Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie with Mike Norton
Release Date: May 22, 2013

youngavengersWhen I first made the decision in December 2012 to start branching out into Marvel after a lifetime as a DC girl, one of the first 3 titles I pulled was Young Avengers. I’m a fan of writers who combine humor, pathos and action into a rich cocktail of feels – J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Gail Simone, Mark Waid – and Kieron Gillen delivers exactly that in his first arc.

SPOILERS AHOY: The Young Avengers are forced to trust Kid Loki, who is forced to trust himself, and Mother and her mind-controlled parent army are defeated (for now). Our heroes (plus 1 trickster god) then ride those sweet Kirby engines off to their next adventure. END EXPLICIT SPOILERS. Gillen is the perfect writer for a Marvel virgin like me, because he tells the reader what they need to know in the most efficient and organic way possible. Most of this cast was brand new to me 5 issues ago; now I care about every single one of them, especially Billy. His struggle with the unintended consequences of his abilities has made me deeply sympathetic, even though it was his (admittedly sweet) wish to do something nice for his boyfriend that started this crisis.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t lavish heaps of praise on Mr. Gillen for the great moments with walking feels-factory Loki in this issue. Loki’s fight with his guilty conscience gives us a rehash of the events of Gillen’s (mind-bendingly brilliant and rewarding) run on Journey Into Mystery, highlighting that Loki is much more than a silly imp. He’s a deeply disturbed immortal tormented by his own basic nature. My one major complaint about this issue, and the arc as a whole, is that the ladies seem to take a back seat. Miss America doesn’t do much more than punch people, which is fun, but I want to learn more about her. I hope Kate Bishop sticks around too, though I also want her to continue bringing the awesome over in Hawkeye. Her relationship with Noh-Varr, such as it is, has the potential to bring endless amusement (and hopefully hot make outs!) Maybe next arc, ladies.

The title of the story – “The Art of Saving the World” – could not be more appropriate given the top notch work from Jamie McKelvie. As a child of Bruce Timm superhero shows and ‘90s Disney animation, I gravitate towards artists who have a clean, cartoony style. McKelvie draws such expressive faces I can actually hear the tone of voice when I combine the visual with Gillen’s words. It reminds me a lot of Kevin Maguire’s work. Page 4 in particular just nails it. And the cover! I could gush for another paragraph but my esteemed Hangout co-host Jessica Boyd pretty much said it all in this week’s Mom’s Cover Watch.

Overall, a great start to the YA relaunch and a spectacular single issue for both action and character moments. Extra fun if you speak Internets, bonus for understanding the Tumblr sub-dialect.

Verdict: 8.5/10


Related posts