Strange Academy #1 Review: A Magical New Series from the House of Ideas

Comic Reviews - Strange Academy #1
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Over the past few months, Strange Academy has been one of the books Marvel has promoted most, forcing a certain feeling of cautious optimism in the build to the title's release. After all, in an era where ads, tweets, and marketing collateral are available at the click of a button, it might be a tad too easy to get over-hyped for one thing or another. Luckily for the House of Ideas, Strange Academy lives up to the hype and then some.

By now, you likely know Humberto Ramos is one of the best artists in the game and that's something strongly reinforced within the pages of Strange Academy. A sprawling ensemble cast bursts onto the scene halfway through the book—one that's big enough to push any artist to their limit. Yet Ramos finesses the challenge with grace, resulting in some killer artwork in every panel, including incredible shots involving anyone from Doyle Dormammu to Guslaug the Frost Giant, Emily Bright, and a fairy named Shaylee Moonpeddle.

That ensemble cast brings us straight to writer Skottie Young. Naturally, most people that see the title of this book might compare it to the X-Men and Professor Charles Xavier, except that comparison couldn't be more inaccurate. More often than not, Strange Academy carries a certain magical—well, duh—vibe with it that's more comparable to the world of Harry Potter than what we've seen with Xavier and his students.

Admittedly, that ensemble cast does struggle this issue—something completely understandable after a dozen of the kids had lines at one part or another. It might even be a bit premature to critique that part of the issue, especially given the characters who have been thrust into the spotlight this issue shine, such as one Emily Bright.

Strange Academy is engulfed in this certain aura of naiveté, something that sets it apart from every other book you'll see on the shelf this week. It's not serious enough to become a depressing brood-off, yet it's not a gut-busting laugh fest. It's got a fine mix of the two that makes a charming comic book.

The debut issue of Strange Academy lays a sturdy foundation for what's to come and, at the very least, evokes an exciting change of pace that separates it from any other mystical book you can get from Marvel Comics. Young and Ramos team up for a delightful new comic that has a little bit of something for everyone and this title has every potential to become an incredibly popular book in the vein of Avengers Academy or Young Avengers.

Published by Marvel Comics

On March 4, 2020

Written by Skottie Young

Art by Humberto Ramos

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Colors by Edgar Delgado

Letters by Clayton Cowles

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