Review: Avengers Academy #2

Published on July 19th, 2010

Avengers Academy has taken me by surprise as one of the better comics to have come out of Marvel’s ‘Heroic Age’. I do not mean that in the sense that I think the ‘Heroic Age’ has produced a lot of poor new series and reboots, quite the opposite in fact! I mean it as in I honestly believe this is one of the better ‘Heroic Age’ comics I am reading.

It’s a busy book (just like ‘Avengers: Initiative’ was before this basically replaced it) with a lot of characters and a lot of dialouge. It’s got such a good concept, and one that is similar in many ways to the Initiative, but so vastly different in some other ways. It’s written damn well, and drawn reasonably well too. It really is just about as entertaining as a book of its nature could get.

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If you don’t know already, the premise is that this Academy is here to train this specific group of superpowered students who are told they were selected because they showed the most potential when under Norman Osborn’s Initiative program. But in the previous issue, they found out the real truth as to why they were ‘chosen’, it is because they are actually the students who whilst under Osborn’s training, showed the most potential to become villains! The students are debating whether to ditch this place, or whether to stay. It’s very much a matter of mixed opinions between the students in this issue.

There are 6 students in the Academy altogether, and what Christos Gage is doing for the first 6 issues at least, is writing one issue each told from a different student’s perspective. Last time we saw the series kick off with the issue reading fromVeil’s point of view. This time around, it was told from within the mind of one of the other female students; Finesse. This issue really shows Finesse up to be the snide and manipulative character she is at heart. She is sexy and incredibly smart, and she knows it for sure.

This issue really gives us a deep insight into the character. She has the ability to master and perfect almost anything she sees or tries her hand at. She is already a genius at mathematics, physics, olympic sports and fighting (to name but a few things she can do). She is one of the more snide, evil students amongst the group as she doesn’t want to leave the place until she has learnt everything there is for her teachers to teach her, and it is apparent she is only doing this to please her evil needs. I don’t know what Finesse is up too, as she shows a clever yet cryptic way of thinking and that makes her unpredictable. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, ‘she has the ability to master and perfect anything she sees or tries her hand at’, hmm, that sounds familiar right? It sure does. It sounds a lot like Taskmaster! Well, Finesse believes she is biologically related to him, as it would make perfect sense. She talks to one of the head teachers Henry Pym about this, and he tells her it makes sense, but that it shouldn’t worry her. The thing is, I don’t think she is worried. I think her evil side quite likes the idea of having an deadly, skull-faced genius for a father/relative. I think that could make for some amazing stories!

Just as the first issue ended, this issue graces us with another gripping spoiler! This time it is between Finesse and Quicksilver, and let me tell you. It is an evil spoiler! I won’t spoil it though, as what would be the fun in that. If you like evil spoilers, then this is for you.

I love this series because each issue manages to entertain me and even though we are only at the second issue, so so much has already been delivered and I feel like this group of sometimes annoying, sometimes fun students, are actually relatable in what they discuss, how they discuss it and how they act with each other. I like books about teenage kids like this. It reminds me of the not-so-old X-Men with the kid students in the mansion relaxing and chatting. It’s just a heck of a lot of fun. If anything it goes from being a fun, light-hearted teen book, to being a classic Marvel book with some great action!

Mike McKone provides some decent artwork. I cannot complain about his pencils at all, aside from one little point. His facial expressions sometimes lack emotion. But aside from that everything is great about it. I know I slagged his artwork off on the most recent issue of Franken-Castle for providing a horrid front cover on it. But this is redeeming.

This is a fun series, and each issue is money well spent! As long as Gage stays on this title for a while, and as long as he keeps the kids inside the Academy then I’m sure it will be on my pull list for as long as it lasts!

Rob Andrews
Rob@ComicImpact.com