Much stronger than such a crossover needs to be
With just a little time to fill before tying in with the Avengers Vs X-Men mega-crossover event, Avengers Academy has elected to fill that space with a brisk 2-parter where they get to meet fellow fan favorite young heroes the Runaways. "They meet, they fight, they team up" crossovers like this are a dime a dozen; formulaic and predictable, but writer Christos Gage, who has consistently made Avengers Academy one of Marvel's strongest books, has a few tricks up his sleeve to make this still predictable encounter at least somewhat memorable.
While we do get the required "they fight then team up" scenario, there are some noteworthy things going on. First off: while Gage has no intention of bringing the Runaways into the regular cast of the book, he spends a decent amount of time showing how these new characters and our established Avengers Academy cast do and don't get along. The budding relationships between Chase Stein & Mettle, and of Nico Minoru and Hazmat, are very well done. The re-introduction of the flirtation between Karolina Dean and Lightspeed, however, is a bit awkward and forced. It is made all the more awkward due to Lightspeed also appearing currently in "FF" alongside the rest of the Power Pack, where the character seems to be younger and less experienced than she is here.
While Gage quickly finds a strong voice for multiple characters he hasn't worked with before, he seems to struggle a bit with the youngest of the Runaways pack. While Molly has in the past piped up with silly little "I need to pee" sort of asides, here she's a bit much.
All in all, I admire Gage's decision to give as much time in this story as he did to relationship building between characters he's likely not going to be using again (or at least not on a regular basis).
The other strong and surprising element of this story is the conundrum that Giant-Man and Tigra find themselves in with the two pre-teen Runaways. As parents and "full fledged adults", they feel they have no choice but to try to put these children into "proper families" despite the objections of the older members of the group (and the kids in question). I think we all know that when this story wraps up next issue, the Runaways family unit will still be intact, but I'm curious to see just how "low" Pym and Tigra are going to sink to try to break them up "for their own good".