Strange Academy is coming to its end this week with issue #18. Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos have done with magic what the X-Men did to teen superheroes. Now with the students of the Strange Academy on the run, there are conflicts to resolve and new beginnings to build upon.
As the preview shows, the students have left the school and the teachers aren’t sure where they’ve ended up. Thankfully they have a little respite in knowing they’re safe in the Sanctum Santorum. With Dr. Strange gone, and as one character points out Clea not home, the kids do what kids do best: Eat. They order a bunch of pizzas and chill out. Or at least they’re trying to chill out. Tensions are high since they’re in the middle of a revolt.
Emily Bright ends up being the main catalyst of a lot of the drama of this issue. She’s sort of the leader of this revolt, but as the story progresses we see she’s also one of the most powerful characters in the issue. Young does well to capture this character’s spunk and mastery of the magic arts while also reminding us of Doyle’s role in all of this too.
This issue looks great thanks to Ramos’s art, which is elastic and kinetic in every emotional outburst or incantation. There’s a great double-page layout of the kids hanging out inside Strange’s parlor that’s all kinds of magical thanks to the plants and trees growing inside. The number of characters in this double-page layout is impressive and goes to show there are quite a lot of students hiding out.
This issue suffers a bit from the fact that the kids don’t mean the teachers harm and vice versa. They’re definitely in conflict, but you know it’ll never come to blows or get too dangerous even when tempers rise. There is a definite conflict, but ultimately this issue is less the “final issue” as the solicit says, and more of a bridge. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but it lacks a finality one might expect.
Strange Academy #18 sets the stage for more magical stories with these young heroes while also asserting the fact that many of them are ready to leave school entirely. The series is transforming what we know about these characters as they continue to evolve and grow, and it’ll be exciting to see where they go from here.
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