Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Avengers Academy #36

This is clearly a middle chapter of Christos Gage’s swan song on Avengers Academy. I can’t imagine this is going to be anyone’s first issue of the series.

Gage is moving the pieces back into place for the climax. At the start of this arc, he depowered the entire team, and took a lot of the characters away from their status quo. In this issue everyone starts re-setting back to their defaults. Hazmat gets her radiation back; Mettle loses all of his pretty new skin. Reptil and White Tiger each get a quick heart-to-heart with magical beings in their talismans that show where Gage planned to take the characters. (Maybe he’ll get the chance in an unannounced Marvel NOW book.)

The only character that moves forward, rather than catching up, is Striker. The Alchemist makes his powers go haywire, giving Striker some pretty vicious scars. He’s almost in Molecule Man territory. From the opening issue, Striker has seemed like the character most likely to turn bad. That’s why it was so neat seeing him do the right thing last issue. I fear that this disfigurement could push him back towards villainy. Gage has set this up nicely.

Andrea De Vito does a solid job once again. His Byrne-inspired pencils make these newcomers seem like classic Marvel mainstays. I absolutely love the sequence where Mettle gives up his new skin while making out with his lady. His skin actually looks like it pops off on that splash page! Quick question on Coat of Arms: are her magic items named and known from previous Marvel comics? De Vito draws the swords and shields in a pretty generic fashion, I didn’t recognize them.


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