The GeeksverseAvengers Academy #5

Avengers Academy #5
Published on Thursday, October 7, 2010 by

Mike McKone takes an issue off and Jorge Molina fills in. How does his work compare and how does Gage handle an Avengers trainee that’s just interested in being a star?

Written by: Christos Gage
Penciled by: Jorge Molina
Inked by: Andrew Hennessy
Colored by: Jeromy Cox
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Asst. Editor: Rachel Pinnelas
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover: A- Mike McKone; B- J.S. Rossbach

I like and don’t like how Gage is starting this series off. I like that each issue focuses on one of the new kids, told from their point of view. It gives each issue a different feel as that kid’s vision influences how the events play out. Each issue almost feels like a new issue. I don’t like that each issue focuses on one of the new kids because it makes the entire thing seem to be moving forward in stuttering steps and not a seamless stream.

What Gage is setting up is interesting. We know that the Avengers fear these kids becoming bad and we know (from Gage himself) that at least one of them will end up becoming a villain. So it’s a super hero book hiding as a whodunit, as we dissect the clues and try to guess which kid, or kids, goes bad.

This issue focuses on Striker, who prior to this really hadn’t had any time at all. He was the almost forgotten kid. Hanging in the background, not even really getting to use his powers.

We learn his background, how his mother was a showbusiness mother, pushing him to succeed and her living through him. There’s an image of his mother, who started her “career” as the mistress of a politician, sitting on the knees of the politician that is very familiar from years ago. It’s almost an exact copy of an iconic image from a similar scandal.

Striker is motivated by fame. He wants to be famous. It’s all he knows, being in the spotlight.

Gage does a good job of giving personality to Striker. There’s depth to him, but it’s carefully hidden. On the outside he’s incredibly shallow and vain. The device of how he talks to the inert Jocasta illustrates that he feels the need to explain himself to someone.

How he tries to hook up with Finesse and then Veil, who both turn him down, because he was bored helps show more of his personality. The twist at the end really sets up potential conflict for Striker down the road and sets him on the path of either being a true hero or choosing the celebrity life.

Even though it’s not her point of view, Gage does good with Veil after she sees her crush, Justice, in the arms of his girlfriend. She turns to Striker with an obviously lame excuse. That Striker turns her down shows there is more to him then the surface.

He’s now become one of the more interesting characters and his evolution should be fun to watch.

Molina is a decent artist, and his style doesn’t clash with what McKone normally brings to the book, but it lacks the attention to detail that McKone has and lacks the life of McKone’s work. That he doesn’t always draw the strip lines of Veil’s costume shows the lack of detail. That Hazmat’s suit hangs shapeless shows the lack of life.

He has some odd angles here and there and really loses it during the fight with Whirlwind.

As a fill-in artist, he does the job. A fill-in artist is like a back-up quarterback in the NFL. You want one just good enough to win (not lose sales) but not good enough to make people want the back-up (fill-in) over the starting QB (regular artist). In that regards, Molina is a good choice. But this is not the best work I’ve seen from him.

Avengers Academy #5 receives
4 out of 5

Excellant development of Striker.

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