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.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead, Wonder Woman