Avengers Academy: Whatever Happened to Marvel's Next Generation?

After Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers effectively took over the Marvel Universe in “Dark Reign” the heroes of the Marvel Universe found themselves with the responsibility of picking up the pieces of the world that he had created. Searching his records, the Avengers found a list of young individuals with great powers, who had also shown themselves to hold the greatest possibility to use their abilities for destruction, given their troubled backgrounds and the abuse at the hands of Osborn.

In an effort to stop that from happening, Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, looked at their potential and formed a school in Christos Gage and Mike McKone’s Avengers Academy to groom these kids into the next wave of Avengers instead of the next generation of Avengers villains. Now, we’re taking a look back at this class of heroes to see what all has happened to the original Avengers Academy team since they graduated.

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Madeline Berry held the ability to turn her body into a gaseous form. But after she was recruited by Osborn to join the Initiative, the experiments on her powers led to a breakdown of Veil’s body, giving her only a limited time before she would completely disappear forever and die. As a student of the Avengers Academy, Veil was primarily concerned with the cost of her powers and what it meant to be a hero.

During the Fear Itself event, her failure to save a child’s mother led her to unleash her powers on a group of soldiers, killing them in the process. After this event, Maddy left the academy. After finding a cure, Maddy still helped her fellow students in one final mission. Without powers, Maddy returned to life as a high school student.

After an accident, Ken Mack learned that his skeleton was made of a red iridium. Taken to Osborn, this metal substance came to cover his whole body, giving him strength, near-invulnerability, and an inability to feel anything. Mettle spent much of his time at the academy in the hopes of finding a cure for his current existence. Yet, while there, he used his powers to become a hero.

Additionally, Mettle grew very close to Hazmat, a fellow student that could relate to his own situation. After graduating, he and Hazmat briefly lived together. Unfortunately, Mettle’s life came to an end at the hands of Arcade, sacrificing his life for Hazmat and becoming the first victim of Avengers ArenaDennis Hallum and Kev Walker’s Avengers Arena.

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Like many of her classmates, Jennifer Takeda’s power comes at a cost. Her ability to emit radiation leaves her forever trapped in a hazmat suit. Her trauma came from the fact that, when Osborn unlocked her powers, her family died from being exposed to her. As she tried to be a hero, her relationship to Mettle helped her move past this pain.

During Avengers Arena, Hazmat fought to avenge the death of Mettle and used so much of her power that she was able to live around others without her suit. After that, Hazmat joined other survivors in an undercover mission to take down the Masters of Evil. These constant battles have led Hazmat to become a powerful hero, as she currently works with Captain Marvel to continue her development.

Humberto Lopez was the son of archaeologists who found a Fossilized Amulet that allowed parts of his body to take on the forms of different dinosaurs. Unlike the other students, Reptil was given the chance to be a hero before the rise of Osborn. But while he was searching for his missing parents, Osborn trapped the young hero and experimented on him.

At the academy, Reptil focused on developing his power, as he wanted to protect the school from any threat. During moments of extreme crisis, he was able to fully transform into a dinosaur. Like many students after graduation, Reptil was kidnapped and fought for survival to the amusement of Arcade. But after saving other captives, Reptil was gravely injured. However, he was last seen as a member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Raised in the spotlight by his fame-seeking mother and politician father, Brandon Sharpe grew up as a child actor, and his ability to control and emit electricity emerged after he was assaulted by his manager. Unlike other students, Striker was treated kindly by Osborn and avoided the torture that others came to know.

At the academy, Striker maintained his persona as an egotistical public figure to hid his own insecurities and his homosexuality. He eventually came to terms with this side of himself and came out to the world and his classmates. After one battle, Striker received two, large scars on his face, which damaged his confidence, but he continued to move forward as celebrity and hero. He was last seen with Reptil in the hunt for Tony Stark.

Like Taskmaster, Jeanne Foucault was born with the ability to copy any skill or action that she saw. Because of this, she has long held the belief that he is her real father, without any actual proof. Finesse’s main focus is to learn as much as she can and master her abilities. Because of this, she joined Osborn freely with the promise of skilled instructors.

During her time at the Avengers Academy, Finesse came the closest to becoming a villain, even blackmailing Quicksilver for information about his own time as a villain. In reaching her goal, she would openly use others for her own purposes. At one point, she used an unconscious X-23 and her claws to kill her opponent. She even joined A.I.M. for a time before becoming a member of the G.I.R.L. organization, led by the Unstoppable Wasp.

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The young heroes of Avengers Academy were supposed to be Marvel's next generation, but they've gone to some very different places post-graduation.

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