Young Avengers #1 Review
By: Rob Gruszecki
Wiccan, the son of Scarlet Witch and reality-warping sorcerer is currently conjuring a gift from an alternate dimension for his seventeen-year-old boyfriend, a shape-changing crime fighter, Hulkling who feels as though he could be contributing more to live up to his abilities.
Kid Loki is playing with his food in a diner, designing magical sigils with assorted breakfast meats and eggs, much to the chagrin of the servers when summoned onto a rooftop to overlook a display of mystical powers one of the two previously mentioned lovers is exuding. Miss America Chavez, while patrolling rooftops comes across the puny god and threatens him with her typical brand of fisticuffs.
Somewhere in deep space a shirtless Marvel Boy by the name Noh-Varr dances to the Ronettes while a freshly awake Kate Bishop surveys the room, is amused by his choice of ‘old-people’ music and is startled into action by an incoming Skrull attack. All this in a day’s work for those freshly exposed to the realities of adulthood and still inspired and doe eyed at the chance to be a hero.
Marvel Now in its ongoing revitalization of their line presents a re-imagining of the much-loved Allen Heinberg and Jim Chueng series of the same name. This time around however the story doesn’t focus on teenage heroes just coming to terms with their abilities and genealogies, as this new team, with a couple alumnus, now a few years older and comfortable with themselves and what they are be it the son of an often deranged threat to mutant kind, a powerless archer seemingly more competent than her male counterpart, or younger brother to a constant spotlight hog with a big hammer, as well as some new additions such as a super-strong, Latin American with a very convenient first name, fight evil with at least a few years experience under their belt. This Young Avengers team presents a great new take on an older series as told through the eyes of Phonogram creative team Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie with some help from revival’s Mike Norton.
This first installment throws us into the lives of these characters smoothly as instead of filling in gaps between volumes it really effortlessly introduces each Avenger and attempts to make this run stand on its own feet making it a perfect new reader issue. We all know that eventually these characters will come together under the banner the book heralds but this issue is more a development with each hero’s personal tale that casts lines out to each parallel life until what will be the inevitable team up issue. Sometimes this approach of ‘getting the band together’ can be tired and played out, especially in cape comics, but I found that Young Avengers has an especially enjoyable transitory delivery that made the book a blast to burn through. Each character gets their time in the spotlight, as is paramount of an effective team book, and each story has a hook that is relevant to an overall theme and tone.
Marvel’s young hero line has always been strong with books like Runaways and more recently Avengers Arena, and this new Young Avengers looks like it will be another great series in that same vein. With Keiron Gillen again scripting Kid Loki, carrying on from his Journey into Mystery run, I was immediately sold on the title as I found his particular voice funneled through the deviant trickster god to be a perfect match-up and yet again in this issue I find Kid Loki gloriously petulant, snide, witty and hilarious. Finally, besides the really exemplary scripting from Gillen, McKelvie and Mike Norton on art in Young Avengers is of equal merit. Beautiful character designs, spectacular layouts (particularly a few double-page splash sections) and smooth action movements make the book worth every penny.
Meanwhile again again
Space guns, magic, alien invaders, pesky gods, cute archers and superwomen fill the pages of Young Avengers in a first issue not to be missed.
Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
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