REVIEW: ‘Strange Academy,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Strange Academy #2

Strange Academy #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Skottie Young, art by Humberto Ramos, colors by Edgar Delgado and letters by Clayton Cowles. It’s the first day of a magical school. As the new students settle in we are introduced to a veritable who’s who of Marvel mages performing the roles of teachers of the many disciplines of magic being taught. The students have a lot to learn, and some are definitely adapting better than others.

Strange Academy #2 does a great job establishing the setting for the subsequent issues that will follow. Each teacher and classroom is brimming with personality. This surprises little given Young’s track record for character writing. His work in Middlewest is some of the best character writing I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. So while his initial introductions are fun and flavorful, I cannot wait to see what sort of story he’ll craft with all these wonderful characters once things really pick up.

While the setting and teachers are praiseworthy Strange Academy #2 is really about the students. Young does an excellent job of capturing all the real-life stresses we all experienced as kids starting a new school year, and proceeds to crank it up a dozen notches. School is tough. It’s even tougher when your teacher is the demon queen of Limbo. Despite all the challenges of the first day of school, kids are still kids. We are treated to several small moments where, between studies of zombies and magical relics, the kids display the fun and innocence of youth. These moments go a long way to endearing the reader to the story’s primary subjects.

The art of Strange Academy #2 is exceptional. It manages to combine the mysticism of classic magical characters like The Ancient One, with a general modern pop vibe that reinforces the spirit of its central protagonists. It’s magic for the new millennium. These feelings of youthful energy couldn’t be properly projected without Delgado’s excellent colors. Every magical pop is captured in the sort of eclectic coloration that falls just short of gaudy. It makes the magical content feel truly magical. The only place where Strange Academy #2’s visual presentation falls a little short for me is in Cowles’s lettering. While mechanically sound, it feels too safe for its story. More embellishments in its text would’ve served to keep it in line with the rest of the book’s energy. It just feels like it could’ve done more to reinforce the tone of the book.

When all is said and done Strange Academy #2 does a great job laying the groundwork for its subsequent issues. I look forward to seeing what sort of magical mischief Young and company have planned for Marvel’s newest mages to be.

Strange Academy #2 is available July 8th wherever comics are sold.


Strange Academy #2
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done Strange Academy #2 does a great job laying the groundwork for its subsequent issues. I look forward to seeing what sort of magical mischief Young and company have planned for Marvel’s newest mages to be.