Sunday, November 18, 2012

Avengers Academy #39

It is clear Christos Gage really loves these characters. He’s almost been saying goodbye to them for the last few issues, but now it’s actually time to go. Fortunately, this doesn’t tie into another comic, or wrap up a multi-issue arc. It’s just a slow, measured comic that lets us spend a last few pages with the characters. While some are being picked up by the upcoming Avengers Arena (X-23, Mettle, Haz Mat, and Reptil), I can’t say I’ll be getting it. I hate books where the core concept is based on killing characters.

The truth comes out, and the students confront the teachers with what they learned awhile ago: that the Avengers feared they were all potential villains. Of course, the faculty is quite fond of the students, and they quickly explain everything away. What I found most interesting is that of all the student-teacher bonds, the one that felt the most genuine here at the end is Quicksilver and Finesse. No one understands a jerk more than Quicksilver, and their poignant moment watching Downton Abbey just drives that home. (Plus, Finesse is still probably the most likely team member to turn bad.)

This book became a mini-lightning rod for its relationships too, so it is interesting to see so many pages devoted to kids pairing off. Striker and his prom date, Mettle and Haz Mat, Lightspeed and Carolina, and the surprise of Reptil and White Tiger. Gage clearly had a lot of ground left to cover with these kids. He tied into every event and added every guest star he could, but the comic business rarely takes to new characters. 39 issues is nothing to be ashamed of!

Tom Grumett brings the book home on art, and my biggest gripe is that he didn’t get to draw Hawkeye in his real costume. I like his take on Tigra, too, her eyes look very cool with such those catlike pupils.

So Avengers Arena for a few students. Hank Pym is going to be the tech guy for Captain America. And I think most of the other folks are destined for comics limbo. It was fun while it lasted!


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