The second comic I'll be reviewing tonight? The series that may very well be my favorite ongoing from any company... I collect over 60 comic series a month, between ongoings and minis, so let that sink in for a moment... THIS series may very well be my favorite... THAT is the absolute highest praise I can give to any comic book.
Avengers Academy #21:
Summary: With the Avengers Academy expanding to include other students(both part and full-time) and the Academy relocating to the former headquarters of the West Coast Avengers, Avengers Luke Cage, Captain America and Hawkeye head out west to talk to Hank Pym about the recent events happening with the Academy cadets. Understandably, the five remaining Academy originals are somewhat worried that the arrival of the Avengers bigwigs(and Luke Cage...) coupled with the new students meant that they were getting the old heave-ho. Jocasta, who overheard the murmuring of the Academy originals, tries to tell them that there was nothing to fear, but the kids are still a bit on edge, at which time they're summoned to see the Avengers leadership. Things fall apart rapidly, and before you know it, punches are thrown and the fight is on. Ultimately Jocasta ends the battle and explains to the Avengers that the kids thought they were getting tossed out of the Academy, thus explaining their actions. The Academy kids separate from the Avengers, at which time Jocasta scolds them for not realizing how much the kids had been through what with the whole Fear Itself mess and losing one of their own. The Avengers discuss that amongst themselves, while Hawkeye stands in the background uncharacteristically quiet... Cap asks for Hawkeye's thoughts on the matter and Hawkeye is reminded of his early Avengers days which had him constantly at odds with his teammates and leaders. Liking the spunk he saw in the kids, Hawkeye offers himself to Pym as a full-time member of the Academy staff, thus raising the awesomeness quotient of this series by a whopping 1,000%! While everybody is pondering their situations, Jocasta heads to the Academy's control room since she had figured out the perfect way to fix the fractured environment at the Academy... A little later, the Academy originals again meet the Avengers and there are apologies all around as both sides admit that they hadn't made the best decisions earlier. With that, the Avengers staff introduce the two new full-time students(Lightspeed and White Tiger), and all seems well... At least until the Avengers realize that Jocasta hadn't shown up for the meeting. Quicksilver heads off to find her and rushes back, telling the Avengers to get to the control room asap. Upon arrival, the Avengers find Jocasta's body destroyed, and a quick security check tells them that security systems were shut down from the inside, meaning whoever destroyed Jocasta was on the Academy grounds when it happened. This issue ends with us finding out the the older, evil version of Reptil from the future had managed to gain control of Reptil's body in the present and was in communication with the evil Academy originals from the future(!).
Thoughts: Whew, that was A LOT to take in! Let's see, for starters, this series is awesome. The addition of Hawkeye and the new students? If there was a word past awesome, that would be what this series is now. Seriously, there is no flaw in this series... The characterizations are perfect, the art is great, the writing is topnotch, this has to be the most complete series I read. So going forward we have the “murder” investigation surrounding Jocasta, the real Reptil being trapped in the future while his evil future self tries to take advantage of the confusion surrounding Jocasta's “death”, new students AND Hawkeye!!! In other words, the future looks GREAT. This is a fantastic jumping on point for any comic fans who haven't yet given this series a chance... It's only $2.99 and it's worth every single penny.
Score: 10 out of 10. Wow, two consecutive perfect scores! Here's hoping the perfection continues tomorrow night!Every piece of dialogue here was GREAT!!!