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Review Group Week #273: Avengers Academy #13

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GLX

Outhouse Editor

Postby GLX » Mon May 09, 2011 8:07 pm

Zero wrote:

Good choice, but it needs more Sentinel!!


'Tis true.
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Stephen Day

Wrasslin' Fan

Postby Stephen Day » Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm

SilverPhoenix wrote:First off, let me apologize for getting in my pick later than I promised to. Mother's Day occupied a lot more of my time than I thought it was going to.

With that out of the way, the book that will be reviewing for Week #274 is....

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1

Image

Solicitation
With a growing sense of uncertainty and despair gripping the nation--and the world--the remnants of the Initiative program are sworn in as federal agents charged with keeping the peace. Their ensuing actions, however, threaten to plunge America's young heroes into civil war! Featuring AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE stars THOR GIRL, ULTRAGIRL, CLOUD 9, KOMDO and HARDBALL--plus FIRESTAR, GRAVITY and some very cool surprises--YOUTH IN REVOLT brings the horror of FEAR ITSELF to the doorstep of a generation!

God I hope this doesn't suck.


Excellent, this is on my pull list. :-D
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Mon May 09, 2011 8:50 pm

Punchy wrote:I must admit that I was confused by the timing of this. Being an Englishman I am of course not as familiar with the Prom as you Americans, but aren't they normally reserved for when students graduate? These guys are nowhere near graduation! But that doesn't really matter, it was a good excuse for some cool guest-stars and some decent character moments.


I never went to prom, because the woman I was seeing at the time was married. :oops:

BUT, there are IIRC lesser proms or dances like a junior prom, and I think of late some schools have even expanded that to have Freshman proms or allow them to attend Junior/Senior proms, although it's not as common.
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Eli Katz

OMCTO

Postby Eli Katz » Tue May 10, 2011 2:30 am

Victorian Squid wrote:
You're just not reading the right stuff.

And if you're reading RG picks, doubly so.

Probably. But honestly, I'm more interested in novels right now.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Tue May 10, 2011 4:52 am

Victorian Squid wrote:
I never went to prom, because the woman I was seeing at the time was married. :oops:

BUT, there are IIRC lesser proms or dances like a junior prom, and I think of late some schools have even expanded that to have Freshman proms or allow them to attend Junior/Senior proms, although it's not as common.


Don't those earlier dances have different names? Like the Spring Fling or the Sadie Hawkins Dance or Homecoming?

This is all based on Smallville/The OC/Veronica Mars/Boy Meets World/etc
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Tue May 10, 2011 5:56 am

Punchy wrote:
Don't those earlier dances have different names? Like the Spring Fling or the Sadie Hawkins Dance or Homecoming?

This is all based on Smallville/The OC/Veronica Mars/Boy Meets World/etc


Those would be more common than a Freshman prom or allowing Freshman to attend a Junior/Senior prom but while there are certainly shared traditions, it just varies school-to-school. I agree it probably would make more sense to call it a different kind of event, but they wanted that "Superheroes go to...PROM??!" kind of thing. That was in part my problem with the book, none of it made much sense outside of Gage wanting to tweak all these "John Hughes-ian" teen tropes and stereotypical scenes and conflicts. It felt like a pastiche of movie moments.

Oh, uh, BTW:

3.5
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Tue May 10, 2011 6:02 am

Victorian Squid wrote:
Those would be more common than a Freshman prom or allowing Freshman to attend a Junior/Senior prom but while there are certainly shared traditions, it just varies school-to-school. I agree it probably would make more sense to call it a different kind of event, but they wanted that "Superheroes go to...PROM??!" kind of thing. That was in part my problem with the book, none of it made much sense outside of Gage wanting to tweak all these "John Hughes-ian" teen tropes and stereotypical scenes and conflicts. It felt like a pastiche of movie moments.

Oh, uh, BTW:

3.5


Maybe it was a tie-in to that upcoming Disney movie?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prom_(film)

Conspiracy!
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Tue May 10, 2011 7:48 am

Punchy wrote:
Maybe it was a tie-in to that upcoming Disney movie?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prom_(film)

Conspiracy!


:shock: Holy shit!

That is some Rich Johnston-level stuff right there!
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BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Tue May 10, 2011 8:56 am

This was probably the weakest issue to date, although it wasn't terrible. It was supposed to be fun and silly and we mainly got that. The characterization was alright, although it made me laugh how easy Tigra is (note to self, use Skrulls as a pickup line when needed). I feel that if Tigra was really so easily swayed by the Scientist Supreme's pickup lines, they'd probably be screwing in a bathroom stall instead of taking it to her bedroom.

All in all, the comic loses points for loose cat women and silly drama, but gains points for Gravity making an appearance in the book.

6.5
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Tue May 10, 2011 7:35 pm

Avengers Academy #13

This is a difficult book to review. It’s not that is poorly written or an uninteresting concept. It is neither of these things. However, it is nigh impenetrable. It’s not that it is difficult to figure out what is going on in this issue, it isn’t. The problem is that the cast is too large and too much of this issue is dealing with relationships in midstream, resolution of a recent storyline and an intimate knowledge of past Avengers history. One or two of these things at a time is okay, but three of them coupled with not knowing who any of the kids (who I assume are the main characters of the book) are and it is not a pleasant read for someone who hasn’t read it in well something like ten issues.

That being said, Gage does a tremendous job juggling all those things that work against the book and alluding to where one might go to find out more (i.e. previous issues or back issues of West Coast Avengers). When you throw in the fact that each of the twelve gazillion characters making an appearance in the book seem to have a consistent and individual voice, you realize that this is an expertly written comic. However, given that I was not a huge fan of the last volume of this book and by the fact that I have not read this volume in 11 or so issues, it is obvious that I am not one hundred percent onboard with this concept (I think it is a neat idea, I just don’t want to read it), so as a critic it becomes an odd thing to talk about. I don’t like, don’t know enough about it, but can recognize the craft involved in its construction and the extent to which the writer has gone to make comprehension somewhat attainable for a reader who decides a prom for a bunch of teen superheroes is interesting.

Sean Chen is awesome. He is a perfect comic book artist. He can handle the group dynamic well and draws great action scenes. There are some minor things I could quibble about, the absent of pupils in characters’ eyes here and there, but it is the height of nitpicking and there is no reason to do that.

(Also, Katy Perry, really? Yuck.)

Story – 3
Art – 4
Overall – 7
It’s an admirable book I wish I cared more about.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Tue May 10, 2011 7:37 pm

So wait... I post reviews two weeks in a row and now my name comes off the list. What kind of stupid shit?
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Tue May 10, 2011 7:44 pm

e_galston wrote:Norman Osborn spent the majority of his time as head of HAMMER experimenting and doing things to ruin these kids lives.

None of which is apparent in this issue, therefore, it is irrelevant.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Tue May 10, 2011 7:47 pm

Punchy wrote:Avengers Academy #13 - 'Prom Night' - Gage, Chen, Hanna & Cox

Story - For a book that stars mostly all-new characters, it's surprising how Avengers Academy is perhaps the most traditional Avengersy of all the various and sundry Avengers comics. It's the book that's dealt with the most traditional Avengersy villains, including the classic threat of Korvac, and most of all, it tells it's stories in the most traditional way. No Bendis back-and-forths here, and no terse Brubaker spy stuff, this is a classic superhero comic in all the best ways.

And this issue is another classic superhero story, the pause for breath issue. Like how the X-Men occasionally take a break from being hated and feared by those they protect by playing Baseball, the AA gang take a break from being trained to be the next generation of Avengers by having a Prom.

I must admit that I was confused by the timing of this. Being an Englishman I am of course not as familiar with the Prom as you Americans, but aren't they normally reserved for when students graduate? These guys are nowhere near graduation! But that doesn't really matter, it was a good excuse for some cool guest-stars and some decent character moments.

It wouldn't really be a Prom if there were only like 6 attendees, so various other Marvel teen heroes pop up, mostly the Young Allies and a couple of characters from Avengers: The Initiative that had been left in limbo, like Batwing, Hardball and everyone's favourite uesless fat-ass Butterball. And also some New Warriors, who are surely too old for Prom? It was good to see this next generation of heroes come together and spend some time together. We all know that these guys will never actually get to become the main characters of the Marvel Universe, but it's still fun to see how well Marvel has done at introducing new characters.

What follows at the Prom is some pretty standard Teen drama really, characters hooking up, characters arguing and all that stuff. I particularly liked the development of a relationship between Hazmat and Mettle, they are making quite a cute couple. I also liked Justice and Firestar's reconciliation. They were members of the main Avengers back when I first began to follow the series, and I've always had a soft spot for them.

So yeah, not much happened in this issue, some slight growth, and some interesting stuff between Hank Pym and Tigra. I really like Hank now that Jan is dead, just like how Cyclops became infinitely more interesting when Jean popped her clogs, Hank is more appealing when 'the love of his life' is dead. Not that I hate the Wasp or anything, I just think they work better apart, and we don't constantly get reminded that he smacked her upside her head. Oh yeah, and I was kind of disappointed that Reptil went back to being a teen so quickly, that looked like it was going to be a long-running plot. And they also missed a good opportunity to have him score the kids some booze for their prom. You're telling me that if one of your friends looked like he was 35 you wouldn't use it to get some booze? These kids are supposed to be (possibly almost) villains!

So yeah, this wasn't a momentous issue or anything, it was a character issue, and was a welcome breather after the crazy time-travel cosmic shenanigans of the Korvac arc. And with the Secret Six coming up, these characters needed a bit of a breather. Yes there were some silly moments and unreasonable actions, but these are troubled teens and this book does a better job than most of getting across teenage emotions, and this issue is no exception...

...except for the ill-advised use of Katy Perry's laughably bad song "Firework". That scene was pretty bad, not only is the song trite rubbish, but I can't really believe that characters as fucked up as the Avengers Academy would like Katy Perry, they'd be into darker music than that, it should have been The Smiths or something. Unless of course Finesse actually has felt like a plastic bag, Reptil felt so paper thin and Veil like a house or cards, so close from caving in.

Art - Sean Chen does a decent job of filling in here. He's been an artist I've been familiar with since he did Heroes Return Iron Man with Kurt Busiek way back when, and he's always been a decent pinch-hitter for any Marvel book since then. He doesn't set my world on fire, but he's a very good artist all the same. I think the best work he did here was making Adult Reptil and Teen Reptil look like the same person at different ages.

Best Line - 'Hey! Settle! No fighting amongst ourselves. This isn't the X-Men'

8/10

I stopped reading this review at "various and sundry"... those words mean EXACTLY THE SAME FUCKING THING!!!!
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BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Tue May 10, 2011 8:58 pm

thefourthman wrote:So wait... I post reviews two weeks in a row and now my name comes off the list. What kind of stupid shit?



Are you back or just emertusing?
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Tue May 10, 2011 9:01 pm

I plan on getting next week's book. Hell I have just about every book I missed, one day I might post them.

You decide, fuck nut.

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