Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Color Artist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado
Strange Academy’s titular institution is the Marvel Universe’s solution for young sorcerers, witches, and other mystic types looking to control their powers in the same way Xavier’s School provided a solution for “Gifted Youngsters.” The book opens up with a young girl named Emily Bright writing Doctor Strange a letter explaining her struggles with controlling her magical abilities. Shortly afterwards, she’s brought to Strange Academy where she meets her fellow classmates (introducing a large cast of new characters) and instructors (consisting of many fan-favorite magic-users).
Even considering the 40-page size of this series debut, Skottie Young packs a lot of material into the story. The school, its purpose, the characters, relationships, rivalries, and more are all established with excellent pacing, giving everything its fair share of time before naturally flowing into the next idea. Humberto Ramos’s art helps stuff even more substance into the book. The way he draws people and facial expressions gives characters unique personalities without the reader having to even look at a word of dialogue.
While it may be natural to see “magic school” and immediately draw comparisons to the adventures of a particular scarred wizard, this book separates itself well enough to feel fresh. Some mild language may keep this book out of younger hands, and though it’s targeted at a teenage audience it can certainly be enjoyed by older readers. If you have even the slightest interest in the magical elements of Marvel, this book is a must-read.
Review by Andrew Fellner