Avengers Academy Final Exams TP 1st print NM vs X-Men Tie-In Christos Gage


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AVENGERS ACADEMY: FINAL EXAMS SC (MARVEL COMICS) With the Academy shut down as the staff joins the fight between the Avengers and X-Men, the students are left to pave their own road and face the ultimate temptation. When the team learns of teenaged corporate magnate Jeremy Briggs’ plan to cleanse the world of super heroes with a depowering inoculation, will they join his cause and take his cure? When faced with the opportunity to live as ordinary teenagers, it’s every student for himself as they make the biggest decision of their lives! Up against an unthinkable test, will they make the grade in this thrilling conclusion to the Avengers Academy saga? Collecting Avengers Academy #34-39. [(W) Christos N. Gage (A) Tom Grummett, Andrea Di Vito (CA) Giuseppe Camuncoli]. 136 pages.

Avengers Academy has been a good run. Its conclusion finds a former cadet, Jeremy Briggs, fulfilling his promises of curing team members Hazmat, Mettle, and Veil of their undesired conditions and finds many of his former associates working for him. But when they find out that his plan is to de-power everyone, including earth’s heroes, they defy his plans and have their final fallout. The kids graduate and go their own ways.

Something that I think writer/ creator Christos Gage managed to do with this run was capture the feelings of a disparate group of teens and develop the reader’s empathy and interest in them. I was genuinely rooting for pretty much everyone on this team, and liked this group of heroes (yes, they earned their name). The final storyline involving Jeremy Briggs asks some fascinating questions about the superhero/ villain tropes and, as so much has been with this series, was simply fun to read. The final couple of issues close things down with everyone making peace with their respective decisions and has the Academy playing football (the American type) against Wolverine’s school of mutants. Despite some of the serious issues tackled throughout, and the character’s screwed up backgrounds, the entire series maintained a light touch. It ends on the same notes.

Many “Avengers Academy” fans were upset when the series was canceled, even more so to pave the way for “Avengers Arena.” A key reason is that the series ends on a fantastic high note that pays off threads woven for some time. With the Academy closed due to the battle between the Avengers and the X-Men, the students are called by Jeremy Briggs, aka Alchemist, who has developed “Clean Slate,” a special way to take away super-powers. He demonstrates it on Hazmat and Mettle, allowing them to finally be human again. However, Briggs stuns supporters Jocasta and Veil by revealing he plans to spread Clean Slate across the entire world, depowering everyone and only giving powers back to those he deems “worthy.” He says it will solve the problems of super-conflicts but the others don’t agree. Powerless, they have to find a way to stop Briggs. It’s a terrific story with the moving moment of Hazmat and Mettle facing the choice of helping their friends or losing the normal lives they’ve so craved, a bold decision that rocks you. Also, a major development for Finnesse that sadly makes sense for her character. And you can’t go wrong with Briggs, the classic case of “every villain is the hero of his own story” as he sees nothing wrong with “saving” the world by taking away its defenders.

We get a much-needed breather with an issue of the team facing off against students from Wolverine’s school in a flag football game, some great humor thrown about like Quicksilver in a surprising encounter, Mettle and Rockslide bonding and more. The final issue has “graduation” for the group but also the moment building from the first issue as the kids confront their teachers on the reason they were chosen as well as bits like Striker having a date and realizing what’s really important in his life. It’s a shame they couldn’t pay off on the promise of them leading various programs to help people and such but we do get a wonderful “full circle” moment of Veil returning to her life. It’s a great conclusion to the entire series, one that should not be ignored and showing the responsibility of heroes both young and old.


Collects Avengers Academy 34-39. 1st print, near mint. More pictures in description.