Avengers Arena Copies Visual Style of Influences

Good to see that Marvel’s not shy about acknowledging the influences on the upcoming series Avengers Arena, at least visually. The series dumps 16 young superheroes on an island, where they’re told that only one of them will be allowed to live. The others will have to fight to the death.

Comic readers may already be familiar with a manga called Battle Royale (based on a novel), in which a group of schoolkids are forced to fight to the death on an island. Readers of any kind have likely heard of William Golding’s modern classic Lord of the Flies, in which a group of shipwrecked schoolboys on an island become feral (especially once it started being taught in English classes). The Marvel series just takes the same premise and makes the students superheroes. And although I doubt they’ll mention it explicitly, they are clearly taking inspiration from the covers of these sources.

Avengers Arena #1 cover
Avengers Arena #1 cover
Battle Royale DVD cover cover
Battle Royale DVD cover
Avengers Arena #2 cover
Avengers Arena #2 cover
Lord of the Flies book cover
Lord of the Flies book cover

5 Responses to “Avengers Arena Copies Visual Style of Influences”

  1. Rich Johnston Says:

    Check issue 3 for Hunger Games…

  2. Johanna Says:

    Now I’m curious to see what they do for #4. If it lasts that long.

  3. Suzene Says:

    I’m hoping it won’t. Whereas the material it’s homaging has child deaths take place as part of a larger social commentary, Marvel’s advertising for this book has pretty much boiled down to “Hey, we bet you’ll put down your $3 just to see a bunch of c-list kids kill each other!” As someone who enjoyed Avengers Academy and Runaways, I’m stunned that they think this would entice me pick up the new title, and I think it says something rather distasteful about how Marvel views their audience overall.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Can’t argue with that. I think you’re supposed to want to see if your favorites from previous titles survive or not, but that seems like a poor pleasure at best.

  5. Suzene Says:

    Exactly. Being a comics fan often treads to close to masochism as it is. I’m just not of a mind to take it that extra step when there are so many stories on the way that actually look tempting.

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