Back to filling in the post-Volume 4 gap. This time I’m looking at a batch of Avengers Academy issues, specifically Avengers Academy #7 and 9-13, plus Avengers Academy: Giant-Size #1, and New Avengers volume 2 #7. All of these issues have been added to Phase Four in Limbo – Part 4.
- Avengers Academy #7 includes Justice as a supporting character. Not extremely important, but his character plays the role of an important voice objecting to Hank Pym’s plan. He’s also in a fight scene early in the issue. So he shows up plenty.
- Avengers Academy #9 has both Justice and Speedball providing important votes on the potential expulsion of some of the Avengers Academy students. It isn’t a particularly lengthy appearance but it reaffirms their status among the school’s staff. Also, there may be a perception among the superhero community about how former New Warriors teammates tend to close ranks around each other. A frustrated Tigra claims that the reason Speedball agrees with Justice’s vote is because they’re both part of the “New Warriors mafia”.
- Avengers Academy #10 focuses on Speedball and also includes Justice. Of this batch, I would say this issue and #13 are the most essential appearances. This one sees Speedball return to Stamford, as he recounts the infamous incident from Civil War #1 (as seen in the featured image above) and takes another step to moving past his Penance identity. There’s a slight missed opportunity to address the discrepancies between his Speedball powers and Penance powers, but otherwise this does a lot to continue the rehabilitation of the character.
- Avengers Academy: Giant-Size #1 was supposed to be a crossover with Young Allies but that comic was cancelled at issue #6, so the story was repurposed into this 80-page one-shot. None of the Academy staff are present (although Justice is mentioned) so the only New Warrior to participate is Firestar. She’s in it plenty (nice panel below) but she actually doesn’t do all that much in relation to others in the book. All of the characters are put into traps in Arcade’s Murderworld and writer Paul Tobin (or someone) seems to think Firestar’s powers are strictly heat-based rather than microwaves, which should’ve easily scrambled the gadgetry of her trap. Oh well… It’s not explicit when this takes place, but it must happen before the two-part Avengers Academy #11-12 because of some changes to the students’ status quo. The Young Allies also show up in Avengers Academy #13 (below), in a clear follow-up to this story.
- Avengers Academy #11 has appearances by Justice and Speedball. Along with a bunch of other Avengers, they’re mostly canon fodder for a big fight with Korvac. Notably, in a scene that seems to echo Speedball barely standing after Siena Blaze’s attack during the Child’s Play crossover with X-Force back in the day, Speedball is the last Avenger to fall before Korvac.
- Avengers Academy #12 has a single panel that seems to include Speedball and a few other Avengers following their defeat last issue. Extremely minor (and debatable) appearance.
- Avengers Academy #13 is a fun one, and along with issue #10, makes for the most essential appearances in this update. The Young Allies, which includes Firestar as a member, and some of the Initiative students are invited by the Academy for a prom with the Academy students. Ultragirl is there as Justice‘s date and Speedball serves as DJ, bringing the total Warriors to four, the biggest Warriors reunion since I am an Avenger #2. Justice and Firestar seem to come to terms with their breakup. Speedball is lighter and more carefree than we’ve seen him in this series, although he has a more supporting role. Ultragirl is mostly played as the new girlfriend and doesn’t get much else.
- New Avengers volume 2 #7 has a single-panel appearance by Ultragirl (seen right). In a series of quick cameos, she is one of the applicants Jessica Jones and Luke Cage interview for the job of a nanny. Apparently they don’t even know Ultragirl. Tigra also appears in the job interview cameos but there’s nothing really there to indicate where this takes place in relation to Avengers Academy. I just went with the cover-date, placing it right after the first issue in this batch, Avengers Academy #7.