Monday, September 27, 2010

Avengers Academy #4

Here's where I forgive Avengers Academy for the latest storyline.

Oh, not that it was a great experience - actually, not a lot happens in this issue (other than the team being in a prison for super-villains and almost causing a riot).

But last month I chastised the title for having a crossover with the Thunderbolts so early in its run - but if there is a crossover, it was relatively seamless, as we didn't miss anything since last issue (as near as I can tell).

This issue focuses on Mettle, the crimson teen (apparently) made of steel. His origin is a clever bit of work, and is far more interesting than anything else that happens in this issue.

Mettle works with Hazmat and Veil to track down Norman Osborn (him again?) with a simple goal in mind: they plan to kill him for what he did to them (since their powers all manifested under his guidance).

As always, the art by Mike McKone is outstanding, with strong layouts and great character designs. He stumbles a bit in the riot sequences, where things get too confused - but that's a minor complaint.

I'm enjoying this series, but the whole prison set-up for the past two issues just doesn't ring true. If the Avengers were trying to guide these young people to the right path, why would they expose them to so much potential danger?

I like the idea that this book is (partly) modeled after the original concept of the X-Men - young heroes being trained in how to use their powers - but I get the sense that this comic seems to be struggling a little bit to find its way.

My advice is to get the team out in the field fighting the bad guys - after all, the X-Men didn't spend all their time in the Danger Room.

Grade: B


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