Two more reviews on tap, both from Marvel, both titles from the Avengers family of books. One good, one not so good...
Avengers Academy #12:
Summary: Having been given their adult bodies by Korvac's wife, Carina, the Academy cadets rush into battle with the uber-powerful Korvac, who had just finished defeating the combined forces of the Avengers. The cadets actually manage to get Korvac on the ropes, mainly because he was hesitant to kill them since he was under the impression that killing one of them could damage the timestream. However, Korvac realizes that once he conquers the universe, he can simply fix any damage he'd done, and kills Striker. Carina replaces dead future Striker with his regular, younger self, which leads to Striker freaking out(and rightfully so!) and running away from the battle(HA!). Back with Korvac, he's in the process of melting Mettle, but is stopped by Veil, who places her intangible body in Korvac's, momentarily taking control of him and halting his rampage. With Korvac finally stunned, Hazmat uses anti-matter on Korvac, which discorporates him, ending his threat. With Korvac gone(for now...) Carina sends all of the kids back to their own bodies, except for Reptil, who she can't seem to fix. A few hours later, Dr. Pym figures out that Reptil didn't want to return to his younger, weaker body, and his magic was preventing Carina from putting him back in his proper body. With nothing more to do, Carina leaves, but not before Pym gives her an Avengers communication card, just in case Korvac pestered her or the Avengers. From there Pym runs some tests on Veil and learns that the dissolution of her body's molecules had slowed down substantially. Pym is baffled, but Veil tells him that while she was in possession of Korvac's body, she used his god-like powers to fix her body as best she could in the limited time she had with Korvac's powers. Striker is still freaked out over his near death experience, and is contemplating abandoning the Academy altogether. We end this one with Mettle and Hazmat bonding over the fact that their adult counterparts were still trapped in the bodies they currently inhabited, meaning they had no real hope of having their conditions cured.
Thoughts: This comic is definitely one of my monthly favorites. I was expecting that I'd enjoy this issue way more than I did, but alas, I didn't... But I think I know why... I JUST finished reading The Korvac Saga a few nights ago which was AWESOME. Unfortunately, after the original Korvac Saga, other writers decided to use Korvac, and changed his motivation/actions, kind of dramatically. Korvac went from a guy who seemed like he sincerely wanted to “fix” the universe to another would be world conqueror, just on a universal scale. The way Hazmat defeated Korvac was the way he was defeated in one of his later appearances, which is why I was kind of bugged by it... I wanted classic Korvac, not newer, run of the mill super-villain Korvac... All in all, this was a really good story, that sets up several future storylines, but the cheap way Korvac lost hurt my enjoyment of this one quite a bit.
Score: 8 out of 10.D'oh!
Summary: The Hood and Thanos talk and talk and talk in the astral plane for several pages in dialogue mainly consisting of this, Thanos: Give me the Infinity Gems, you can't handle them. Hood: I don't trust you. Thanos: Give me the Infinity Gems, you can trust me. Hood: I don't trust you. Thanos: I'm trustworthy. Hood: Hey, you're not Thanos!... No, it turns out Thanos wasn't actually Thanos, but was Dr. Strange pretending to be Thanos... Thank god, because “Thanos” was acting WAY out of character. Strange has managed to distract Hood long enough for the rest of the Avengers to arrive, and the Red Hulk, who had the Red Gem of Power, smashes Hood in the face, causing him to drop two of his three gems. However, Hood manages to keep hold of the Reality Gem, and threatens to wish Red Hulk from existence lest he hands over the Red Gem... Um, why not just wish Red Hulk out of existence first and THEN take the gem? Anyway, during the Red Hulk and Hood's battle, Red Hulk handed his gem off to Iron Man(because god knows, we can ALL trust Tony Stark), who has managed to collect the other 5 gems during Hood's altercation with Red Hulk. Hood taunts that he still controls reality, until Stark used the other 5 gems to swipe the Reality Gem from Hood, leaving him powerless, while making Iron Man omnipotent. Since this IS a Bendis comic, Iron Man figures everybody reading this comic book is a blithering idiot, so Iron Man plainly spells out exactly what he could do with the power of a god... Gee, thanks for explaining that... Instead, Stark uses the gems to lock Hood back in prison and wishes the Infinity Gauntlet out of existence, ending its threat... Or does he?! This issue ends with Tony revealing to the rest of that goddamn Illuminati that he hadn't destroyed the Gauntlet, fearing that doing so would throw the universe out of balance. The Illuminati take their gems back to hide them again(because that worked out SO well for them before), with Iron Man giving Steve Rogers the gem that previously belonged to Black Bolt.
Thoughts: UGH!!! What the hell happened here?! We went from good Bendis last issue, with a story that lacked most of his annoying dialogue, and was simply narrated by the Watcher, to bad Bendis, who just couldn't shut up! This issue was just a mess. We went back to Bendis's hyper-dialogue, with people just talking simply to talk. Iron Man says something, and Luke Cage has to randomly chime in with something to say. The Hood basically has to use three panels and tons of words to simply ask, “What are you going to do now that you have the gems, Iron Man?” Plus there's my personal favorite Bendisism, characters repeating themselves to the point of madness! On top of all that, I HATED the end! Steve Rogers was rightfully pissed a few issues back when he learned that the Illuminati(another Bendis idea that I deplore) had secretly divvied up the Infinity Gems amongst themselves. This issue ends with Steve getting an Infinity Gem of his own, and suddenly being fine with the fact that the Illuminati was hording the gems... So Steve Rogers, paragon of virtue that he is, can be bribed THAT easily? I call bullshit! It's like I said before, I've never known a writer who could go from one extreme and write a great comic to the other extreme, writing a terrible comic over the course of a single month... Hopefully that means next issue will be a great issue... Hopefully.
Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.Yeah, like THAT'S a good sign!