Title: Young Avengers Vol 1: Style > Substance
Author: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Mike Norton
Publisher: Marvel NOW!
Check this book out on Goodreads.
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! (Source: Goodreads)
This first volume of the Young Avengers story acts to introduce the characters. Loki has decided to reunite the Young Avengers so he approaches Ms. America to try and get her onboard. Unfortunately she doesn’t trust him, so even when he tries to stop Wiccan from making a huge mistake that will cost them all, she stops him. Unfortunately, Wiccan is able to cast the spell that brings Mother into their world and changes things for all of them. Together, Loki, Ms. America, Wiccan, Hulkling, Marvel Boy, and Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop must try and stop the spell before it’s too late.
I loved this! It was so much fun to read. The cast of characters is incredibly charming and funny, keeping the action moving well. The story itself was easy to understand even with limited background knowledge. I liked the way that the group was presented: young, fun, hardworking. I also thought they had fantastic chemistry that really made the book fun to read and see the interactions. I also loved the art, of course.
I think this is one of the few comic book stories you can approach with essentially no knowledge of what is going on in the comic book-verse. The book doesn’t require you to have a lot of knowledge about the characters to really understand them. For the knowledge you do need, there are asides that really set up the background, as was the case with Loki (though I already knew the plot because of Loki: Agent of Asgard). The characters motivations are really clear, and the plot itself doesn’t really require a ton of knowledge about the rest of the Marvel universe.
I loved the characters. Loki is the same charming one that I remembered from Loki: Agent of Asgard, though this story does precede that one. Ms. Marvel is super strong and really protective of everyone, which was great. Hulkling and Wiccan, who are dating and living together, were super adorable. Wiccan’s story is really at the foreground as he is dealing with his own strengths, weaknesses, and the limitations of his physical form. There’s also so great romantic moments between Wiccan and Hulkling – which is what leads to this spell gone awry. I like Marvel Boy and Kate Bishop, you don’t see nearly as much of them, but they provide excellent humor throughout the story. I especially loved when Marvel Boy introduced her to his parents. I found the villain, Mother, interesting but didn’t know much about her. I also liked how they played on the fact that parents don’t often take teenagers seriously by making the adults actually blind to what was going on with Mother. This leads to a great interaction between Captain America and Thor.
I definitely loved the character designs as well. They looked so young and casual, it was basically perfect. (And I’mma be honest here: Marvel Boy was pretty hot.) I really liked the overall design of the comic. The art was really great, it looked really clean and fit the characters well. I also loved the scenes where the characters are represented by colours, because it looked really cool. The variant art in this, by the way, is amazing. Bryan Lee O’Malley did a variant for the first issue, and it’s freaking amazing. All of the variant art is amazing.
Overall I just really loved this volume. I can’t wait to get the other 2 volumes, it’s quite a short series. They also come all together in one hardcover (but I was not ready to commit to that when it has a nearly $60 price tag). I highly recommend this series!
Have you read Young Avengers Vol. 1: Style > Substance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Check out Kieron Gillen at his website and Twitter.
Check out Mike Norton at his website and Twitter.
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