REVIEW: ‘Murderworld: Avengers,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Murderworld: Avengers #1

Murderworld: Avengers #1 is the first part of a crossover series published by Marvel, written by Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes, art by Jethro Morales, colors by Matt Milla, and letters by Cory Petit. When Arcade invites a young streamer to make a documentary, he finds himself in Murderworld in the worst possible way, alongside 200 other innocents.

The name of the overall story may give the concept away, but nothing prepares you for the brutality of the plot. There is a slow start to the issue, slowly leading Paul Pastor somewhere extremely dangerous through easy manipulation. But when he is placed in Murderworld alongside many others, it becomes an unflinching slaughter. It’s a battle royale, slowly whittling through innocent people. But where else does it connect to the Marvel Universe? Through a terrifying way. It is a surprising twist and adds another level to the gore and death-dealing that Murderworld: Avengers #1 contains. The last part has a small piece of hope before dealing a crushing final hand. It is bleak and twisted, and Zub and Fawkes hint that is only the start.

The characters are strange in this comic, as there are very few recognizable inclusions. The main character is brand new, a young streamer who seems eager for opportunity and fame. But his personality is quickly tested and sent to the sidelines as the action takes over. What overthrows it is straight fear and panic. Then overseeing the whole event is Arcade, one of the most underrated villains Marvel offers. That glee when ushering people to their death is horrifying, but then there is the switch when someone beats his game. That smile drops, and he becomes a scary figure who cheats to stay on top. There are heroes involved, but for specific reasons, they don’t exactly speak. The narration when the action kicks in is intense and stomach-turning at times, and it is just as fast-moving as the visuals. 

The art is fantastic yet horrific. There is a strange dichotomy as Morales is a beautiful artist, creating lovely imagery throughout the issue. But the dramatic transition into extreme violence shows a different side to the creator’s extreme talents. There are multiple unique figures introduced, victims of Arcade. And every one of them is individual, giving each death weight and impact. Arcade’s design always remains similar, but the flamboyant ringleader is given slight changes to update him. The deaths are sudden and extreme, from gunshots to flames to beheadings. This reaches an even more bizarre level when more enemies are brought in to dish out the murders. It is constant.

The colors are part of the cognitive dissonance of the issue. The tones are very bright and joyful, with a distinctive purple steak in the main character’s hair. It looks odd with all the terror and carnage that unfolds among the vibrant colors. The lettering is striking, especially with the orange text on the grey background in the caption box. 

Murderworld: Avengers #1 is a surprising, unrelenting killing spree. It is jaw-dropping in its bravery, unleashing death on a devastating scale on ordinary people. The slow pace sucks you in before displaying the carnage in front of you. It left me shellshocked at the bleak nature of the issue, with very few guesses as to where the story goes from here. I just know more people are going to die.

Murderworld: Avengers #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Murderworld: Avengers #1
4.5

TL;DR

Murderworld: Avengers #1 is a surprising, unrelenting killing spree. It is jaw-dropping in its bravery, unleashing death on a devastating scale on ordinary people. The slow pace sucks you in before displaying the carnage in front of you. It left me shellshocked at the bleak nature of the issue, with very few guesses as to where the story goes from here. I just know more people are going to die.

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