Comics
Published January 19, 2023

Humberto Ramos Looks Ahead to the ‘Strange Academy: Finals’ Finale

Speaking to Marvel.com, artist Humberto Ramos teased ‘the inevitable showdown’ to come in the remaining issues of ‘Strange Academy: Finals.’

When STRANGE ACADEMY: FINALS kicked off in October, the student body had fractured into two factions. On one side, Emily Bright and her outsiders walked out of the school to protest the faculty’s treatment of Calvin Morse and walked straight into the Dark Dimension. On the other side, Doyle Dormammu and a handful of other students remained in New Orleans with their teachers. Now, both groups are gearing up for the fight of their lives… but only one of them has the dread Dormammu on their side. With only three issues left in the series, both factions are facing down one hell of a final exam.

Speaking to Marvel.com, STRANGE ACADEMY: FINALS artist Humberto Ramos weighed in on the upcoming final issue, which has been planned since “day one.” He explained why he gives Doyle “a lot of credit,” as well as why he’s “optimistic” about Emily’s future. He also recalled how Howie became one of his favorite characters, teased “the inevitable showdown,” and more. Plus, check out a special first look at STRANGE ACADEMY: FINALS #4 below!

MARVEL.COM: What made now the right time to end the Strange Academy story?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: Ha! I don’t know is there’s a “right” time, but I can tell you this: from day one, Skottie [Young] and I talked about a story arc that follow the kids towards this very point of their life. I actually like doing these saga kinds of stories, where you have a story you can wrap up—something like a movie.

MARVEL.COM: Doyle has really grappled with his legacy as the son of Dormammu since the series began. How will that continue to evolve in these final issues, especially now that he is feeling freed from the dark tidings of a prophecy?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: This kid has a big weight to carry on his shoulders. When you are a teenager, most people think or expect you will mirror your parents’ actions and follow their steps. For Doyle ,that’s quite an issue! You know people are double checking on you when your dad is one of the biggest villains in the realm. So I need to give Doyle lots of credit for standing by himself and building as his own person, believing [it] is up to him to build his path.

MARVEL.COM: Would you consider Emily and the other dropouts a lost cause? What, in your eyes, makes them worth saving at this point in the story?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: I believe in redemption and always expect the best from people even in the worst scenarios, so let me be optimistic on this one!

MARVEL.COM: Since the beginning of Strange Academy, we've known that Doctor Voodoo and the other teachers paid a major price to open the school. Just how surprised do you think (or hope) readers will be when they find out what it was?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: I am lucky to work with a clever writer, and the way Skottie has been building the story and the repercussions for the characters involved, I wouldn’t want to anticipate anything…but I believe the readers won’t be disappointed with where the story leads us.

MARVEL.COM: Tell me a little about your collaborators on this series. What did they bring to the book that shocked or delighted you?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: Mmm… let me think… Working with one of the hottest writers in industry today, who happens to be a dear friend… Drawing another teen book, a genre that I LOVE…. Knowing this team is a family much more than a collaboration of colleagues… and, well, it helps when Marvel asks you to create a set of brand new characters to add to their universe. I can’t pick one option!

MARVEL.COM: What are you most excited for readers to see in the remaining issues of STRANGE ACADEMY: FINALS?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: I think the inevitable showdown is we all want to see, right?

MARVEL.COM: Which character did you fall in love with right away, and which one really grew on you as the series continued?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: Doyle is a love-at-first-sight kind of character, but one that really surprised me is Howie. He started as a background character and, little by little, gained a more important role in our main cast. I hope we can see more of him in the future.

MARVEL.COM: What do you hope readers take away from your time on Strange Academy?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: STRANGE ACADEMY is a book done with love for comic books, done by a team who grew up being fans and still are. STRANGE ACADEMY is a tribute to those comics we used to buy at the grocery store or the newsstands, those that their one and only purpose was to make the readers have fun and enjoy the exciting universes you’re invited to be part of when you give yourself a chance to open a comic book.

MARVEL.COM: What are the odds we might see these characters again in the Marvel Universe, whether by this creative team or a new one?

HUMBERTO RAMOS: I personally hope a lot, but it is not up to me to decide.

Don't miss STRANGE ACADEMY: FINALS (2022) #4, the thrilling next chapter in the Strange Academy story, on sale February 22!

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