The Young Avengers have been captured by Mother, an alien parasite that Wiccan accidentally brought to Earth when he tried to return Hulkling’s mother to life. Instead, Mother took over Billy’s parents too. Now, joined by America Chavez and Loki, the team has been captured and surrounded by Mother’s forces, so it’s Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Noh-Varr (Marvel Boy, but he hates that name) to the rescue.
In one of the coolest scenes in any comic, Noh-Varr races through the nightclub where Mother has the others, taking out her forces with “Marvelous” efficiency. (See what I did there?) Unfortunately, Mother bounces back quickly and summons brainwashed versions of Noh-Varr and America’s super powered parents. The teens flee, but don’t have much of a plan to stop their attackers… well, Loki has plans, but Loki is the god of lies and has been planting seeds of doubt in both Hulkling and Wiccan’s consciousness.
This series didn’t wow me from the start. I was smarting from the loss of this concepts creator, writer Allan Heinberg and his partner, penciller Jim Cheung, who have guided these young heroes pretty much exclusively since their debut, not to mention the fact that Stature was killed off and patriot chose to retire, leaving Hawkeye, Hulkling and Wiccan as the only returning cast members. But it’s gelling and I’m enthusiastically on-board.
The humor took a while to surface, but this issue is nicely peppered with comedic moments, even during the action sequences and Loki, just like in the movies, steals every scene he’s in. The relationship between Kate and Noh-Varr is developing nicely and– don’t hate– I’m glad to see some doubt and cracks in Billy and Teddy’s relationship, which I feel has been rushed and been detected as being more mature than I think two teenage boys’ should be.
One way this new series diverges from the last few, is that it’s a lot lighter. There used to be so much weight and drama, but that’s significantly diminished and I’m okay with that. I like the tone, although it’s different.
The art by Jamie McElvie with Mike Norton is absolutely amazing! I mentioned the scene in which Noh-Varr rescues the other. It’s totally innovative and extremely cool! I love the use of unusual panel shapes and alignments. And just in sheer terms of aesthetics, it’s just plain pretty!
This is a solid, fun comic that delivers amazing, exciting art and balances drama, action and most refreshingly, comedy. Definitely a must-read series!
YOUNG AVENGERS #4
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art and Cover by Jamie McElvie and Mike Norton