Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Review: Avengers Academy #7


AVENGERS ACADEMY #7 PREVIEW Writer: Christos Gage Penciler: Tom Raney Cover Artist: Mike McKone Inkers: Dave Meikis & Scott Hanna Colorists: Jeromy Cox & Andrew Crossley Letterer: Joe Cramagna Editor: Bill Rosemann Publisher: Marvel Release Date: December 15th, 2010   Christos Gage and company continue to provide the best Avengers book on the market, proving this once again, with Avengers Academy #7. Gage brings his A-game with Avengers Academy as he gives us a most compelling storyline. After Dark Reign, the Avengers discovered that Norman Osborn was manipulating a group of six super-powered youths and that they had the potential to become the next super-villains of tomorrow. Led by instructors, each with a rocky history of their own, Avengers Academy seeks to reform these misunderstood youths into the next generation of Avengers - or at least stop them before they do become the next generation Doctor Doom or Red Skull. The past half dozen issues saw each of the junior Assemblers showcased as Gage revealed their personalities and powers. Some, indeed, did drop hints of a future filled with murder, revenge and violence. While still others, as we saw with the last issue's Reptil feature, have the potential to become the next Captain America. Gage has these characters walk a thin line - at any time they could go either way. As details on the main cast surface, Gage uses the veteran Avengers leaders as a back-drop to promote and develop various plots. The build up has been tremendous as a sense of something spectacular is culminating. This time, Hank Pym gets the spotlight as he teaches none other than the Absorbing Man a lesson in Cosmic 101. However, fan favorite villain Carl "Crusher" Creel, is not the only one to realize what is out there as we see elements from previous Avengers stories and Secret Invasion come together to give us one giant (couldn't resist!) of a revelation. The schooling continues as this not only reveals to Pym his true intentions in regards to his wife, but also plants the seed for -something- to come as one of his students learns the fate of the Wasp. The issue starts with an extended scene between Pym and Tigra as they discuss both accountability and responsibility. Here, Gage gives us an explanation as to why Hank Pym is Giant-Man and should be so. I found it intriguing the revelation came as a result of an encounter with a super-villain, with this being a book about possible evil-doers - on both sides of the class room. From there, the Avengers are quickly brought into action against the Absorbing Man where Pym shows Mr. Ball-And-Chain why Eternity calls him the Supreme Scientist. Fill-in artist, Tom Raney, nailed this sequence as he gives us a larger than life clash between the mountainous men. Pym's response to defeating a man who can absorb everything, Quasar fans should take note, was epic as the Abstract Entities come into play. Quite a considerable looking page if I do say so! Speaking of Raney, his panels are not only filled with much detail, but the close-ups, wide shots and splash pages tell the story all their own. Compliments must be given to the inkers and colorists as they either make or break a book, here they come through with this issue. The issue is nicely wrapped up as Pym makes his decision, at least for the time being, but not without consequence as a student witnesses the result. Though, perhaps, nothing will come of this as this particular student seems to lie more on the super hero side of the line - or perhaps not! What I like about Avengers Academy is that it is a fresh take on the super-hero genre. Coupled with an inclusion of new characters filled with an abundance of exciting plot lines and superb art, this is one excellent book. Always looking forward to the next issue with this one!