By Dennis Hopeless, Timothy Green II & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
The tormented Murder World survivors crash a lavish bloodbath of a party hosted by their former tormentor, Arcade. This time, instead of reality web show junkies watching their misfortune, the kids have new followers, Baron Zemo, Madam Masque, Daimon Hellstrom and Constrictor. Dennis Hopeless continues to take his main characters to the edge, changing the game from survival of the fittest to the survival of the mental and morally fittest.
Dennis Hopeless isn’t letting the events of Avengers Arena get neatly tucked away into Marvel history. In this issue, the surviving characters, who all have a lot to deal with, are not all dealing in the same manner. Cullen Bloodstone has brought the other survivors to Arcade’s latest Murder World franchise to exact revenge on their former tormentor. The group is split in their decision on how to proceed with their newly given advantage, and a couple members break reader expectations. This issue has faster pacing than a majority of the issues in Avengers Arena. Hopeless lets off-panel storytelling move the action and gives the reader more payoff in one issue. There are some humorous moments without breaking the seriousness of the situation. There is even a wink to what some have said Avengers Arena was a blatant copy of. Some of the characters are place holders for the story while others have reactions that are genuine and well-scripted. With the well-scripted characters, Hopeless succeeds in giving a reason to care for these characters and the ordeal that they went through, along with preparation for what’s in store for them in this title.
Timothy Green II provided this issue with some great last pages. There is a wonderful two page spread which is a big payoff for the tormented characters and the readers; if only the last six pages were representative of the book as a whole. There are some perspective and POV problems in the panels that could take some momentum away from the pace of the story. Some of the early scenes are difficult to put into perspective with what is going on in the story. The last few pages are the big payoff and Green executes them neatly and with artist creativity.
Avengers Undercover #3 brings closure to the narrative in Avenger Arena. The issue also sets the tone and plot for the future of the series. The series has an intriguing plot, good characterization and script. If the pacing and the art in the later portion of this issue is maintained throughout the series, Avengers Undercover will be a must read of the summer.