What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Strange Academy #2! It pained me having to wait for this second issue of Strange Academy. This was the book you always wanted from the magic corner of the Marvel Universe, and just as it started, everything was put on hold until now. Though I would say that a book like this is worth the wait regardless. They gave us a lot to look forward to between the diversity of this cast of characters, what to expect from the academy itself, and small things we can anticipate becoming bigger. You don’t invest in a book like this and not expect there to be many twists and turns.
this second issue was all about the first day of class. This isn’t the first time where we have picked up a book where students with special abilities are taught how to use them, and how to grow that potential. However, this is the first time where the academy quite literally lives up to the name. If only it was as simple as getting to said class, and making it through said classes to the end of the day. The school works differently, the staff works differently, and to say that their lessons are challenging is one heck of an understatement. While you would assume that this would follow Emily strictly through her experience in this academy, I welcomed the focus that was spread throughout this cast of characters. While I’m sure that there is concern about juggling this many characters at once, I do think that this creative team is up to the task. Everything you learn about these students comes from what they do, and how they interact with each other. I would say that we were given good reason to care about a lot of these characters from the way that their personalities and quirks began to really stand out.
So speaking of twists and turns, call me intrigued when they wasted little time getting back to the exploration of magic. There’s no way to say it, but an academy like this should not be possible. After everything we have learned about the way magic works, and the consequences of misusing it? You are forced to question what made all of this a reality without disturbing the balance. There was no better time than now for them to hit us with this mystery, because that is something which will keep us coming back for answers.
Now as important as the students are to us, so is the staff. They did not fail to give us a taste of how some of these students will interact with the teachers. Some you see will click more with one student over the others. Or they might clash with them more than the rest. Better than that, we got to see how some of these staff members adjust to a more professional setting. Of those who grabbed my attention most, it was Magik who served as the best example for where some of them will go right, and where some of them will go wrong. She has a fire in her, so obviously you are going to see that fire when a student decides to test her. I actually found it quite humorous as to what she did. Did Magik go overboard? Maybe, but would you expect any less from her? Not at all.
That aside, the interior work from this art team remains one of the best things this book has going for it. When you have a book like Strange Academy that leans heavily into the world of fantasy, it matters that you get creative in everything that you are introducing to readers. There was one thing I did begin to notice as well. Humberto Ramos is one of those artists who everything tends to depend on perspective. There was some points here and there where I questioned if there was two people drawing this. That was mainly for the fact that Ramos whose detailing of characters and settings sometimes changes when objects are close-up or farther back. Not a problem of course, since it is still easy to differentiate what he is drawing. It helps that many things in this book are that unique. That said, the colors continue to do wonders for this book because Edgar Delgado is great at bringing energy to the fantasy elements. His use of bold an vibrant colors keep your eyes on the magic.
Overall, this was a solid transition from the first issue of Strange Academy #1. This creative team did not waste the opportunity to set the tone for everything we should look forward to from the academy’s curriculum. No disrespect to Harry Potter fans, but this is what it looks like when you are actually being taught magic, and the rules of magic.