Comic Review: Young Avengers #3
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Colourist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Clayton Cowles
Previously, in Young Avengers: When he discovers that Hulkling has been practising his superheroics without his knowledge, Wiccan confronts his boyfriend about his activities. Their argument ends with Billy reaching through the dimensions to rescue Hulkling’s mother from the moment of her death, as a peace offering. Instead of Teddy’s mother however, Billy manages to find a dimension-sucking parasite, who manifests as Teddy’s mother and seems to warp reality around her.
When they go to the Uncanny Avengers for help, Billy and Teddy are reprimanded back into the creature’s custody by the Scarlet Witch and her teammates, and imprisoned in a strange reality. They find themselves inexplicably rescued by Loki, who takes the pair to Asgardia in order to seek answers from the All-Mother. The trio don’t even get that far, as Laufey, Loki’s long-dead father appears at the entrance to Asgardia, out for blood.
After the first issue checked in with our entire cast, even if not for a long time, I was expecting issue 2 to do the same – instead, we kind of forgot about everyone who wasn’t Wiccan, Hulkling, or Loki. Not that I was complaining too much, because they’re my favorites of the cast, but it felt strange for a team book not to have the entire team involved. This issue takes a step back in the right direction as Miss America returns to the spotlight in order to spice things up a little. There’s still no sign of Kate Bishop and Noh Varr, aside from an off-hand comment about Skrulls, but I’m hoping they’ll be back next issue (the cover supports my theory).
With Miss America on board, the threat of Mother and her mind controlling, reality warping powers becomes even more real as her mothers appear to try and take her home, plus there’s the resurrected Laufey to deal with too. Mother works as a great foil for this team considering they are meant to be the representation of what it is like to be a late teenager in the Marvel Universe, and a superpowered parental unit is pretty much the epitome of what would stand in their way. Her powerset is a little undefined at this point, which is a detriment to her overall threat level, but keeps things unpredictable.
We all know by now that Kieron Gillen likes writing Loki, after his considerable run on Journey Into Mystery and now bringing the character across into Young Avengers. Loki demands your attention whenever he is in panel, and this issue is no exception as he tries to draw everyone together and bring his plans to fruition. What makes Loki even more compelling at this point is the dual nature of his role in the proceedings – given the ending to Journey Into Mystery, everything that Loki says has a hidden meaning, and makes you distrust him even more than you might have before. The fact that the main characters don’t trust him doesn’t even seem enough at this point, especially given what Loki proposes in this issue. That said, he interacts with them all very well, throwing around pop culture references and still sounding like the Loki we all know and love at this point, even if he’s a little different under the surface.
I’d usually spend a paragraph praising Jamie McKelvie at this point, but I’m not going to bother this time around. The level of detail in his facial expressions and clothing choices for his characters is uncanny, and the panels that I’ll be posting in this review are more evidence than me waffling for a paragraph could ever provide. The innovative and unique ways in which he frames fight scenes brings a truly different feel to this series, and if he can manage to showcase the battle sequences differently throughout his run on this title, he will pretty much transcend the genre. McKelvie is exceptional, and there’s nothing I can say that will explain that more than visual aids.
Young Avengers is an odd book that doesn’t fit into the superhero mold properly, and that makes it difficult to review and always an interesting read. The only real drawback at the moment is that it feels less of a team book and more of a semi-team book, considering the team isn’t all here yet, but if that’s the only thing working against it, I’m hardly one to complain.
GO Rating: 3.5/5