By Dennis Hopeless & Kev Walker
Man, is this book good. Avengers Arena #17 is the penultimate issue of this series. Since the beginning this book has been more about the characters and their development while on Murder World than it ever was about the killing (though there was plenty of that). This issue carries both great moments, great action, and great art as the story races to the end.
Dennis Hopeless should be commended for still making Katy so relatable after the awful things she has done on Murder World. Her scenes in this issue absolutely steal the show and her struggle with how things need to go down with the final day of the game is great. Hopeless also lets open the floodgates when it comes to all out fighting after months of holding off. The wait makes the fighting all the more bittersweet. The kids have done so much to avoid fighting and it’s gut wrenching to see it all come tumbling down.
All of the artists have done a solid job on Avengers Arena, but Kev Walker’s art is easily the top of that list. His action flows and is well paced, and his faces are emotive and show the struggles these kids are facing. Walker’s art also helps with the feel of everything coming to a head. Every character is angry, sad, or defeated at this point and the art sells it.
This is a series people should be reading. It got a bad rap in the beginning but all the fears that people had about it have been erased. This probably isn’t an issue for first time readers to pick up, but for the long term crowd this has a real beginning of the end vibe, and it’s so so good.