Having enjoyed Alan Heinberg’s Young Avengers back in the day (well, a little before back in the day having read the trades), and decided to check out Kieron Gillen’s take on the team. I did have some reservations about trying this out. After Iron Man #1, also written by Gillen, I was worried that it wouldn’t be a good jumping on point. Would it, like Iron Man, require previous knowledge to have a clue of what was going on? The short answer to both of those questions questions is “kind of.”
Having read the initial run of Young Avengers, I am somewhat familiar with who some of these characters (Wiccan, Hulkling, Kate Bishop) are. And I know that Wiccan was searching for his mom, Scarlet Witch, in the Children’s Crusade mini-series. But other than that, I’m not sure what they have been doing. I’m also not sure why Loki is a kid. I think it may have happened in the Exiled crossover between Journey Into Mystery and New Mutants, but I’m not sure. So, we I am reading this with some holes in my knowledge.
But the good news is that it didn’t really matter. The book doesn’t assume that we already know everything that has happened previously.
Did you not know that Hulkling is part Skrull? That’s fine. They show it to you right away with his powers and by showing who his mother was. You get a quick introduction into Wiccan and his powers. Along with their relationship (hint: they’re gay). Also introduced is Nor-varr, with some revelations that he has a bit of a rocky past. No exact details, but just a mention of run ins. Also introduced is someone Loki calls Miss America Chavez, who we really don’t know anything about.
So, with the technical details aside, how was this issue? Overall, pretty good, though I did not like how it ended. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’ll get into that later. The issue starts with Kate Bishop waking up in Nor-varr’s room, in orbit around the Earth. Things are going well, enjoying the times, and then BAM, Skrulls attack. So, they must jump into action.
The bulk of the issue centers around an argument between Hulkling and Wiccan. Hulkling wants to use his powers to help people, and Wiccan is upset that he would risk exposing himself. Long story short, Wiccan is made to feel bad about not using his powers for good, and decides to use his reality altering powers to try to help Hulkling, but trying to find a reality where his mother survived. Wiccan finds one, and brings her here. The mother talks to their “foster parents” and doesn’t agree with how they are raising Hulkling. And here is where I didn’t like the issue. SPOILER ALERT!!! This “mother” kills the foster parents.
I did not like that. Everything was going swimmingly, then BOOM…death. What was the point? Would it have been so bad to have a happy family? It is possible to go through a story without someone dying. But whatever. In the end, I did like the issue enough to want to get the second issue. Beyond that? We’ll see.