In the last issue of ‘Young Avengers’, the new team came together in the final installment of their first story arc to defeat Mother, the alien parasite that was accidentally summoned by Billy Kaplan when he tried to do something nice for his boyfriend by conjuring up his actual mother. But after that threat was subdued, the team consisting of Wiccan, Hulkling, Hawkeye (not Hawkguy), Miss America, Noh-Varr, and Kid Loki became bound together because in order for Mother not to take hold of their parents again. they must stay as far away from their loved ones (or where they died) as possible. Thus the new Young Avengers are propelled into a new adventure.
But now, after seeing the new team come together, we get to check in with an old team member that we haven’t seen in a while. In issue six, Kieron Gillen and guest artist Kate Brown catch up with Tommy Shepherd AKA Speed and his new buddy Prodigy, a former student of the Xavier Institute and depowered New X-Men member who retained all the information acquired while he was a mutant. The two teen heroes work at a mysterious company that employs super-powered persons for various odd jobs like assembly and “tech support”. But when they see a familiar face from Speed’s past break into their warehouse, the duo stake out the scene of the crime.
First of all, I loved the “tech support” gag before the recap page. That cold open featuring Prodigy assisting with and addressing various super problems was too funny. In fact, there was a lot of great comedy in this issue between Tommy and David. The way that Gillen took the environment of an every day office and inserted superheroes into it surprisingly lead to many more jokes and gags than I’d think of. That’s probably why he gets paid to write these books and I get paid to write about his books.
Next, the familiar face in the warehouse was a huge swerve that I wasn’t expecting at all. Considering that I heard directly from Kieron Gillen’s mouth at last year’s New York Comic Con that this particular character was unavailable to him, I was very surprised to see this hero show up, so naturally I’m very excited to see where it goes from here.
Finally, Kate Brown does an excellent job with maintaining the feel of this new ‘Young Avengers’ title. After Jamie McKelvie established a certain style with the book, she kept it going, but with her own twist to it. The assembly scene is a perfect example of this. I especially enjoy the almost anime feel of her characters. The way she softly colors them is a contributing factor to that. I think because the colors really make it seem like I’m watching ‘Dragonball’ or some other anime series that was popular in the early 90s. Basically, it’s yet another way to make the presumably nostalgic reader remember their youth.
With Speed in trouble by the end of this issue and his brother’s new gang on the road, it’s only a matter of time until their paths cross again, so I’m very much looking forward to that happening soon.
YOUNG AVENGERS #6
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Kate Brown
Cover by Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson