Or – “Take It From Me, Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

Young Avengers has been kind of an oddball title, but in a very good way, as Gillen & McKelvie have delivered quirky, character-driven teenage action that is nonetheless firmly set in the Marvel Universe.  Now that they’ve been able to escape Teddy’s nefarious mom, only to leap straight into the clutches of Loki’s insidious father.  Are the Young Avengers doomed before they’ve even fully assembled?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

YoungAvengers3CoverYOUNG AVENGERS #3
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist(s): Jamie McKelvie with Mike Norton
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Young Avengers:  Loki had a Journey Into Mystery, Wiccan had a Children’s Crusade, Hulkling will organize your sock drawer, Miss America had some Vengeance, Marvel Boy had a terrible name and Katie Bishop is Hawkguy-Girl.  Together, they are the new Young Avengers.  Trouble is, they’ve never been together…

…yet.

HARD TO CAPTURE THE YOUTH VIBE, BUT THIS FEELS LEGIT.

The “Previously” page in this issue, like the previous, is patterned after a Tumblr page (called a Yamblr here) and has some fun, if overly snarky bits and pieces that explain what has come before.  While the only thing I know about youth culture is Young Zach’s squeaky exclamations about dubstep, Vine and candy bracelets, the tone of this book is wonderful.  On the first page, we see Heimdall and Volstagg The Voluminous looking down from Asgard as Laufey the frost giant attacks the trio of Hulking, Wiccan and Loki.  “Ah, to be young,” muses the fat Asgardian, before wandering off in search of ale and food.  There’s a wonderfully slick precision to the art of Jamie McKelvie, a very precise line that I find extremely lovely to look at, making even a monstrous blue Aesir look kinda gorgeous, and when the statuesque Miss America arrives to provide the battle save, it took my breath away.  Interestingly, HER parents show up as well, and it’s only by the grace of snotty Little Loki that all four teens aren’t left a smear on the pavement.  There’s dissension in the ranks, manipulations from Loki, and some nice moments of reality (fake ID’s are easy when you’ve got Asgardian glamors on your side, while Billy tries to get in touch with Kate Bishop, only to find her tweeting about Skrulls and cute boys, for reasons seen last ish.)

A “GAME OF THRONES” ANALOGY…

Loki’s interactions are once again the center of the lunacy (and the source of much amusement) this issue, as he tries to talk Wiccan into “loaning” Loki all his massive reality-warping power so that the Lokester can unravel the messy parent-attracting spell.  The reaction shot to this is simply beautiful work, a silent panel full of utter contempt, disbelief and a tinge of anger from Wiccan, America and Hulkling.  The mix of pictures and words is delicate and perfect throughout the issue, and the fight sequence between young heroes and super-parents is pretty glorious to behold, especially because none of it HAD to happen if the kids hadn’t been arrogant.  (Kind of reminds me of a lot of things that happen in Critical Hit, now that I mention it.)  As the issue ends, our heroes are overwhelmed, all seems lost, and the evil Skrullian mom is ready to eat their souls with no chance of escape.  It’s a fun cliffhanger without an obvious solution, and one that makes me want next issue RIGHT NOW.  There are a lot of interesting and different titles in play during Marvel NOW!, and this is one of the most promising to me.  I dearly hope they can stay on a monthly schedule…

THE BOTTOM LINE:  IT’S A GOODY.

In short, I expect that you may already have an expectation about this book:  The art doesn’t look “Marvely.”  It’s a hipster book.  It’s slick and glib and blah blah blah fishcakes.  All of that has a grain of truth, especially the part about it not seeming like a typical Marvel book, but there’s a lot to love here, in a lovely well-designed little package, and if you let those expectations deter you from buying a book this good, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.  Young Avengers #3 should be a must-buy for fans of ‘Journey Into Mystery,’ as well as fans of clear art and clever story-telling, earning a very strong 4 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★★☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
Reader Rating

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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