Marvel's version of Hogwarts looks very familiar but still magically delicious: Strange Academy #1

Writer: Scottie Young, Artist: Humberto Ramos, Colors: Edgar Delgado, Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles, Cover: Ramos and Delgado.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, familiar to everyone as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe creation, has inspired several knockoffs over the past decade. TV series The Magicians comes immediately to mind, and the comic/tv series Deadly Class, and maybe even Disney’s Descendants. The latest is Strange Academy from Marvel Comics, which includes a campus hidden from “Muggle” eyes, school unis, unusual teachers staff, and students who pre-judge each other as good and evil.

The academy’s name has double-meaning as it is named after Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, Steven Strange, and is a boarding school that is home to a very eclectic array of magical students from across several dimensions.

The story opens with flashbacks of —and voiceover by— a young girl named Emma Bright, writing a letter to Dr. Strange about her magical abilities and the increasingly disturbing experiences she has had as they have grown, and asking him for help.

Young Emma's magic experiments get dangerous

Perhaps her letter provided the impetus for the creation of the Academy?

What follows will remind longtime Marvel readers very much of the recruitment process shown many times in X-Men comics, as Emma’s parents are convinced of the need to sending their gifted daughter to a special boarding school to teach her how to properly control her abilities. As we first followed Harry and Hagrid step-by-step to Hogwarts for his first year orientation, we follow Emma and her guide Zelma to SA.

There are students representing every corner of the Marvel Universe, including some very surprising ones.

Writer Scottie Young fills his tale with plenty of wonder, action, teen slang, and a wicked sense of humor. No man bun is left unmocked. Artist Humberto Ramos thankfully tones down his stylistic art, which can get more than a bit exaggerated and too-cartoony-for-me. Colorist Edgar Delgado obviously is having a great time adding magical colors and effects, and providing texture and interest to Ramos’ often blank backgrounds.

Will the Academy’s namesake make an appearance? Will anyone get expelled on their first day? Will J.K. Rowling file a cease-and-desist order?

Find out in Strange Academy #1 from Marvel Comics, available March 4, 2020. Once you get past its obvious Hogwartyness, you’ll find it’s magically delicious. And don’t forget to fill out the application to Strange Academy in the back of the issue!

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