Friday, February 11, 2005

New X-Men: Academy X 7 - 9

I know this title is aimed at a younger audience, and at times this can detract from the story, but for the most part I find that I've been enjoying this series even with its many faults. The New X-Men series might be a hard one to jump into as there are a lot of dangling plot lines, tons and tons of characters, and a population of characters that were unknown in the X-Universe before the second iteration of the New Mutants title came out.

The focus of this three issue arc is a supposed ghost story, but even by the end of the first issue, you have a very good inkling that the ghost really isn't a ghost. By the end of the second issue, it's pretty apparent who the ghost is and why it exists. The third issue simply spells it all out for the reader. With such a simplistic and easily transparent plot, then why do I happen to like it? Character interaction. There's a fair amount of it between the varied students and you can easily pick up on each character's personality and how they feel about the other characters in the school.

It's best to think of this series as a high school drama with superpowers thrown in as an afterthought. Yes, there are plenty of superhero moments and the main focus of this plot is otherworldly in nature, but underneath it all it's really a teen drama. I enjoy reading about the student love triangles and the way each student feels about the other and how they handle their feelings--it makes me remember high school, and not in a negative light like I usually do.

The art is passable, but I would really appreciate it if the artists made it look like Cyclops, Emma, and the rest of the staff looked older than 18. The cartoony nature of the art also isn't really my style, but it suits the story. I don't think a gritty style or a hyper-realistic style would suit the stories that are told in New X-Men, but that doesn't mean I like the cartoony hoo-hah that's in this series.

For a younger ages title, I find this series suprisingly enjoying and this arc, even though it's one of the weaker in the series, manages to satisfy.

Art: 3
Story: 3.25
Overall: 3

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