By Ben Morse
In a large way, fear founded the Avengers Academy—specifically Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ apprehension that the super-powered youths experimented upon by Norman Osborn would grow up to become the world’s most terrifying super villains without the proper guidance. However, the institution’s staff and students alike will find much more to be afraid of when they plunge into the Fear Itself event beginning this June in AVENGERS ACADEMY #15 for a five-issue story arc.
|AVENGERS ACADEMY #15 cover by Billy Tan|
“From the moment I first started writing AVENGERS ACADEMY, I knew that sooner or later there would come a big crisis like this, and it got me thinking about how those who fight wars tend to be disproportionately young people,” reflects writer Christos Gage. “So I really want to explore what it’s like for kids this age to suddenly find themselves on a battlefield, with stakes as huge as they get and death all around. It’s an experience that leaves no one unchanged, and that’s absolutely going to be true for these guys.”
While the series to date has employed the narrative element of having each issue told primarily from the perspective of a single cast member and the focused placed on them, Gage says the spotlight will be spread throughout this particular story with different characters seizing the baton.
“Both the kids and the faculty will be in the thick of the action, though not necessarily all in the same place,” he notes. “I can promise major changes coming for more than one of them.”
One Academy teacher who will be plenty busy during Fear Itself promises to be Speedball, who will be starring in FEAR ITSELF: HOME FRONT, also written by Gage, who explains the stories will complement each other, though not be dependent on one another:
“Naturally there are going to be moments where events converge to one degree or another. I’m taking the approach I usually take to these things: Either story can be fully enjoyed on its own, but if you get both you see the larger tapestry.”
While the general unrest of Fear Itself will present the primary challenge in AVENGERS ACADEMY this summer, expect at least one surprise guest to increase the threat to one faculty member in particular and every student to undergo their greatest trial to date.
“I have to be a lot more cryptic than I want to be, but I’m definitely excited about Giant-Man having a rematch with a deadly enemy he’s faced before, though the circumstances will be very different,” teases Gage. “And to see the unexpected ways the kids respond to the harshest crucible of all.”
Visit the Fear Itself hub page for more info on the event and stay tuned for major announcements every day this week here on Marvel.com