ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Strange Academy,’ Issue #11

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange Academy #11 - But Why ThoStrange Academy #11 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Skottie Young, art by Humberto Ramos, with colors by Edgar Delgado, and letters by Clayton Cowles. With their field trip to Asgard in the rearview mirror, the students of Strange Academy are busy preparing for finals. But none of them realize just how quickly their mundane school life is about to be shattered.

While the complexity of having decades of back material informing the characters and stories of modern comics comes with some serious hurdles for the new reader, there are some great benefits to the format as well. Not the least of these is when a writer pulls out an unexpected cameo from the distant past or some faraway corner of the universe. This utilization of its bountiful stable of characters is something Marvel’s writers have been more than happy to indulge in of late. While Strange Academy has had its fair share of cameos already, every book I’ve been reading from S.W.O.R.D. to Captain Marvel has been all too happy to bring in numerous unexpected familiar faces. It’s a fun time to be a long-time comic fan.

As you can probably guess from the above paragraph, Strange Academy #11 also partakes in this trend of unexpected guest characters. For when the students and faculty discover that, after a late-night cram session, Toth was the victim of an attack that left the young man shattered in the hallway, Doctor Voodoo calls in an outsider to help figure out who has attacked the student. But who can the school call to help solve this mystery? Jessica Jones? Black Widow? Ok, I don’t blame you if your first guess isn’t Howard the Duck. But, that’s who comes looking to quack this case wide open.

Despite multiple decades and probably thousands of issues read, this was my first time actually reading a story featuring Marvel’s most (in)famous waterfowl. Young brings the classic grizzled private eye persona out magnificently with Howard. Reading a sequence where he struggles through interviewing the students of Strange Academy was a comedic joy.

I also want to commend Young for choosing to shift the focus of this new arc to some of the less utilized students. With Emily and Doyle getting their big moment at the end of the last issue, it wouldn’t have been shocking if Strange Academy #11 had focused on the new couple. And while that wouldn’t have been a bad thing, I’m glad Young isn’t getting fixated on any particular members of this great cast he’s assembled.

The art from Ramos delivers both the mystical as well as the mundane of this issue brilliantly. The artist does a particularly good job with the aforementioned interrogation sequence. Every angle and expression brings out the personality clashes that fill this excellent moment.

Further bringing Strange Academy #11 many moments to life is the ever-vibrant colorwork of Delgado. It’s been 11 issues of this story and the colorist still manages to surprise and astound with the way the color always adds so much energy to these stories.

Rounding out our look at this issue is Cowles’s letters. Cowles continues to lean into all the energy the story and art bring to this book and gives it that final emotional push through his varied fonts and dramatic emphasis.

Strange Academy #11 delivers another excellent issue in this series run. Its pages are filled with emotion, energy, a hilarious guest appearance, and the cliffhanger it ends on provides the perfect build-up to keep readers hyped for the next issue.

Strange Academy #11 is available on June 9th wherever comics are sold.


Strange Academy #11
4.5

TL;DR

Strange Academy #11 delivers another excellent issue in this series run. Its pages are filled with emotion, energy, a hilarious guest appearance, and the cliffhanger it ends on provides the perfect build-up to keep readers hyped for the next issue.