Three comic book reviews: Pull List #5 (‘Avengers Academy,’ ‘Hack/Slash’ and ‘TMNT’)
Well, here’s number five of the series, which is two after the invitation for other writers to add their two cents to the “what comic books are you reading?” discussion. Nobody else threw their hat into the ring, so I guess you all just really hate comic books, then, huh?
Avengers Academy #39
I keep my comic books in binders of 40 issues; I feel accomplished when I fill up a binder with all one series, for some strange reason. So, of course, Avengers Academy would go out after 39 issues. That is so annoying.
Though I am a big fan of this series in particular and writer Christos Gage in general (I think I might have mentioned that before), this ending feels like a bit of a letdown. I did like how the two furriest Academy students, Reptil and White Tiger, are apparently on the verge of a relationship at this ending. And I liked how perpetual grumpy Avenger Quicksilver gets a nice moment of humanity in this final issue. But the actual final pages are a different matter. “Cured” hero Veil returning to high school is a nice bookend to the series (Veil in school was how the series started), but her then beating up a pair of bullies is a bit, well, inappropriate seems to be the right word for the feeling I got from this ending.
The “they could go evil at the drop of the hat” twist, ballyhooed at the beginning of the run as “a bigger surprise than Thunderbolts #1” (and thankfully dropped soon after) gets one last hurrah. Funny, that. The book was sold on a twist, but managed to go almost 40 issues on strength of characterization instead.
This is another Cat and Dog Detective issue of Tim Seeley ’s Hack/Slash, though this time it more directly involves the two main characters, the slasher hunters Cassie Hack and her strange partner Vlad.
Cat has been doing some detective work, and has found out some rather disturbing new information for Cassie. Meanwhile, Cassie and Vlad are having issues in their relationship, due mostly to the fact that they aren’t even sure what kind of relationship they have. Cat, with Pooch in tow, reveals her findings to Cassie, which puts Cassie in a dark place, and Vlad must find a way to save her from herself.
I like this series so much because it swerves erratically from broad humor to ultra violence to quiet character moments, but still manages to hit those marks perfectly. One minute, you’re laughing at Pooch’s comic antics, next you’re reacting to the frankly touching friendship between the two unlikely leads.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #15
This issue introduces a new mutant character to the universe, though he’s another turtle. A snapping turtle, to be exact. He seems to be inspired by the Tokka character from the second movie; at the very least, the writers of this series have got to be aware that is the character most readers will be reminded of. He’s a big mutant snapping turtle that does not have the human intelligence of the titular turtles, after all.
However, he’s named Slash for this series, and the first part of the issue involves his backstory. The next part of the story involves the four turtles out on patrol. It seems Donatello has scoped out a new place for them to hide in; perhaps a new home base for this incarnation of the turtles. Unfortunately, Slash seems to like it, too, so there is a confrontation.
I’ve gone on and on about how I don’t actually like the art in this series that much; this issue is much better suited to it, however. Andy Kuhn’s dark and linear drawings give the proceedings a horror comic feel, which is exactly the tone this issue strives for.