Avengers Undercover 3 starts exactly where issue 2 left off, with the AA survivors teleported straight into Arcade’s new hideout as per Bloodstone’s plan. It’s a secret mansion that’s been turned into a deathmatch arena for bored rich folks who want to gamble their lives for a chance to win big. There isn’t a whole lot of character development. Instead it feels like a culmination of Dennis Hopeless’s writing with these teenagers. There’s plenty of action, some great power showings from Nico and Deathlocket, and a couple meta jokes.
Each character reacts in different ways to seeing their tormentor. Hazmat is catatonic, endlessly replaying Mettle’s death in her head. Cammi wants nothing to do with the fight, to the point where she thinks Bloodstone is acting against everyone else’s wishes. Anachronism isn’t sure what to think, and spends much of the issue protecting Hazmat. The rest of the group are all down for taking Arcade out. To avoid spoilers, let’s simply say the ending just feels right.
The art is where this issue falters the most, not that it’s bad. The action always flows smoothly, and facial expressions are very well handled. There’s a great variety of faces and outfits among the bored billionaires. While not all panels have detailed backgrounds, it’s a nice looking place with the appropriate amount of rubble from the battle.
On the downside, the costumes and posing with the main characters aren’t always that great. In an early fight panel, Nico looks as though she’s standing when she’s supposed to be running away. Chase and Deathlocket have almost the exact same pose, and the same thing happens several more times. Worse yet, there are too many important female characters in this issue with black dresses and short black hair – this includes Arcade’s assistant. While Cammi’s shoulder tattoos, Nico’s partially dyed hair and Deathlocket’s half-cyborg face help separate them, it would have been much smarter to give at least two of them a different coloured dress.
While this issue won’t fully make up for AA for those who hated that series, it will help. For everyone else, this is a well-written comic that’s slightly harmed by the art, but is otherwise a very easy recommendation. Avengers Arena fans should pick this up.