The first arc of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s ‘Young Avengers’ comes to a close in issue #5 as the entire new team really comes together to take on the zombie parent horde that was unintentionally summoned by Billy Kaplan when he tried to do something nice for his boyfriend. Well, except for Loki, who seems to have abandoned his new found teammates in Central Park as they’re about to be in over their heads while trying to figure out a way to take out said horde.
In the last issue, Hawkeye and Noh-Varr swooped in to save Wiccan, Loki, and Hulkling, who were trapped at Mary Jane Watson’s nightclub by Mother, an alien parasite that can only affect parents both living and deceased. But as the team came together and the God of Mischief finally persuaded the magical son of the Scarlet Witch, the pint-sized brother of Thor appeared to trick his new companions by taking the power and running.
However, in the most recent issue, Loki proved that he had something else in mind rather than double-crossing the team. Right before Billy moved on to plan B, the trickster showed up in the nick of time to turn the tide in the battle. However, they all discovered an unexpected side effect of the spell that will most definitely propel them into their next adventure.
To begin with, I’ve been enjoying this series a bunch since it started. While it was a bit disappointing at first to see the Young Avengers without creators Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung behind the wheel, Gillen and McKelvie really came into their own and exhibited a totally modern and visually stimulating take on the characters. Part of that is the panel style that they’ve utilized throughout the series thus far. Another great example of their dynamic style of storytelling is exhibited in the center splash page of the issue where each team member is connected to each other during the final battle against Mother. In a word, I’d have to say that the artwork is badass in those two pages.
And speaking of badass artwork, I really enjoy the new uniform for Wiccan that was debuted in this issue. It’s a more mature version of his previous attire, but the moving cosmos are a really nice touch. I’ll miss the headband slightly, but I’m anticipating some cool shots with the hood in the future.
Finally, although I do enjoy reading the team’s adventures thoroughly, I felt as though the inciting incident that keeps them together as a team was a bit forced and sprung last minute. It didn’t feel as organic as it could have, so I tripped up a little bit while I was reading. However, now that they’re together and on this road trip of sorts, I’m looking forward to seeing what sorts of adventures they get into. Bringing a team together is one of the hardest things to do in a team book, and ‘Young Avengers’ did it almost better than most, so now that the difficult part is out of the way, I’m sure Gillen has some craziness up his sleeve for the next arc and beyond.
YOUNG AVENGERS #5
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, & Matthew Wilson