‘Young Avengers’ #1 Review: Style > Substance
Gillen's excellent story set up never feels overly expository.
McKelvie's and Norton's artwork and Wilson's colors are delightful.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie do amazing things with “Young Avengers” #1, the Marvel NOW! series we’ve been anticipating since last fall!
This is it. This is the comic I’ve been waiting for since October when the Marvel NOW! Point One shipped with a sneak peek. I love the characters, the writer, and the artist. The entire team delivered above expectations on this one!
If you have any intention of reading this issue for maximum enjoyment – and you should – stop reading this review right now and go to your local comic shop. Then come back here so we can chat. Or hit me up on Twitter. You know the drill. Try to avoid the spoilers here and elsewhere. It’s worth it. You’ve been warned.
There’s a reason why everyone is talking about Kid Loki. He’s so much…fun. I highly recommend reading Kieron Gillen‘s “Journey Into Mystery” Kid Loki run, but it’s not necessary to understand most of what is happening here. It’s okay if you skipped the “Point One”, too – I know how goofy those extra issues can be – but if you picked it up in October and haven’t looked at it since, do yourself a favor and pull it out now. It’s a lovely re-introduction to Kid Loki’s agenda leading into “Young Avengers” #1.
So it’s been awhile since we’ve seen these guys. After they disbanded the team, much changed in their personal lives. Teddy and Billy are still the most adorable teenage couple you ever did see, but Wiccan’s brother Speed is AWOL. No mention of Patriot (and no expectation that we will see him around, either), but Kate is doing just fine, thank you very much. Gillen’s been writing a character feature on his tumblr that’s worth checking out for context. Like “Journey Into Mystery” and the “Point One” issue, it’s supplemental, but I liken it to an artist sharing his or her process sketches. Good times.
Shall we talk about the comic, then?
“Young Avengers” #1 opens with Kate on a spaceship. No lie. You probably saw the previews, including the most amazing two page alien invasion ever, courtesy of artist Jamie McKelvie.
I love Kate.
But we leave her and hilarious Earth-groupie Noh-Varr mid-attack to focus instead on Teddy and Billy. It seems Hulkling has been sneaking out at night to save the world, despite the team agreeing they all would stop. Billy confronts him, feelings are shared, and Teddy drops what is possibly the best guilt trip in Young Avengers history:
Ouch. There’s really nothing Billy can say in response, so he doesn’t. He swears he’ll make it up to Teddy (the guy did lose his mom recently), so he sets about searching all possible worlds for…we’ll get back to that. In the meantime, let’s flash over to everyone’s favorite child villain chowing down in a local diner. Loki has it out for Wiccan, that much we know. He basically tells Miss America Chavez in the Point One issue that the universe would be better if Billy Kaplan weren’t around. Ouch again. It’s definitely Pick On Wiccan day round these parts. America fights Loki off, although Teddy does see the end of it (and recognizes Loki). But this is all to distract us from what Billy has managed to do.
I was so concerned with where Gillen was taking us at this point. I kept saying, “No, NO!” out loud while I read. (You all do that too, right?) I’m not even talking about the insane in the membrane stuff that happens on the final page. But it was actually that part that made all the previous crazy okay. I mean, not actually okay. In fact, I’m pretty sure things are going to be super not-okay for Billy and Teddy and the rest of the Young Avengers after the crazy reveal, but the story itself is on track to be awesome.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a bit more about Jamie McKelvie’s equally awesome artwork. He’s gotten a lot of attention lately, and rightfully so. He’s working with Mike Norton like on the “Point One” issue, and with Matt Wilson again on colors. Whatever system they have for themselves seems to be working – the style is crisp and consistent and the colors look lovely. The book feels…dare I say…hip and modern without trying too hard, and the simple graphic backgrounds are a nice balance to McKelvie’s figures.
I can’t be the only one so greatly anticipating “Young Avengers” #1. It lived up to my expectations and I’m ready for more. What did you think?
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