Murderworld Game Over #1
The big prize! Bodies are piled high and only one person can win it all! Arcade's darkest game comes to a close and anything can happen...especially if Natasha Romanoff has something to say about it.
Arcade has knocked off 198 contestants. Only two remain to compete for the cash prize. But the question remains whether Arcade will even honor his terms. And will the sudden appearance of Black Widow upset the contest? Murderworld Game Over answers these questions and more while delivering even more carnage. This is Arcade, after all.
Murderworld Game Over delivers twists all issue long (the first big shock comes on the fourth page), so there is no way to recap any of it without spoiling what is ultimately a shocking, tragic, and darkly funny conclusion to the murder spree that Murderworld has been. I can say that Black Widow’s impact on the story is surprising, the characters’ final choices are unexpected, and the wrap-up delivers an ending that Arcade deserves.
So much of why Murderworld works is Zub and Fawkes’ willingness to kill anyone at any time. And as we’ve seen, characters developed in any level of detail are frequently in the most danger. So coming into Murderworld Game Over, things are looking bleak for Marina. We got to know her in the previous issue. Meanwhile, we know very little about Alex. Fortunately, Alex receives a backstory almost immediately, and in many ways, it’s the perfect complement to Marina, a Hydra agent. The two characters couldn’t be more different. And for the last two characters in a deathmatch, it’s a great combination.
Most impressive, though, is how personal this blood bath has become now that we’ve reached the final issue. There is still humor in Murderworld Game Over, but none is in the struggle between Marina and Alex. If there’s a winner, it will be decided between these two people. Theirs’ is a very personal conflict now, and for perhaps the first time in the series, it feels like Arcade and his death traps are secondary.
It’s impossible to talk about the ending meaningfully, but it is worth knowing that one of the final surprises is brutal–and not in any way most readers will expect. And the issue’s last three pages are worth the price of admission alone as they pay off something that’s been building for the whole series.
A significant part of why Murderworld Game Over’s ending works is Tammetta’s art. This issue makes the conflict personal between the two remaining desperate contestants. The art needs to sell how emotional that is for both of them. Tammetta succeeds. Marina and Alex run a gamut of emotions in this issue, and the pain and anguish feel especially real. It’s hard not to think for both of these people despite the gruesome situation they chose to put themselves into.
Tammetta does a great job with Arcade as well. He makes him look as slimy and crazed as the script paints him. And the character featured on those critical final three pages goes through ever more expressive anger, which is what the end of the issue needs.
Murderworld lavished Arcade with the attention he’s always deserved. He got to kill people with creative abandon. And the way Zub and Fawkes built the story probably leads to certain expectations for most readers when it comes to Murderworld Game Over. The way this issue unfolds will surprise most people who are following the series. And in the end it’s safe to say this is a wonderful end to a story Arcade has long deserved.
Murderworld Game Over #1: The Grand Prize
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10