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Review: Avengers Academy #1

Is it better than the promotional ads?

A new team of teenage Avengers comes together after months of promotion. But is this book any good, or is this something you can sweep under the rug for later? The Initiative meets X-Men Academy is here.
 

The Good

Preconceived notions be darned! After tons of those "I am in Avengers Academy" which annoyed the living heck out of me, I was ready for a sub-par teenage angst filled, poorly drawn book, and it was nothing like that. Christos Gage, who wrote Avengers: Initiative and Absolution, does a great job of introducing these new characters in a way where the reader is not bogged down with back story. The new characters, for the most part, are all very interesting, but are they super-powered, are they mutants? I'm a little confused on that. I like how this issue ends, and Norman Osborn's role in the Avengers Academy. It's also nice to see Speedball back and no longer feeling all sad for himself in his spiky outfit.
 

The Bad

I'm not digging the art. I really enjoyed the first four pages, but as soon as these characters get into costume, the art has a whole different feel to it. It felt based in reality, and as soon as the costumes come on, it's a little cartoony. I still don't like the character Mettle. (The guy who I called Red Skull meets a shiny Danzig when the original promotion came out) He would be best used as cannon fodder, but everyone else on the team I really liked. One other thing that bugged me is when they were in their war room training, Speedball gets a little ticked with Hazmat over her using her powers to stop a bad guy because her powers are lethal. Why put a person on the team whose powers are lethal if you don't want them using it?
 

The Verdict - 3.5/5

A solid start to a series I thought would be awful. Sure, there were a few problems here and there, but overall, I'd say read this book. If you're an Avengers or Heroic Age fan, pick this book up for sure. If not, borrow it from a friend.
34 Comments
Posted by reaper2923

Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics

Posted by ComicMan24

You start a new academy with only six students? Let's hope we see more members later.

Posted by inferiorego
@reaper2923 said:
" Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics "
For me, I hated Penance. Too much self-loathing.
Staff
Posted by JohnDudebro

You don't like Mettle?! Clearly you are insane.

Posted by xerox_kitty

After recently tearing through the first 30 issues of Avengers: Initiative I am really REALLY looking forward to reading this.  The only thing that could make me happier is if Gage wrote a new New Warriors.  But I'm even more excited about seeing Speedball back... 
 
I get the feeling that the art is something I'm just going to have to get used to or bare with till the next arc.

Moderator
Posted by inferiorego
@JohnDudebro said:
" You don't like Mettle?! Clearly you are insane. "
It's true. I wrote that review while I was in an insane asylum.
Staff
Posted by reaper2923
@inferiorego said:
" @reaper2923 said:
" Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics "
For me, I hated Penance. Too much self-loathing. "

The costume, his powers, and the character himself he had a huge survivor guilt problem which is what made hima  great character.
Edited by FoxxFireArt

Now, it's this series that feels a bit pointless of the new Avengers titles they are releasing.
 
Well drawn or not, there doesn't seem to be anything appealing to be about this. You bring up a good point. Why have a person on a  team with lethal powers if you don't want them used? It's like giving a soldier a gun and tell him him never to use it. Either find a way to make the powers non lethal, or don't put her on your team.
 
Thunder and lightening is REALLY picking up here. Best to call it a day and turn off my computer before anything really bad happens. I'll pick up the reviews later in the day.

Posted by ComicMan24

Who is Mettle? The Red Skull looking guy?
Posted by inferiorego
@ComicMan24 said:
" Who is Mettle? The Red Skull looking guy? "
red skull meets shiny danzig
Staff
Posted by llagrok
@reaper2923 said:
" Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics "
lmfao. PENANCE got you into comics? 
Posted by Kid_Zombie

I not sure about this. The ad's didnt bother me at all, in fact i dug the promotion they were doing. I just dont know about this seires. I loved the Initative but this feels like I'm going from New x-men to young mutants again.
 Is this like the initiative? or is it like the x-men school? Or is this just another young avengers? 

Posted by ComicMan24

I'm not very excited about them yet, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Posted by inferiorego
@Kid_Zombie said:
" I not sure about this. The ad's didnt bother me at all, in fact i dug the promotion they were doing. I just dont know about this seires. I loved the Initative but this feels like I'm going from New x-men to young mutants again.  Is this like the initiative? or is it like the x-men school? Or is this just another young avengers?  "
It's Initiative and X-Men Academy.
Staff
Posted by xerox_kitty
@reaper2923 said:
" @inferiorego said:
" @reaper2923 said:
" Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics "
For me, I hated Penance. Too much self-loathing. "
The costume, his powers, and the character himself he had a huge survivor guilt problem which is what made hima  great character. "
A walking iron maiden is a throw back to the early overly-testosterone-filled early 90's.   
 
Robbie Baldwin didn't have a guilt problem over surviving the Stamford explosion.  He bided his time to conceive a plan to extract his revenge upon Nitro, but placing Nitro in the spike-filled suit and then battering him over 600 times with a wrench.   
 
The "survivor guilt problem" was a result of the drugs injected into him & brain-washing by Norman Osborn.  That wasn't Robbie.  That was part of the plan to make him into a living weapon.   
 
@FoxxFireArt said:
" Now, it's this series that feels a bit pointless of the new Avengers titles they are releasing.  Well drawn or not, there doesn't seem to be anything appealing to be about this. You bring up a good point. Why have a person on a  team with lethal powers if you don't want them used? It's like giving a soldier a gun and tell him him never to use it. Either find a way to make the powers non lethal, or don't put her on your team.  Thunder and lightening is REALLY picking up here. Best to call it a day and turn off my computer before anything really bad happens. I'll pick up the reviews alter in the day. "
Sorry, but I couldn't disagree with you more.  Having somewhere to train the next generation of Avengers makes sense.  But it's not the first time a school to have deadly kids & try to teach them not to use them dangerously.  Half the mutants that go in to Xaviers are exactly the same.  If you don't train them to control their powers responsibly then they turn into criminals or accidentally kill everyone they know & love.  It's just that Avengers didn't to let the mutie freaks have all the traumatised teens ;) 
 
If anything, this series is a continuation of Avengers: Initiative, but without characters like Trask, Osborn, The Hood or Taskmaster twisting their good intentions into something darker. 
 
Hope the thunder's not to close...!!
Moderator
Edited by ComicMan24

I'm curious to see how did they get their powers since Marvel can't use mutants as an easy solution now.
Posted by Blue_Shield
@inferiorego said:
" @reaper2923 said:
" Stupid Speedball he suck should have stayed as Penance he is what got me into comics "
For me, I hated Penance. Too much self-loathing. "

Man, I hated Penance too.  Speedball is way better when not a whiney crybaby all the time.  Looking forward to reading the issue.
Moderator
Posted by MTHarman


I ended up liking Mettle because of his character, he knows he looks stupid or scary, but doesn't care. It wasn't his look that killed it or was annoying.

 
But what did annoy the crap out of me was Marvel playing psycologist, Finesse who's nothing compared to an actual autistic person, Hazmat who knew how to be stuck-up, and Lightning Lad from Legion of superheroes. 
 
But I did enjoy the book and it was interesting.

Posted by ComicMan24

Didn't Mettle have a different name in the promos?

Posted by MTHarman


One thing I love about this comic is the grammer,

Hazmat dropping an F-bomb by saying " They're f**k off!",  meaning that she was saying " They are f**k off".

-oops

Posted by inferiorego
@MTHarman said:
"


One thing I love about this comic is the grammer,

Hazmat dropping an F-bomb by saying " They're f**k off!",  meaning that she was saying " They are f**k off".

-oops

"
look at the dialogue on the page before...
"You want to take the gloves off..." (next page)
"They're #&$% off!"
 
i would hope she meant f&^king
Staff
Posted by Shadowdoggy
@inferiorego:
that's what I assumed too 
it makes more sense
Edited by Benzo

I rather read a good ongoing young avengers title then this pointless book!, I also don't like the fact that Hank Pym is now a teacher......he should either have his own mighty avengers or at least, have joined the main avengers... Dan slott made him an A-list character and now he's teaching unappealing characters! , it's really confusing in my opinion! :S

Posted by Shadowdoggy
@Benzo:
yeah, but it's cool to have him SOMEwhere 
more than you can say for a lot of former Avengers who aren't currently anywhere at all 
and he's working with Justice and Tigra, so that's pretty cool IMO 
I just hope they focus on the teachers a good bit 
they're much more interesting to me
Edited by MTHarman
@inferiorego:
Rants and curse are unique in a comic, to build up tension and dialogue emotions, I wish they would do it right. Sadly Captain America issue 606 is also guilty of not adding "ing" or three extra @#! at the end of their special words. 
 
But a minor glitch though. 
Edited by Golden Cod
@xerox-kitty: 
 
I disagree with you on Penance because I enjoyed Warren Ellis's take on him.   Ellis portrayed him as someone thoroughly torn apart by society's vilification of him and whose ability to think logically has been impaired.    I find him interesting because you really rare get to see a hero who screws up and pays a really big price for it.  His situation was a good match with Civil War's attempt to add imperfections of the real world.
 
The version of Penance that you're talking about was written by Paul Jenkins, who came up with the suddenly super-smart and math-obsessed version.   Being suddenly capable of defeating Doctor Doom seems a bit ridiculous, hulk-powers or no-hulk powers. 
 
I also don't think that he's a throwback to the 90s because he's nothing like Cable or Punisher.   "Guilt" isn't in the vocabulary of the 90s.
 
Also, when was the drug-injection thing?   I'm looking at my past issues and I can't find anything that suggests that the Penance persona was induced by Osborn.   Rather the opposite.
 
 
 

 

Posted by Cafeterialoca

I liked Mettle and hated everyone else.  Well, outside Reptil.
I mean, how could you like Finesse and Striker?

Posted by Kid_Zombie
@inferiorego:  Oh ok, I see, thats actually kinda cool, so its like a military school? 
Thats how i thought a Beta flight comic should be ha ha (alpha flights training team) Its funny that all this stuff is happening now in comics when it all happened in alpha flight comics in the early 90's, registration act and all that. still cool though.
 
cool well ill pick this up give it a try, or just wait for the TPB like i do with the initiative, which was a great book.
Posted by FoxxFireArt
@xerox-kitty: 
 Can't always agree, but I can respect a lady's opinion.
I just don't think these characters are all that interesting. The idea of an Averngers Academy is that you are training these people to be Avengers one day. It's kind of implied by the name. I can't see any of these people replacing any of the current Avengers.
 
They don't seem very focused on training when they take a girl into the field who's powers are lethal, and then complain she used them. If they were concerned about training. Don't let her out onto the field until you have found a way to defuse the lethality of her powers. You'd think they would be even more sensitive about that issue after the events that started the Super Human Registration Act and Dark Reign.

I don't mind the thunder. It's the lightening that could blow out the power and possible cause harm to my computer
Posted by Theansweris42

@inferiorego: 
 
I appreciate the fact you review a lot of books in short order so you may miss some details, but the reason they have lethal members on a non-lethal team is in the book, like last two or three pages.   
 
And every team needs a tank.

Edited by Maxwell Lord the fourth

I really liked and all the new characters presented here...all safe Mettle his design is hurting my eyes,dang he really needs a makeover,or to die really soon...The other problem I had is Robbie Baldwin going back to being Speedball,I never liked his costumes,this one is no exeption,he should have kept the Penance look IMHO.Also I am very interested in seeing how Finesse will evolve...
PS:is it just me or does Hazmat not remind you of the latest Scorpion(asian,poisonous...)

Edited by gui22

I hated Penance some times and loved him others but it´s awesome that speedball is back!

Posted by bingbangboom

I actually enjoyed this book compared to some other team books which seem to take a lot longer to introduce characters and build the plot. Thought it was better than Young Allies which literally has each character introduce themselves in a boring way. It seems that now the new "mutant" thing is to just be the offspring of a former hero/villain too. Art was really good although I have to agree with the main character, the Veil costume is a bit weird.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I loved this comic, it was great.
It reminded me of Batman Beyond.  The premise seemed very corporate and staged, Marvel saying something like we need a new teen comic to get new readers and appeal to a younger demographic.  And they took that premise and turned it into something great and deeper and darker and richer than the original premise.
Bruce Timm and company were approached by WB, I think it was, to do a teen Batman cartoon.  Very commercial and driven by getting viewers and toy deals, but they came up with a great and interesting and rich story.  I am not saying that's what actually drove the creation of this comic, and its only the first issue, but it seems really good.