REVIEW: ‘Strange Academy,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange Academy #3

Strange Academy #3 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Skottie Young, art by Humberto Ramos, colors by Edgar Delgado, and letters by Clayton Cowles. With classes underway, and the kids getting more acclimated to their new school, the weekend has come. And what better way to relax than to hit the streets. Especially when your school is just a walk away from New Orleans. But the Big Easy has always been a strong place for magic in the Marvel Universe, so these kids might just be in for a surprise or two.

Strange Academy #3 offers a solid mix of character building and fun. While many stories might suffer at this point, as set up creates what will be needed in the future, drags down the here and now, Young manages to avoid this pitfall splendidly. Just like when he was penning Middlewest, Young does a great job of disguising these slower moments with great character developments. This allows the story to do all the setup it needs without getting bogged down. And so much of what is shown, or even simply hinted at, is intriguing enough to make me want so much more.

With the character moments ranging in all sizes, from full scene stealers to small one panel interactions you could almost miss, everything in the panels of Strange Academy #3 feels worth taking note of. Even the story’s opening, with the Ancient One guiding the children through an exercise in utilizing the Eye of Agamotto, has interesting tidbits, for both the class as well as their school, sprinkled throughout. This utilization of the time Young implements to tell the story packs the pages without making the reader feel overwhelmed. So much is delivered so naturally, I suspect, as more of the story is revealed, readers will come back to these early issues and find hints and signs they had overlooked or forgotten.

The art of Strange Academy #3 does a great job balancing the two central themes of the story, magic, and kids. The magical is wonderfully breathtaking, especially in the opening scene of the story. The awesome creature design by artist Ramos, along with truly inspired colorwork on the part Delgado, delivers panels that can truly only be described as magical.

Even while the art goes all out in it’s more fantastical moments, it never forgets that at its core, it’s all about the kids. There is a playful energy that is interwoven throughout this story. As the kids bustle their way through the city, their enthusiasm at having reached that eternal goal of the weekend is palpable. This youthful joy delivers warmth to these characters that both serve to make the current issue fun, and sets up future hardships to hit all the more powerfully.

Lastly, Cowles does a wonderful job with this book’s lettering. Everything is presented in an easy to follow manner, and certain characters, with a bit more magic in their nature, get some extra touches to their dialogue. Giving their voices that extra something to stand them apart.

When all is said and done, Strange Academy #3 continues to deliver a fun story, while also building up its world in an often subtle way that doesn’t bog done the here and now. I look forward to seeing what’s in store next for these mages to be.

Strange Academy #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Strange Academy #3
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Strange Academy #3 continues to deliver a fun story, while also building up it’s world in an often subtle way that doesn’t bog done the here and now. I look forward to seeing what’s in store next for these mages to be.