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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first book.
Just finished reading this, if like me you read the first one and thought it was a bit 'meh,' you might have some reservations about reading the second one. Well it is a lot better, it has more action, better story progression which isn't as disjointed and more character development.
I'm now eagerly anticipating the 3rd installment, which prior to this book I didn't...
Published 9 months ago by S. Turnbull

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Game over?
The casts of Avengers Academy and Runaways are still in Murderworld, an intricate closed environment filled with deathtraps created by the villain Arcade, and the last man standing deathmatch a la Battle Royale/Hunger Games continues. Some characters died in the first volume, some more die in the second, and probably a few more will die in the third. Dialogue is spoken in...
Published 5 months ago by Sam Quixote


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first book., 3 Oct 2013
By 
S. Turnbull - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
Just finished reading this, if like me you read the first one and thought it was a bit 'meh,' you might have some reservations about reading the second one. Well it is a lot better, it has more action, better story progression which isn't as disjointed and more character development.
I'm now eagerly anticipating the 3rd installment, which prior to this book I didn't know if I would even continue with the series. (I will normally persevere through a couple of books to give it a chance before giving up if somethings not my cup of tea.)
Solid 4 out of 5 stars and a remarkable improvement over the first book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A right royal punch-up, 14 July 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
The story running through issues #7-12 of Avengers Arena is collected as Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now). When I read the first volume of this book - Avengers Arena - Volume 1: Kill or Die (Marvel Now) - I was a bit dismissive in my review of it. I had even put off reading volume two for ages. However, having met some of the characters here and there in my reading since (some in pre- and some in post-Arena stories), I eventually picked this volume and found it vastly entertaining! The first issue collected here `explains' Arcade and what he is up to, and why; and then the subsequent story, continuing the adventures of his victims, I found fascinating. Go figure. There was action, adventure, character-development, and even the people I'd never heard of before were really interesting. So, go and read volume 1, and then come back to this.

The plot is that a group of super-powered teens (some mutants, some ex-Avengers Academy, some unknown to me) have been kidnapped by Arcade and taken to a secret location, and they have to kill each other off until only one is left, just like in Battle Royale. A couple are (apparently) actually killed off in volume one, then in this volume, the characters start to band together, though there is a rogue among them (and not the usual suspects either) who decides to carry on the good work... However, as I said above, it was really entertaining, and there was a lot of good character development, some real surprises, and an interesting discovery at the very end. I am now desperate to find the third (and final) instalment, which has been `in transit' at my local library for months...

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
Issue #7 - "Rock Bottom" - is the story of why and how Arcade came to build Murder World. He hosts an annual birthday party for super-villains, but on this particular day (his 29th) he hides some microphones to find out what everyone is saying about him, and has his ego deflated so far that he packs it all in and retires, until a chance robbery by one of the characters who put him down in the first place gives him an idea... and we then get to see the organising, constructing and populating of the current Murder World.

Issue #8 - "Game On Part 1" - sees X-23 looking for Juston by following the trail of wreckage from his Sentinel; we then cut back to Anachronism, Bloodstone and Mara dealing with the aftermath of Kid Briton's death, when Nico, Cammi and Chase arrive; the two groups slowly start to bond. Meanwhile, Death locket is chasing Apex, only to find that Katy is now her brother Tim... Finally, Juston and his giant robot battle suit, chasing Apex for revenge for the previous volume's activities, runs across the merged teams' camp...

Issue #9 - "Game On Part 2" - opens with Chase, in his Darkhawk persona, trying to stop Juston and his giant robot battle suit. Apex-Tim shuts down all mechanical activity, which as well as the robot suit, brings down Darkhawk, Death Locket and Cammi's suit. The kids settle down for a long discussion, which included Apex's secret origin and back-story, before Apex-Katy comes back into control...

Issue #10 - "Game On Part 3" - opens with a fatally wounded Nico crawling through the snow to reach her staff... before we flashback to the group waking up to discover that Aprex, Deathlocket and the late Juston's Sentinel armour have gone. The remaining members of the group are then attacked by Apex's robot-zombies, now including Darkhawk; Nico is able to teleport the group away, but she is to injured to follow...

Issue #11 - "Game On Part 4" - opens with Reptil and Hazmat on a beach recovering from volume one. There is much character interaction before the teleported group (from issue 10) drop in on them. There is much more character stuff before Hazmat is brought back to her normal self, and the group sets off to deal with Apex.

Issue #12 - "Game On Part 5" - sees the big battle between Apex and her robo-slaves and the combined group, along with the recovered and very powered-up Nico. The final scene finds Death Locket fallen into an underground chamber, which appears to be part of Arcade's bunker; and there are some interesting clues to be seen, including the body of Mettle, but a robotic one...

"Gotta expect the unexpected"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Game over?, 28 Jan 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
The casts of Avengers Academy and Runaways are still in Murderworld, an intricate closed environment filled with deathtraps created by the villain Arcade, and the last man standing deathmatch a la Battle Royale/Hunger Games continues. Some characters died in the first volume, some more die in the second, and probably a few more will die in the third. Dialogue is spoken in between fight scenes. It is a non-comical comic. My edition was printed on paper.

The first volume didn’t blow me away but I didn’t hate it as much as a number of readers did. Yes it’s derivative and totally unoriginal but I hoped it would keep going further, becoming trashier as the series went on. Alas, it hasn’t and now I join the ranks of readers who despise this series. The problem is that it’s trying to seem like a real series with real characters and, because it’s not accomplishing this, it’s become a real bore to read.

One of the biggest obstacles this series has is how unknown most of these characters are going to be for anyone who hasn’t read Avengers Academy/Runaways (like me!). We get Apex’s backstory and I can only say: was laughter the desired response? I don’t know who Chase is but every time he transforms into a lamer version of Iron Man – Darkhawk! – it’s a big deal, and I don’t get why. Dennis Hopeless is trying to make you care about characters you don’t know who’re given the barest of background information in a story about them all dying – it’s not an approach that works or should’ve even been attempted.

I suppose if you’re an Avengers Academy/Runaways fan already then this obstacle doesn’t exist for you, but those titles were both very low-selling comics for Marvel so I can only imagine that the majority of readers picking this up aren’t going to know who’s who and why we should care about their deaths.

There are some fights but unfortunately not enough death. The one series where Marvel could deliver more on their superhero fights than just boring stalemates and they flub it! Even when a certain character does bite it, they come back to life later on! Meanwhile, the ones that do die have been minor blips in the series so far so I barely noticed they’d gone when they had. And when they’re not fighting ineffectively, they’re bumming around on the beach! Is the subtitle, “Game On”, referring to a game of friendly volleyball or something?

I liked the opening issue explaining how and why Arcade came to create Murderworld. He’s definitely gone up in my estimation as a more interesting character because of this series and I wish he’d play a bigger part in the book given that the alternatives are so dreary. But one good issue out of six ain’t enough to recommend this book. It’s definitely not shaping up to be a must-read comic.

Avengers Arena Volume 2 sacrifices the potential craziness and fun of the silly concept to deliver a maudlin, lo-fi, and very dull book. It’s a disappointing addition to a series that could’ve been much more enjoyable if it had been handled a different way. Maybe it’ll mean more to Avengers Academy/Runaways fans but to everyone who’s not, the story is unlikely to make you care about these characters nor make you want to rush out and pick up those other books.

Ho hum, I guess I’ll go read the third volume for completion more than anything…
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Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now)
Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On (Marvel Now) by Alessandro Vitti (Paperback - 24 Sep 2013)
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