So Avengers Academy issue 23 hit stands today. I'm sure one burning question is left in the minds of all X-23 fans. Is she handled well in it?
The answer? Yes, yes she is.
I'll admit I was on the fence when it was announced. I just couldn't see how it would work with everything they were saying about the whys, and after previous writers like Claremont that apparently had no clue what to do with the character, I was worried about the writers here. I must say within the very first 2 pages they quelled every fear I had. I'm not only okay with her on the team, I'm excited for it! Not only have they covered her training, they dive into her past on the surface level, and make refences to current X-comic issues. They point out her education, training, and more.
Well, I guess I should bring you up to speed a bit. I've been a fan of Avengers Academy since it started. I was just a bit worried about how they may handle X-23. That being said, this issue brought a lot up and may even contribute to the stories from the ongoing. With the AA cast facing off against their future selves soon, it may harken back to the mystery woman we saw before in X-23's comic that could be Laura from the future.
There are some minor character aspects of the AA team I'm not too enthused about. (The actual team, not the writing team. Gage has proven himself a more than capable writer in all his works.) I'm glad to see them covering many aspects about identity and avoidance of labels, but I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the tropes used to do so. It fits, and yet it also feels slightly forced and public service announcement like. It'll need more issues to blossom into anything for me to make a clear opinion on it. Hazmat's insecurities are an aspect that also make sense but she's a character I'm slowly starting to hate with how she lashes out blindly at others while in an emotional haze. Though I think personally it's because she reminds of a girl I once knew that acted much the same. This girl for me is a darker part of my past that makes me look back and wonder why I dated her. She was so afraid of being judged, yet was also the most judgemental girl I ever knew. This bodes well for the writing team, as generally speaking only the best writers can take something so steeped in fantasy and make it real to the point it reminds you of your own life experiences.
Overall, the X-23 parts of the issue were a great treat. I'll have a follow up post about this soon as with her new team, I'd like to handle these issues differently than I have the X-23 ongoing. This will be the only recap on an AA comic as that's going to be an X-23 solo title thing only.