Thursday, January 20, 2011

Avengers Academy #8

Review: This issue begins with Tigra walking into the communications room of Infinite Avengers Mansion to see what the students were watching and is shocked to see that they were watching her beating at the hands of the Hood. It seems the footage had been leaked online, so Tigra orders the trainees into the meeting room while she angrily watches the footage. Pym and Tigra meet the kids in the meeting room and Tigra explains that was actually her in the footage(some of the kids figured it must have been a fraud), and that she had gotten over it. Hazmat inquires what Tigra did to get revenge on the Hood, and she explains that she locked him in prison and that doing anything else would have dragged her down to his level. Striker is baffled that she didn't actually DO anything to Hood, and Tigra has enough of the meeting and ends it, telling the kids that it was over. Later on, the kids head back into the communications room and spy on the Hood's cell at Ryker's Island and realize that the man in the cell wasn't the Hood, but somebody pretending to be the Hood. Now knowing the Hood was on the loose, Striker wants to go after him and avenge what he did to Tigra, while Reptil is fully against disobeying Tigra and Pym. Veil and Hazmat agree with Striker and the trio of students decide to see if they could trace the Hood movements. While that is going on, Tigra and Pym track down the tape's release to the Slug, who had a copy and sold it for some fast cash. After arresting Slug, Pym explains to Tigra that now that the footage was out there there was no way to do away with it, but that the Avengers lawyers would sue any site that hosted it. Tigra decides the best way to face this is by going on a talk show and getting it all out there, setting the record straight on what happened and the aftermath. While that is going on, Striker, Veil and Hazmat have managed to track down the Hood and assault him in his hideout(this takes place before the recent issues of the Avengers)and while Hazmat and Striker kick and zap Hood from one side of his apartment to the other, Veil films the entire thing. After taking a beating, the kids tell Hood to say he was sorry, which after some prodding, he finally does. By this time Hood's cousin has returned and scares the kids off with a couple of gunshots. A few hours later, Striker proudly tells Tigra and Pym that they had beaten up the Hood and posted it on Youtube, where they had already gotten over a million hits. Tigra flips out at the kids and tells them that they were no better than the Hood was. She demands to know who had been holding the camera, and Veil admits her role in the affair. With that, Tigra tells Striker, Hazmat and Veil that as of now they were expelled from the Academy.

Thoughts: As I was reading this comic I couldn't help but compare it to the Generation Hope comic... There are SO many things Christos Gage is doing here better than Kieron Gillen with Gen Hope that it's striking. Here the characters all have personalities, I actually know their names, and find myself drawn into their activities. Not only that, but the male/female ratio is a MUCH more acceptable 3 to 3. That way whether you're a male OR a female you can find a character to relate to. Yes, Generation Hope has been around for like 5 fewer issues, but I just don't see Gen Hope, with that abysmal line-up, ever catching up to Avengers Academy quality-wise. But enough of that, let's talk about THIS issue. I HATED the original Hood/Tigra confrontation because Brian Michael Bendis made Tigra look SOOOO weak, which is something she had never been prior to that. So yes, I was pretty dubious when I saw that this issue was going to hark back to that storyline. But Gage actually did a great job of using that lousy story to build something great here. I loved the two “bad seed” students(as well as surprisingly Veil)deciding to take the law into their own hands and give the Hood a taste of his own medicine. I don't see the expulsion lasting since Pym seemed kind of shocked by Tigra's rash proclamation, but in context of the story, especially since Tigra had JUST gone on TV to tell the world that she was over the Hood beating and didn't want to see him beaten like she was, Tigra's reaction was perfect. Another VERY solid issue of this series, which is probably the best ongoing teen-oriented comic book today.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.How's it feel, Hood?

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