This issue is mostly a one off about Rahne’s personal journey. More specifically, it’s about her spirituality and guilt from all the dark deeds she committed with X-Force and with her childbirth. If you’re tired of her moping around between cases in X-Factor, this issue is for you. However, half of this issue delves into her Christian faith. While it’s very light on theology and deals more with forgiveness than anything else, I thought I’d mention that just in case it might bother some people.
This issue was very good. The first half of the issue was just fun, with Polaris and Banshee bringing Rahne on a road trip. There’s plenty of good humour and fun to balance out Rahne’s moping. The second half is more serious, but very well handled. The artwork is great as well, and works both with the fun scenes and the serious scenes.
This is an easy recommendation for anyone who is regularly reading the series, for anyone who enjoyed the previous volume of X-Force and for anyone who’s interested in a good Marvel comic that has nothing to do with Avengers vs. X-Men.
Avengers Academy 31
This concludes the first story arc of the Avengers Academy AVX tie-ins. It focuses mostly on Sebastian Shaw and X-23, both of which have some very good character development. This issue also takes place shortly before Uncanny X-Men 13 and it’s worth reading, alongside 29 and 30 if you can find them. It’s nice that this series now has a firm chronological place in the event, yet it can still stand on its own as a good comic.
After its revealed what the escaped Sebastian Shaw’s plan really is, the various Avengers adults and kids argue whether they should let the X-kids leave the academy or not. X-23 makes her stand and is ready to help the X-kids escape, as are some of the other Academy students. They stage a mock fight to make it convincing and they let the X-kids leave.
This issue is just fun. Different characters are punching each other while trying not to actually hurt anyone. Hercules’s “defeat” monologue is hilarious. The end of the comic feels right as well – it’s hard to describe without explaining everything. My only complaint with this issue is the art. It’s not bad, but dust’s outfit is a bit too form fitting for her type of Muslim (forget the exact name). Also, X-23’s eye colour is wrong again – some of her fans will complain about that.
This is a great issue, and one that you won’t need to read Avengers vs. X-Men to appreciate fully. Everything you need to know is explained on the recap page, although I recommend you find issues 29 and 30 if you haven’t already. This is how tie-ins should work – they stand on their own while they still have a direct impact on the event, yet it’s not absolutely necessary to read in order to understand the event.