Following the expulsion of one of their own, tensions between students and staff at the Doctor Strange School in New Orleans escalated, leaving Strange Academy splintered. Although Emily Bright initially led her classmates on an otherwise ordinary walkout, she and the current situation quickly turned violent. Now that she has taken her comrades deep into the Dark Dimension, they are beginning to see the cracks in her facade. Not only that, but the dwindling morale of Emily’s army finally sparked the mystical civil war that fans have been waiting for forever.
Strange Academy: Finals #1 (by Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) finds those left behind at the eponymous school reeling from its most recent developments. While everyone expected Doyle, Dormammu’s young son, to follow in his father’s footsteps after accidentally stepping into a terrifying future, it’s simply his touch that seems to have doomed the future. Between all her previously pent up anger and the ring Doyle made to save her life, Emily has become the unlikely villain of their story. Worse, she doesn’t even realize the truth of the matter thanks to her blind hatred for Strange Academy and the influence of the Dark Dimension, though Zoe Laveau has no problem pointing it out to her.
Doctor Strange’s Star Student Emily Has Been Corrupted
Emily not noticing her own changing temper is one thing, but ignoring her now cracked, burning arm should have been a sure sign that something was wrong. Instead, Zoe is the only one who recognizes what Emily is becoming or at least is the only one who wants to say anything about it. Even when Emily learns that many of the students who joined her are now terrified of where they’ve ended up, she’s convinced that whatever she works for is worth putting their whole lives on the line.
It’s a stark contrast to the sweet, bright-eyed Emily who was featured alongside her classmates in Strange Academy #1 (by Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado and VC’s Clayton Cowles). Yet everything about her character has been a subversion of expectations. From her uncanny affinity for the mystical arts to her discovery of all the darkest secrets of the Strange Academy, Emily’s entire story has been built around her stark difference as a character from what any casual observer would suspect. This makes him a natural candidate to fall into the supernatural supervillain with a grudge archetype. It also leaves Zoe to play the role of a reluctant hero again.
Strange Academy has failed its students
Zoe has already experienced being at the center of a doomsday prophecy in the pages of Ethan Sacks and Luigi Zagaria. midnight suns, and as such, she is well aware of the weight that comes with it. The sheer terror that comes with the belief that it might spell the end of the world was almost paralyzing for Zoe. Emily may not be as aware of this possibility as Zoe, solely due to her own reluctance to accept that she could be wrong. Then again, Emily probably isn’t aware of much other than her lowest emotions thanks to her exposure and connection to the forces of the Dark Dimension.
Calvin being kicked out was objectively a failure on Strange Academy’s part, and not acknowledging when called out on their shortcomings was an even worse mistake on the staff’s part, yet Emily’s downfall is indicative of something much worse. Somewhere along the way, something inside Emily snapped, and somehow no one noticed. In fact, there still apparently is no one who can see Emily for the tragedy she has become. It’s hard to say if there’s anyone in particular who could reasonably be held responsible for Emily’s descent into darkness, but there aren’t many people besides Zoe who can really say that. they tried to help him escape it.