Review: Young Avengers #8
With the latest installment in his Young Avengers run, writer Kieron Gillen continues to craft one of the most enjoyable and witty runs in modern comics. Following the team as they pursue the dimension hopping entity that looks like former Young Avenger member Patriot, there is great joy to be had from the adventures and banter between the team. Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton contribute excellent imagery to match the skill full wordplay.
Continuing from last issue, readers are subjected to Kate Bishop recapping what her teammates have been through for the past five weeks. It seems that they keep hopping dimensions in order to pursue the entity that is dressed up in Patriot gear. Through only a page, it is effectively shown that the team has been through some trying times, and ends with a foggy and clouded panel that possibly foreshadows the darkened road ahead. Gillen perfectly makes this tone in order to exceed expectations, as immediately after he once again he sets up an exceptional group scene involving some type of delicious cuisine. These types of “teenage hangout” scenes are the ultimate strength of the series, as each character is able to be fleshed out and humor can be derived from the ensuing interactions, such as the always talkative Loki and the certainly out there Noh-Varr.
The rest of the issue deals with more hopping in between dimensions in a sort of play on a classic road trip scenario. Gillen sets up the differing locations and makes great use of each one, injecting both mystery and humor wherever he can. There are even a few shocking twists along the way that will keep readers on their toes. What is amazing about Gillen’s writing ability with this series is how he is able to actually make these teens feel like teenagers. A lot of writers can take a younger person and inject older words or speaking style, but Gillen masters the youthful tone by combining nonsensical phrases, random pop culture references, and even immaturity when necessary.
Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton keep up their excellent work with this comic. The men inject such a clean style that is very devoid of smudging or rushed penciling, and the colorful tones really leap off the page at the reader thanks to colorist Matthew Wilson. Character expressions are always a highlight of this series. A standout moment involves a horror scene where the creatures have creepy black masks while their ponytails light up in neon-like bright reds and blues. Once again, McKelvie and Norton play around with the conventions of comic book rules as a trip to a familiar villain’s home dimension has the actual panel closing in on the heroes as they try to escape. It is just another example of how this series continues to push the boundaries of how a comic can tell the story. Even the always-hilarious recap page titled “Yamblr” and the table of contents area are fun pieces to read and evolve from what a traditional comic usually offers with those sections.
The only possible problems with this issue come from the story. The ending, while shocking and a true cliffhanger, really comes out of left field and can be hard to understand until it is explained most likely in the next comic. Also, a dimensional trip in the middle of the book where Loki makes a big deal of a situation involving Wiccan is never explained, and will probably be brought up down the line when the characters have more time to talk to each other instead of rescuing their friends or chasing inter dimensional bad guys. Minor issues aside, this was another amazing issue of “Young Avengers,” and Kieron Gillen continues to pen a hysterical ride involving characters who are both interesting and fun to read. With McKelvie and Norton continuing to pencil beautiful art to match the witty wordplay, this series certainly remains a top book of the Marvel Now lineup and one that should be on any comic lover’s pull list.
Young Avengers #8 gets a 4.5/5
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