The teens and twenty-somethings of 2010’s Avengers Academy had a lot going for them. Many of the students found themselves under the control of Norman Osborn, whether directly or through The Initiative. The academy itself was founded by Hank Pym trying to stop the students from becoming super-villains in the future. Outside of a few, most of these students stayed in the background of the Marvel universe or were ultimately forgotten about.
Spanning the overarching stories of the Heroic Age, Fear Itself, Shattered Heroes and Avengers vs X-Men, the students of Avengers Academy played an important role for younger readers. They introduced many characters who were dealing with typical teenage problems made worse by superpowers. While most of the heroes of Avengers Academy were eventually wiped off the public consciousness, they deserve to be talked about. They also deserve to be ranked from the worst of the class to best. It is just like high school again!
Emery Schaub went from being a fry cook in North Carolina to being an immortal with no story to his name. Butterball is one of those young heroes that got forgotten about in the annals of Marvel history. His power set is invulnerability and immortality, but that is it. He has no accompanying power sets and he is kind of dumb in a world full of geniuses.
Butterball washed out of The Initiative due to the negative consequences of his powers. He was unable to lose weight or gain muscle, so his strength never increased. He was also unable to feel most stimulation. It is not often that an overweight hero is introduced, but when they are, they treated like the butt end of the joke. Butterball, sadly, fits this trope well.
One of the original seven students, Ken Mack was recruited to stop him from becoming feared. His human skin shredded off and was replaced by an iridium exoskeleton. He has the typical power-set of a metal man, enhanced strength, durability and stamina. He also has a big heart.
Due to his powers, many outside the Academy believed Mettle to be the son of Red Skull however, this was never expanded on in the story outside of a single joke said by Mettle himself. While Mettle was a strong student, he was ultimately killed off by Arcade before any of his fellow classmates in Avengers Arena.
8 She-Hulk (Lyra)
Obviously, a Hulk at the school means they are one of the strongest students around campus. Lyra is the daughter of a future Thundra and the Hulk, though technically Bruce Banner’s DNA was stolen, as seen in Hulk: Raging Thunder.
A literal raging feminist from a future where men don’t really exist except as enemies, She-Hulk has faced off against many major players in the Marvel universe, including Jennifer Walter. Along with her sarcastic watch A.I. Boudicca, Lyra has all the powers of a Hulk. However, her biggest difference is that she gets weaker as she gets angrier, unlike the rest of her family.
7 White Tiger
Ava Avala was the fifth holder of the mantle of White Tiger. Following in the footsteps of her brother, one of the more widely known Hispanic superheroes, Ava proves herself to be a smart, talented hero. Outside of the Academy, she has been seen running around with the Heroes for Hire and Mighty Avengers as a member.
White Tiger’s powers derive from a mystical tiger amulet that has bonded to her. She has above average strength, speed, and stamina, as well as claws that aid her in fighting. She has also trained alongside several martial artists, boosting her skills in fighting as well.
As a member of the original class, Veil had the most storytime devoted to her in Avengers Academy. For a short time, even though the series is an ensemble tale, she was the focal point of the story. Her abilities to turn into gaseous elements proves to be incredibly useful, even if they were killing her.
She eventually left the Academy, joining a secondary faction of former Norman Osborn test subjects to find cures for their powers. Even though she loses her powers thanks to the cure and doesn’t get them back since her molecular structure wouldn’t reform, she is still a successful fighter. Veil proved the usefulness of the Academy more than any other student.
Jeanne Foucault is a polymath, the likes of which the Marvel universe hasn’t seen since her potential father Taskmaster. A polymath is someone who can learn anything by seeing it once and be able to perfectly replicate it. By watching old videos of heroes and training alongside some of the greatest fighters, she is a powerhouse in her own right.
Her main drawback is that she is emotionless. Her ability to read emotions is perfect, yet her ability to convey them is not so much. Thanks to this part of her, she was on the fast track to villainhood when the Academy stepped in and took her under their wing. Using her abilities, she recognizes that the actions of Quicksilver during the Invasion storyline were not done by a Skrull. Finesse uses this information to blackmail Quicksilver.
Striker is a complex character during his personal arc in Avengers Academy. From his taut relationship with his mother to his coming out as gay with the help of Julie Powers aka Lightspeed, a fellow queer teen who joins the academy, Striker never settles on a place on the team. At some points, he seems like he should be the team leader and at others, he is fine being in the background.
His original plan for working with the Avengers was to use them to get famous. Instead, he finds himself. Striker’s powers are electric manipulation. As he grows into his powers, he learns how to hone them better and more efficiently. The strength of his powers is unknown as he tends to not use full force. The only time he ever did, he killed the man that tried to assault him as a child.
Hazmat’s powers are stronger than anyone else on this list. She has control of all radiation. While she is not able to fully control it in her youth, she is able to show a glimpse of her abilities in various ways. The onset of her powers is the same as Rogue’s in the X-Men movie. She is making out with her boyfriend when he suddenly gets extremely sick. Though she never really gets over that, she does grow from it.
Hazmat uses her powers throughout the series in interesting ways. She is able to create a controlled e.m.p. blast that was undetectable to break into The Raft to kill Norman Osborn. She also regularly threatens to give enemies cancer. Thanks to her powers, she maintains close relationships with few people including Mettle, who she is dating before he dies.
Humberto Lopez had a necklace that allowed him to turn his body into dinosaur parts. One of the break-out characters of the series, Reptil made a name for himself quickly. Due to a starring role in the cartoon series The Super Hero Squad Show, which is canon in Avengers Academy, he was a fan-favorite character. As such, he had a hard time finding his place.
Reptil started out wanting to be an Avenger and wanting to be in charge. He then spends the rest of the series doubting himself. At one point he becomes an adult version because he wants to feel powerful and he is, but he accepts himself and finds the power within, mainly because the necklace merged with him.
Laura Kinney, best known as X-23 or the All-New Wolverine, was created from the DNA of Wolverine and scientist Dr. Sarah Kinney. She was trained to be the perfect assassin, having no emotions and perfectly following orders. Obviously, that doesn’t work out since she is a big-name hero in current Marvel continuity.
X-23 originally appeared as a new character on the cartoon series X-Men: Evolution, and then made her way to comics in NYX and several stand-alone series. Her powers are almost the same as Wolverines, from the healing factor to the claws, though she has several differences. She has two claws in her hands, one in her foot and she went through the adamantium bonding process as a child.