Thursday, May 23, 2013

Young Avengers #5

(w) Kieron Gillen     (a) Jamie McKelvie

Origin stories tend to either be very, very cool, or very, very lame. I don't know why, nor do I pretend to understand why. It just seems to happen that way.

Even before this conclusion issue, it was evident that Kieron Gillen's team of Young Avengers was a whole different beast from Alan Heinberg's from back in the day. And I was prepared for that. I was ready for my favorite franchise to look and feel completely unique from what I'd come to love. But I'd read Phonogram so again, I knew I was in for something different. I wasn't, however, ready for just how awesome it could be. 

Gillen's opening arc for the second volume of Young Avengers is one of the most intriguing and interesting takes on the "getting the band together" comic book trope I've ever read. These characters are teenagers and they act like it. What kids are voluntarily putting their lives on the line instead of being glued to their cell phones and tablets? Well, if any would, it would be the ones who are superheroes. Gillen understands that normal teenage behavior doesn't go away when the superheroics kick in. These kids are always thinking about who they are and what they want, just like any other normal kid, The difference is that the Young Avengers have to juggle interdimensional monstrosities.


These kids don't want to be a team. This simple fact is what makes this vision of the Young Avengers so appealing -- by the end of Young Avengers #5, the only reason they all decide to stay together is to physically prevent an otherworldly invasion. It's not because they all necessarily like each other. In fact, everyone hates Loki mostly, and Miss America doesn't trust anyone else. Just like normal teenagers, their relationships are complicated. And just like eighteen-year-olds in real life, they have to recognize when to grow and step up to the challenge. This is as good at time as any.


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