Once upon a time there was a comic called Avengers: The Initiative which was brilliantly written and gorgeously drawn…. until Christos Gage came aboard as the new writer, whereupon it sank like a stone. Now, with the heroic age starting in the Marvel universe, he is writing the next step of Avengers: The Initiative with Avengers Academy (AA), a tale about a place where the next generation of Avengers wannabes can be trained, honed and even meet the Avengers maybe.
The bad bits… Oh jeez, the writing just kills it (and not in a good way). For a first issue I didn’t feel like it hit me hard enough to make me want to come back for more. The characters are either too bland or a rip-off of others heroes we’ve seen in the past (you’ve got a shy one, a hopeful recruit, a cocky one, a moody one, an ‘experienced’ one and one who lacks any emotion). I know they’re young but it starts off too ‘Dawson Creek-ish’ for my liking and I can see that it’s going to be heavy in the teen drama area.
Now the art has me torn as while it isn’t bad it’s not wonderful either. I’ve liked McKone’s art on other titles, but here his detail to facial expressions is lost or even non-existent, (One character is told she’s dying but the look on her face, you’d be forgiven for thinking that she’d been told she’s having hotdogs for dinner). Also I’ve never noticed this but most of the people all looked the same. The men all look alike and the women all look alike (I hope they ensure they’re not related before hooking up).
The good bits… Seeing Norman Osborn when he was in power doing what he does best. Also I loved the one liner from Quicksilver about his power. His attitude has always dwelled on him being a snob/arrogance and Gage nailed him right so far. Special mention about the return of Speedball, even though he still has the mentality of his Penance personality.
There are other factors to look at. The main twist at the end of the book wasn’t surprising at all which sucks as Marvel made such a big deal about it. It didn’t shock me at all… In fact I’m hoping that Finesse (the emotionless one) does go down the dark road as I think she has great potential as a villain rather than a hero. If Marvel hadn’t of gone on about it I think the last 2 pages would have left me a bit more intrigued. I will check out the next 2 issues at least to just see if it gets any better but for now if it makes it beyond 16 issues I’ll be very surprised.
Score – 6 out of 10