It pains me to say so, but we’ve reached the end of the line. The final issue of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s ‘Young Avengers’ is out there in the world and we must say goodbye to the team of teen heroes once again. Sure, Kate Bishop can be seen in the pages of ‘Hawkeye’ and Loki is getting his own series as part of All-New Marvel NOW, but it just won’t be the same. So for the last time (until the team gets another series, limited or otherwise), let’s talk about this run of ‘Young Avengers’.
This issue is a continuation of issue fourteen where we saw all the young heroes of the Marvel Universe celebrating New Year’s Eve after their defeat of Mother and her hordes of multi-dimensional minions at a lavish party. There we saw Billy and Teddy reaffirm their love for each other, learned more about Miss America’s past, and watched Hawkeye kick Marvel Boy to the curb as Speed reappeared out of nowhere.
Now, not only do we discover how Tommy came back after Not-Patriot made him go poof, but we also catch up with Noh-Varr after Kate dumped him, discover Loki’s last gift to his team, and listen to Prodigy tie up the last remaining loose end of the book… Sort of. Also, apparently we find out that everyone on the team is at least a little gay.
As you can probably tell from the first paragraph, I was a big fan of this book. There were slight problems here and there, but most could be overlooked because this series was a lot of fun. However, my biggest issue with the way that it ended was that we still haven’t really gotten any closure with Tommy. All of a sudden, after David figures out what the deal with Patri-Not was, Speed was suddenly returned to this realm from wherever he was without any explanation at all. He just pops back into existence and goes off to snog Kate Bishop. It’s fine that Gillen chose to leave things a little open ended, but I wish that the series would continue for the sole fact that I want to know what exactly happened to Speed and I want to see Prodigy’s theory play out. That could have easily happened if they were given another arc, but that’s just not in the cards right now. Maybe Gillen will get to do a limited series at some point that sees him return to his team of Young Avengers so that he can elaborate on these things. Or not, since that’s how things go in comics sometimes.
Despite that, there were still many enjoyable moments in this last issue. My favorite part had to be the Marvel Boy’s decision to look back fondly on his recently terminated relationship and move on using what he learned from it to be better. Noh-Varr’s story came full circle with “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes and I just love when stories do things like that. Plus, that story had my favorite art from a guest artist. Becky Cloonan is a great artist and I loved seeing her work in ‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’, so it was even better to see her get the opportunity to work on this book too. She and Jordie Bellaire created some pretty great looking scenes that reminded me of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s variant cover of issue one. I feel like the pair really made the party pop through the pencils and the colors.Don’t lie. We’ve all seen that face in real life before. Oh, just me? Okay…
However, while that may have been my favorite part of the comic both story and art-wise, my favorite panel was from Joe Quinones and Maris Wicks’ Prodigy story. I absolutely love the look of disgust and surprise on David’s face when Not-Patriot goes in to kiss him. I probably laughed harder at that than I should have, but it was pretty great.
Well, there’s not much else to say except that this was a proper send off for the Young Avengers. There’s a wide open door for them to return in the future to see them grow into the Not-So-Young Avengers and I hope that happens sooner rather than later. But there was something that Christian Ward said in the final pages of the book that I have to share because I agree with it 100%: “Young Avengers is the superhero book of the Tumblr generation.” I don’t think that I could come up with a truer assessment if I tried for a week. That’s the perfect way to describe this series. From my experience over the past few years on the micro-blogging site, ‘Young Avengers’ practically embodies Tumblr in practically every way. From the random pop culture references to the latent homosexual tendencies to the journeys of self-discovery, Gillen and McKelvie (and editor Lauren Sankovitch) really and truly know their audience and that definitely contributed to what made the run as a whole so fun.
Just like Noh-Varr, I’m sad to see ‘Young Avengers’ go, but I look forward to the future with optimism and I hope to see more from this team in the Marvel Universe. But until then, I’ll just reread the run until ‘Loki: Agents of Asgard’, ‘Ms. Marvel’, ‘Avengers Undercover’, and ‘New Warriors’ come out to get my teen hero fix.
YOUNG AVENGERS #15
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Becky Cloonan, Jordie Bellaire, Ming Doyle, Maris Wicks, & Joe Quinones