Avengers Academy #13
This title is imo, the best non cosmic Marvel book there is right now, but you'd be hard pressed to see why with this issue.
Gage has been a breath of fresh air at Marvel for me, he has great characterization, understands that continuity is not a curse and actually writes stuff that takes more than 5 minutes to read. He's done some great work making me care about the characters in this series. But everything here was just so, so... unGage like.
As for the story, there's a dance and the Academy invites some other teen guests. That I've never heard of most of the visitors is okay, but nothing in this book makes me want to discover who any of the are.
Of course with any gathering of teens there's going to be drama...
Reptil still dealing with his 'older' self in what I thought was a potentially great storyline. Sadly, Gage must not have thought so as he abruptly ends it with a bat of a pretty girl's eyelash.
Mettle & Hazmat - what started last issue continues to blossom in this one, but (like the other review mentioned) in the most silly sit-com way possible.
Striker & Veil - Is it romance, don't know, hope not because Striker's a dick that I have feigning interest
Finesse - Gag me! All the potential she had in the first few issues has been squandered lately. She's the most unlikeable character I can think of right now.
Justice & Firestar - I'm old school, so of course I prefer them as a couple, but barring that, once we get past the generic "Sleeping with" over-reaction, their talk is probably the highlight of the issue.
Hank & Tigra. Love Hank and glad to see him moving on. Tigra though? In just 5 pages she goes from 'don't even think about kissing me' to 'meet me in my room in 5'. I mean, she's always been easy, but c'mon Gage - make Hank work for it at least. And does she actually think no one is going to suspect anything when the only two adults in the room leave? She must have forgotten her sermon on chaperoning from page 1.
Speedball - NO drama for him at all here. He actually just seemed happy. BOUT FUCKING TIME! So glad to see that Penance shit is over with and we have the real Robbie back!
Anyway, by the end of the issue all the kids are having fun. There's nothing wrong with this. I should add that Marvel books these last 5+ years have had an enormous lack of 'fun', so any scene like this is welcome. But did they have to do it with a scene lifted straight from the 'Brady Bunch too much soap in the washing machine' bit?
The art is okay, not the best I've seen Chen do. I was never convinced his 30 year old Reptil was anything more than a 16 year old Reptil (just with a fuzzy chin). His action scenes were iffy too. I was puzzled how Firestar was able to throw Justice for instance.
All in all, this is still one of the better books on the shelf. I'm confident this is just a one-off misfire.
Story - 6
Art - 5
Overall - 5.5