Avengers Academy: Game On

Paul Tobin teams the Young Allies and Spider-Girl with the students of Avengers Academy against Arcade

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By TJ Dietsch

The kids will not be alright this winter.

Game On
The Young Allies, the Avengers Academy students and the latest Spider-Girl won't just find themselves amidst a teenage wasteland in January's "Game On" crossover, but in Murderworld itself! The evil Arcade has his sites set on the young heroes of the Marvel Universe via Paul Tobin who will be running the event through three Annual one-shots.

 "It seemed like such a natural idea for some of the younger heroes to team up," Tobin says. "But, of course there was the problem of getting the Avengers Academy heroes out of their house. So we just decided they should all be kidnapped. This is similar to how I used to break my own curfew, really."

At this point you may be wondering why a villain like Arcade-who builds fancy deathtraps that would make the killer in "Saw" wet himself with envy-finds himself focusing his machinations on such youthful targets.

"He's got the proverbial chip on his shoulder, because his career really hasn't been going all that well, and plus the most sane brain cell in his head is still mostly insane," Tobin explains. "Arcade lives pretty much at whim, so when [he has] the idea of kidnapping one young hero in order to prove the worth of Murderworld, he feels he might as well go all the way. There's no halfsies with Arcade."

With the Avengers Academy students captured and the Young Allies attempting to mount a rescue, don't expect your average meet and greet session in the midst of this story.

The Avengers Academy
"They find themselves in Murderworld rather piecemeal, so there's never really a chance to sit down with pizza and chat about acne and the latest cool action movie," notes Tobin. "It's more along the lines of, 'My name's Finesse, and if we don't move right now, we'll be atomized by that robotic laser Octo-Sasquatch.' Things like that can put extra stress on first meetings.

"And, no, there isn't actually a robotic laser Octo-Sasquatch in the story-but now I kind of wish there was."

Non-existent Octo-Sasquatches aside, Tobin promises a big role for Spider-Girl, whose monthly adventures he chronicles in her ongoing series.

"While many of the characters are playing a 'game' with Murderworld, it falls to Spider-Girl and a couple of others to deal with Arcade himself," Tobin reveals. "It's rather a toss-up which is more dangerous: dealing with all the spinning blades or the man in the white suit."

Tobin also found himself juggling a small army of characters, many of whom he had never written before.

"You have to give them all their own voices, but at the same time they can't have as much screen time," the writer says. "I've really poured over the excellent writings of Christos Gage on AVENGERS ACADEMY and Sean McKeever on YOUNG ALLIES making sure I stick as close to possible to their visions, while still giving it my own recipe for characterization and entertainment."

Spider-Girl
Up to the task at hand, Tobin not only enjoyed working with so many new protagonists, but also found a few new favorites along the way.

"Well, Spider-Girl is my girl, so of course I had my eye on her," Tobin admits. "At the same time, though, I love Finesse, and I'm having a lot of fun with Reptil as well, which surprised me. He's a lot more fun to write than I'd first considered. Sometimes, until I sit down with my computer, I don't know how I'll take to a character."

With a firm grasp on the characters and the adventure at hand, Tobin hopes to shine a light not only on the good guys, but also take a new approach to Arcade and his motives.

"I see Arcade maybe a bit more psychological than some other writers, so I definitely wanted to consider how the mental effect of each trap would affect our heroes," he says. "Arcade is very aware that he's dealing with people who aren't quite as mentally developed as some of the more established heroes, and he's going to play off that."

 

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1 comments
cyclopsjx
cyclopsjx

Oohhh, gotta love Arcade. :) Count me in.