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And you thought your PE teacher was a dick.

Avengers Academy was a spinoff of Marvel's highly popular Avengers franchise. Avengers Academy is exactly what it says on the tin, a school for young and up coming super humans. Started during the 'Heroic Age' it stood out from the other Avengers titles by featuring largely new characters (the students) and some less prominent existing characters (the staff). The first story arc features Hank Pym (Ant-Man, Giant Man and many more) starting up the school to teach the first class how to be heroes and how to live with their various physical and emotional scars. Starting in issue #21 a brand new story arc begins featuring most of the original students, joined by a number of existing Marvel teens, some joining the main cast, the others being in the background as part timers. The school was also moved to Los Angeles to the West Coast Avengers compound and several members of the staff changed.

Created by Christos Gage the series has been near universally praised for its ability to tell compelling one and two story arcs while building on the excellent characterizations issue after issue. Avengers Academy acts as a Spiritual Successor to the similarly themed, though quite different Avengers: The Initiative, also co-written by Gage. One of the students 'Reptil' coming from that series, Hank Pym and Tigra were also central figures in that book. Though that Pym was a Skrull.

While any issue can be picked up and enjoyed, especially new reader friendly issues are #1, #14.1 and #21. The final issue was #39.

Tropes used in Avengers Academy include:
  • Avengers Assemble: Used in the original sense a few times.
  • Action Girl: All of the female students count and Tigra for the teachers.
  • Animal Theme Naming:
    • Reptil, sort of.
    • Hank Pym started the series as The Wasp. His original superhero identity was Ant-Man. He also used Yellowjacket.
    • White Tiger
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing:
    • Reptil who can turn into any Dinosaur. At first, it was only in parts, later he could change into a whole animal. his adult self can change into any animal from the dimension that Moon-boy and Devil Dinosuar came from.
    • Tigra, an orange and black furred cat-woman.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Finesse. Considering she's heavily implied to be Taskmaster's daughter, this is a given.
  • Badass Cape: Averted as is common with Marvel Comics.
  • Badass Normal: Finesse counts, though her ability to learn and analyze data borders on Badass Abnormal.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens several times, most recently when students are going to sacrifice themselves to stop "The Worthy" and prevent the destruction of a city when Giant-Man burst through the walls of the Infinite Mansion, attacking "The Worthy" while the rest of the staff (all of which are Avengers) show up to rescue the students!
  • Bi the Way: Julie Power/Lightspeed, though this was strongly hinted in her previous appearances in Runaways and the Loners mini.She officially comes out in issue #23 of AA.
  • Canon Immigrant: Reptil, originally a character created just for The Superhero Squad Show toyline, was introduced in the comics in an Initiative special in early 2009, and became a student at Avengers Academy the following year.
    • And Ava Ayala, the New White Tiger. Who was created for the new Ultimate Spider-Man animated series as confirmed by Gage on twitter.
  • Catgirl: Tigra and White Tiger
  • Chrome Champion: A metallic red variant in Mettle
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Hank Pym returning to his Giant-Man look and name just in time to rescue the students from the Absorbing Man.
  • Code Name:
    • Striker, Hazmat, Mettle (it's like a double entendre he says), Veil, Reptil and Finesse in the first class. When the roster expands we get White Tiger and Lightspeed. Well they are training to be Avengers after all.
    • Hank Pym who started the series out as The Wasp in honor of his late wife finally returns to his older Code Name Giant-Man
  • Clingy Jealous Girl Hazmat gets pretty jealous of X-23 when Mettle was trying to befriend her.
    • On the otherhand, Hardball gets jealous of Reptil when it looks like he's flirting with Komodo, Hardball's girlfriend
  • Covered with Scars: Robbie Baldwin (a.k.a Speedball and formerly as Penance) the instructor is covered with scars from his Penance stint. However, his scars are mostly hidden inside his skintight Speedball costume and he cuts himself in private without any notice from other instructors until his act was only discovered by Veil.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Both the teachers and the students.
  • Faking the Dead: Jocasta
  • Fog Feet: Veil.
  • Frozen Face: Mettle. Because he does not have skin and is left with metallic armor on every part of his body, his face looked more skull-like.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Subverted and played straight in the Korvac arc. Some of the students were disappointed that at least in those particular futures, described as their most powerful incarnations in the multiverse, they were still Cursed with Awesome. Reptil actually refused to let his future body change back at first because it granted him better control of his powers.
    • And recently it has been revealed that Reptil has become possessed by the same and potentially evil alternate future version of himself.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Surprisingly of the students, and to himself, Mettle seems the most volatile.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Played with at one point; Mettle is distressed to discover people assume he is the Red Skull's son. He's half-Jewish.
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't.: Hazmat, when she blasts X-23 in #25.
  • I Have Many Names: In addition to everyone having a Code Name, Hank Pym has several. Often referred to simply as Hank Pym, he was The Wasp when the series started, before becoming (again) Giant-Man. And in his past he has also been Ant-Man, Yellowjacket and Goliath.
  • Jumping on Point: Issue #1 obviously. However both 14.1 (a standalone story between #14 and #15) and #21 (start of a new arc) were billed as these.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: Juston Seyfert from the earlier Marvel comic series Sentinel.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When the students are told that they can stop Korvac, Mettle says that the Avengers are already fighitng him and "we're not even in the cartoons". Striker points out that Reptil is, because kids love dinosaurs. This is a reference to The Superhero Squad Show cartoon, which features Reptil as a rookie alongside the more famous classic Avengers.
  • Legacy Character: White Tiger, Ava Ayala. The mantle is one that has been in her family. It was first used by her older Brother Hector Ayala and her niece Angela Del Toro (who's older than Ava).
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Happens between the Avengers Academy Students and The Avengers in Issue #21 then again between the students and the X-Men in the next issue!
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: Finesse and Taskmaster think they might be related because of their similar special abilities. Taskmaster doesn't deny the possibility but states that he's been with quite a few women and he couldn't possibly narrow down Finesse's mother even if he didn't have memory problems. He also refuses to take a Daddy DNA Test because he doesn't want the government to get a sample of his DNA. Taskmaster still spars with Finesse once to memorize her movements, since it's the only surefire way he will remember her, only to realize that, like him, she has copied all her maneuvers from others.
    • Later on, a future version of Finesse is shown suffering from similar memory problems as Taskmaster, a further proof of them being related.
  • Ms. Fanservice: For a teacher Tigra wears very little! Lampshaded when she meets Emma Frost in issue #22.
  • Monster Modesty: Mettle
  • Mutants: The students (except Finesse and to an extent, Reptil) are believed to be mutants in their origin stories but Word of God confirmed that they are not mutants, just vaguely mutates.
    • The Instructors Quicksilver and Justice are mutants. Also, the new recruits X-23, Ricochet and Wiz Kid.
  • Nigh Invulnerability:
    • Mettle again, the Made of Iron type
    • Veil of the Made of Air type
  • Person of Mass Destruction: While the limits of her power have not been revealed the radioactive Hazmat is dangerous to just be around outside of her suit or special room.
  • Promotion to Parent: After her parents were killed when she was a child , Ava Ayala went to live with her older sister Awilda(Angela Del Toro's mother). Though unlike most cases of this trope, Awilda is an adult and married with children.
  • Put on a Bus: Veil after Fear Itself event
    • Also after Fear Itself, the instructors Justice and Speedball leave the academy to cope with their problems by travelling around America on a roadtrip.
    • The Bus Came Back: Veil returns, along with Jeremy Briggs and Jocasta, in an attempt to close the Academy.
    • Machine Teen and Rocket Racer leave the Academy and join with Jeremy Briggs although for different reasons
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Actually a plot point that Hank Pym, as well as Reed Richards himself are unable to help Veil, Mettle and Hazmat.
  • Stripperiffic: Averted in the original students. And the new students avoid it, too, unless you count Lightspeed showing off her midriff.
    • But not by original teacher Tigra, runs around in a bikini. Counts as Fridge Brilliance when you consider the West Coast Manor is in California, and its probably hot enough for her already, as she's covered in fur 24/7. She even lampshades this in recent issues where the students and the Runaways meet up.
  • Shock and Awe: Striker.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Veil gets one of these during the Fear Itself event, where she finds a mother from a collapsed building, only for the mother to be gunned down in front of her daughter just after being saved.
  • Shout-Out: Mettle's costume, a black T-shirt and jeans, refers back to Mike Mc Kone's stint on Teen Titans, where he designed that same costume for Superboy.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Striker.
  • Surfer Dude: Mettle before his recruitment into the Initiative/Avengers Academy, also making him one of the few ethnically Hawaiian superheroes.
  • Super-Hero School: Kind of the whole point.
  • Super Strength:
    • Mettle
    • Reptil, presumably, in the right dinosaur form.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child: Invoked. Ant Man was replaced by a Skrull which copied him "to the genetic level" and, during an affair with Tigra, impregnated her. As such, the child is genetically Ant Man's. Later, the real Ant Man returns, and Tigra insists that he has no parental claim to the baby. He agrees, but she then asks him to be the child's godfather instead.
  • There Are No Therapists: Therapists would be really, really useful in Avengers Academy. The central concept is that the kids are in the Academy because they're all traumatized or otherwise disturbed, and the Avengers want to mold them into superheroes before they turn into supervillains. The only psychologist they see is Moonstone - whom they visit in prison because she's an evil psychopath. The students do seem to be encouraged to confide in their instructors, with the conceit being that since their instructors are all especially troubled Avengers and associated, they are better able to guide them.
    • This also applies just as much to the adults. When Tigra realizes that her brutal beating at the hands of the Hood and the public humiliation it caused her are still affecting her, she doesn't see a professional about it, but instead goes on a talk show to get if off her chest.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Crisis Crossover Fear Itself has the students trapped in another dimension being pursued by two of the "Worthy", villains who through magic Took a Level in Badass and are now at Thor's power level and intent on killing the students to get back at Giant-Man.
  • Tsundere: Hazmat
  • Twist Ending: At the end of the first issue the students are led to believe they were chosen because they have the potential to become great heroes. They were actually chosen because they have the greatest potential to be great villains and the Avengers want to steer them down a different path.