Thursday, March 28, 2013

Young Avengers So Far (Spoilers)

YA in a nutshell.

Okay, so Kieron Gillen's run on Journey into Mystery ended a few months ago, and I had a comics fan breakdown. I wasn't even sure I wanted to read Young Avengers, but, alas, here I am. But I'd like to think I'm older and wiser now, able to keep my Yamblr feels at a lofty distance while preparing myself for the possibility that the ultimate YA issue will reveal that the characters we've come to know and love have actually just been crudely assembled felt puppets that Cyclops has been using to amuse himself in X-Men jail or whatever's happening over there. I do still feel that killing off Kid Loki was a dumb move (for various reasons) from a smart person, but at least he's got Damian Wayne for company now.

Young Avengers #3 came out yesterday, and three issues in seemed like a good place to stop and reflect. Despite my apprehension, few make comics as intelligent and charming as Gillen, and it's been easy to be won over by Young Avengers. The very first pages of YA #1, where Kate Bishop (aka Hawkeye, but not the one with the penis) and Noh-Varr (aka Marvel Boy, presumably with a penis) wake up after a hook-up, set the tone with wittiness, ridiculousness, and sex positivity. The sequence in YA #2 where Loki traverses the comic's gutters and breaks through its panels to rescue Billy and Teddy is a delight. Plus the art by Jamie McKelvie is gorgeous, with clean, bold lines that radiate energy. America Chavez (aka Miss America) pouts and fights with style. Billy and Teddy (aka Wiccan and Hulkling) brood and cry like they're posing for Lichtenstein. McKelvie's image of Noh-Varr dancing to an unnamed 1960s "close harmony girl group" was so sexy that it was picked up by some scammy internet ad:

The Hawkeye Initiative is working!

Anyhoo, so what's happened so far? Well, after the last Young Avengers grouping ended in death and disaster, its various members are regrouping. Billy tries to be a good boyfriend by bringing Teddy's dead mom back to life. But the "mom" is actually an inter-dimensional parasite who quickly possesses Billy's parents and sorta-birth mom as well. They go with Loki to Asgard for help, only to be savagely attacked by Loki's birth father and nagged at by America's moms - all of whom were presumably dead.

As YA #3 came to a close, our young heroes had a brief respite at legally thirteen-year-old Loki's favorite club, but before they could finish their plans for world-saving or their underage drinking, the group of fake/possessed parents appeared and captured them...threatening death! Meanwhile, Kate and Noh-Varr are presumably either battling or having brunch with the Skrull after frantically pulling their clothes back on.

Roy Lichtenstein, Do You Know How Lucky You Are?, 1963

Young Avengers has had an entertaining and promising first three issues, and this interview with Comic Book Resources gives some hints at what's to come: shitty jobs, emotional breakdowns, and maybe or maybe-not finding out "what the hell is going on with Loki." So far, we know very little about what has happened between Loki's extreme existential crisis at the end of Journey Into Mystery and his current running around New York like a maybe-malevolent Mimi Marquez.

Young Avengers #4 will be out on April 24.

What we also know so far:
Kieron Gillen loves throwing bear traps at children.

The club can't even handle them right now: YA #3
Sexy ad: various, obviously, but here it is on Gillen's tumbr.
Teddy crying by a wind machine: YA #1
Beartrapaganza: A+X #5 and YA #3

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