Or – “Unfortunate Implications On Parade!”

The kids of the Avengers Academy have been, essentially, imprisoned against their will to keep them from getting involved in the Avengers Vs. X-Men conflict, stuffed in a crowded area with the students from Wolverine’s school and a mass-murdering mutant madman with no memory…

Good.  That’ll work.

Writer: Christos Gage
Penciler: Tom Grummett
Inker: Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in Avengers Academy:  For superheroes, the Avengers and the X-Men really don’t seem to have a lot of sense.  Anyone could have told you that two groups of superhumans stuck in a small space will fight, and throwing Sebastian Shaw into the mix, mind-wipe or no mind-wipe, was like dipping a tiger in olive olive oil and throwing it into a flaming hoop.  No matter how carefully one sets that sort of thing up, there will be blood…


As the issue opens, Sebastian Shaw escapes Avengers custody and confronts the kids of the Academy, warning them to stay out of his (and by extension harm’s) way.  It’s a super-villain moment of the old-school variety…

…completely undermined when Finesse realizes that he’s come to free his friends, the teenage X-Men.  “Was I really the kind of man who’d hurt children?” asks a bewildered Shaw, clearly not really wanting to know the answer.  That’s the great part of this issue, actually, as no one’s motivations are 100% transparent, and the people who we expect to be the heroes have motives of their own.  Hercules and Tigra have been left in charge of a couple dozen super-teens, but the kids don’t all WANT to be protected.  Several of the Generation Hope kids want to find and help their old friend Hope, while the young Avengers don’t all agree with the condescending “super-hero battles are no place for children” thought process in the first place.


Shaw’s non-heel turn is the most stunning thing in the issue, but there are a lot of unexpected moments in the issue.  X-23 and Finesse bond through their lack of empathy, Hercules is charming and loquacious, and Tigra has a stroke of brilliance that changes the whole conflict.  I am troubled by a couple of things in this issue.  First, Tom Grummett’s art makes everyone look about 10 years old, which really undermines a lot of the drama in their late-teen grappling with adult concepts.  (Tigra especially suffers, art-wise.)  Secondly, while illuminating for the characters, nothing really happens in this issue.  I would have preferred to have a little more of the Academy characters (specifically guys like the Sentinel kid, Lightspeed and others who haven’t really been established as more than familiar costumes) showing off their chops, perhaps even DOING something.  The worst part of it all comes in that, just a few months ago during Fear Itself, Hank Pym shuffled this kids off the board in the same way, leading to the implication that these teen heroes are somehow more fragile or stupid than the dozens of teenagers that came before.  Peter Parker, Kitty Pryde, Piotr Rasputin and the entire rosters of the New Mutants, New Warriors and Generation X were worthy of getting killed in combat.  Why aren’t these kids?


All in all, while it’s not a bad issue, it’s certainly not an essential one.  The characters whose title it is are side-tracked and over-whelmed by guest-stars, with core members Stryker and Mettle little more than cameoing in this issue, playing second fiddle to Hercules (which is understandable) and that naked blue girl from Generation Hope (which just flat isn’t.)  I’d rather have read an issue that was actually ABOUT these characters, rather than just happening around them, and the inappropriateness of the art to the story becomes more obvious with each page.  Avengers Academy #31 suffers most in comparison to earlier issues of the title, coming across as talky, while sidelining the characters from the story (which you’ll only find by reading AvX) earning a disappointed 2 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. A few things:

    1 – Whereas Pym initially wanted to keep the kids out of Fear Itself, they ended up dispatched to Washington DC during the height of the crisis. The kids almost didn’t make it back, and many of them ended up killing a few of the bad guys. The guilt and fear that they developed due to that experience has been a recurring theme since.

    2 – The X-kids are from Utopia and not from Wolverine’s school. They were brought there for their own “good” to keep them out of the conflict.

    3 – Hercules’ monologue during his “defeat” was the best part of the issue!

  2. About the only things I liked in this issue were Herc as an Academy teacher (I really hope he stays on) and Shaw apparently wanting to make a break with his past & be a decent person. Other than that, it was a typical tiresome tie-in.

  3. I have to agree that this issue really felt like AvX filler, but I look on the bright side that it did have some nice character interaction and funny moments.

    The one thing that really bothered me was that at the end [spoiler alert] they put on a big fake fight because their are supposedly a whole bunch of cameras watching them and they want to make it look like they tried to stop the X-kids from “escaping”. But then as soon as the battle is over, they proceed to stand around and carry 10-15 minute conversation and say their goodbyes with nothing to suggest that those cameras they were so worried about have stopped watching.

    Also, to Rob’s question above, there were no kids from Logan’s school. An issue or two ago (when they first brought the X-men kids in) it was made clear that these were the kids left behind in Avenger custody when the main X-men left Utopia. Wolverine mentions that he didn’t want to hold them at his school because the students had “too much history”, which left Avengers Academy as the only other facility to logically put a gaggle of super-powered children.

  4. I think it’d be great if Marvel uses the whole trying to keep them out of harm’s way as an excuse to kill them down the line.

    At least most of them. I don’t know I really can’t get into this comic.. a few of the characters are interesting but there really hasn’t been a lot going on unless characters from other series are introduced. Maybe if they would give them legs to stand on they could do something of note but so far it’s been a whole lot of yawn fest imo.

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