Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Avengers Academy #25 review

Science meets sorcery in Hybrid and the old Rom villain is hungry - hungry for the students of Avengers Academy, a tasty power source for an energy-eating beast. Recent issues have seen him take control of some students, as well as staff members, with the help of Reptil. But not Reptil as we know him - the dino-teen has had his mind taken over by his future self, who believes that facilitating the deaths of his old classmates is the only way to save his timeline. (What the problem is, we're not told - I suspect a goatee plague.)

As we join the Academy this issue, Reptil has had enough. He's realised that this isn't the way, that no one deserves to be sacrificed on the altar of his future. So it is that while Giant Man leads the fight against the horde of Hybrid, Reptil enlists aid from very surprising quarters.

And once the newcomers have helped see off Hybrid and his mind-controlling ways. they deliver a brand new headache.

As ever, writer Christos Gage shows that personality and action don't have to be mutually exclusive in an Avengers book. His characters reveal aspects of their natures, they change and develop, but they do it while saving the world rather than, say, speaking into a dictaphone. And little by little, we're seeing teamwork emerge naturally. My favourite moments this issue see Hazmat showing supposed love rival X-23 (superhero, or bus service?) who's boss, and Reptil demonstrating that if the hero work ever dries up, he'll make a teriffic relationship counsellor. Then there's Finesse hinting that if any Academy student is going to wind up a villain, it's not her.

And speaking of Finesse, there's a hint from her future self as to her father's identity - someone prone to memory problems. Any ideas?

The only disappointment with this issue's script is that Rom doesn't put in an appearance. Surely Marvel and Parker Brothers will eventually sort out their legal kerfuffle, allowing the space hero to return to comics? He's referenced here merely as 'one of the spaceknights'. Boo!

Penciller Tom Grummett presents big, bold layouts perfect for fight scenes involving a couple of dozen players, while inker Cory Hamscher complements Raney's clean, open style. Extra points to them for being the first artists to make Hawkeye's new movie-led costume look good on the page.

A splendid package for $2.99 includes the best intro and recap page out there, and a regular letters column in which Gage engages in honest dialogue with the readers. Topping off the book is a cracking cover courtesy of Rodin Esquejo and while Reptil is the wrong colour, it's a better one. The logo placement is a bit rubbish, but you can see why. Two months to go until A vs X! Like, thrillsville.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Martin:- You're right about the logo-placement in the cover, and yet that makes it look all the more wonderfully like a fun exploitation video cover from the early 80s. Which means I rather love it's crowded sense that's THERE'S LOTS GOING ON IN HERE!

    Oh, well, I'll have another crack at Avengers Academy then. I hope you're on a percentage ...

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  2. If only ... please tell Marvel and DC I have sold at least three comics for them this year.

    Let me know if you try the book. I'd say it has POP!

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  3. Many issues ago, Finesse met Taskmaster and he told her that he has memory problems and can't tell her if he's her dad or not.

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  4. Oh fantastic, nice one Keith - your memory is so much better than Taskmaster's.

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  5. Avengers Academy is still one of the most enjoyable reads marvel puts out nowadays.

    And Tom Grummett is one of the rare artists who can draw Jocasta. Deffo a plus :)

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  6. i'm afraid there will be no sorting out between Marvel and Parker Bros. this was sent to me by Avengers Academy editor William Rosemann:

    . . .Remember, Giant-Man just said that the spaceknight in question was dead…but he can certainly be incorrect in his assumptions, yes? After all, he didn’t produce a body, did he?
    And unfortunately, just changing a letter in a name or showing the character in his human guise wouldn’t satisfy those pesky lawyers. We wish it weren’t do, but thus is the litigious world we all live in.
    So, just know that both Christos and DnA are huge fans of Bill Mantlo’s work, and this is all of our way of doing what we can to keep these great characters alive and introduced to a new generation of readers.

    so that's it mate game over.

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  7. That is roten news. What the heck is wrong with Parker Bros? Surely any media use of Rom is free publicity for the inevitable return of the toy?

    Anyway, well done Bill Rosemann for responding. He always get back, I notice!

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