The lines are being drawn at Avengers Academy and now, to make things worse, there’s a murderer wandering about the school grounds.
Avengers Academy #30
While some of the kids at the school discuss the ethical implications of the X-kids brought from Utopia being kept in the building seemingly against their collective will, the adults are preparing to find and stop Sebastian Shaw. Shaw’s recently learned all about who he is and what he’s done and everyone knows he’s going after the kids to hurt Emma Frost in particular. Meanwhile, X-23 endeavors to learn more about the Phoenix threat in an attempt to learn where she stands. The adults are systematically taken down by Shaw, but the unaware students outside begin squaring off against one another. X-23 finally speaks up on what she sees as what’s wrong about this situation, but is interrupted by the vengeful Shaw.
Without a doubt, the real draw to this book are the characters. Add to that a writer like Christos Gage who is particularly great at writing characters, and what you get is a book that’s fun and exciting on levels that goes beyond that of a series full of A-list heroes and villains. Each character in this series has his or her distinct voice. They have personalities that are distinguishable from each other.
That alone makes this book even better than just a tie-in to an event. AvX is the backdrop to the plot of this story, but the characters use the tie-in as a way to express their own feelings toward the battle between the two camps. The Avengers Academy kids are welcoming and wanting to be helpful to the kids from Utopia. While some of the kids are naive about the situation, and they certainly don’t fully understand that the Avengers were technically the aggressors, they are being as open minded as they possibly can. It’s the kids from Utopia, whose anger and frustration over being carted off to the Academy is completely justified, that are acting as the aggressor in this situation leaving the Avengers kids a bit confused and unsure of how this will play out. As kids, they are getting firsthand experience at how quickly a dispute can turn violent. And that’s even before the murdering mutant who’s escaped his cell shows up looking to do some damage.
A particularly fantastic scene takes place between X-23 and Finesse. Here are two characters that act almost like the Data and Mr. Spock of the series. They struggle to make personal connections. One was created to be a machine and follow orders, which usually includes assassinations. The other is the daughter of a villain and is so coldly observant and amazingly intelligent. They share a scene about the Phoenix and X-23′s confusion over her role and where she falls in terms of her feelings. In a lot of ways, X-23 is going through a growth spurt on an emotional level. This is exactly what Gage has done so well in 30 issues of Avengers Academy. He’s been able to pull the right strings at the right time to make the reader continue to care about these character on deeper and deeper levels.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great character work from Gage. Awesome last page. The fear undertones with Sebastian Shaw is done well and woven nicely into the main plot of the kids trying to keep things under control. Great art from Tom Grummett.||None|