Avengers Academy #26
Avengers Academy #26
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Tom Grummett

While Rick Remender taking the reins of Secret Avengers and Brian Michael Bendis riding three, count them three, ongoing Avengers books off to the sunset of his tenure on the franchise are capturing all the headlines on the comics news sites, it's Christos Gage who is currently writing the best Avengers comic on the stands.

In the aftermath of Hybrid's attack on the Academy, Veil and Jocasta have arrived to offer the students of Avengers Academy an alternative to the super hero track, in the form of an offer to join the morally ambiguous Jeremy Briggs in the private sector. Giant Man, Jocasta, Reptil, and Jeremy Briggs all get their turn to make their pitch, and by the issue's end, the Academy loses a couple students.

This issue handles a plot point Brian Bendis has been endeavoring to address recently in his Avengers shorelines. What it has taken Bendis several issues to awkwardly and questionably explore in his titles, Gage address with straightforward maturity in a mere 20 pages. And while other writers might have trouble keeping a readers attention through an issue that basically consists of extended monologues, Gage presents each point of view with intelligence and sincerity that comes from a place of the character's personal history.

Tom Grummett's pencils lend a classic look to this title, which is perfect for a book that embraces the most classic elements of the genre while still finding ways to keep the material fresh and ingrain the place of new characters alongside classic Lee & Kirby creations. While Grummett's layouts might not be particularly groundbreaking, he displays emotion just as well as action, and draws panels overflowing with characters, without sacrificing an iota of detail.

This is a great book that is firing on all cylinders right now. If you crave new characters and fresh ideas firmly rooted in the traditions of the classical Marvel stories, look no further than this amazing series.

Grade: A-
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