Thunderbolts/Avengers Academy: Scared Straight

The next generation of Avengers meets up with the redemption-seeking convicts in this hard-hitting crossover



By TJ Dietsch

Back in the 1970's an infamous documentary called "Scared Straight" followed a group of problem children as they visited a prison and were introduced to some hardcore criminals in the hopes it would persuade them to clean up their act. Writers Christos Gage and Jeff Parker will be putting the Avengers Academy students through something similar this August in crossover of the same name which runs through AVENGERS ACADEMY #3-4 and THUNDERBOLTS #147.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #3 cover by Mike McKone
"In this case, it's also about exposing the Avengers Academy trainees to super villains in a controlled setting," Gage shares, after revealing that Ed Brubaker came up with the initial idea at the last Avengers Retreat. "With Luke Cage, an Avenger, running the Thunderbolts program, it made a lot of sense-and sounded really cool!"

Expect the full line-up of new Thunderbolts to make an appearance, Parker promises, including Juggernaut, Crossbones and the rest; but will this be a group of reformed villains who have turned over a new leaf or the same old baddies?

"They'll all be there," Parker says. "Ready to do what they do: talk out problems and calmly solve through understanding. Just kidding, there will be hitting."

But, with everyone locked up, how will this nice meet-up come to blows? Thanks to a jailbreak, of course, that will put the Academy kids, Avengers, Thunderbolts and even Norman Osborn all in an environment rife with devious possibilities.

"As for Norman, he's the one who found and, in many cases, tortured these kids to bring out their powers, so some of them definitely hold a grudge," Gage reminds. "But for some, their feelings toward Norman may be more complex than that."

AVENGERS ACADEMY #4 cover by Mike McKone
With the rest of the story details being kept under wraps, we asked the writers about what characters they enjoyed writing from the other teams. Parker responded with a simple "Reptil!" while Gage gave a little more information.

"I've written some of them before, like Juggernaut and Moonstone, but it's always fun to come back to them," Gage notes. "I'd have to say Ghost was a treat. I've never written him before, and I got a kick out of getting into his paranoid mind!"

In addition to enjoying the characters, the writers seem to be having a great time collaborating with each other on the story.

"Christos is about as easy [a creator] to collaborate with as you can get.," Parker says. "He can adapt to anything, and that's the way to be in connected books like this."

"He couldn't have been more cooperative, and as a big fan of his approach to the Thunderbolts, I can't wait to see his take on the characters of Avengers Academy," Gage exclaims of Parker.

Both writers hope the excitement they feel for the project will be felt by the fans as the story rolls out in August.


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Sorry sick of tie-ins I have been reading Fall of the Hulks and now World WAR HULKS which I think I am the only person who likes it. And the Avengers ACADEMY does not reaaly intrest me at all.