Marvel Comics New X-Men - Academy X (1-15)

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0 8497 13/3/2008
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by Nunzio DeFillipis, Christina Weir, and various artists


The New Mutants have another go at their own title and this time they're forming honest-to-goodness teams. Dani Moonstar's "New Mutants", Emma Frost's "Hellions", Northstar's "Alpha Squadron", and Cyclops' "Corsairs" all participate in a no-holds-barred field competition... all while navigating personal problems, death, relationships, and the prom!


The New Mutants still haven't got it quite right... but this is a step in the right general direction. There's quite a bit of action, a few more interesting character developments and much more page-time for the Hellions (far and away the more interesting team).

The New Mutants themselves remain chronically uninteresting, but this particular incarnation of the title is more of an "ensemble cast" deal than a showcase for the titular group.

The relationships introduced round out a few characters. Sophia and Julian, in particular, are a good match: her character softens his and his brings out a bit of spunk in hers. Sophia can't carry a scene alone, but for some reason, she holds her own with Julian (scene-stealer extraordinaire).

Interesting power-combinations make the Wither/Wallflower/Mercury mess worthwhile while Josh finally gets his act together and stops playing hide-the-sausage with his teacher on the side. Meanwhile Teen-heartthrob Jay seems to have a flame for Sooraya, a burka-wearing Sunni muslim who refuses to be alone with men.

Only Prodigy/Surge rings hollow. But maybe that's just because I hate them both?

Strangely enough, underdog Anole also grabs a good chunk of the best issue in the arc (13). The story, involving the unexpected death of a teacher and mentor, is surprisingly touching... I imagine even moreso if you're a fan of the character who kicks it. It's really too bad that it takes the death of an X-man to get some time for one of the other squads!

The weakest arc involves a poorly concieved alternate-future-jump where Prodigy becomes the president of the United States... errr...

Luckily it's only 2 issues... and it's the exception rather than the rule. The rest of the stories are a cut above the ones in "New Mutants".

The artwork also tends to be better in quality than the initial "New Mutants" run, though with a different artist on board virtually every week, the constant changes can get distracting here and there.

-introduction of Quill, Dust, Pixie, Loa, DJ, etc.
-formation of squadrons
-Icarus is traded to the New Mutants, Wither is traded to the Hellions
-Hellion -> Sophia
-Elixir X Wallflower
-Prodigy X Surge
-Mercury -> Wither
-Julian sticks up for Kevin rather publically
-death of Alpha Squadron's leader
-Anole cries a lot

There's hope for this series yet. As ever, there's a definate feeling of bloat (there are too many characters and not enough time to develop most of them) and the cast could use a trim. Even so, Academy X leaves you wanting to see quite a few of these kids again in the future.
Keywords: X-men, super heroes, teenagers, New Mutants
Illustrations and Layout Very Good
Entertainment Value Very Good
Replay Value Average
Plot Average
Genre super-hero, school life
Volumes 1-15 (complete)


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August 2007

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