Sunday, 26 January 2014

Young Avengers, Volume 3: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space Review (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie)

Writing a review of a third volume in a series that’s been as consistent in quality as Young Avengers is really easy. If you haven’t enjoyed the previous two volumes then you’re not going to read the third (and final) volume to this limited series and if you have then you’re going to love this one like you did the other two. Simple as, really, but let’s do this anyway!

Hulking is trapped in Mother’s dimension - Young Avengers to his rescue! Meanwhile Mother’s Worst of All Possible Worlds Young Avengers from the Multiverse invade Earth in the Battle of Central Park!

The story concludes in much more than your run of the mill superhero punch-fest with Kieron Gillen throwing in another twist in the end revealing who the real baddie has been all along (not that surprising though given the character but still interesting). There’s also loads of very cool moments like Loki’s new appearance, a reference to Scott Pilgrim as Kate Bishop faces Noh-Varr’s evil exes, and Hulking and Wiccan are reunited. And while I’ve really enjoyed the way Gillen’s written the series and the characters, you’ve really got to give it up for the art in this book.

Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton give us some insanely cool images like the page of Wiccan’s magic bullets firing at the reader with each bullet being a panel and when Wiccan goes full demiurge, presented as the character walking across a landscape made up of multiple pages of the comic from previous issues! When he returns, dozens of Wiccan’s fall into one body! And when Miss America takes on the multiple evil Young Avengers, she pummels them like the comic book characters they are, their ink literally splashing onto her in lieu of blood.

But that’s only three of the five issues here. Once they save the world (and no, that’s not a spoiler - what, you thought they wouldn’t? C’mon!), they have a two-issue after-party, celebrating their victory, the New Year, and the end of the series! This was definitely my favourite part of the book on a purely visceral level, it’s just so fun and you never see superhero characters like this really enjoying themselves!

There’s not much to say about these issues: it’s the characters dancing with characters smooching in the New Year and others figuring out their own destinies and feelings. Plus: Broo is the dj! If you’re a fan of Wolverine and the X-Men you’ll be familiar with the character, and I loved seeing him here after the tough time he’s had over at Wolverine’s school (kid nearly died!).

In the spirit of jamming, Jamie McKelvie is joined by a number of super-talented artists who take turns drawing different pages: Annie Wu, Christian Ward, Emma Vieceli, Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle, Joe Quinones, and Jordie Bellaire. Again, the art in this book rocks!

Loki remains effortlessly charming despite (and, yes, because of) his villainy and his pages here are a nice lead-in to his solo series, Loki: Agent of Asgard. And the book ends in the most perfect way possible: Miss America kicking a hole in reality as the Young Avengers head off to get breakfast. Well, that’s not really the end-ending, I don’t want to spoil the last page, but if you’ve loved these characters like me, you’ll feel a lump in your throat when you see it.  

Young Avengers has been one of the best Marvel NOW! titles so it’s sad to see it end, just one year after it started, though it has the distinction of intentionally ending rather than being cancelled - Gillen and co. planned it for a limited 15-issue arc only. That said, I’m still going to miss the adventures of these young heroes and look forward to the inevitable hardcover collection of all 15 comics. Young Avengers has been an amazing series and the third volume is a suitably epic finale. Celebrate it’s awesomeness here!

Young Avengers Volume 3: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space

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