Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Avengers Academy #21

Nicely played, Marvel! Someone not paying attention could very well pick this up thinking it is a first issue. Not that it is a bad thing, particularly when Christos Gage works so hard to make this a great jumping-on point for new folks.

With the team relocating to the Avengers West compound, it makes sense to shake things up. I wasn't expecting this level of change, though. We've got at least one more instructor added to series regulars Giant Man, Tigra, and Quicksilver, and this new guy makes a whole lot of sense. It sure doesn't hurt that he's one of my top two heroes in the Marvel U. I can't wait to see Christos Gage write more of this character.

There are changes in the student body too, with Lightspeed and White Tiger joining the group. I love the idea of these two ladies in the cast; Lightspeed in particular is going to be a great contrast. She's pretty, powerful, and well-adjusted, pretty much the opposite of Finesse and Hazmat. Yeah, they're not going to get along. White Tiger has a great core concept, and if Gage plays her right, she could be a lot of fun, but her pay-it-forward attitude might be hard to keep from grating on characters and readers alike (too soon to tell right now, obviously).

The big shocker involves the apparent murder (not buying it) of one of the Avengers faculty, followed immediately by another reveal. The second one in particular really rewards long-time readers. Gage is clearly going for a "Thunderbolts" level reveal, and it might work out. I'll have a better feel on that next month.

Sean Chen is awesome. I love his classic pencils, and seeing him draw these hero-crowd shots is a treat. Was that Whiz Kid from X-Terminators I saw flying around? Impossible!


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