Despite the current AVENGERS ARENA, the idea of so many different superhero schools existing in the Marvel Universe hasn't really been explored. It's decided by Hank Pym, Wolverine and others that these kids should compete against each other in order to build some camaraderie amongst each other. Learning to use their abilities against different opponents and under supervised situations is a great way to ensure their learning and survival. This idea acknowledges the different characters and academies and creates a possible fun atmosphere that AVENGERS ARENA does not contain.
This book opens up the mixing of different characters that likely wouldn't never meet up in their current titles. The idea of friendly competition is even appealing compared to some of the unfortunate deaths we've seen some of the younger characters go through. Even if you are not familiar with all the characters here, and we do see some new ones, you will find out who they are and what their abilities are.
Steven Sanders has the task of depicting all these different characters, each normally drawn by other artists, and fit them in here. The newer characters need to have their own unique look as well. Seeing the newly redesigned Avengers Academy was fun as well.
This book falls a little flat. Many of the characters do not have the right feel. Hank and Logan are much too cheerful, even as Wolverine tries to explain that the kids may not go for Hank's presentation. There seems to be some limitations in characters being used or selected from each school, which felt strange considering the 'games' haven't even started yet.
The characters are each introduced in a way to let new readers know who they are and what they can do. The presentation of this feels a little clunky. It's hard to tell if the descriptions were given to the characters watching or were done that way for readers.
Perhaps it will become clearer later but I have absolutely no idea why this has INFINITY attached to it. It seems to have nothing to do with that event, aside from the possibility based on the cliffhanger at the end. If that's the case and that situation leads to all the schools banding together, this issue's set up really was unnecessary.
The idea of the younger heroes in the Marvel Universe competing against each other in a friendly fashion had some promise. There is the possibility of some interesting confrontations and clashes with some of the characters present. Unfortunately as a first issue, this does not quite sell the idea of this miniseries. The fact that this is meant to be an INFINITY tie in is pretty much not clear in this first issue. That means the direction from what is set up will be drastically changing, again making it peculiar what we're supposed to get out of this issue. I may still pick up the next issue out of curiosity to see where this might go but I'm not quite sold on this miniseries.