Young Avengers #3
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie w/ Mike Norton
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Review by Joey Braccino
What an eventful week for our Young Avengers!!! Miss America Chavez smashes her way onto the team!!! Our eponymous pubescent protagonists come face to face with their worst nightmares: their parents!!! Kid Loki brings the Young Avengers clubbin’!!! Young Avengers now has not one, but TWO same-sex couples in the cast-list!!! Wiccan’s hair remains swooshily fabulous!!! Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have been spinning a distinctly (post-)modern four-colored bildungsroman for our young heroes-and-heroines, and issue #3 keeps up that trend with its pop-culturally-aware, pop-music-inspired textual and visual aesthetic. #hyphens
After another hilarious yamblr recap page, this issue picks up right where we left off with Hulkling, Wiccan, and Kid Loki face-to-face with the supposed-to-be-dead Laufey (Loki’s Frost-Giant-Father). The fight scene that follows is well-choreographed by McKelvie, Norton, and Wilson, and the ultimate reveal of Miss America is climactic and gorgeous. Also gorgeous is Wiccan’s swoosh-bangs, which somehow remain perfectly placed despite all the throwing around and throwing up that goes down in the scene. Also also gorgeous is McKelvie and Norton’s panel lay-outs for this first sequence. Whereas last issue we had some fancy meta-comics-paneling going on, McKelvie breaks format and parallels the chaos of the action with the chaotic placement of his otherwise standard panels. It’s a brilliant choice, and it results in a hectic fight sequence building toward the aforementioned climax. Oh, and more splattery goodness from McKelvie as well.
The issue barrels on ahead as the team finally starts coming together. At one point, I thought to myself, Man, what happened to Kate Bishop and Noh-Var? I thought they were getting spots on the team? And lo and behold, the very next panel, our characters bring them up. Gillen’s juggling a lot more that he’s letting on, and the next few issues promises to be very exciting.
On a related note, one of the letters in the back of the book criticizes Gillen for opening up the series with a one-night-stand between Kate and Noh-Var. The letter-writer says that these characters are supposed to be heroes and role-models, and that such lascivious behavior should not be portrayed. The way in which Gillen responds not only reaffirms my admiration for this book, but my admiration for the comics and superhero genre in general. Definitely worth reading the letters column this week!
Read this book! Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are two creators that are always on my short-list of recommendations. For pop-culture awareness and witty-character-interaction-with-a-focus-on-character-development, Young Avengers is the book to read. Furthermore, the amount of punch-and-kick-induced body splattering that goes on in this issue must break some kind of record somewhere. #realtalk