gold_dust_boi's Avengers Academy #23 - Second Chances review

These Kids Have Issues

WOW! Two words. Heavy. Issue. I know I say this every few months now but Avengers Academy just KEEPS getting better! I wasn’t feeling the loss of my favorite character, Veil, and I was somewhat nervous that she would leave a huge hole in the group, but who has time to worry about the missing vapor girl when all this craziness is happening?! X-23 joins the team? Eh…we’ll see. New gays in the Marvel Universe? Always welcome when it’s done properly. The return of Hybrid? Amazing. And the actual storyline about the future versions of the students? Boring and Pass thank you. This happens all the time in comic books, they writers decide to take a few issues to do some character work and build up relationships and while that’s all going on there’s some crappy storyline to go along with it. But I digress…let’s get into the issue shall we?

First off, X-23. Not really feeling it to be honest. I don’t read her solo book but from what I gather, it’s all about her discovering herself and how to live a normal life but I don’t see how teaming up with a new super team is going to help with that (even if they are all kids her own age). I get that the idea is to have her socialize more with her peers and get her more acclimated to interpersonal relationships but if she’s ready to do that then why can’t she be a part of the X-men again? Not X-Force as an assassin, but just a regular X-men team. Or even, if she’s so gung ho about being in school, go to – gee I don’t know – Wolverine’s brand new school in Westchester?? It just seems to me that she already has good friends there in Hellion and Mercury so why thrust her into a new situation with more already volatile kids. Now on the other hand I DID love her scene with Mettle and I definitely see where she could bring a lot to this team but I just don’t follow the logic behind it and I am pretty sure she’s gonna end up in one of the X-teams if she really does decide to be a team player.

And how about that deeper then deeper scene with Striker and Lightspeed??? Didn’t see any of that coming! Not even a little. First of all, when Hazmat made her off color comments last issues about Lightspeed being a lesbian, I really just thought it was narrow minded stereotypical teenage meanness. I didn’t actually think it was going to turn out to be true! The Power Pack has been around for a long time and I just recently started reading the series recently so to see this long established (not to mention angsty) character “go gay” was a twist I totally didn’t expect. And her whole “Im Julie. I’m not a label or a symbol” thing was so typical newly out gay teen thing to do and such a cliché. Loved it! And Striker…wow…just wow. Everyone knew that one kid in high school that was a complete womanizer only to find out years later that he was gay the entire time. And unfortunately many people also know that person who was taken advantage of by someone older when they were a child. It’s a very sad story and I am very proud of Christos Gage for handling these sensitive topics with such poise and grace not to mention, no pun intended, Finesse. I look forward to seeing the friendship between these two confused characters grow in the coming months as they both explore themselves and come to terms with who they really are.

Now, of course, it wouldn’t be one of my reviews if I didn’t also give a few jabs at the book. Christos, you were amazing on Angel & Faith, and you handled the deep issues in this issue so well…what the hell is going on with the rest of the storyline?? Where did you pull Hybrid from? I mean props for creativity but isn’t the storyline already convoluted enough? You had to dig Hybrid out of the vault?? And the entire scenario with the future selves is so far just a bit mind warping. The future selves were a fun storyline when they first did the switch but now it seems a bit whacky. Why are they doing this? And more importantly why doesn’t Reptil’s older self remember any of this in his own past? They need to clear this one up and quickly or just move on to something else because as much as I love this book, kooky time warping storyline get old real quick.

And the shocker of the entire issue? More than Striker coming out and more Hyrid? In the future Finesse and Reptil have a kid! Yeah that’s right a shape shifting offspring of their very own. This book continues to shock me month after month and now the Gage is here I suspect we are in for quite the ride in the coming months. I hope X-23 doesn’t stick around, I would rather take the time to get to know Lightspeed again and discover more about White Bengal. From the looks of the next issues box, it seems like I will get everything I’m looking for in the next issue but we’ll see about that!


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