X-23 # 10
Writer: Marjorie M Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Kalman Andrasofszky
In this issue, Laura and Gambit travel to Paris to figure things out, and are joined by two familiar faces.
While I’ve always liked Ms. Liu’s work, something about this particular issue really clicked, particularly the way she handles Gambit. You see, I was never a huge fan of the character, but she’s made him likable. The issue is full of great character moments, particularly the conversations between Laura and the guest stars. Also enjoyed the little moments, like Jubilee’s excitement to see Gambit (as a fan of the Blue & Gold team era, that was great). Of course, it’s always fun to see Wolverine’s former sidekicks bonding, so the last sequence with Laura and Jubilee hanging out was fun, and then there’s the cliffhanger, which was pretty damned strong. Strong enough to make me want the next issue right now!
Sana Takeda does all the art in the issue, and she’s really coming into her own. A far cry from her Ms. Marvel days, Takeda is so much better, a lot more confident with her linework and using a beautiful color palette. Her storytelling, her layouts are so much better, and while I think this is her best work to date, I think we’re in for more amazing work from her in the months to come.
Props also go out to Clayton Cowles for his great sense of page design, keeping the many wordballoons easy to read and uncluttered.
Finally, Kalman’s cover is phenomenal, especially since it reflects what’s going to happen in the book itself.
X-23 has been a strong read since it started, especially during the ‘Collision’ crossover with Daken. Marjorie Liu has made the character her own, and she shows you the potential that the titular character is capable of. Pick this book up, be surprised, and enjoy.
Avengers Academy # 14
Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Sean Chen
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover art: Billy Tan
The kids are aching to prove themselves, and they get their chance…against the Sinister Six.
Christos Gage is a writer whose work I will always try out, because he does a lot of things right. This title may be his crowning achievement in the Marvel universe, because of how well defined these characters have become in just a year of publication. Every character has their own voice, and everyone stands out. Seeing these characters pitted against some of the most well-known super-villains in comics was an event in itself, and it went exactly the way it should have. The aftermath of the battle is probably the most important part of the story, as Giant-Man decides to enact some changes. Definitely an issue you shouldn’t miss.
The art team is comprised of industry veterans Sean Chen, Scott Hanna and Jeromy Cox. The trio work really well together. Chen’s crisp, clean linework meshes well with Hanna’s inking style, and Cox’s palette. A particular page that I loved was the big reveal of the Sinister Six, and they looked every bit as menacing as they should. The expression on Reptil’s face on the same page shows you how dire the situation had become. Joe Caramagna keeps everything together, keeping the book easy to read amidst all the action going on in the page.
Avengers Academy has always been one of Marvel’s best books, and with good reason. It features a great cast of characters, and amazing storytelling. This book is a sure bet each and every month, and it’s never too late to give it a try. Pick this up!