eyes and reply with the hipster phrase, “I liked this better when it had Aki Maeda in it”?

Avengers Arena Cover

“Avengers Arena is one of the most exciting new launches in Marvel NOW!, really embracing the idea of giving fans a new look at the Marvel Universe and showing the deadly results,” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment.  “Dennis and Kev have created a series that’s going to leave readers salivating for the next issue, with so many twists and turns that no one can predict where it’s going. They’re also introducing some all-new characters that we’re certain will become instant favorites, like the enigmatic Deathlocket and the mysterious Braddock Academy.”

The Battle Royale story isn’t new – there are elements of Lord of the Flies scattered throughout the book – and certainly the success of The Hunger Games more than likely is going to cause a number of similar stories and tales to spring up throughout comic books.

On the plus side, those who have read and seen Battle Royale, will probably already know that there is no way Marvel will lift specific events and graphic violence from the source material for Avengers Arena.

The Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker Avengers Arena #1 arrives in December.

via Marvel

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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17 Comments

  1. September 14, 2012 at 8:56 am — Reply

    Remember when Twilight did really well and then all of a sudden we had curse of the mutants? I realize the heavy influence of Battle Royal in the cover but it’s obvious that it’s Hunger Games not Battle Royal that Marvel is pathetically banking on.

  2. September 14, 2012 at 8:57 am — Reply

    I spelt Royale wrong twice….

    • September 14, 2012 at 8:58 am — Reply

      That’s okay… according to some I still can’t spell rogue correctly…

      • Slappy
        September 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm — Reply

        I thought it was rouge you spelled wrong?

  3. Russ Catt
    September 14, 2012 at 9:46 am — Reply

    I think I’m ok with this.
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with openly taking a good idea and running with it as long as the proper thanks and attribution is given.
    (example: I am a huge fanboy for West Side Story)

    What is wrong is taking an idea and executing it badly. There are some old movies my wife won’t watch because of a poorly-handled reboot.

    I do wonder if Marvel might be biting off more than it can chew.
    They have all the pieces in place (Arcade as host, Darkhawk as the mysterious outsider student, etc) to adapt this story straight-up.
    That fact that they will choose to dial everything back to a more general audience might be catastrophic.

    The cover alone earns my $3.99 to find out.

  4. September 14, 2012 at 9:53 am — Reply

    “In a time when so many readers are world savvy, and when copycats are chased out of conventions on a rail…”

    If that were true, Marvel wouldn’t take the market share that it does. More than likely people will see their fave character from wherever and dive right it. Not that it’s a bad thing, but that the way it usually goes.

    At the very least it seems that this will be a 2.99 book Though it irks me that “Avengers” is now a word that’s going to get slapped on to a book to hopefully increase profit.

    • September 14, 2012 at 10:27 am — Reply

      it irks me that “Avengers” is now a word that’s going to get slapped on to a book to hopefully increase profit.

      Really? Cool… Major Spoilers Avengers it is then…

      • September 14, 2012 at 10:43 am — Reply

        I call dibs on being Spider-Man!

  5. September 14, 2012 at 10:34 am — Reply

    Look, as someone who likes BOTH Battle Royale & Hunger Games (yes, it is possible), having Marvel rip it off isn’t surprising. Twilight & True Blood become big, so we got mutants versus vampires, so it’s not like trend-chasing is unheard of. But positioning this as effective way to use fan favorites evicted from Runaways & Avengers Academy when it’s a naked house cleaning exercise that exists just to kill them off is personally much more off-putting.

    And if you do homage something on a cover, I thought you had to note it. I see no credits to the movie makers there.

  6. September 14, 2012 at 10:47 am — Reply

    I’m definitely picking up this series. Cool concept to fit into the Marvel U., and I’m pumped that these characters are still going to be kicking around Marvel NOW!

    Plus, I’m excited that Arcade may actually have a Murder World that, you know, MURDERS someone. Although I do wonder if Marvel is really going to kill off these characters. And by the nature of the plot, is it correct to assume it’s a limited series?

  7. Verse
    September 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    See, I hope they kill off the people and keep it that way. There are some really good characters in those books, but some pretty pointless ones as well. This may give Marvel a chance to ‘Trim the Fat’ without the characters just being in limbo.

  8. September 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm — Reply

    The REAL problem with this book is that it’s supposedly all about murdering characters for no reason.

    I spot Nicco, Hazmat, Mettle, and X-23 on that cover; four of my favorite Marvel characters. If even one of them is killed just as some stupid shock death to make the book seem more “edgy” or “mature”, I will be incredibly pissed.

    It’s like fricken Ultimatum all over again.

  9. Arbor Day
    September 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    Not that I’m overly familiar with Darkhawk but wasn’t he involved in some crazy shenanigans in space. Possibly something with Vulcan. Why are they still trying to portray him as a kid hero growing up? Or at the very least why can’t he just fly off the island?

    If they wanted to bring in a New Warrior veteran Slapstick would’ve been more appropriate, and more fun.

    • September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm — Reply

      Darkhawk was last seen on Earth, I think… But honestly, I have little to no interest in him, so I may be remembering an earlier appearance in ‘Nova.’

    • Michael
      September 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm — Reply

      That was where we met Talon and the Brotherhood of something. Anyhow Talon assassinated Lillandra, leaving Gladiator in charge of the Shi’Ar Empire.

      He might’ve gone back to Earth since. Dunno.

      This is an ongoing series? Or is it just ongoing until the 2013 Marvel Event?

  10. Ian
    September 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm — Reply

    Didn’t this jut happen in DC? Now instead of Roulette forcing super teens to kill each other it’s Arcade.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:53 am — Reply

      Well, “just” is a weird term. DC’s Terror Titans was 2008…

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