Catching Up on Reviews, Part 5 — Avengers Academy and Captain America

Avengers Academy #9 (Marvel) – I love the storyline here where Finesse might turn out to be the daughter of the Taskmaster, one of my favorite Marvel anti-heroes these days. Less well-done are the parts of the issue dealing with Tigra expelling Academy members for assaulting the Hood. The art isn’t particularly great, either.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Avengers Academy #10 (Marvel) – Sean Chen’s art is a step up from the previous issue and the storyline where Leech comes to give Hazmat a day as a normal kid is great. The best part of the issue is Speedball’s growth as a character and the burying of some of his Stamford demons, which is a long time coming.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #11 (Marvel) – Christos Gage writes a good connection to Avengers past by bringing back Korvac for this story arc. I’m a little annoyed at the flood of Thor movie tie-ins, though this one takes a different route than most. Tom Raney’s art is good, but not spectacular.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Avengers Academy #12 (Marvel) – There are moments of very strong writing here. The concept of bringing the future selves of the Academy students back to inhabit their present bodies so they can beat Korvac is an awesome device. The story is also fleshed out by one character showing a glaring weakness and two others showing a surprising vulnerability.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #13 (Marvel) – I guess I get what they were going after with the idea of the “Superhero Prom” for the students, having an issue that focuses more on the characters and the lighter side of their lives instead of action, I’m just not sure how well it works in this case.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #14 (Marvel) – I love the way the new incarnation of the Sinister Six is being used and this is another good appearance for them. It’s good to learn more about Dr. Octopus’s character than we have learned in the past, he’s on the verge of being a little over-exposed lately, but certainly not in Deadpool, Spidey or Wolverine territory.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Avengers Academy #14.1 (Marvel) – Ruby is one of the dumbest characters in Marvel history and her presence here detracts from what is otherwise a really good story, focusing on one of the characters who didn’t join the Academy and his tempting offer to the would-be heroes.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75

Avengers Academy #15 (Marvel) – This is Tom Raney’s best art yet and the Fear Itself tie-in works better than most of the others. This story also does a good job of tying in recent themes from the Academy books to Fear Itself, something a lot of the other tie-ins have failed to do.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1 (Marvel) – Cartoonish art (which isn’t my taste at all) and a retread Arcade storyline with only a few interesting elements makes this issue a waste.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.25

Captain America #615.1 (Marvel) – Mitch Breitweiser’s art isn’t my favorite, it seems he has a real problem making people’s faces look realistic (even comic realistic). Other than that, Ed Brubaker’s tale is action-packed and compelling, even if, once again, it relies a bit much on World War II elements in telling the tale of Steve Rogers.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Captain America #616 (Marvel) – This massive 70th anniversary issue is packed with stories, most of the well-told. The best is probably Brubaker and Mike Deodato’s Winter Soldier gulag tale, the worst is the Mike Benson and Paul Grist Baron Blood/Captain Ameica used to be a vampire story.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain America #617 (Marvel) – The continuation of the story of Bucky being put into a Russian gulag is entertaining and action-packed, but I read it after I knew Bucky’s eventual fate already, so I wonder how effective it is considering that context.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #618 (Marvel) – The different artists used here vary greatly in quality, but the overall ongoing story is still a compelling one that has an impact on the future of Marvel comics, so it’s well worth the read.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #619 (Marvel) – The art from the gulag section is still the best in the issue, and it takes chances and mostly succeeds. The overall storyline comes to what appears to be a satisfying end.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #1 (Marvel) – Ah, the good-old Marvel pointless renumbering trick. The worst part about that for this issue is that this really isn’t good enough to be a first issue. It doesn’t break any new ground with the character and simply rehashes things we already know while mixing in a few newly-retconned storylines that don’t let us know anything new about Cap. It is good, I guess, to see Steve Rogers fully as Cap again, but you’d think that for a first issue, they would’ve had more of a point than what this issue has.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5