Avengers Academy #1: (Written by Christos Gage, Art by Mike McKone)
Avengers Academy is exactly what you’d expect at the outset – a book focusing on a group of super-powered teens as they learn to keep their powers in check. Think, ‘Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters’, but with a twist.
The theme of the book is ‘Second Chances’, as all of the students have been mistreated or tricked in some way in their past, and are attempting to be placed back on the straight and narrow, and become the Avengers of tomorrow.
Their plight is shown in an excellent opening sequence, where Maddy Berry, our point of view for most of the book, is shown having trouble with her social life and her new super powers, and is eventually deceived by one of the Marvel Universe’s criminal masterminds, without giving too much away. This explains the premise perfectly, so it’s baffling why we are reminded so often in dialogue when the reader already has a grasp of the plot within the first few pages.
Aside from that, Christos Gage’s writing is sharp. The teenagers’ dialogue and attitudes are very natural and varied enough to keep the reader interested, from schoolgirl crushes and overconfidence, to bad attitude problems and sarcasm. Surprisingly, the students aren’t the only ones given second chances. The staff members consist of characters that aren’t in the limelight (such as Tigra), and of those who have had major character issues in the past (anyone who’s familiar with Speedball will know what I mean).
I would definitely recommend this book; I was late jumping on this series, but was given access through “The Mighty World of Marvel” UK reprint (#35). Or alternatively, it’s available in trade paperback form.
A strong start to an interesting series, I would recommend this
to those who are fans of team books, but would like something
a little different.