Friday, December 28, 2007

Arena #4: The war to settle the score

And the last issue of Arena arrives in stores today, ending what was a fun work month for me. It's been enjoyable hearing the different reactions to the series after working in a bubble on it for so long. I don't have my printed copies of the last issue yet, shipping seems to have been thrown off by the holiday. But I was very happy with the PDF that I proofread earlier this month, I think the ending works well and spins out in a way people won't expect.

To put the frosting on the cake, I did a commentary track of the fourth issue for Comic Book Resources. I'll edit this and post a link when it goes live today/over the weekend.

And that's a wrap...until THE ATOM #19 ships next month.

(Edit) Here's the linkage to the commentary track of #4. It basically spoils the whole finale of the series so, if you care about that kind of thing, I would recommend reading the issue first.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12663

11 comments:

Will "Filby" Staples said...

I have to be honest: While I thought the fight choreography was consistently good, Arena's cavalier snuffing out of dozens of characters who never got a chance for character development, or worse, of established characters that I rather liked, bothered me quite a bit. In fact, it made me quite angry.

I don't mean to offend. That's just my impression as a reader.

I also can't understand why Monarch even needs an army if he's so absurdly powerful as to destroy half a continent with but a thought.

keith champagne said...

Sorry. Read the commentary, I've always had a plan in place to bring them all back when I get a chance.

Because The Monitors are even more powerful.

Will "Filby" Staples said...

Read the commentary, I've always had a plan in place to bring them all back when I get a chance.

That's good news. :)

On a more positive note, I enjoyed the characterization, especially between the three Supermen.

Khaver said...

Keith, I have been a fan since your days with Geoff Johns at JSA. Some great stuff there. But I agree with Will Staples up there, when is this senseless carnage of killing off characters stop?

I'm sorry to say that as a whole -- not just your section -- I am disappointed with Countdown. I felt sorry for you to have to clean up the mess they created in 52 with the sorry excuse that was World War 3 (which should have been titled World War 4, don't even get me started on that) and now you get stuck with this.

Sir, you are much better than this.

Matt said...

Keith, I wish to skippy I had known about ARENA when it was in the planning stages, I would have lobbied hard to have done even a cover, I love this sort of thing, and I dearly miss my Elseworld's Finest characters. ;) Cool beans and happy new year - mh
http://blackmatte.blogspot.com
PS - how fun is it to be able to do commentary tracks for comics now?

Homesick at space camp said...

Hey Keith, had to start a new account lol. I'll write the password down this time! Just wanted to say that Arena was AWESOME! Despite the critics, I personally dug it! Happy New Year bro!

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Well, hopefully you'll get that chance, Keith. Sorry I haven't been able to do a play-by-play like I did with the first three issues. Overall, another well-written issue, but the victory of the DKR Superman feels pretty hollow when one considers that nothing's really changed. I guess I expected a more solid victory against Monarch, a major delay, a setback, something to make him shout, "AAARGGH! Now I have to _____ all over again!" Otherwise I greatly enjoyed the Captain Atom battle and seeing Dr. Metropolis was a neat kick. ^_~ The battle between Monarch and Captain Atom of Earth-4 was well-played and hopefully you'll be able to have your chance at bringing them all back. I for one am more in favor of resurrecting characters than killing them (that's seriously what needs to happen in Final Crisis - every dead character back to life. Now THAT'S storytelling potential plus it gives every fan of a particular character their favorite back again).

So, overall Arena was well-written but the ending was a bit of disappointment. Let's see what else you have in store for us, Keith!

keith champagne said...

What's funny, Lewis, is that #4 is my personal favorite of the series. Different strokes for different folks, I guess! But thanks for taking the time to review it so thoroughly, don't be a stranger around the blog.

Khaver, thanks for the nice words, sorry it wasn't your cup of tea. I had a blast writing Arena and it lead to my next project, which may be a step up--so long as I don't screw it up.

Chris, happy New Year, pal! I'll try to get my ass in gear and send you out a some signed comics in short order.

And MATT HALEY! Wow, that's a nice surprise.

Doop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doop said...

I have a question concerning the characterization of the vampire Batman.

Is there any reason why he was portrayed the way he was? I don't think this is entirely your fault; he was portrayed the same way in the other Countdown-related material (the Halloween short story, the Search for Ray Palmer one-shot), but it all stands in stark contrast to the character's original trilogy (Red Rain, Bloodstorm, Crimson Mist) where he was tormented and was able to have enough self-control not to attack other innocents.