The depowered students of Avengers Academy must now fight back against Jeremy Briggs.
Avengers Academy #35
After making a daring escape after getting “treated” with Clean Slate, Jeremy Briggs’ special concoction of nanobots that suppress super powers, Reptil, Lightspeed, White Tiger, X-23, and Finesse must now figure out how to get away from Briggs’ goon squad (former members of the Young Masters) and figure out how they can help their teammates. Striker weasels a cure to Clean Slate from Sylvie Lushton and regains his powers. While he’s attacked by Briggs, Veil takes the cure to Hazmat and Mettle. Now realizing Briggs’ plans are not as noble as he tried to make them believe, Hazmat decides to get some answers.
Generally speaking, Christos Gage has made an entire series out of keeping the tone of the series fairly light and airy. There have been a few exceptions in order to have the characters grow a little bit, but these first two parts of “Final Exam” have been pretty dark. In all the good ways. For 34 issues we’ve seen these characters grow into heroes in their own rights. They’ve doubted themselves, they’ve wondered if it would just be easier to look out for themselves, and they’ve matured. Now, without their powers, we get to see what kinds of heroes they can be and how much they really do look out for each other.
Because they are depowered, this turns into a pretty exciting issue. They are over matched and they need to rely on smarts and stealth. The ones with powers aren’t exactly reputable people as they all come from the Young Masters (the Young Avengers version of the Masters of Evil). They aren’t too concerned about the well being of the Academy kids. So you have that to contend with. That’s not even mentioning how much being separated from the tiger amulet is hurting White Tiger, or how X-23′s adamantium is slowing poisoning her to death. There’s a lot of high stakes in play here. On top of all that, Hazmat and Mettle are just now being able to enjoy their time together as normal people and not behind their protective coverings and they are being called back into action and forced to take on their deformities all over again. And what about Veil? Will she put her trust back into Hank Pym to allow her to keep her powers and her physical body?
Overall, the story has got enough to keep you guessing how they will get out of the situation. Add that to Andrea Di Vito’s art that not only helps the more dynamic action sequences, but also nicely fits into this series with Chris Sotomayor’s colors, and you’ve got yet another particularly solid issue in a series that’s purely been phenomenal.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid tension and great art from Gage and Di Vito.||Not too much to pick out as negatives. Solid all around.|