After the revered indie-turned-mainstream team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie wrapped up their acclaimed run on ‘Young Avengers’ earlier this year, the fan favorite team has laid dormant for the most part with the exception of Kate Bishop and Loki, who both star in their own books. But now a few more members of the team are stepping back into the spotlight thanks to Marvel newcomers Ryan North and Ramon Villalobos with ‘Original Sins’. Marvel Boy, Prodigy, and Hulkling star in this five-part anthology series that spins out from Jason Aaron’s ‘Original Sin’ that examines various corners of the Marvel Universe that were affected by the Watcher’s death and the secrets that were revealed because of it.
Besides catching up with the Young Avengers, this issue is bookended by stories featuring Deathlok and Lockjaw. Both were nice one off stories that give us some insight into some lesser-known characters and they showed that this crossover event truly affects every corner of this comic book mythology. Plus, seeing the Inhuman Royal Family’s beloved pet cause such a ruckus over a bone was kinda cute. But the true highlight of this issue is the main story featuring some of our favorite teen heroes.
In this story titled ‘Young Avengers: Hidden In Plain Sight’, North shows us the aftermath of Noh-Varr’s breakup with Hawkeye. But the sulking is short-lived as hero’s ex-girlfriend Oubliette Midas AKA Exterminatrix was on the scene with the Orb and the Watcher’s eye in New York. With the help of Teddy and David, Noh jumps back into action to offer some aid in the conflict. However, they’re forced to take a slight detour from their mission when they’re encountered by the Hood.
Like Gillen’s take on the characters, North delivers a very youthful bunch of heroes. Prodigy has loosened up a bit since we last saw him and we see a lot of this when he’s nerding out in Marvel Boy’s space station. Then, we get to see the former Kree warrior being super emo over being dumped. Even Hulkling, who mostly comes out as the straight man for these gags, has his goofy facepalm moments. As much as they’re these larger than life beings with super powers, they’re teenagers growing up in the world today just like the majority of their readers. Even for the ones that aren’t young adults, it’s easy to connect with these characters because everyone can relate to being this age at one point or another.
North also takes a page out of Gillen’s book with all the internet savvy references scattered throughout the story. I love the reaction gif joke because if superheroes were real, then Buzzfeed would be doing exactly this. I mean, superheroes aren’t real and they still do this with superhero movies and TV shows. But the best thing is the fine print at the bottom of every page. It’s almost as if the writer is writing this story on Tumblr and using the tags for snarky comments to advance the story. It’s a very interesting device to utilize and I don’t think that it would work with any other team than the Young Avengers.
As far as the artwork goes, Villalobos has a unique style to say the least. It’s a leap from McKelvie who has a very sleek and smooth feel to his work because it’s very gritty and more cartoony. That’s not to say that it’s a bad style. It’s just different. I wouldn’t say that I’m fond of it entirely, but seeing as the Hood is a very street-level villain who tends to deal in the gruff underbelly of crime, it fits with the story being told.
Overall, I’m a fan of this series. As an anthology, it gives us some cool insights into characters that we don’t see too often, but as a Young Avengers fan, I’m very excited to see where this story is going. This trio was not one that we saw very much of in the past, so there are plenty of underlying dynamics at play here, especially since David previously showed feelings for the happily taken Teddy. I’m excited to see where this showdown with the Hood leads and even more curious to know what the big sin of the Young Avengers will be.
ORIGINAL SINS #1
Written by Nathan Edmondson, Ryan North, & Stuart Moore
Art by Mike Perkins, Andy Troy, Ramon Villalobos, Jordan Gibson, Rick Gerry, & Ive Svorcina
Cover by Mark Brooks