This first arc in the brand new series featuring the Young Avengers gives a whole new meaning to “Parents Just Don’t Understand”. Sure, in this case it’s actually shape-shifting liquid monsters who take the shape of adults just don’t understand, but either way, this book is turning out to be one of the more interesting ones that I pick up every month.
When we last left our young heroes in issue #2, they were looking to the Uncanny Avengers for help with their monster problem brought about by Billy’s desire to do something nice for his boyfriend, Teddy. However, they proved to be no help at all and Hulkling and Wiccan found themselves trapped in Ms. Altman’s void prison, until Loki intervened and helped them out.
Now, after trying to get into Asgard to seek help from someone there, the trio was confronted by the long-dead Laufey, the real father of Loki. After being joined by Miss America (and, temporarily, by her Amerimoms), the group escaped to MJ’s nightclub in New York to talk strategy to figure out how to stop these dangerous parental doppelgangers from causing any more trouble.
I seldom ventured into the Asgardian side of the Marvel Universe, but I had always heard good things about Kid Loki. Now that he’s heavily featured in one of the books that I actually read, I enjoy him quite a lot. I’ve always known Loki to cause trouble as a fully-grown man (or woman), but as a kid, the trouble that he causes is a lot funnier. He’s still the trickster god that he’s always been, but now that he’s using his powers for good, it’s just more enjoyable to come across in these pages.
Additionally, the cameo from a rather rotund Asgardian was certainly welcome. There’s never anything wrong with a little visit from Volstagg in any comic, and his appearance in this issue was a cute little moment.
Another thing that is immensely enjoyable about ‘Young Avengers’ is all the references. First of all, making the team pop up in Mary Jane Watson’s club is a nice reminder that they are indeed in the Marvel Universe because some books take place largely in their own worlds even though they’re a part of a larger world. Well, depicting some familiar places every once in a while is a cool way to remind the readers of that shared universe. Then, all the pop culture references are some of the most fun scenes to come by. For example, the ‘Game of Thrones’ reference was awesome, but what made it more awesome was that Miss America didn’t know what it was. I guess they didn’t have that show in her dimension.
Finally, the artwork continues to impress. Jamie McKelvie’s panels are a blast to follow and Matthew Wilson’s colors are some of the best in the business today. Both artists really shine in the fight scenes, which are super refreshing as they’re not really set up like any other comic out there today. These panels just manage to illustrate heightened pace, which is something that you don’t see too often. Fight scenes may depict lots of action, but the set-up is just static, and that’s definitely not what’s going on here.
Every month, I rant and rave about how good Matt Fraction’s ‘Hawkeye’ is. Well, it looks as if I have a new book to rant and rave about because I am totally in love with Kieron Gillen’s ‘Young Avengers’. It’s definitely one of the top five books that I read right now. And this isn’t even the completed team yet! Hawkeye and Marvel Boy were awesome in the first issue, so I can only imagine how much better this book will be once they join their teammates in battle.
YOUNG AVENGERS #3
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, & Matthew Wilson