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Young Heroes Enter Hopeless And Walker’s ‘Avengers Arena’

With the Avengers Academy concluding in November and the Runaways cast currently without an ongoing series to call home, fans of Marvel’s younger generation of heroes and villains may be wondering what’s next for their favorite characters. Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker have the answer: Totally killing each other.

Members of both teams will be just a few of the 16 young adults that longtime X-Men antagonist Arcade will gather at his Murder World island this December to duke it out in the new Marvel NOW! title Avengers Arena.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I can promise a lot of murder in this new Murder World,” Hopeless said in an interview at title’s sprawling cast includes former Avengers Academy recruits Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, Juston (plus his Sentinel) and X-23, along with Runaways Chase and Nico. Darkhawk is in the mix as well, as is Cammi, the former traveling partner of Drax the Destroyer.

There’s also a mysterious group of youngsters known as the Braddock Academy — safe money is they have some connection to Captain Britain or Psylocke — whose story will be fleshed out in a couple of early issues, according to Hopeless.

As for Murder World itself, Walker describes it as “everything the real world has to throw at you condensed into a few square miles; weather, climate, terrain, conditions, everything is one voice command away from changing, with an unpredictable character like Arcade in total control.”

So why pit all these young characters, many quite beloved, in life-or-death bloodsport? Editor Bill Rosemann argued it fits a longstanding storytelling tradition, from ancient Greek myth to Battle Royale (to which the cover of issue one is an homage) and The Hunger Games.

“Teen vs. teen competition is as old as storytelling,” Rosemann said, “but now it’s time to give it the Marvel twist.”


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