Written by: Scottie Young
Art by: Humberto Ramos
Colors by: Edgar Delgado
Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 12/9/2020
It’s quite depressing knowing that when I read a book called Strange Academy, I learn nothing about the Academy itself, I don’t get to see how possible future heroes actually learn the Mystic Arts, nor do I get to see the bonding of friendships that usually occur when a group of children go to the same school. Strange Academy is just not the right title, but I guess “Random kids I’m forcing you to learn about know magic” just doesn’t have any profitability.
Skottie Young started the book in a bit of a convoluted way, but it peaked my interest. With this choice of opening it left too much story between issues. And famously, something I’ve seen way too much of this, Young chose to tell and not show. Although the prologue to this issue shows the urgency of the current events taking place, it immediately felt like there was an issue missing before this one. Again, a small casualty when comics tell and do not show.
The story itself was an okay read, I wouldn’t say it was fun, do to the ending, but it wasn’t horrible. We see the children work together, something they claim to know how to do pretty well, (But there’s no evidence of this, we’ve only seen these kids take maybe four classes since issue one.) and they even question how much of their power and strength is actually them or something that can only take place on the school grounds. Which if true, can cause a pretty big problem considering (SPOILERS) dies. Yup on the watch of the teachers at the Academy, granted the teachers haven’t been teaching much of anything as far as I can tell so having any on of the students die was bound to happen.
The art team is great for the concept of this book, which I enjoy when Young allows them to get weird, but the story lacks in ways for Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado to go all out. I love the character models and all the weird monsters that would only appear in a book that focuses on the the Magical sides of the Marvel Universe but without substance to help give this art life, it almost becomes a waste. When we get the reveal of Zoe to the rest of the gang, it’s beautiful, the different shades of green well. And when (SPOILERS) had their Super Saiyan moment, the emotion on their face along with the powerful action shot next to it was so good.
I’m not entirely sure on what kind of story Young wants to tell with Strange Academy, but it just unfortunately does not meet expectations in my eyes when you introduce a school of Mystic Arts to children. And the fact that Young had (SPOILERS) come in and save the day, having heroes come in and save the day, overshadowing the stars of the book does not make me happy. It also makes me sad, knowing Young does these “cute” or “clever” little jokes at the end showing what’s going on at the school, and I’d much rather read about that stuff than what we are currently getting.
The ending has me curious on what will happen next, if I get a Doctor Strange movie reference in the next issue I may role my eyes because I know exactly where they may go if it does happen. I understand Young is in control of a lot of characters at the moment but there’s got to be a way to show these children actually attending the Academy. If not, this series may be just be a trade wait for me.