Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Young Avengers (Volume 2)

Family Matters

Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Andrea Divito, Michael Gaydos & others
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The second volume of Young Avengers takes place before the events of Civil War turned the Marvel Universe on its head, so the arguments that take place between the kids and the New Avengers is whether they are too young to fight as superheroes. Captain America believes so and would tell the kids' parents to stop them. Secrets are revealed as the Young Avengers debate the best course of action, and find themselves unable to hang up their tights. This volume also blatantly addresses the blooming love between two male members of the team: Wiccan and Hulkling, and portrays their relationship in a positive way, pretty much scrapping any stereotypes associated with homosexuality (aside from the obligatory coming out scene) and making them, for all intents and purposes, like any heterosexual couple in comics, but for the fact that they are both male.
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This book sees the young heroes battle Mr. Hyde and Super Skrull, and also includes Young Avengers Special #1 which guest stars Jessica Jones and gives readers a glimpse of their lives before Iron Lad gathered them all in the first storyarc to battle Kang the Conquerer. It also introduces new teammates and points to the heritage of all of the Young Avengers except for Kate (Hawkeye), whose background, I hope, is forthcoming. The art by Jim Cheung is fantastic as usual, and the fill-ins from Andrea Divito fit in nicely with the series. The Special was mostly drawn by Michael Gaydos, and those scenes were obviously some of the best in the book, while each of the Young Avengers' flashbacks got a different artist, all of which were great and boast names such as Gene Ha, Jae Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Pasqual Ferry and Neal Adams. This is a great continuation of the story of the Young Avengers. I think that the series has hit its stride here, and I'm hoping Civil War didn't do too much to upset that. A

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