In terms of style and tone, Young Avengers is like nothing else released in Marvel’s Now initiative yet. While it still feels like it belongs in the Marvel Universe, it’s more of a character focused teenage drama. This issue doesn’t have much focus on story; it’s all about introducing the characters, and for the most part it does a good job.
Apart from Kid Loki, I have never read a comic with any of the characters starring in Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers before. For new readers, this comic gives a solid introduction to Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), Noh-Varr, Wiccan and Hulkling. Kate Bishop’s awkward morning after scene with Noh-Varr is particularly entertaining, especially when they’re suddenly attacked by a small band of skrulls. The way that Kid Loki and Miss America was a bit confusing though – he’s doing something mysterious with his powers (not really described) and she randomly attacks him. Knowing Gillen, this will likely be explained in the future, but still.
Wiccan and Hulkling are the central characters in this particular issue, taking up more than half of the panel time. While their scenes do a solid job at introducing both characters, they also kill this comic’s pacing. It comes right after the skrull fight scene, and the two of them have an emotional argument that’s fairly jarring. Don’t get me wrong though – their scenes are well written.
The art is simply brilliant. The facial expressions are expertly drawn. The lighting as Wiccan searches through the multiverse is coloured perfectly. The two page montage with the skrull fight in particular is pretty much perfect. Gillen described the fight in interviews as a “music video” fight, and when you combine the creative panel distribution with several song lyric style narrations, I can see why.
I’m not completely sure what to think of this. It’s a fun comic and it feels different when compared to anything else in Marvel Now, but the pacing really throws it off. I can tell that it’s good, but I don’t know if I like it that much or not. I don’t think I can really explain it.
For everyone else though, this is an easy recommendation. It’s getting positive reviews all over the internet and for good reason. Whether you’re a fan of the Young Avengers or you want a teenaged superhero book that isn’t Avengers Arena, you should check this out.