Two Fear Itself tie-in comics to get through tonight, with both of these series usually being really good. Here's hoping that trend continues here.
Avengers Academy #18(Fear Itself tie-in):
Summary: The Avengers Academy kids are trapped in Infinite Avengers Mansion with the Serpent possessed Titania and Absorbing Man, with no way out due to the Serpent possessed duo destroying the teleportational matrix. Titania and Absorbing Man split up to torment the kids and Titania comes across Mettle, Hazmat and Veil. Titania makes quick work of Mettle, throwing her hammer at him, sending him through the walls of the Mansion and out into the void surrounding the Mansion. Hazmat's blasts prove to be ineffective, so Veil tries to seep into Titania's body in her ghost form to possess Titania like Veil was able to possess Korvac a few issues back. Veil goes for it, but is driven out by all of the horrendous images in Titania's head. With Mettle gone and Veil defeated, Hazmat does what I would have done from the start, runs like hell! Meanwhile, Absorbing Man is busy beating the hell out of Reptil, leaving him close to dead. Striker and Finesse are watching Reptil get taken down in the communication room when Hazmat comes running in. Realizing they were WOEFULLY outmatched, Striker suggests that since the Avengers Academy kids had the potential to become big-time super-villains(it's true, read the earlier issues of this series to learn more!), they start acting the part... Back with Titania and Absorbing Man, they've hung Veil and Reptil on a statue of Thor(HA!) while discussing further ways to terrorize the other Academy kids. While the two are making out/thinking, Hazmat walks over and proposes an alliance with the two villains, since the Avengers hadn't been able to help her gain control of her powers, and as such she had no real allegiance to the team. The two villains are intrigued by this turn of events, and discuss taking Hazmat up on her offer, which gives Striker and Finesse the opportunity to sneak over and carry Reptil and Veil away. The two villains realize what was transpiring too late and Hazmat detonates herself in a violent explosion, burying the villains under some rubble, allowing Striker and Finesse to get Reptil and Veil into the medical lab. From there, Hazmat manages to bring Mettle back inside and Finesse takes him into the medical lab while Striker and Hazmat lead Titania and Absorbing Man on a merry little chase. The two kids split up and are chased by the two villains, eventually leading each villain to a holographic image of Giant Man. The villains throw their hammers at the Giant Man images, but realize too late that they had been tricked as Absorbing Man's hammer goes slamming into Titania and vice-versa. The force of the hammers sends the two villains out of the Mansion, buying the Hazmat and Striker the time to return to the medical lab where Finesse was waiting with some news. Since the teleportational system was down, Finesse has decided to use Pym particles to have the six Academy kids in the room grow out of the dimension Infinite Avengers Mansion is located in. Unfortunately, activating the Pym particle machinery has alerted Absorbing Man and Titania of the machine's location, at which point the Absorbing Man begins to absorb the machine's abilities, which leads to the Absorbing Man causing the entire Infinite Avengers Mansion to grow. Why is this a problem you ask? Because if the entire massive Infinite Avengers Mansion was to grow large enough, it would probably level a city and kill millions upon appearing on Earth.
Thoughts: There's really only one thing I have to say about this comic. As of right now, August 19th, 2011, it is my favorite comic book series. I don't say that lightly either. I have over over 50 comic books on my monthly pull list(let that number set in for a moment...), and after looking at my list of comics, THIS is the series that brings me the most enjoyment with each issue. Now, I'm a very fickle person. In two week's time I may be talking about how some other series is my favorite. But right now, at this moment, after reading like 8 new comics this week so far, there's no hesitation in my voice when I call Avengers Academy my favorite monthly comic. The bottom line is this. This series is only $2.99. If you're reading my words and haven't read this series yet, give it a shot. You don't even have to know much about the Avengers or their history. Most of the main characters here are characters who were created for this series, so there's not that much history to catch up on. There's really nothing else for me to say.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.I ALWAYS propose treachery!!
Journey Into Mystery #626(Fear Itself tie-in):
Summary: We get started with Kid Loki and the Hel-Wolf heading to Limbo. Upon arriving, Loki is unimpressed by his surroundings, while the Hel-Wolf reminds Loki that he swore to serve Loki as long as the Hel-Wolf lived, and that after the Hel-Wolf's trip to Mephisto's Hell, the Hel-Wolf had, technically, died... With that, the Hel-Wolf charges after Loki to eat him for all of the humiliation Loki had put the Hel-Wolf through. Unfortunately for the Hel-Wolf, it draws the attention of the being Loki wanted to meet in Limbo, Surtur... Needless to say, that's the end of the Hel-Wolf, as Surtur literally picks the Wolf up and eats it... Huh. Loki approaches Surtur, and offers to assist Surtur in escaping Limbo, at which point Surtur could attack Asgard to his heart's content. Surtur is a bit suspicious of Loki's words, and Loki reveals that he needed a piece of Surtur's Twilight Sword, and in return he'd free Surtur into Asgard to reap his bloody revenge. Loki swears an oath that he wouldn't break his promise to Surtur, so Surtur gives Loki a small piece of his massive blade and Loki returns to Asgard with it. From there, Loki meets with and concocts a plan with an unknown Asgardian, before stealing the Destroyer armor and heading to Earth to meet with his allies in order to enact his plan to destroy the Serpent's dark version of Asgard.
Thoughts: I've got to say, while there are times when this series leaves me a bit perplexed, overall it's a blast to read. I've really grown to love the Kid Loki character. Doug Braithwaite's wonderful art really helps this series too, as his art just perfectly fits the feel of this series. My regular readers know I normally could care less about the art in a comic, but in this case, Braithwaite's art actually makes reading this series better! Let's see, I was a bit sad to see the Hel-Wolf go, as I really enjoyed it's banter with Loki. The deal Loki made with Surtur is obviously going to favor Loki, which will probably lead to Surtur wanting revenge on Loki at some later date, but with the Earth in such dire straits due to the Serpent's attack, Surtur is currently the lesser of the two evils. Now I was a bit confused by who Loki tricked into taking control of the Destroyer armor... I'm not exactly a huge Thor historian(I only just started reading Thor seriously earlier this year), so I may very well be wrong here, but I thought that the Destroyer armor had to be inhabited by the spirit of another in order for it to work. If that's the case, I'm very curious to see which Asgardian Loki convinced to bond with the armor, undoubtedly earning the ire of Odin in the process. Overall? I enjoyed this issue a lot, and hope that Loki and this creative team stick with this series for a good long time.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Super-villains sure do love giving soliloquies ...