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Avengers Academy #4

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010
By: Ray Tate

Christos Gage
Mike McKone, Rick Ketcham & Cam Smith (i), Jeromy Cox (c)
Marvel Comics
"Scared Straight" (part 2: Fix You)

Page 24 is the best part of this issue of Avengers Academy. The fiercely beautiful Tigra leads the Avengers on an attack against escaping Raft inmates. Thanks to McCone, the inkers, and Jeromy Cox, she looks fantastic and feral. Her pose means trouble for somebody and her sensuality just oozes from every tawny follicle.

The next few pages detail Tigra's battle against some kind of rat creature. Discounting the monster-man's initial attack, Tigra claws the sucker in an awesome one panel fight then licks the blood off her fur. Tigra is badass love.

The rest of the book isn't as entertaining. Mettle, he with the organic Chromium chassis, threatens to kill Norman Osborn for giving him the undentable body. Hazmat also wants to kill Osborn and Veil isn't sure.

Osborn offers the kids a way out of their situation. They wouldn't necessarily need to abandon their powers, but he would find a means for them to feel and, in the case of Veil, stay whole. Veil is in danger of dissipating permanently.

I can only view Norman Osborn in two ways--stark raving lunatic on a flying bat-boogie-board and dead for forty years. This Luthor shtick? Only works with Luthor, sorry.

As Osborn was talking I kept hearing Clancy Brown as Luthor speaking to Malcolm McDowell as Metallo from Superman: The Animated Series. The difference lies in the continuity. In the Marvel Universe, Hank Pym and Reed Richards surpass the brilliance of Norman Osborn. Doctor Octopus, in fact, is a far better scientist than Osborn ever can hope to be. The kids are either really desperate or really gullible to believe a single word from Osborn's lips and because of that it's difficult to become involved in Osborn's con game.

After the confrontation with Osborn winds down, the kids encounter the Thunderbolts. Well, two of them, excepting Luke Cage. How you'll appreciate these scenes depends on how much you like Juggernaut and Man-Thing. I kind of like Man-Thing, but I didn't want Veil to burn at his touch. So, I found it hard to root for anybody in the moment.

Mettle pounds Juggernaut, who withstands every blow. If that floats your boat, then Avengers Academy is for you, but these fisticuffs did nothing for me. Juggernaut is just some X-Men villain that once tangled with Spider-Woman. He's nothing special.

The bout gives Gage the opportunity to usher out his bete noir--that these kids are the recruits most likely to grow up to become dangerous super-villains. Mettle states that he never hit anything living before and it felt good. He didn't want to stop. I'm not sure I would play the ominous music yet. It could be that Mettle was simply angry and looking for something to punch. When he found something that couldn't be hurt, he wanted to punch it more.

This issue of Avengers Academy is recommended only for fans of the new, new Thunderbolts and, of course, those who have the wisdom and taste to worship at the altar of Tigra.



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