Thursday, 28 May 2015

Young Avengers Vol 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen

Young Avengers Vol 1: Style > Substance written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton collects issues #1-5 of the Young Avengers ongoing series. It is not, in case you were wondering, about the Avengers in their youth but about a group of teens(ish) who have superpowers and form their own world-saving gang. Even if the big bad in this volume is accidentally of their own making.

Legacy isn't a dirty word...but it's an irrelevant one. It's not important what our parents did. It matters what WE do. Someone has to save the world. You're someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie reinvent the teen super hero comic for the 21st century, uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Kate "Hawkeye" Bishop with Kid Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America. No pressure, right? As a figure from Loki's past emerges, Wiccan makes a horrible mistake that comes back to bite everyone on their communal posteriors. Fight scenes! Fake IDs! And plentiful feels! (aka "meaningful emotional character beats" for people who aren't on tumblr.) Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs, and twice as vital. Hyperbole is the BEST! THING! EVER!

This comic had a very YA feel to it, much like Ms Marvel, but unlike any other comic series I've read so far. And really, the fact that the blurb mentions Tumblr should probably be a hint of the demographic they're aiming at. So if YA and teen stories are your thing, this is probably the comic for you. Although I'm not sure how old some of the characters are... I'd guess early 20s for some of them?

So basically this is the story of a group of super-powered teens getting back together as an evil-fighting team. The arc starts with Kid Loki trying to convince them all to come back to avenging, and ends with a crisis pulling them all together. And there's some "whoops I screwed up and now the world is in danger" in the middle there.

The presentation style of the comic is very up-beat and modern as well. The vocabulary is very now (well, Marvel-Earth-now, anyway, with StarkPads instead of iPads for example) and the creators have done some interesting things with layout. Some of the pages were quite experimental/unconventional in how they told the story and I think this fitted in well with the overall modern tone of the whole comic.

Young Avengers was a fun and entertaining read about a character set I mostly didn't know anything about before picking it up. (Obviously I know who Loki is and I'd also heard of Kate Bishop/Hawkeye, but that's it.) Recommended for anyone wanting to bring some YA and youthful fun to their comics reading experience.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2013, Marvel
Series: Young Avengers, ongoing series, Volume 1 containing issues #1-5
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Gift from a friend

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