Young Avengers #1 review

High above the Earth, teenage Hawkeye Kate Bishop and Kree warrior Noh-Varr fight Skrulls who’ve interrupted a perfect morning after the night before. On Earth, shapeshifter Hulking borrows another hero’s identity to foil a mugging. In a diner, god of mischief Loki feasts with no intention of paying, while well-travelled powerhouse Miss America Chavez keeps an eye on him.

And there’s more. Hulking and boyfriend Wiccan have a talk about love, loss and heroism. Wiccan uses his magical powers to get Hulking the most amazing gift. And Irony proves a terrible visitor.

Yes, this is me being vague with story details. There’s so much to enjoy in Kieron Gillen’s script for this new version of Young Avengers, as much in terms of incident as character, that it’d be a shame to spoil it with a blow-by-blow. Let’s just say that Gillen immediately strikes out in his own directions, adopting the young characters and inviting them to get out into the world and make it their own. Even a character I’ve never taken to, Marvel Boy, gains appeal in just a panel or two, while the more likeable likes of Kate retain their charm and even move up a notch. Read Young Avengers and cheer. And heck, it’s a Marvel book priced at $2.99, so pretty affordable.

And pretty artwise, too, as Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton produce page after page of eye candy with real storytelling vim. Whether it’s quiet panels of two characters having a heart to heart, or a busy action scene, the artists give it their A-game. One smart touch among many is Hulkling – let’s just call him Teddy, it’s less clunky – as Spider-Man … the physical details aren’t quite right, which makes sense given Teddy’s not had prolongued contact with the hero. Then there’s the look of wonderment as Wiccan – back from a hero break – lets himself feel once more just how awesome his powers are.

Colouring the book, Matthew Wilson adapts adeptly to setting and mood, while Clayton Cowles gives great runespeak, and makes the aforementioned action spread even better with some bold font choices.

I like the cover a lot – it’s ‘designer’ without being too out there, Pop Art for today.

I’ve moaned about so many Marvel Now! books being twice monthly, but here’s one comic I’d love to be reading fortnightly. With a freshened cast, fresh ideas, lovely art and a light touch that makes the darker moments stand out all the more, it’s a delight from start to finish.

9 thoughts on “Young Avengers #1 review

  1. Would like Teddy to get an identity past Billy's boyfriend. At least we got an explanation why the guys act more like eunuchs than normal gay eighteen year olds…


  2. Big long sigh….

    Aw man, this comic so didn't do a damn thing for me. No plot until the very end, extremely heavy with the exposition to where it sounded really unnatural, bad ending where you can easily predict something terrible will go wrong almost instantly before it happens (Must every teen hero get dead parents or something extremely tragic to make them more “interesting”/angsty?), average/boring artwork, plot holes (how did Miss America Chavez even know Kid Loki would be there?), etc.

    I'm a new reader. I know nothing of these characters or their background. I would very much appericate having a first issue make me want to know more about them. However, the writing is just so medicore that it prevents me from wanting to see more. Kieron Gillen is said to be such a great writer, but between this and Iron Man, I really don't see what people talking about.

    Marvel Now has really been a sea of medicore to average comics for me (Iron Man, Thunderbolts, Avengers, Avengers Arena, Captain America, Cable & X-Force, Fantastic Four, and now this). So far, only Thor: God of Thunder and FF have actually managed to be awesome while Indestrucible Hulk and All New X-Men have been decent. Come on Marvel! I'm a new reader! Make me care about your new comics!


  3. And there's subjectivity in action. I found the artwork anything but 'average/boring', along with the rest of the book. I guess the Gillen/McKelvie mix simpy doesn't work for you. Fair dos, we can't all like everything.

    I realise that all the Information needed to enjoy a comic should be in the actual comic, but did you read Gillen's thoughts on the characters over at his blog? He'll be feeding it into the book, but I found it whetted my appetite even after I'd enjoyed the first issue appetiser.
    Oh Lord, I'm drowning in bad metaphors …


  4. For the art thing, I'm currently reading this comic called Revival where Mike Norton is actually drawing it. So seeing his work here and how much it just doesn't excite me like it does over there is surprising. I think has something to do with the colorist and how there's a big difference between them I find. I believe that a colorist's work is just as important as the guy who pencils the thing, since the colors really bring the energy, tone, and mood of the comic to life. I don't think the coloring for this comic isn't anything special, so it doesn't really help the regular artists for it either.

    It's sort of like Simone's Batgirl in a way. They changed artists on it, but the artwork still feels the same with the colorist on it.

    As for the thoughts on the characters, no I haven't read it. For the Marvel Now stuff, I choose to ignore the interviews and thoughts by the writers on their books. I rather the actual books convince whether I should enjoy them and interest me in these characters that are new to me.


  5. I love Bryan Lee O'Malley. I still kinda wish he were the regular artist.. not that Jamie McKelvie's art isn't gorgeous. I just think Bryan Lee O'Malley's style kinda lends itself to this title.


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