Bold New Directions?

Avengers Academy 21, New rules

I wonder if in years to come, we will look back at 2011 and consider it to be a great year for change within the comics industry? Or have we had quite enough changes already so far, thank you very much?

The DC Universe rebooted itself (again), just the one Earth this time. I think.  Thor died, though he might have done that before, and he’s certainly not the only one. The Human Torch died (yeah, right) and the Richards started employing super-villains while becoming a children’s home.

The Avengers were re-legalised, destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed, had another go at training youngsters, and the X-Men schismed into two factions. Sure, and they’ve never done that before.

Without sounding too critical, I actually like what is happening with the X-Men. It makes sense, at least they are not at war, and it brings some once major characters, such as Storm, back to the centre stage where they belong. Not to mention some interesting combinations of characters.

The independant scene offers transient delights. Pick up this weeks issue of The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode if you doubt me (and if you missed the first issue). There are aspects that we can certainly define as indicative of the ‘Noughties’ as I discussed when I first wrote about the title.  Yet it has a certain individuality so far that is appealing, and I hope that remains.

The Last Of The Greats is another cool series, yet after the first issue, it seems remarkably similar to the plot of Irredeemable, and I hope my visit to the store today will prove me wrong.

Strangely enough, it’s the more ‘retro’ titles that seem to be doing it for me at the moment, such as Kirby:Genesis, or All Winners Squad:Band Of Heroes. I am certainly looking forward to the next Project Super-Powers as well.

My tip for the week though has to be the aforementioned Avengers Academy. Our disenfranchised youth has now been joined by a new White Tiger (erm, this is what? White Tiger number four? Five?), and to my great delight, Julie Power!

For younger readers who may not remember, Julie was the oldest girl (and possibly the most sensible member) of Power Pack, a group of four siblings given powers by horse-faced aliens, in a title that lasted just over half a decade.

The original students, not quite as well-adjusted as your average teen, do not exactly take well to this, but for the sheer characterisation of the Avengers and their hangers-on, this has to be the best of the Avengers titles.

Why, there is an entire story nearly every issue, not dragged out over numerous months at a snails pace. If you haven’t tried it yet, dive in, the waters fine.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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