In which the storyline doesn’t advance much in terms of resolution, but the character dynamics are a joy.
At the end of last issue, the Young Avengers, hoping to track down the missing Scarlet Witch, were in Transia and apparently about to meet Dr Doom. That’s pretty much where we are at the end of this issue, though rather than the whole team, it’s Wiccan, supposed son of Wanda the witch, who’s about to lock horns with her latest fiance, Victor Von Doom.
So what happens to fill the 20 odd pages before the cliffhanger? Loads of chat, but chat so interesting that you might not notice that’s what you’re getting. The Young Avengers spend pages discussing the wisdom of taking on Dr Doom, whose origin is recapped in a way that highlights certain intriguing similarities. Back in New York, the older Avengers fail to persuade Wonder Man to use his mystic link with Wanda to find her, so they can kill her before she wreaks havoc again. Wonder Man flies off on his own, to heal her with the power of true love/dumb hope and Wolverine embarks on a private witch-gutting expedition.
Wiccan’s boyfriend, Hulkling, makes a bid to be known as something other than Wiccan’s boyfriend by standing up to Quicksilver, and Wiccan ‘rewards’ him by sneaking off in the night and dressing up as his nutty mother.
Believe me, it all makes sense when you read the book. Allan Heinberg turns in a compelling script, though it’s a shame he doesn’t find anything for Young Avengers Hawkeye and Stature to do – they’re simply part of the background, with barely a line between them. But I’ll love Heinberg forever for having Wonder Man put kill-crazy ‘hero’ Wolverine in his place.
The artwork of Jim Cheung and Mark Morales, coloured by Justin Ponsor, is lush, hypnotic. Bi-monthly isn’t the best schedule, but there’s no way I’m waiting to read a comic this great in a collection.