Review: Class Is In Session In ‘Strange Academy #2’

by James Ferguson

What is an average day like at the Strange Academy? You’re about to find out as the first day of classes in this school of magic gets underway filled with lectures from the likes of Magik, Brother Voodoo, and Scarlet Witch to name a few. These fledgling magic users are still figuring out their powers and where they fit in the world, which is easier said than done.

Where Strange Academy #1 introduced us to this concept, this sophomore issue gives us more of an idea as to what we can expect for the series. Writer Skottie Young provides an understanding of the stakes for each class and just how hard these students have to work if they hope to graduate. It’s quite a lot.

Letterer Clayton Cowles showcases the wide variety of personalities and powers walking through these halls. Some characters have not just a unique look, but a unique voice as well. This is shown with different colored word balloons that provide further context for who they are. For example, Gus, the frost giant, speaks with large, classic looking text, that harkens back to Asgardians roots.

The one drawback here is that we’re now two issues in and we’re pretty light on the overall story. The comic has flowed more like a series of fun little anecdotes which has been enjoyable, but I’m hoping we get to see the overarching narrative take shape soon. There is an inkling of this when the cost of magic is mentioned, but it’s not explored just yet.

Artist Humberto Ramos is the perfect person to bring these characters to life. Each one has some special qualities that are specific to them. We did get some introductions to them in the previous issue, however now we have a better sense of how they interact with one another and their own little quirks. Ramos brings that out in the stellar character design and facial expressions.

As fun as the students are, the teachers are just as intriguing. My favorite scene of Strange Academy #2 comes when Magik has to deal with a rambunctious student in a way only she can. She does it without missing a beat to teach a lesson not just to him, but to the whole group. Her’s is a class you do not want to goof off in.

Colorist Edgar Delgado amplifies Ramos’ artwork in every way. There’s a grit to the images that speak to the mysterious side of magic that contrasts with the bright, vibrant energy of magic in action. It hits on all marks.

Strange Academy is full of potential for the next generation of magic users in the Marvel Universe. It’s a great idea that’s just getting started so I’m still eager to see where it goes next. I am hoping to see the story pick up soon.

Strange Academy #2 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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