Friday, June 11, 2010

Avengers Academy #1

I figured I'd give this issue a try, since it's the latest in the avalanche of Avengers titles.

And while it's not the most incredible comic I've ever read, I have to admit I enjoyed it. That's probably because despite the Avengers Academy title, it's actually closer to the original concept of the X-Men.

The idea is simple enough - you take a half-dozen young people, give them amazing powers but little in the way of skills to manage those powers and send them to super-hero school where they'll train to become the heroes of tomorrow.

Writer Christos Gage does a good job here, setting up the new team, introducing their school and their teachers, and setting up lots of internal conflict - in no small part thanks to a big secret the young team uncovers.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Veil, a thoughtful and appealing girl who's easy to like (and thankfully isn't the usual pneumatically endowed superbabe).

The issue includes outstanding art by Mike McKone, with lots of character and emotion on display, strong layouts, loads of detail and a real heft to the world these young heroes inhabit.

The thing that impresses me the most is that, in one short issue, we're introduced to these characters and they all feel like actual characters, not cardboard cutouts in different costumes. The bicker, they joke, they flirt - they're like actual teens.

It's a very encouraging start and a good concept. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. As I recall, that X-Men thing worked out ok.

Grade: A-

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