Last week, Marvel Comics teased a new series by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker for Marvel NOW! with one blood-spattered word: Survive. Today, Marvel.com revealed "Avengers Arena," the newest Marvel NOW! series to which the teaser referred. Written by Hopeless with art by Walker, "Avengers Arena" takes 16 of the youngest heroes in the Marvel Universe and pits them against each other in a reality-show-like scenario in Murderworld run by the villainous and diabolical Arcade. It's either kill or be killed in this series and the cast, which includes "Avengers Academy's" Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, X-23 and Juston and his Sentinel; "Annihilation's" Cammi; Darkhawk; "Runaways'" Nico and Chase; and a host of new characters, will have to turn against each other to survive in a kill-or-be-killed scenario.
"We really got to cherry pick our cast," Hopeless told Marvel.com. "That was a lot of fun, almost as much fun as creating the brand new characters. I have a feeling the Braddock Academy kids in particular are going to break some hearts. Not sure if we made it clear yet, but people die in this book."
"These kids are all there is," said Walker. "No spectators, no innocent bystanders, no civilians; an entire world of 17 people. This is up close and personal, more intimate than any other book out there, because it's just us and them, and I have to fill each of them with enough soul so that the audience feels for them, no matter how brief their appearance."
Series editor William Rosemann added that "Avengers Arena" will give the concept of teens competing for survival a new twist.
"Throughout history, societies have sent their young adults against one another in competition, whether that's in war, sports or 'American Idol,'" Rosemann said. "Likewise, art has examined this phenomenon of the older generation sacrificing the younger generation -- and also of young warring gangs wanting to prove who's #1 -- in everything from the myth of Theseus vs. the Minotaur to 'Lord of the Flies' to 'Battle Royale' to 'Starship Troopers' to 'Survivor' to 'Hunger Games.' Teen vs. teen competition is as old as storytelling -- but now it's time to give it the Marvel twist."
The reveal of "Avengers Arena" follows yesterday's announcement of Daniel Way and Steve Dillon's "Thunderbolts," which follows Punisher, Elektra, Venom and Deadpool and a team led by Red Hulk.
"Avengers Arena" #1 by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker hits stores in December.