Avengers Academy Heroes Could Be Some of Marvel’s Best

Two survivors of the Avengers Academy era deserve a second shot at the spotlight with the easy potential to become key Marvel wildcards.

The concept behind Avengers Academy introduced a host of new young Marvel characters with fantastic powers, unique personalities, and potentially important roles to play in the future. But since their introduction, they’ve more or less been written off.

The various new teen heroes from Avengers Academy may have or less fallen by the wayside, but two of them – the electrically-charged Striker and the combat-capable Finesse – deserve another chance to shine.

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Avengers Academy feature

Striker and Finesse were both among the new characters introduced in Avengers Academy # 1 by Christos N. Gage and Mike McKone. Brandon Sharpe was an electrically empowered teen, with the ability to shoot blasts of energy from his body. Taking on the name Striker, the former teen actor discovered heroics to be far more difficult than he expected. At the Avengers Academy though, Striker gained better control over his abilities and of himself, eventually coming out of the closet. Jeanne Foucault meanwhile was a more morally dubious combat expert, taking the name Finesse in reference to her ability to mimic any action she sees performed in front of her. A cold and aloof girl, Finesse remained a wildcard among the Avengers Academy students, even secretly killing a villain when given the chance.

Like the rest of Avengers Academy, there was a solid amount of potential inherent to these two characters. Of the group, Hazmat has arguably been the most successful – taking a lead role in Avenger Academy spirit Avengers Undercover and then a role as a supporting character to Captain Marvel has highlighted her in recent years. While Mettle and Veil have been removed from the board via death and depowering respectively, Striker and Finesse however still exist on the fringes of the Marvel Universe. But they could easily gain a new starring position within the current Marvel Universe, with both heroes offering something unique to the universe. In fact, both characters have enough pre-existing connections and storytelling potential to justify their returns to the spotlight.

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Superheroes and celebrities have always been something the Marvel Universe has touched on. The Fantastic Four have been world-famous ever since they first became heroes, and heroes like Iron Man embrace their fame with gusto. Striker offers a chance to further explore that, with his experience in the public eye making him a more publicity-minded hero in unique ways. As the character matured, he began using this surprising public power to good use – even openly announcing his sexuality through a press conference. In an era where young heroes like the Champions are forced to confront publicity and social media campaigns from their enemies, someone like Stryker could be crucial in keeping public opinion in favor of the hero community. His status as an openly gay young man also adds to the diversity of the universe.

Finesse meanwhile occupies a more morally dubious place in the universe. Some of her most recent appearances saw cast as a frenemy to Nadia Pym, aka the modern Wasp. After taking a position with AIM, Finesse fought the hero until AIM turned on her, at which point she quickly changed sides. She also has a possible heritage as the potential daughter of Taskmaster that both explains her powers and gives her greater ties to the villainous corner of the universe. But her friendships with characters like Nadia Pym and Laura Kinney (aka Wolverine) keep her tied to the heroes. Finesse could become something of a Marvel wildcard, capable of playing both sides to her advantage while retaining a cool personality.

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