Artist: Timothy Green II
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
DECENT: PART THREE
The Arena survivors find themselves face to face with Arcade once again. It goes without saying that old wounds will open up and things get a little emotional…and bloody.
The Ups: We all knew it was only a matter of time until Arcade came back, and he comes back strong. Cullen’s plan to gather the Arena survivors in Begalia worked and now that Arcade is out in the open he attempts to exact revenge on him. With Arcade being a main focus of this issue it’s almost guaranteed that there’s going to be some well written dark humor involved. What readers may not have expected, and will be pleasantly surprised by, is that Arcade is a deep and damaged character who’s more complicated than he seems on the surface. Dennis Hopeless writes him so well that at some points I felt empathy and sympathy for him until he turns around and does something despicable to make me regret ever feeling that way. This issue retains and expands upon the dark humor, complex ethical dilemmas, and gritty action that Avengers Arena was known for. The art in this series is still visceral, full of life and energy. Greens and Beaulieu’s art adds another dimension to characters and action.
The Downs: My only real complaint is that I would have liked to see more Arcade in this issue. He definitely gets enough page time to influence the plot and remind us why he was so great in Avengers Arena. But like all great characters I can never seem to read enough of him, he’s one of those villains that is truly a pleasure to hate.
Overall: This issue had all the shock value and dark humor that this series and its predecessor are known for and somehow each new issue is still fresh and exciting. This latest installment stands at the crossroads between the past and the future, and offers to resolve the events of Avengers Arena while introducing the driving force behind Avengers Undercover and bridging the gap at the same time. This series is based on a special brand of chaos that ensures that no one can predict what will happen next, which only leaves me more excited for that next issue.
Grade: 5 of 5