A medium sized week of releases this week, with heavy output from Marvel and it’s Fear Itself crossover. This week one of those tie-ins gets a little love, but so does another book that is almost a mirror image of it in this Father’s Day edition of the Ettatorial.
First up this week is Avengers Academy #15. This tie-in issue to Fear Itself is one that I hope people who don’t usually pick up the title will give a try due to the cross-over (which I already know is the point, but work with me here). Christos Gage has crafted this title into one of Marvel’s better books, and quite a few months out of the year it’s best Avengers title. This issue is an example of that, as the students of Avengers Academy face their toughest test yet, fighting the Worthy and Sin in Washington DC, and seeing first hands the trials of war. It’s not just the students who face the horrors of was, as it’s the faculty’s realization of sending the young off to fight a war that really makes this issue great. Hank Pym and Tigra especially show the inner turmoil that it puts a person into when dealing with this serious subject, and contrasting their thoughts and the student’s is facinating. Tom Raney does his usual magic on art duties, with his talent for facial expression really helping sell the drama involved. It’s nice to have him back on a title I read regularly, as his work on Stormwatch was a revelation, and I personally loved his work on Thor back when. A great jump on issue, I recommend this one for anyone not yet checking this title out.
Another pick this week is Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #2. I originally picked this title up on issue one because my daughter (who’s almost 3) told me that the cover looked good. I found that I really enjoyed it, and decided to pick up this second issue, and I’m glad I did. The premise for the series is similar to Avengers Academy, but it’s opposite in intent. The students here are all villains’ children, and are going to school for villainy. It’s played a bit more lightly, aided in the cartoony style of reative newcomer Armand Villavert. Each issue has an almost done-in-one quality, but there is a running undercurrent of a darker storyline dealing with the world’s heroes and villains staging their fights in an almost pro-wrestling-like manner. The kids here are truly kids, much younger in nature than what is usually portrayed. There is a nice ensemble of kids here, with Kid Nefarious, Martian Kid, and Mummy Girl seeming to be the big three to get the focus (at least thus far). The book almost gives a Harry Potter vibe, at least in the school setting and colorful faculty, not copying or taking from the franchise, but really getting the tone along the same lines as the earlier movies before they darkened. I could actually see this working as an animated series (not due to the art style, but the subject matter) and being hugely successful, but am glad to see the book went for the comic book route. I really have enjoyed this series thus far (and was pleased to learn they are actually an ongoing now rather than a mini-series) and highly recommend it.
There you go folks, two picks for you this week. I’ll see you back here next week, same time, same channel.