DC’s Infinite Frontier is teasing the Teen Titans Academy, and it can learn from Strange Academy’s biggest flaw regarding the magic school’s faculty.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Infinite Frontier #0
In Infinite Frontier, Teen Titans Academy reveals that Titans Tower is being transformed into a place of learning to teach the next generation of heroes how to control and use their powers. This is very similar to Marvel’s Strange Academy series that recently began, in which Dr. Strange and a variety of teachers open a school to train young magic wielders. However, there is a particular flaw with Strange Academy that the upcoming Teen Titans Academy series must learn from, and it has everything to do with the magical school’s faculty.
In Marvel’s Strange Academy from writer Skottie Young and artist Humberto Ramos, the first class of students is certainly dynamic and interesting, coming from all over the Marvel Universe with a variety of magical abilities. However, they’re all new characters to the Marvel Universe with whom readers are only just now connecting with. While this is not inherently a bad thing, a scenario like this always benefits from having known elements such as well-established characters for the newbies to interact with. While Strange Academy attempts to create this dynamic with its faculty, they fall short.
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The problem with the teachers of the Strange Academy is that there are only a select few who are consistently a part of the series such as the school’s librarian Zelma, Brother Voodoo, and Doctor Strange himself. Aside from that, the rest of the teachers that appear in the series are basically cameos, existing as a revolving door of guest appearances from issue to issue. While the students have been taught by some of Marvel’s most powerful and famous magic users such as Magik, Daimon Hellstrom, Scarlet Witch, Agatha Harkness, and more, they’re only meaningfully in the series for an issue (sometimes only a handful of panels). As such, Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval have the opportunity to make Teen Titans Academy just as much about the teachers as the students. Seeing as how the teachers will be the original Titans themselves, that shouldn’t a tall order.
The Titans’ shared bond as a team of strong friends can serve as a solid source of inspiration for this first class of excited students in the DC Universe, as seen in Infinite Frontier #0. Classic heroes such as Nightwing, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven are all known and beloved characters, and they can help anchor the stories being told while helping new students find their feet as they once did, rather than having them pop in and out in the style of Strange Academy.
In any case, it does appear as though the original Titans will be sticking around to teach till the bitter end seen in the dark future of Future State: Teen Titans. However, the events of Future State are not set in stone, so things at the new Teen Titans Academy could very well progress without it all inevitably falling apart. Here’s hoping this new DC Comics series set in the Infinite Frontier will learn from Strange Academy’s mistake.
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