Review: Avengers Academy #3

Published on August 21st, 2010

The kids at Avengers Academy take a field trip this week to The Raft (Maximum Securtiy Prison) as part of the ‘Scared Straight’ program,set up to keep the young whippersnappers from thinking of doing anything remotely evil with their powers. For this issue and the next, Avengers Academy will be focusing on the events which took place on August 18th on The Raft, home of the Thunderbolts.

If you read the truly wonderful Thunderbolts #147 which also came out this week, then you’ll know what happened with the blackout on the day of this field trip, as Thunderbolts #147 was just a single issue summary of the day’s events from the point of view of the Warden. Though it is in Avengers Academy #3 and #4 where you find out what exactly happened that day through the eyes of the people who caused the blackout. And who caused the blackout? Well, none other than Avengers Academy’s very own Hazmat. Along with Veil and Mettle, once she had caused the blackout the trio went off into the darkness in search of none other than Norman Osborn. Why? Because Hazmat, Mettle and Veil were the students who Osborn tortured the most over the other students. They want revenge!

avengersacademy3

This very brief but remarkably well written crossover with the Thunderbolts #147 is a hard hitting story and one that had to happen eventually. I read Thunderbolts #147 before I read this issue, and in my opinion that is the best way to approach this short crossover. Read Thunderbolts for the brief summary of the day, and then read this for the juicy details!

This issue had nothing I can complain about in it, and not all of the story actually took place on The Raft. In fact only the last half of the book focused on the ‘Scared Straight’ trip. The previous half was the origins of Hazmat (as this issue is told from her perspective) and the students being trained in the Academy.

Before the field trip, the issue shows us some general training with the students as they live out their daily lives at the Academy, and one thing this issue shows us a lot of is the various guest teachers who drop in to teach the kids some stuff.  In this issue one of the guest trainers is Iron Fist! How awesome is that! I was over the moon with joy when I saw that Iron Fist was teaching the kids his moves. There was also a fun moment where Valkyrie (Secret Avengers) came in to speak with just the girls about what it is to be a woman superhero in this day and age. But she ends up preaching to them about how sex with men is bad, and almost goes into a talk about the benefits of dildos before Tigra promptly butts in to draw the talk to a close! It was very funny! Gage is also great at putting good humour into his comics, and not the kind of random humour you see in Deadpool quite a lot, I’m talking about proper humour.

Mike McKone’s artwork is still incredible and it would seem it gets better and better with each issue that comes out. It’s such a colourful comic as well and one thing I thought was cool was the way the style of the artwork went really dark and eerie during the pages which told the story during the blackout on The Raft. It was weird to see and you could feel the tension building.

The issue ends with 2 really, really creepy pages. The first of these pages involves Crossbones. As you can see in the panel above, Hazmat goes up to Crossbones’ cell during the blackout and asks him where Osborn is being held. His responce to her question gave me shivers down my spine when I read it. It’s cool to see that Crossbones has to be kept in a muzzle just like Hannibal Lecter because Crossbones has a tendency to use his own teeth as projectile weapons. Once Hazmat, Mettle and Veil find Norman Osborn in his cell, he says to them that he was expecting them to pay him a visit but not quite so soon. The issue ends with Hazmat threatening Osborn that he’ll be dead within minutes.

I give this issue a full 10/10! It’s such a well written comic and the artwork is simple but gorgeous. I also think that Thunderbolts #147 deserves a mention as well and I’ll give that comic a 10/10 too! This very short mini-crossover is proving to be a delight to read. For a review of Thunderbolts #147, check out Comic Impact staff member Ian’s review to come shortly!

I fucking love The Heroic Age!

Rob Andrews
Rob@ComicImpact.com