When I was in kindergarten or the first grade, my school library had a copy of this book. I remember seeking it out every time my class went to the li...moreWhen I was in kindergarten or the first grade, my school library had a copy of this book. I remember seeking it out every time my class went to the library. Last year I was lucky enough to find a VERY well kept copy on amazon. I bought it for three dollars and have no regrets.
It's a very simple story of a little girl whose red umbrella grows to cover her and her animal friends during a small rain. It's a very sweet little story that is sadly out of print. (less)
**spoiler alert** Avengers Arena is one of the new titles in the Marvel NOW! relaunch of Marvel books. The story is a semi-sequel to Avengers Academy...more**spoiler alert** Avengers Arena is one of the new titles in the Marvel NOW! relaunch of Marvel books. The story is a semi-sequel to Avengers Academy and a bit of a ripoff on Hunger Games, which was itself a bit of a ripoff of Battle Royale, which was itself. . .well, you get the idea. The plot is fairly basic: sixteen teenage superheroes are kidnapped from several places and brought to Murderworld by Arcade. It's his very own reality show. Only one can get out alive.
Wikipedia tells me that you may know some of the characters: X23, Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, and Juston Seyfert are from the Avengers Academy. (And X23 has been in several titles over the last few years. Darkhawk had his own title in the early 90s and has been a member of several different teams. Nico and Chase are from the fabulous Runaways book. Red Raven III has been here and there, but I don't think she's ever been a regular in a book before. Cammi was in the Drax the Destroyer series.
And than there are the new kids on the block. The ones who were made just for Avengers Arena. They were all part of the Braddock Academy: Anachronism, Apex, Nara, Kid Briton, and Cullen Bloodstone. Oh, and there is also Death Locket. . .who wasn't even at a school or a superhero, in training or otherwise.
This trade covers the first six issues of the series. It sees groups forming: the kids from the Avengers Academy, Nico and Chase, the kids from the Braddock Academy and Death Locket, and the the rest acting solo. In six issues, you see these children quickly turning on another another - all suspicious and assumptions. It's a bit exhausting and annoying at times, actually. Just because you're meant to murder one another, that doesn't mean everyone is out to murder you. Don't jump in until you know the facts *coughHazmatcough*.
But the real question is: is the story any good? Is it worth 12-17 dollars? Well. . .yes and no. I do like that the book seems to know it is a rip off of a dozen different things;Arcade even mentions getting his idea from some novels he read in prison. But, a lot of the deaths are quick - too quick. I barely get to know and like a character, and they did. There were two deaths in the first two issues! Overall, there have been five deaths in six issues. Five!
And, the writers seem to have decided that they really want to focus on the kids from the Braddock Academy and Death Locket. . .these characters are rather unlikable. How Apex and Nara got into a superhero run Academy is a mystery. Really if I stop and truly think about it, out of the remaining characters, I probably only like five of them; and find three others tolerable. (Though I suppose 8 likable or somewhat likable characters out of 11 isn't terrible...)
I feel like I might start rambling, so I'll just say this: there are a lot of great ideas in this series. But, they seem to be rushing things a bit. A lot of these teens aren't people I want to root for. The art isn't bad, the usual stuff from Marvel. It's not a brilliant series, but it isn't the worst of the Marvel NOW! titles.
2.6 out of 5, rounded up to a 3 for the site. If you read Avengers Academy or Runaways, you may like this. (less)