If you have heard people extolling the virtues of Young Avengers, now is the perfect time to jump in – and jump in is exactly what you’ll do. Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie have taken some lesser-known young heroes from the Marvel Universe and crafted a refreshing, fun, and compelling title, with this issue being a perfect introduction to their world.
We join our heroes a few months after the events of issue #5, and what the crew has been up to since then is cleverly told in a series of posts to Loki’s “Instagram-style” page, complete with amusing comments. After thwarting some interstellar punks, the gang goes for breakfast where they meet up with Prodigy, who relays the abduction of Wiccan’s speedster brother (which happened in the last issue).
This book could have been laden with the weight of “first issue of the story arc exposition” but Gillen keeps the storytelling lean and relevant. Character banter is generally breezy without ever getting too quippy. Gillen’s script isn’t just fluffy and light, though. Hulkling and Noh-varr’s discussion about Hulkling’s relationship with Wiccan is meaningful and very in-character, before falling apart with references to mind-controlling saliva. Prodigy’s introduction to the group brings the tone back to a more ominous and expository place, while still providing asides about pancakes and Nina Simone.
McKelvie is back on illustration duty in this issue and his art is just as deftly displayed as Gillen’s script. Action sequences sizzle on the page and the two-page spread of Prodigy’s view of past events is brilliant. Also, the page of Miss America leading the Young Avengers into the multiverse is a superb display of motion; an excellent use of negative space and colour details.
The book ends with many questions still dangling, but the one I really want to know is “Where did Kate Bishop find that harpoon gun?” One of the great things about the book is that I have no idea where the story is going. Wherever it goes, I’m willing to follow!