Oh man, this issue of Avengers Arena hit right in the feels. If this emotional roller-coaster wasn’t hard enough to ride the past fourteen issues, this one was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it’s a rough one to get through folks.

We’ve seen a lot of pathos, I’m mean, it’s literally overflowing throughout this series, but this issue contains a heavy dose. Writer Dennis Hopeless does a great job creating identification in these character’s for readers to latch onto. The mindsets of these young heroes are constantly changing, the faces of people they call enemies become friends, enemies become friends and they’re still trapped in a place they have no idea how to get out of, while trying to reframing from stepping off of this cliff they’ve been edged to.tumblr_mszbvgxrcp1rgdb59o1_500

The challenging choices made in this issue, as they seek to take down the enormous gruesome, monster Cullen manifested into an attempt to handle a reckless X-23 gives us a deep look at how powerful any decision, even a life-saving or life-ending one, is.

Kevin Walker pencils this issue exceptionally. There’s a crazy amount of action but all the panels are clean, sharp and its easy to see what’s going as explosions, punches, swipes and screams lace the panels.

Avengers Arena has an emotional punch that hits like a prize fighter. It’s hard watching these young hero’s suffer but like a train wreck, you can’t look away.

Final Score: 4.7/5