REVIEW: ‘Strange Academy,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange Academy #8 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Skottie Young, art by Humberto Ramos, with colors by Edgar Delgado, and letters by Clayton Cowles. With Emily’s kiss restoring Doyle’s life, the students hope to get back to a more ordinary school year. Well, as ordinary as a school of magic gets anyways. But such large events do not fade away so easily. And for some, there is still a lot to process.

Following up a huge issue full of drama, danger and a literal resurrection can be a challenge. When a story hits as hard as last issue’s, anything that comes next runs the risk of being a letdown. And while Strange Academy #8 goes nowhere near the heights of storytelling the previous issue did, it does follow it up in a meaningful way. While also finding the time to deliver a fun intergalactic field trip for good measure.

The story opens with Doyle attending a therapy session with Dead Girl. With her obvious experience with returning from the dead, hence the name, she agrees to meet with the recently returned to see how he is handling the whirlwind of events that have occurred. There are a lot of layers to unpack from Doyle. His mixed feelings about his current place in the world are well-formed and insightful. Young delivers the young son of Dormammu’s mental state in a way that feels genuine, despite how fantastical his situation is.

I also want to take a moment to mention how much I love how Strange Academy continues to March out some truly surprising guest stars. Its willingness to dig through Marvel’s near-bottomless well of characters to find just the right one adds another fun element to the story as I find myself flipping pages wondering who might pop up next. And speaking of surprises popping up…

While Doyle has his therapy session half of the class is off-world on a field trip hosted by none other than Rocket Raccoon and Groot. In search of an ancient relic, the duo may have lost some time ago, the students are sure to learn lots of valuable life lessons from the always reasonable Rocket. Yes, that last bit was sarcasm.

The last plot thread that Strange Academy #8 brings comes in the form of a meeting between Emily and Dr. Strange. As Strange takes a moment to address the recent events the two have faced, and his manners during those moments, Young does an excellent job of giving Strange a more humble side than he is often portrayed as having.

Just as Young’s writing delivers an impactful, if toned down story this month, Ramos’ art does an equally good job adapting to the changing tones of the story. Whether it’s Doyle’s awkward form stumbling through his own emotional turmoil, or the class recklessly fleeing danger with Rocket and Groot, Ramos’ art gives each panel the energy it needs to deliver it’s story.

The trademark visual quality continues to see a further elevation through Delgado’s beautiful colors. Alien planets, magical locations, and mundane classrooms all get an extra flourish of life through the colorist’s skillful delivery of the craft.

Lastly, we have another solid lettering performance by Cowles. The story is laid out in an easy to follow manner, and several different characters receive a bit of extra flair in their text to give a bit of uniqueness to their voices.

When you bring it all together Strange Academy #8 delivers a strong emotional follow-up to a big story event, mixed with a well-implemented comical side story to keep things from getting too heavy. Young and company continue to craft a tale that is equal parts emotional, unique, and fun. Pure magic.

Strange Academy #8 is available on February 3rd wherever comics are sold.

Strange Academy,’ Issue #8
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TL;DR

When you bring it all together Strange Academy #8 delivers a strong emotional follow-up to a big story event, mixed with a well-implemented comical side story to keep things from getting too heavy. Young and company continue to craft a tale that is equal parts emotional, unique, and fun. Pure magic.