Young Avengers #1 Review (Marvel Now, 2013) – Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie
Young Avengers #1 Review Short Version (Marvel Now): I really like the direction of Young Avengers from Kieron Gillen. Gillen looks to be creating a book where Young Avengers is just as much about being teenagers as it is about being superheroes, maybe even more so. The first issue is a classic first issue set up, using most of the issue to introduce the players and then ending with a plot kick. I’m really psyched to see where it goes from here.
Young Avengers #1 Writer: Kieron Gillen
Young Avengers #1 Artists: Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, Matthew Wilson
Young Avengers #1 Review
Young Avengers #1 from Kieron Gillen is another great entry into the Marvel Now world. The write up on Previews World states that the creative team “(decided) to reinvent the teen superhero comic for the 21st century…” After one issue, it looks like they are well on track for succeeding. They have brought together an interesting, diverse group of teenage heroes with an interesting and diverse set of real world problems. Relationships, parents, angst and aggression are all things that the Young Avengers have to deal with in the first issue. Gillen also does a great job making the struggle personal. It should be. Frankly, one of the great problems with superhero books is that the heroes are frequently not invested in what the villains are doing, in my opinion. A great start.
Young Avengers #1 Review: Let’s talk spoilers. Stop here if you don’t want to know!
I know who almost none of the teenage heroes are in Young Avengers #1. I mean, I know who Loki is, but I had to do some serious Googling before I found out that Kid Loki apparently was reborn in the pages of Thor back in 2011 as between 12 and 13 years old. Since I’ve essentially been out of the mainstream superhero loop for a long time this was news to me that Loki had died defending Asgard from the Sentry (well, the Void) a while back. In any case, magic brought him back and he’s a teenager now. Cool. In any case, despite not knowing the characters well, it does look like an interesting group we have. While we have Ms. America and Loki fighting (I’m not sure what’s going on there, except Loki’s a prat), the bulk of the issue is about Wiccan and Hulkling’s (Hulkling is apparently the child of Mar-Vell and a Skrull princess, which sounds troublesome politically) relationship, all of which I found very well done. It gave me a lot of investment in them, and a realistic teenage problem: The loss of a parent (in this case, Hulkling’s mother).
Well, they’re not superheroes for nothing, so Wiccan manages to bring Hulkling’s mother back. That sounds great until she goes all evil and face-grabby on Wiccan’s parents at the end of the issue. It literally gave me a chill. It was such a fast switch from a happy moment to ‘oh, yeah, she’s evil, but she’s still his mom,’ that it really hit home for me. I dug it.
I have a feeling that I would be better off if I had read the first volume of Young Avengers, and I may go back, but I’m really glad that I decided to pick it up with the Marvel Now number reset. I wouldn’t say it is necessary to have read the previous volumes, but I would at least recommend spending some time on the Marvel Wikia or on the official Marvel bios to figure out who the characters are. You should be fine from there.
So, what did you think of Young Avengers #1? As you can tell, I thought it was great. Gillen does a great job getting you invested in the characters, giving them real problems and then twisting that knife. McKelvie’s art is great, as well, and it all combines for a really nice book. Excited to see more and possibly go back and see what happened before.