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 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.