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  • Accidental Innuendo:
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Young teens, many of whom are fan favorites being brutally killed off by a C-list villain? Yeah, that'll piss quite a few folks off.
  • Awesome Art:
    • Kev Walker's work is what drew many people to the series. His long absence from the book (about 3 issues) only allowed the effectiveness of #12's battle scenes to be enhanced.
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    • The covers, while not always accurate, get high marks for their beauty and effective homages.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Juston was a base breaker in Academy and that has carried over to this series. The reason: The Sentinel. Many fans view it as a weapon of mutant genocide, despite the advances and developments it's made beyond that. On the other hand fans of Juston's short lived Sentinel series are NOT happy at all with how the character was treated. Specifically Juston getting put through a massive Trauma Conga Line only to be killed off the next issue.
    • Apex, either you love her because of her ruthlessness or hate her for it.
  • Contested Sequel: The evidence for that is all over this page and the others... just check the wicks!
  • Critical Dissonance: The overall fanbase seems split on the title, but it's generally better received by critics and the comics industry. Dennis Hopeless won the 2013 Harvey Award for Most Promising New Talent for the title and from there launched his Marvel writing career.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: One of the many complaints the series has garnered falls along these lines, at first due to the premise, later to how death was handled.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Some fans just love Apex despite her murderous actions, and utter lack of remorse for them.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Deathlocket was loved from her first POV issue. Cullen Bloodstone (Nextwave connection) and Anachronism (Axbro) are liked as well, even with little page space. Apex is also emerging as a favorite, which is pretty disturbing.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Hopeless repeatedly emphasized X-23's tactical nature in early issues of the series, and fans immediately complained when this was disregarded by having her ignore strategy in favor of a direct attack on Apex while the latter was controlling a Sentinel. He responded in the letter pages of the next issue by arguing Laura decided she didn't have time for a better plan and had to act quickly. Fans didn't buy it.
  • Fandom Rivalry: An interesting example be because technically speaking Arena is a sequel to Runaways and Avengers Academy, but Runaways fans and Academy fans for the most part do not like Arena fans, usually citing how they don't care about complex characters being killed off for cheap shock value. Whereas a lot of Arena fans didn't read the previous books and feel that's it a good story and just want to enjoy it without fretting over continuity.
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    • Fans of Arena tend to accuse Boom! Studios series Deathmatch of being a rip-off, despite the fact it was announced to quickly after Arena and Paul Jenkins saying he does Deathmatch for Boom because he never thought Marvel or DC would let him.
  • Funny Moment: As grim as it is, the series offers at least one big laugh: In #10, Chase transforms into Darkhawk to take on Apex when he overhears her plans to use the Sentinel and Deathlocket to kill the others. As he psychs himself up for the fight with a Rousing Speech, X-23 runs by...
    Chase: Darkhawk is—
    X-23: (Runs past, not even breaking stride as she yells at Chase) Stay!
    —>Chase: —staying put!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Mettle and Hazmat's relationship (namely, Mettle's death in #1, and Hazmat subsequently falling into a grief-filled depression/rage afterwards) is more tragic as it's revealed that Hazmat's parents strongly disapproved of Hazmat seeing Mettle.
    • The kids were picked by Arcade because not many people would notice or care about their disappearances; and he could come up with plausible excuses as to why they would disappear and only communicate through texting/social media and if need be, be replaced by an android. Now consider the amount of derision Marvel and Dennis Hopeless got for considering these kids to be expendable enough to be killed off for drama...
    • Juston's death is a lot more tragic if you read the Avengers Academy arc during Avengers vs. X-Men where his father begs him to come home since he doesn't have any powers and could get hurt. If that wasn't terrible enough, the only reason why he attended the academy was to keep his friend Sentinel, and now both are dead.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The island that the kids are in? It's not called "Avengers Arena." It's Murderworld. Not to mention there's only 5 Avengers-affiliated characters in the entire story.
  • It Was His Sled: Due to the highly controversial nature of the comic, pretty much every major death or plot twist got plastered all over the internet. Mettle's death in particular got spoiled to hell and back, which really wasn't helped by the fact that it happens within the first issue.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Axbro as a name for Anachronism. As of #8, it's an Ascended Meme. As has Chasehawk.
    • "Being Death Locket is suffering."
    • "I've always been a hater" usually proclaimed as or about negative criticism.
    • Photoshopping an empty Arena life bar into various death scenes, primarily to illustrate its drama reducing effect.
    • "Kill Hopeless. Devour Hopeless."
  • Moral Event Horizon: Arcade got the ball rolling on this one.
    • If she hadn't crossed it before the series ever began, Apex snapping Juston Seyfert's neck to steal his mech certainly crosses it. Particularly considering he had no way of stopping her from taking it while he was alive.
  • Moe: Deathlocket seems to be made for this, with her design, tragic backstory, and innocent behavior in the game.
  • Narm: "My boyfriend exploded all over me!" This one fails because of the Accidental Innuendo which turns a line where Hazmat (again) screams out from her heart into something laughable.
    • The life bars that are shown during fights and death scenes. They make the character deaths look like a game-over screen from a lame video game.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The comic-book version. Marvel hyped the series up as a "deathmatch" book. The kids are pit against each other, but the main draw of the series is the Character Focus.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Several fans are rooting for Apex to win or at least survive. Which is impressive seeing she is all too willing to play Arcade's game.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Dennis Hopeless is the detractors' resident punching bag... how bad is it? Let's put it this way: Hopeless is only the writer on the series and he's blamed for artist's decisions. And the story wasn't even his initial idea. And it extends to everything he's written since. All the criticism and fears over characters dying carries over to every book Dennis Hopeless wrote since:
    Hopeless: "Okay look, there’s no reason to assume I’m going to kill a bunch of characters in every book I write. Avengers Arena was a teenage death match story. People die in those. When I finally decide to write my 200-issue down-on-their-luck high school baseball players epic, chances are good the whole cast will survive till the end. I promise I’m not some sort of blood-hungry sadist who gets his jollies murdering teenagers."
  • The Scrappy: This comic basically turned Arcade into one of Marvel Universe's biggest Scrappies, especially amongst Runaways, Avengers Academy, and Darkhawk fans since he's the cause of any characters getting a bridge dropped on them.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The reaction of many of the detractors to any sort of character development or continuity change of the non-original characters.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A common phrase used to dismiss the series is simply "It's a rip off of Battle Royale / The Hunger Games."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Another fear the series fosters, as characters killed in the series may never be revived again. More to the point, the character of Red Raven who was brought out of obscurity only to be killed unceremoniously in the second issue, no lines spoken. Dennis Hopeless said he hoped to give her a focus issue, but there wasn't enough time allotted for it.
    • Darkhawk's treatment is especially bad in this series. Hopeless apparently wanted him because he was a former teen hero, but absolutely nothing about Darkhawk's past as one is relevant to the story. Instead he's taken out in issue #3 so his armor can be passed on to Chase.
  • Too Cool to Live: Mettle.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Avengers Arena is a direct follow-up to Avengers Academy, and uses five of those characters in the main cast. It also pulls characters from Runaways and Sentinel and Annihilation cosmic event, series with much critical acclaim and all with their own fanbases who look at Arena as being a disappointing follow-up.
  • Vocal Minority: There was initial outrage at the book's announcement, but most of that has quelled as Hopeless and Marvel have said that the reception has been more positive than negative as the months went by. Not that you could tell, considering the detractors of the book are loud and present and trash the book everywhere (even on This Very Wiki) and Dennis Hopeless to the point of bashing his later works.
  • What an Idiot!: Laura's hotly-debated actions against Apex in issue #10, where she tries to bum rush Apex head-on, despite Apex being armed with a Sentinel and Deathlocket under her control. It didn't work, but it was possibly the best chance to catch Apex off-guard and only failed because she wasn't fast enough.
    • Arcade himself. Yeah, kidnapping Wolverine's daughter/clone, a bunch of kids affiliated with in an Avengers sponsored school, etc. isn't going to get him beaten to a bloody pulp in the end. This one is so blatant it even gets lampshaded. And of course, he uploads all the footage on YouTube titled "What Happened In Murderworld?" so he blatantly confesses on the internet that it was all his doing since the X-Men and Avengers are very familiar with what Arcade has called his death traps. There's also the fact that his entire scheme to make himself a bigger threat was by making teenagers kill each other.
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