Friday, May 20, 2011

Amazing Spider-Man #661 & Avengers Academy #14

And now we hit the good stuff back in the Marvel Universe. Let me rephrase that, now we hit the great stuff, as this post gives us the RARE perfect score for one of the comics here! Huzzah!

Amazing Spider-Man #661:

Summary: This issue kicks off with Spidey walking through the Baxter Building and catching a glimpse of Reed teaching a classroom full of attentive students. That scene causes Spidey to think back to his own days as a teacher, and how much he missed it. Before Spidey can wax nostalgic any further though, the FF are called away to deal with a giant monkey rampaging through New York. Spidey and Thing attack the monkey to distract it, while Reed begins scanning it, learning it was from the Microverse, meaning there was no conceivable reason it was that large. Eventually Giant Man(Hank Pym) arrives on the scene and uses his Pym particles to shrink the monkey down, ending it's threat. Pym tells the FF that he was actually looking for them, as he needed a substitute to teach the classes for the Avengers Academy the following day, since all the regular instructors were tied up. Spidey figures for sure he'd get asked, but Pym instead asks Thing... HA! Spidey is pissed, and complains to Pym that unlike Thing, HE had a teacher's license, and therefore was more qualified to teach the kids. Pym concurs, but for different reasons, stating that Spidey had made every mistake imaginable for a teenage super-hero, and thus would have valuable insight to share... HA!! Insults aside, Spidey is happy to go anyway, at least until he realizes that it had been a while since he last taught, and he starts to get cold feet. In the end, he goes through with it anyway, and tries to teach the kids about superhuman ethics... And the kids HILARIOUSLY pick Spidey's example apart... Spidey decides to switch gears and does the “With Great Powers...” speech, but one of the kids cut him off, asking Spidey why he was stealing Pym's line, since Pym was always using that saying... HA!!!! Spidey is aghast that Pym would steal HIS saying, and with the class rapidly falling apart before Spidey's eyes, Spidey decides to take the kids out on patrol, if only to get out of the classroom. While on patrol the kids stop two muggers, but use more force then Spidey is comfortable with seeing. Spidey begins to doubt that he had any right to teach the kids, but then it dawns on him that the kids and himself were being plagued by fear, doubt and hate, and along with the monkey from the Microverse, Spidey figures out that the Psycho-Man must be back on Earth, and sure enough, he appears before Spidey. The kids immediately attack, but the Psycho-Man uses his tablet on them, causing them to turn against each other, while Spidey cowered from the whole scene. Not wanting to see his charges killed on his watch, Spidey fights through his fear and self-doubt and attacks the Psycho-Man, breaking his tablet and ending his threat... Or does he?!? The Psycho-Man reveals that while the tablet augments his powers, he himself was now able to control emotions, and this issue ends with Spidey turning around to see all of the Academy kids staring at him while repeating “hate.”

Thoughts: I can't remember the least time I laughed this much while reading a comic. And I don't mean those times when you think to yourself, “This is funny.” I mean literally laughing out loud at some of the stuff I was reading. The scenes with Spidey trying(quite unsuccessfully I might add) to teach the kids were totally hilarious. And the story itself was extremely solid, with the hints of the Psycho-Man's involvement being dropped early on with the monkey(I missed it), making his reveal surprising, but completely within reason. What more can I say, this is comic easily gets the 12th perfect score for 2011.

Score: 10 out of 10.What DO YOU Do?!?

Avengers Academy #14:

Summary: This issue gets started with most of the Avengers Academy staff off in Italy trying to prevent any major damage from a volcanic eruption. Tigra is left behind to watch the kids, since, let's face it, her powers can't exactly do much in the face of a volcano. While Tigra and the Academy students are watching how to properly deal with an emergency, a call comes in from the French chief of police telling the Avengers that Electro was stealing some scientific equipment from a lab in France, and that they needed help. The kids want to go, but Tigra nixes it at least until Reptil makes an impassioned plea to Tigra, stating that after their battle with Korvac, the kids needed a victory, and that with her there to watch, that's exactly what they could get. After having Jocasta run some scenarios of the battle in her head, Jocasta tells Tigra that the kids should win with relative ease, so Tigra and the students head off to France. Upon entering the lab, Tigra is immediately taken out by Electro, who reveals that he wasn't alone... At that point, the rest of the Sinister Six(minus Chameleon) show themselves, and the kids realize they were screwed. They manage to hold their own against four of the Six, as Dr. Octopus basically ignores them as he's after some piece of science at the lab. Unfortunately, when Octopus has found what he was looking for, he joins the battle, as does Chameleon(who is disguised as Tigra), and the full compliment of the Six decimate the kids in no time. With the students no longer a threat, Octopus steals one of their teleporting devices, and uses it to take himself, his team and the science equipment he stole away. By this point, Pym, Quicksilver and Jocasta arrive on the scene, but can only collect the injured students, and deal with the fallout from the angry French. The French chief of police scolds Pym for sending children in to such a dangerous situation, and reveals that he never sent a distress call to the Avengers, at which time Pym realizes it had to be Chameleon. With that, the French chief tells Pym to leave France, stating that both he and his associates were no longer welcome... Well boo-hoo! What a big loss THAT is... *rolls eyes* Back home, Pym learns that this whole situation was orchestrated by Octopus simply in order to prove he was smarter than Pym was. As for Pym, he tells the students that from this point forward, they'd be training twice as hard, to make sure something like that never happened again.

Thoughts: As always, I enjoyed this comic. This is one of those series that is solid, month in and month out, so kudos to Christos Gage, who also wrote the above issue of Amazing Spider-Man as well. While this wasn't my favorite story in this series(I'm getting a bit burnt out by seeing Dr. Octopus and the Sinister Six EVERYWHERE!), it was still a good, solid story, that showed us that the students still had a LOT to learn on their journey towards being legitimate super-heroes.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.So nobody likes Mysterio I see...


  1. What DO you do?! I read this and I enjoyed it more than I expected it. It was funny as hell too, especially the kids telling Spidey off. I loved how Pym just stole Spidey's line, that S.O.B. Also, I'm bringing back "egghead" as an insult!

  2. I love that page from Avengers Academy, I'm going to have to look into that series. It's kind of nice to see villains fighting heroes without the intent of killing them...after all, back in the old days most super-villains were just people who dressed in goofy costumes so they could rob a bank or whatever. They didn't want to hurt anyone, and there's no reason why they should as long as they're not homicidal maniacs.

  3. See, you should have reviewed this one, JT! Pym stealing Spidey's line, and Spidey's shocked reaction to it, "That's MY line!!" had me cracking up. That issue of Spidey was just insanely enjoyable.

    Sweet. I'd definitely recommend that series, and I'm sure Marvel would appreciate the business!