I've been catching up on Marvel since DC announced their reboot, and I wanted to share this little title with the few of you who actually read my journal entries. It doesn't boast the famous cast of a regular Avengers title, or even carry any memorable sidekicks. However, it's currently one of my top favorite superhero comics and here's why.
I recently caught up on Avengers Academy (issue 14.1) and although its premise inherently caters to younger audiences it feels as if it's currently Marvel's most mature and sophisticated title. This is coming from a guy who's following like 15 series.
When first picking up a book like this you think: "Meh, probably just another series about a bunch of super powered teenagers trying to be heroes. Guessing love triangles, the whole "growing up" theme, brick loads of pop-humor, unrelatable larger-than-life scenarios etc." Like.. Runaways, Young Avengers, Teen Titans and every other comic of the genre. Right?
It's really not or at least AA is often more than that. Despite the huge focus on the drama of being young it never overwhelms us with the frivolous mediocrities of stereotypical "teen angst". This is further defined by a cast of adults who themselves aren't the brightest beacons of Marvel history; Hank Pym, Quicksilver, Robbie Baldwin; all individuals who have had questionable pasts to deal with.
I find every issue incredibly engaging, not only because these "kids" are dealing with things like death, the very idea of right and wrong, isolation, manipulation etc. but also because it's on a backdrop of teachers who aren't sure of their answers and methods themselves. In the end it's often a very open, thought provoking series without the kind pandering dialogue you'd expect.
I guess I'm writing this because of how disgustingly underrated AA is and the idea of it being cancelled is looming around every corner. The likely scenario is that 10 years from now no one will even remember most of these characters, how utterly depressing.
I know there was a recent surge of interest for American comics these past couple of years, most of which stem from DC but now with their reboot I hope some of you could find the time and turn your heads towards Marvel. So if you like reading about teenage heroes, "unlikeable" characters, or damaged people. Please give Avengers Academy a try, it's still easy to get into with less than 20 issues out so far. :]