Heroic Age

Psych Ward: Avengers Academy

Marvel’s therapist teams with Christos Gage to analyze the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes



By Tim Stevens

Dear Captain Rogers,

As requested, here are my and Doctor Christos Gage's notes on the Avengers Academy's pupils' intakes. Please be aware they all signed the appropriate releases for me to share this information with you and were made aware of the purpose of these interviews. As such, I recommend taking all statements with a grain of salt as they may have been concealing information to ensure they were assessed well by you. Additionally, as requested, given the age and inexperience of the pupils, all but their "super hero" identities have been stricken from this record.


Veil is a female of approximately adolescent to young adult age who appears to be of average physical fitness. She presents as being honored and excited to be part of the Academy and repeatedly expressed how thrilled she was with "the instructors." She declined to provide more concrete details as to what she appreciated about them.

The client declined setting future treatment goals at this time, citing the need to still work through some recent revelations. Once more, Veil proved evasive when the writer asked clarifying questions on the matter.

Although she allowed a full battery of physical tests to be performed, she was noticeably nervous throughout the process but would not say why. The writer is currently awaiting those test results and will ask the staff to update you when the results are finalized.

The client's lack of confidence may be problematic. When asked to describe herself, she uses adjectives like "poor" and "unpopular." It is unclear whether she is describing herself prior to arriving at the Academy or if she has continued to not be included in social events here. While she intellectually seems to be able to separate her social difficulties and socioeconomic status from her abilities, emotionally she may not be adept at doing so and this could prove dangerous in the field.

Doctor Gage's Notes: "Veil has a great deal to come to grips with.  In light of her abilities' side effects, she is having to radically reassess her goals for her life.  The guidance of her instructors could be a tremendous help for her, but potential complications exist in the infatuation she seems to have developed for one staff member in particular."


The client is a male of indeterminate age, given his physical appearance. He does appear to be of excellent physical fitness. He presents as pleasant and personable in session, but there is an underlying feeling of disappointment during most of his interactions with the writer. This seemed to be particularly the case following his physical exam. When the writer offered this observation, the client shrugged it off and repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

Given his presentation as perhaps the most emotionally stable of the Academy members, he may be often sought out by fellow classmates for support. He seems equal to the task at this time, but if he is not being emotionally open with himself he may quickly become overwhelmed with containing the emotions of others.

Doctor Gage's Notes: "Mettle's basic personality is easygoing and friendly, but already changes are evident in light of the practical limitations his new physical state have placed on his life. It's crucial that he be exposed to positive role models and peers, as the alternative could be devastating for him as well as those around him."


Finesse is a female who presents as in above average physical shape; she seems to be an adolescent/young adult.

Initially in the interview, the client appeared to be both competent and confident. She agreed to her physical exam without hesitation and was able to speak at length about her abilities.

However, when the focus shifts to the client's emotional life, this perception fell away. She appears to have difficulty with reading facial expressions and changes periodically in voice tone and timber. Additionally, her own presentation often seems to disagree with the emotions she should be or claims to be experiencing.

Given her difficulties involving emotions, she was difficult to read in session. However, despite that, it seemed clear to the writer that Finesse is uncomfortable discussing her family history, declining to say anything beyond her parents "were not good role models."

Doctor Gage's Notes: "Finesse is able to pick up most skills with minimal effort, but the intricacies of human emotion and interaction are baffling to her.  It's crucial we thoroughly explore the reasons for this.  Does she simply lack interest in anything she can't learn instinctively?  Could she be on the autism spectrum or is she displaying the lack of empathy of a sociopath?"


Reptil presents as comfortable in session. The only member of the team with prior experience in the field, he comes across as confident, but not arrogant, about his skill set. His estimation of his strengths and weaknesses appears to be accurate in comparison with the notes in his Initiative file.

At times, the client presents as optimistic almost to the point of naiveté. He denies any lasting effects of his recent trauma and maintains that his parents are alive well past the point of that being a likely possibility. He is respectful when others dispute his beliefs, but does not seem to truly listen to what they have to say.

Doctor Gage's Notes: "Of all the students, Reptil displays the most traditional personality traits of a 'hero,' but the brutal torture he suffered at the hands of Norman Osborn is cause for concern.  Equally troubling is his denial that anything is wrong.  As long as he represses the pain of the experience, as well as the loss of his parents (who he continues to insist are alive, despite all evidence that they died while on an archaeological dig), a breakdown of some sort is inevitable."


The client is a female who identifies herself as a "young woman." Her age and physical fitness are difficult to estimate given her costume, which she was unable to remove during the session.

Hazmat presents as very angry, a charge she does not deny. She also seems to be quite sad and removed from her classmates, a situation she generally refused to discuss or did so in the most surface way possible. In general, she seemed to be able to express appropriate emotions, but her "baseline" does appear to be consistently irritated.

She seems very dedicated to the idea of "justice," but what that might mean to her is unclear. The client is evasive when asked to provide specifics of what justice would mean to her. The writer is concerned, given her anger, how her quest for justice might manifest itself in the field.

Doctor Gage's Notes: "Given that Hazmat's happy, secure life was abruptly taken from her when her powers manifested, her anger is understandable.  But she will have to be taught how to manage it quickly, given the potential she has to be a danger to those around her.  Should she focus that anger on a particular target, the consequences could be deadly."


Striker is an adolescent/young adult male of approximately average physical fitness. He presents as arrogant, egotistical, and solipsistic. While he does appear to have plenty of charisma, others may find him grating quickly, which could have ramifications for fieldwork.

Striker's relationship with his mother may also be problematic. They clearly have an unhealthily enmeshed relationship with her fueling his beliefs in himself as the center of the universe. The client's description of her, seemingly without his knowledge, paints her as living vicariously through him and pushing him towards fame in an attempt to bring herself gratification, not out of any particular love for him.

The client's history also includes wide stretches of time without parental support and supervision with only his agent looking out for him. What role his agent has filled in his life beyond contract negotiator and occasional babysitter is unclear.

Doctor Gage's Notes: "The most challenging aspect to Striker is his focus on fame as an end in itself.  Like others in the age of reality television, he seems not to deem it necessary to accomplish anything to achieve notoriety; any attention, for whatever reason, is considered desirable. Clearly it will be important to steer him towards achieving fame through positive actions, while examining the roots of this unhealthy fixation."

The Avengers Academy pupils will have a fellow up session with Doctors Gage and Mike McKone on June 9. Details will be available that day in file AVENGERS ACADEMY #1.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Doctoral Intern at a college counseling center.


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      Nice in-depth look into the trainees' personalities. Not surprising about Striker. As I gathered, his spotlight line was doing double service to refer to his power AND his attitude.