Avengers VS X-Men

WonderCon 2012: Avengers Academy

Christos Gage draws students and faculty alike into the Avengers Vs. X-Men conflict this summer

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By Tim Stevens                                

As most schools send their students off for summer break in May and June, the teachers at AVENGERS ACADEMY will be preparing theirs for war, under the direction of writer Christos Gage and artists Tom Grummett and Timothy Green II. Avengers Vs. X-Men invades campus beginning with AVENGERS ACADEMY #29 and running through #33.

“Who suffers most in war?” posits editor Bill Rosenmann. “Some would say the children caught in the crossfire. AVENGERS ACADEMY #29-#33 reveal what happens to the young adults on both sides of the clash, including the decisions they make that may surprise—and anger—their adult counterparts.”

Avengers Academy #31 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli

The opportunity to shock and enrage begins when Quinjet filled with young mutants lands at Avengers Academy in issue in #29.

“After an initial battle, the mutant kids from Utopia are in a situation where various adults want to make sure they are kept out of the war,” Gage reveals. “Fearing that taking them to the Jean Grey School would inflame the situation there, Wolverine brings them to Avengers Academy, the only other facility equipped to house them. The X-kids are not given a choice about this—nor are the Avengers Academy kids.

“Most of the X-kids naturally feel they are prisoners, and are hostile. The Avengers Academy kids don't appreciate their attitude.”

Of the teens, perhaps none will be as conflicted about the situation as X-23 who encounters pressure from all sides, demanding she pick her “people.”

“X-23 left the X-Men in part because she didn't want to choose sides in the Schism, but there's no avoiding it this time,” Gage explains. “Those X-23 fans who have been patiently waiting for Laura to step into the spotlight, this is when it happens.”

While X-23 might best exemplify this conflict, Gage stresses she hardly stands alone.

“There are also other mutant students at the Academy, like Ricochet and Wiz Kid, and they will be less than thrilled with the situation too,” he says. “Ultimately, every single character will have a choice to make and it's far from a foregone conclusion.”

Complicating matters further, Sebastian Shaw, the former leader of the Hellfire Club turned friend of GENERATION HOPE, arrives with the mutant refugees as well.

Avengers Academy #32 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli

“In the last issue of [GENERATION HOPE], Hope gave Shaw the X-Men's file on him, so he found out the truth about the man he was,” Gage notes. “Does this make him a deadly threat again? The Avengers think so and as a result Shaw is the one ‘guest’ of the Academy placed in an actual cell. It doesn't end there.”

Kicking off with issue #32, the X-Men come to campus to ensure that one specific Academy member is taken out of the game: Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel.

“It's a poignant tale about the love between a boy and his genocidal robot, and whether something broken and damaged deserves a chance to rise above its flaws even if it presents a danger to others,” Gage pitches. “It's a question about the Sentinel, but it also applies to many of the Academy kids themselves.”

For the event-averse amongst readers, Rosemann says AVENGERS ACADEMY will remain true to its themes and quality, making these arcs good for the established fans and the curious tie-in followers alike.

“For those who loved how Christos used the Fear Itself tie-in issues to organically propel our core cast forward, you’re in for another great ride that builds upon everything that’s come before,” he promises. “And for those who have never read AVENGERS ACADEMY, but who are following all of the great AvX tie-in chapters get ready to meet your new favorite characters. Christos has crafted two unique but equally explosive situations, providing readers with many character defining moments that will test the students as never before.”

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