Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Avengers Academy #2

Don't let that cover fool you, this book is beautiful. Quicksilver seems a bit off, but the other characters look great, and Mike McKone skews closer to awesome for all the interiors of this one.

Christos Gage really steps up the game this issue. Last issue we found out through Veil, our nice and naive narrator, that the Avengers had chosen this team of students based on the chance they could be villains. It didn't quite ring true, mostly because Veil seemed like such a nice gal. That's not a problem this issue, as our narrator is Finesse, the detached genius. And let me tell you, the switch makes a huge difference.

Finesse is a villain in training. I don't see how she could be anything else. Gage does a tremendous job putting us in her head, she's weighing and balancing everything she experiences. She is becoming the leader of this team with her intelligence, which worries me. I think some of the "follower" characters like Mettle and Striker will end up going where she does, while Reptil and Veil are destined to turn good. It's an interesting dynamic.

I LOVED Finesse's interactions with Hank Pym and Quicksilver. This manipulative little thing course corrects and learns so fast; it was awesome seeing her redirect from Hank Pym to Quicksilver in just a few minutes of conversation. And now we get to read about the more interesting Quicksilver too, the morally conflicted guy we all know and love. (And boy was I nervous when she was hitting on Hank!)

I marvel at McKone's ability to show us how Finesse operates. She's got facial expressions and is easy to read, but only when she's putting on fake emotions, like when she's dealing with Hank Pym. When no one's watching, or she is relying on her words rather than "playing" someone, she's a blank. McKone actually copies her in a few panels as she starts to blackmail Quicksilver. She's a cold one. And a villain.


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