Apex appears to be unstoppable. Her ability to manipulate technological devices has allowed her to take control over Death Locket, Juston’s Sentinel robot, and the newly christened Darkhawk in Chase Stein. She also taken to heart Arcade’s desire for the young heroes to kill themselves off and she’s doing so willingly and with no apathy. But there are some things that even she does not expect. Like one of the deceased coming back to life and far more powerful than before.
I have to give it to Dennis Hopeless. For eleven issues, he has been taking his time in building things up, developing the characters, both lesser known and somewhat popular. He hardly rushes into the thick of things, seemingly biding his time before finally giving readers what they’ve been waiting for. An all out brawl with one of the more popular heroes cutting loose like never before. This is the side of Nico Minoru I’m sure fans could not wait to see in Avengers Arena, and against a worthy adversary like Apex makes for an epic battle that is exciting to read. The timing for such an issue to take place could not have been better planned, showing what a very good storyteller Dennis Hopeless can be and probably is.
Kev Walker returns to illustrating the book after a brief break. And he returns in a big way, drawing some of the most spectacular fight scenes ever presented in a comic book all year. Nico’s attacks against Apex and her controlled forces are visually stunning and rather awe-inspiring. There’s a fantastic panel that shows how Nico is able to disassemble Death Locket’s arm. Readers have been waiting for a massive battle and Walker delivers ten-fold. But credit must also go to Jean-Francois Beaulieu, whose colors really sing. There are some of the best colors not done by Marte Gracia and they are simply amazing to look at. They add so much depth and definition that the drawings really are leaping out of the pages.
This issue will surely be regarded as one of the best in Avengers Arena. Dennis Hopeless waited just long enough to unleash an epic battle and Kev Walker enhances it with artwork that dazzle the eyes. The series as a whole has turned into one of the true sleeper titles of the Marvel NOW! initiative and this issue alone makes it highly recommended. Particularly Nico fans.
What has been your favorite use of Nico prior to Avengers Arena? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.