Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 339: <i>Avengers Academy</i> #11

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it's now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today's page is from Avengers Academy #11, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 2011. Enjoy!

The final page of Avengers Academy #11 looks a lot like a first page, as it's basically a team shot just as they're about to kick ass. Sometimes you get these at the end of an issue, and sometimes you get them at the beginning. Christos Gage, who wrote this, continues a thought from the previous page - Korvac tells his ex-wife, Carina, that she can't stop him, and she reveals the "new" Avengers Academy kids - she's allowed them access to their future selves, so they're much better at fighting than they would be otherwise (don't ask - it's COMICS!). They're the ones who will kick his ass! Gage then gives us the final narrative boxes of Veil, who's been internal monologuing this entire issue about who's going to save her from dissolving. Veil has discovered that no one will - she'll damn well do it herself!

Tom Raney, who drew this, gives us a handsome splash page. The entire team is well represented - there's Veil in the upper left, Reptil as the dinosaur, Finesse with the Elektra sais, Hazmat glowing, Mettle charging, and Striker looking all electric. Reptil is a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex and Striker grew that mustache/goatee, which are the only indications that these are the "grown-up" versions of the kids, but we'll see more about that next issue. In splash pages of teams, there's almost always at least one character who looks out of place, and Finesse ends up winning the lottery this time around, as she doesn't fly but she's jumping at least ten feet off the ground. Was she riding on Reptil's shoulders and just leaped off? I know Raney is just trying to get us to geek out, and so I can forgive it a bit, but she still looks a bit silly. The page is nicely balanced, though, with Mettle anchoring it and the kids forming a nice "X" around him, with Reptil providing the backdrop. Korvac balances the narrative boxes and the "To Be Continued!" in the foreground, too, so that works. Jeromy Cox colored this, and as we often see with modern comics, the colorist is extremely important - he adds the special effects to Korvac, Hazmat, and Striker, making the page spark a bit. There's even some Kirby Krackle, which is always fun to see.

Like a lot of the first pages we've looked at this year, this page wants you to turn the page. In this case, that means picking up the next issue, but look at what Gage and Raney promise - a big-ass fight between the Academy kids with full powers and a Korvac who has just beaten the Avengers' asses! How can you not want to return????

Next: There are only two modern comics writers who should be allowed to write war comics. One is Garth Ennis. The other one will show up tomorrow! You can already find one of his comics in the archives!

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