Bye-Bye, Hogwarts. Hello, Strange Academy!
Magic & Heroes
By the time J.K. Rowling published Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I was far too old to attend but the perfect age for my kid and I to devour every Harry Potter book she wrote. Geek2.0 grew up with Harry Potter and Marvel Comics as a part of his life. Magic and Comics have always been a great combination and some of Marvels greatest heroes and villains have been witches, warlocks, and sorcerers. Now Marvel offers its own twist on the grand tradition of magic schools and if the two trailers and eight-page preview are anything to go by then it’s going to be an exciting ride. With veteran heroes like Majick, Scarlet Witch, and Dr. Voodoo teaching a very eclectic crop of young new recruits from a wide-rage of backgrounds including a set of twin Asgardians, a Frost Giant, and little Doyle Dormammu (yes, THAT Dormammu), the Marvel Comics Universe appears to be getting an infusion of brand new characters which means (hopefully) a ton of new stories. There’s a lot we don’t know but what I can say at this point is both Geek2.0 and I are planning to collect every single issue of Strange Academy.
Star Studded Creative Team
Strange Academy will launch March 4th as a new ongoing series and Marvel isn’t playing when it comes to making this title fly. They’ve tagged two of the best-selling comic book veterans to ferry readers along on what promises to be a high-action, fun-filled journey through the world of arcane education:
Writer: Skottie Young
Eisner Award-winning writer Skottie Young (also known for his fun-loving variant art work) has earned his place as a fan favorite with many Marvel titles including Deadpool, Rocket Racoon, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz. His non-Marvel works are equally well-known and loved including the ridiculously irreverent I Hate Fairyland, Bully Wars, and the intriguing coming of age fantastic voyage that is Middlewest.
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Critically acclaimed artist Humberto Ramos is known for his work with Impulse, Runaways, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, and X-Men as well as his creator-owned series Crimson. Young states in the first Strange Academy trailer that Ramos “is THE perfect artist for this book. The thing that he brings is his absolute mastery of youthful characters.” High-praise coming from and artist whose variants starring chibi-esque versions of Marvels most beloved characters are highly sought after. He is however right. Ramos’ work is one of the key reasons Runaways single issues are a permanent part of my pull list.
No Hogwarts Letter? Strange Academy Doesn’t Care
Strange Academy students are more than students but don’t be expecting a re-roll of old X-men tales. As Doctor Voodoo explains, these kids aren’t superheroes. What they are is something else entirely. The Strange Academy series and it’s endearing new characters might remind Marvel fans of the early days at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The key difference between the two being that Strange Academy was created to combat a specific tangible threat rather than simply providing a safe education for children persecuted by society. The plan from the start is to arm these children for combat not merely train them to control their power.
Dr. Strange has never been a fan of teaching. He lacks the patience for it as Captain Marvel learned when the two were body-swapped by Enchantress. He founded this new academy as a last resort against a mysterious threat and anything that has the Sorcerer Supreme frightened is guaranteed to be world changing. That fact that Strange is investing his considerable fortune in these students says that he sees them as the world’s only hope.
The Second Strange Academy trailer delves much deeper into what to expect from this new generation of recruits. Skottie Young beams with excitement as he talks, “It’s the first day of school. It’s the first year of a new school – it’s going to be a coming of age story with a bunch of kind of misfit kids from all around the Marvel Universe who have a proclivity for magic and sorcery and the mystic arts.”
Executive Editor Nick Lowe clues us into exactly where Strange Academy will be located as he explains how these young magic adepts are all dropped into New Orleans where we can expect a good chunk of the first issue will take place. New Orleans makes sense given its rich history steeped in magic and the mystic arts. Lowe goes on to gush about Young and Ramos, exclaiming “It’s so good!” With this being Young’s first “team” book there will be high expectations but the stars are in alignment for this to become an iconic title that could expand and enrich the Marvel Universe for years to come.