Jan 13

Young and vengeful

FT26 comments • 1,399 views


Exactly a week from now, Tumblr is going to have a sort of collective aneurysm. Well, bits of Tumblr, anyway. The reason? Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s new series of Young Avengers starts. Eight years since the start of the first Young Avengers volume (although time hasn’t passed so fast for the characters) and in the wake of a Marvel explosion, it’s time to bring back everyone’s favourite teenage sort-of-good-at-saving-the-world, only-slightly-Dr-Doom-enabling, probably-no-longer-dicking-around-in-the-timestream-at-least teenage heroes!

Does Billy and Teddy having an argument in some of the preview panels mean they’re breaking up? (probably not)
Is Loki evil again now? (statistically, yes)
Does Miss America know? (possibly, she might just like kicking him)
Has Kate Bishop totally forgotten Eli in favour of banging Marvel Boy? (well, she is the Tony Stark of the equation)
Where the fuck is Speed? (TOO FAST TO SEE!)
What’s Thor going to do when he finds out his (these days) much littler brother is horsing around between dimensions putting together a superhero team? (tell their mums) (or well, Captain America; same thing)

Tom Ewing will be bringing the reasoned analysis, Pete Baran the puns and I the emotional mental breakdown when I remember that The Vision and Cassie are dead (‘FUUUUUUUUU-‘ Feels Editor) as we bring you some sort of coverage of each issue as it happens. In the meantime and if you’re just joining us, why not catch up quickly with my comprehensive and not-at-all biased summary below?

WARNING: spoilers for Journey into Mystery 622-645, some of The Mighty Thor, everything that’s gone before in Young Avengers.


Kieron Gillen’s last activity when handed a child protagonist was to make everybody cry at Journey into Mystery. But are we sad that Old Loki ate Kid Loki? (Yes) When we have Old Loki prancing around in Kid Loki’s body now? (Odin’s BEARD) And do we trust Old Loki with a young superhero squad? (Gods, no) And is it particularly disquieting, in the wake of Old Loki’s ‘the house always wins’ line that the cover has the Young Avengers as playing cards? (THOR, YOUR BROTHER IS DOING THAT THING AGAIN)

Wait, let me rewind. A long time ago in a comic that’s now fairly reasonably priced on the Marvel app and won’t take you more than a week to read the whole of, a young and idealistic superhero team was formed. Well, I say ‘formed’ and ‘superhero.’

Kate Bishop, daughter of some rich dude that will probably be further elaborated on in this volume, has a ton of money. Like, she could literally put it on some scales and it would come in at a metric ton even in million-dollar notes. This is important; as Tony Stark (Iron Man in the …I was going to say ‘grown up Avengers’ but err, the chronologically older ones) has discovered during his financial ups and downs, it takes a whole lot of cash to keep a team going.

Anyway, so Kate Bishop and her Ton of Money were being a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. Then some people tried to kidnap her- fortunately, the Young Avengers burst in! Hooray, the day is saved. Natch; the Young Avengers are a useless bunch of teenagers who Kate ends up saving from themselves because despite having a ton of money, she is the kind of girl who you can trust to know where everything is and what needs doing and how to efficiently disarm an assailant and diffuse a hostage situation.

Later at the hospital Kate meets Cassie, a younger girl who’s looking for the Young Avengers. Cassie is Scott Lang (Ant Man)’s daughter and despite, like Kate, having no super powers (spoiler: she might have some super powers) she wants to get into the spandex game. Or at least, break into the now-abandoned Avengers Mansion to get some of her dead dad’s stuff. Sounds legit.

Kate and Cassie head that way because curfew and concussions are for losers and meet up with the Young Avengers, who don’t want to call themselves the Young Avengers in case they get in trouble or someone tells their mum. Or worse, Captain America. But as Kate points out, they do seem happy enough to call themselves Asgardian, Hulkling and Iron Lad and wear Bucky Barne’s Captain America costume. Are they mini-versions? Sidekicks? Not likely, due to Steve Rogers’ massive angst complex after his teenage companion (Bucky) was shot and then reappeared as a Russian super-soldier.*

Iron Lad, though, isn’t just someone with a scalextric set and some engineering prowess. No, he is from the 31st century and assembling a super hero team as part of desperately trying to escape his destiny as super villain Kang The Conqueror.** Who is coming after them, due to Iron Lad horsing around in the time stream, hence his re-activating the dead Vision robot (now rebooted as a young Vision, without his previous memories of banging the Scarlet Witch, ps: this will be awkward later) in order to find a team of pumped-up superkids ready to help him take on Kang. He has some super advanced toys, which makes him look smart; unfortunately for him, Kate Bishop’s been reading Iron Man and calls him on his shit.

Cassie, meanwhile, is upset by their argument and accidentally reveals herself to have size-changing powers after eating too many Pym Particles. Whoops, better put her on the team! And Kate just kitted herself out with all of Hawkeye and Mockingbird’s old stuff, after turning out to be super-handy with a bow so I guess that’s achievement unlocked: ASSEMBLE!

They go on to tangle with Kang himself! And err, the chronologically older Avengers. And they get told to stop horsing around playing superheroes but will they? Probably not, no.


Hulkling and Wiccan are thinking about coming out to their parents. As superheroes. Instead, they accidentally come out to their parents as boyfriends; fortunately, this is true and everyone’s cool with it because they are a super lovely couple. Teddy (Hulkling) is exactly the sort of big, reassuring presence that someone like the more emotionally charged and physically small Billy (Wiccan) needs to stop him getting himself into a continuous stream of trouble.

Meanwhile, Eli (Patriot) is in trouble himself. He isn’t a real super hero, he’s just a kid who’s been using mutant growth hormones to pretend to be a super soldier to do proud by his grandad, the black Captain America, Isiah Bradley. But stealing mutant growth hormones is a risky business and using them a worse one and after an encounter with Dr Hyde, Eli is busted. Ashamed and embarassed, frustrated not to be able to be the black Captain America he wants, he quits the team.

Meanwhile, things are going to shit for Hulkling. It turns out he’s not a mutant, he’s a shapeshifter because he’s the product of a secret affair between a Skrull princess and the Kree Captain Marvel. The Skrull choose to communicate this to him by kidnapping him and immolating his adoptive mother (also a Skrull, it turns out).

The Vision decides they need more firepower if they’re ever going to get Teddy back, leading the Young Avengers to a mutant called Tommy, who is in a detention centre. The Young Avengers bust him out, briefly stopping to ponder the fact it’s a bit strange that he and Billy look identical and have the traits of the Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver.

But more pressing matters are at hand: Teddy is now being fought over by the Kree and the Skrull, who are being very difficult about agreeing joint custody. Teddy just wants to go home and watch a movie with his boyfriend, Wiccan is getting pretty close to going berserk. And the chronologically older Avengers just turned up.

A massive sky battle between Kree and Skrull proceeds. In the fray, almost everyone is damaged and worst of all, Eli throws himself in front of Captain America to take a bullet, despite his lack of super powers. Grievously wounded, he’s taken to hospital.

Furious, Teddy agrees to a joint custody arrangement to stop the bloodshed and since he doesn’t really have a home to go to anymore. Damn. Being a young avenger sucks some big green balls, lately.

Meanwhile, Captain America is racked with guilt for Eli’s injury and rushes to the hospital to offer him a transfusion, knowing that his enhanced blood will restore him. But the mute Isiah Bradley has got there first, offering his own enhanced blood and leaving Steve Rogers with some serious thinking to do about what it means to wear the star spangled suit and which ghosts of his past are the most important now.


In which our heroes:
dress up as someone who might sort of be their mum!
seek answers!
find problems!
discover someone who might sort of be their mum is going to marry Dr Doom!
good grief, sort-of-mum, no wonder Wiccan is wearing your face
especially since you don’t recognise him

I am not actually going to spoiler Children’s Crusade because well, you ought to read it before this starts. And I’m worried my manager is going to get all Captain America up in my face if I keep writing this but basically: everybody dies.

photo (26)

(Sorry person who made this, I don’t know who you are!)

(Also that’s not a suggestion that Loki gives two shits about all this. Yet.)

I can’t remember when this happened but it predictably didn’t go very well. Poor the Young Avengers.

Norns alive, Loki. You douchenozzle. But I guess this was where he kind of met them for the first time- SURPRISE, GUYS! That dude who nearly killed everyone is back and he wants you on his team!

Kate Bishop has recently been kicking ass in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye. Clint assures us all (and her) that he does not want to bang her. But she might want to bang him? I don’t know if this is relevant to anything.

I can’t work out if the version we’re about to see is actually related to anything previous. If he is, he’s Hulkling’s dad. That awkward moment when the leader of your disbanded super hero team totally bangs your father, who then prances around in his pants doing fan service to 60s close harmony girl group records oh and Loki just totally sat on your boyfriend, the Norse nerd- holy skrullfuck, this week is going to pot.

EDIT: it has been pointed out that Hulkling’s dad is Captain Marvel, not Noh-varr and that I am being 1x such eejit but I’m leaving this joke in because the thought entertains me.

This is a great series starring Miss America that you should read if your manager isn’t glaring at you suspiciously right now.

This is where we first became aware that, over some pork belly, Loki’s attempts to be pals with Miss America were courting some violence upon his personage. That’s cool, he’s into frightening chicks. NB yes I am aware that that Loki although resembling the current Loki is not the Loki which we see before us which brings me neatly to-

Loki was dead. But Thor missed him. Thor is the sort of dude who, if he misses someone badly enough, can reincarnate them to the body of a French street urchin called Serrure and then awaken them to their identity as a Norse god, to enjoy an all-too-brief redemption arc of being a loving younger brother and friend to the Thunder god, when not being extremely fiercely pummeled by everyone for the crimes of his past self. The past self’s crimes now also amount to having erased this identity in order to save everyone from Surtur, which coincidentally was kind of what killed the previous Loki, I think. Anyway, Old Loki is now back in Kid Loki’s body and Thor might know but Thor is a sucker for his bro and Loki’s been pretty godsdamned adorable for a few years (throwing Thor into lava aside- it was for good reason, after all) and so perhaps Old Loki is going to… change?

But then, he is Loki, the fire that burns. And even he doesn’t know why. And he’s an angry, restless little thing who’s probably rather upset about destroying his younger reincarnation, even if it has restored him to corporeal excellence. So who knows what he’s up to but it might be best to assume he needs his ass kicked first and then find out what it actually was later.

To conclude:
Our line up: a motley collective of a very, very old Norse trickster god in the body of a child, a human child with the power of a god (whose mum may have broken reality), a speedster who we’ve been told is somewhere between the panels and probably the wrong side of the law given his previous behaviour, a teenage super streetfighter from another dimension, a sexy alien, a Kree-Skrull hybrid who just wants everyone to get along and failing that, crack a few skulls and a very, very dangerous and extremely rich girl.

Can they save the world?
Or at least, stop themselves actively destroying it within the first few issues?
Can you imagine how much collective trouble they are in between Captain America, the Scarlet Witch and Thor?
How long can you ground an Asgardian for?

*I can’t remember if he’d done this yet. But he totally does. If you can’t reverse Ragnarok, you can always come back as a Soviet spy.
**If only Kid Loki had thought to ask the Young Aven- oh, fuckballs.


  1. 1
    Andrew Farrell on 16 Jan 2013 #

    I might right something about this if that’s alright – at the moment my angle is just “Hey I was reading this at the time!” but I will try to come up with something more constructive before (or okay possibly after) the first issue.

    Your first footnote’s from the paragraph before your second, yeah? It was pretty close whether Patriot appeared before the revival of Bucky, but more relevantly the miniseries that crowbarred all of Patriot’s grand-dad into history had just come out a few years before, so Steve Rogers has a lot of angst over this to cram into the nearest receptacle (er, sorry, Eli).

    (It is probably going to be a very small amount of Tumblr, but of course Tumblr’s first job is the destruction of perspective)

  2. 2
    Hazel on 16 Jan 2013 #

    Whoops, yes- fixed now!

    Gillen keeps dropping in that Eli is unavailable, which has led to some speculation that he’s going to join in things elsewhere, over the same time that Young Avengers is happening- along with Kate he was one of the older young’uns so maybe he’s joining a grown up team? I hope so, I liked him a lot.

    (Unless Loki’s tied him up in a basement or something, of course)

    And yes, definitely join in on this! The above-listed participants have been recruited exclusively through drunken pub interaction. If only Loki had- oh, nevermind.

  3. 3
    Al on 16 Jan 2013 #

    Marvel Boy/ Noh Varr isn’t Hulkling’s dad- his dad was Captain Marvel/ Mar-Vell who died a while back.
    (Noh Varr is only awkward because in Civil War he was brainwashed and kidnapped a load of them when they were hanging out with The Runaways)

  4. 4
    Hazel on 16 Jan 2013 #

    Oh, phew! I thought they had different names. Well, that’s one enormous complication out of the way. Although I suspect also a hilarious (read: disastrous) Kree/Skrull confrontation may be incoming as a result of their teaming up.

    (I should actually preface everything I write about comics with ‘I literally got interested in this three months ago’ BUT I AM EXTREMELY INTERESTED and of course open to correction)

  5. 5
    Pete on 16 Jan 2013 #

    I must admit I always found Eli probably the least interesting of the initial cast, which is usually my starting point with Captain America analogs. I think what’s interesting here is that this iteration seems wholly built around two new members (this version of Loki and Miss America Chavez*) which seems like the original gang are being sidled out. That won’t be the case I am sure, but how this pans out will be interesting.

    I think that its a little ironic that in the original YA run Cassie’s main motivation was to avenger her dead father Scott Lang. Now she is dead, Scott Lang’s main motivation in FF is to avenge (or honour) his now dead daughter. My angle on YA will be keeping one eye on the Stature resurrection clock…

    *I love superheroes with surnames. See Batman Jones: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/08/20/i-love-ya-but-youre-strange-hey-look-its-batman-jones/

  6. 6
    K W on 16 Jan 2013 #

    Scott Lang is Cassie’s dad, not Hank Pym.

  7. 7
    Hazel on 16 Jan 2013 #

    #6 Whoops! Good god. Sorry, I did know that, I don’t know why I wrote Hank Pym- I blame multitasking writing at work/thinking about Pym particles.

    EDIT: good god, I also mis-spelt Jamie McKelvie’s name. Please let me know about any other massive boobs I missed while pretending to look at a spreadsheet.

  8. 8
    Hazel on 16 Jan 2013 #

    #5- indeed, I nearly wrote ‘no one stays dead in comics! apart from Cassie and The Vision because everyone had a very serious conversation about how they were going to stop all this resurrection/fucking with reality stuff’ and then realised what absurd non-logic this was in the face of the entire of comics history. I might make a ‘Cassie resurrection indicators’ o-meter at some point.

  9. 9
    Pete on 16 Jan 2013 #

    The Vision is alive again, in as much as a sentient robot can be alive (“The Vision is the most human of us all” – circa all Avengers comics ever…)

  10. 10
    unlogged mog on 17 Jan 2013 #

    Oh. Well, I’m doing well with this summary.

  11. 11
    Pete Baran on 17 Jan 2013 #

    You’re doing pretty well at the broad strokes of fifty plus years of thoroughly incoherent plotting!

  12. 12
    Andrew Farrell on 17 Jan 2013 #

    If people wanted facts they’d go to Wikipedia! Because people are fools.

    I actually really don’t think Cassie (or Teen Vision) will be back any time soon in this series. If you look at Gillen’s previous teen team book, Generation Next, he’s pretty diagrammatic – these are the characters, this is each one’s location and vector, set them up, let them play off each other and external plots. AFAIK all he’s even said about Speed is that he will be in #6 and his absence will be explained, which is not exactly “Murderess Progeny Powers Activate!”

    Then again it’s also an open question as to what extent he got handed the book rather than picked it himself – even an obscure book like JIM had the majority of its issues in crossovers, and the ones that will affect Young Avengers are likely to be less “Gillen and Matt Fraction in a pub gesticulating wildly”.

    There has been an explosion of teen books in the last decade though – YA, Avengers Academy, Runaways, Generation Next – though it’s not clear that any of them have really ‘taken’.

    Other reasons for Noh-Varr being awkward include him selling out the entire human race to capture some of the Phoenix Force and bring it to the Kree Supreme Intelligence and then be astonished (because noble idiot) when the Supreme Intelligence didn’t want to use it to save the Earth and his girlfriend. One theft, escape, and cosmic force return later, he is Barred from everywhere. Which is awkward.

  13. 13
    Pete Baran on 17 Jan 2013 #

    Is he still with his girlfriend? She got quite a lot of Bendis-work to give him some sort of tie to Earth, but I can’t remember if she dumped him when he BETRAYED EVERYONE. I take it he is no longer calling himself THE PROTECTOR either.

    Which reminds me, I remember thinking that you could have a sneeky character, a bit like Loki, who knew all the angles, whose code name would be THE PROTRACTOR. (I think this is the kind of thing Hazel is looking to get from me…)

  14. 14

    Surely he would be a sparkly Italian called THE PROSECCTOR

  15. 15
    Pete Baran on 17 Jan 2013 #

    The Kree Empire is very much the Italy of the Marvel Universe so…

  16. 16
    Tom on 17 Jan 2013 #

    The dark secret of the Kree is that they are the MOST BORING Jack Kirby creation.

    I am looking forward to joining in this! – my interest was piqued by K Gillen saying “This is my comic about POP” so I suspect that will be the ‘angle’ for me.

  17. 17
    Tom on 17 Jan 2013 #

    #17 We can add to that list half-forgotten and somewhat dodgy HIPSTER MUTANT comic NYX.

    (“Has there ever been a good teen comic?” is but one of the questions we will be exploring!)

  18. 18
    Andrew Farrell on 17 Jan 2013 #

    I feel there might be a list of good-to-great teen comics somewhere on this page!

    The problem with the Kree is to a large extent that they are (and were created to be) not the Skrulls.

  19. 19
    Andrew Farrell on 17 Jan 2013 #

    Also while I’m here, is there any way to get comment notifications other than the Total Freaky Trigger Comments Feed? [Edit – okay, I now see the per-article comment feed, never mind me]

  20. 20
    unlogged Mog on 17 Jan 2013 #

    No! For teen comics are only read by grown ups to whom this is now all adorable! I am also interested in the pop thing, especially given the few panels we’ve seen show Noh-Varr saying that his reason for living in this dimension, despite the utopia of the Kree world, is 60s close-harmony girl groups and they are definitely going to a club in issue #3. (Loki’s fake ID here: http://piratemoggy.tumblr.com/post/40752617998/young-avengers-3-kieron-gillen-w-o-jamie v good, tick)

    I am interested as to how crossover-or-otherwise this will be. There’s an Event due in April, I think (Thanos Horses Around All Over This Shit or something) so that wouldn’t give much time to gain momentum but there’s no current-time Thor activity, either (she says, having proven herself to be a reliable authority hem hem) as JiM is all about Sif Kills Everything And It’s Awesome and God of Thunder is set in the far-future and the long-past. So possibly YA can stay relatively out of things, for a bit at least.

    Mind you, in ‘Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen waving their arms around in a pub’ news, Fraction is of course writing Kate in Hawkeye, so that could be one of the main crossover points. (Clint is a pal to the Young Avengers, historically, too, by being one of the few Older Avengers who isn’t all ‘GET TO YOUR ROOMS YOUNG LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND ROBOTS WHAT TIME DO YOU CALL THIS YOU’RE NOT GOING OUT WEARING THAT’)

  21. 21
    unlogged Mog on 17 Jan 2013 #

    I think Young Avengers and Runaways both do good jobs of being teen comics- the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider Man does an AMAZING job of being a teen comic.

    My favourite would probably be Tsubasa, which is Clamp’s equivalent of an EVENT or well, possibly Clamp’s equivalent of the Ultimates universe. It’s about what would happen if your girlfriend accidentally exploded her own mind and with it, the fabric of the universe, prompting ADVENTURES. Oh, no, wait, I am lying: FLCL is the best teen comic. That’s about what happens when a sexy alien hits you with a bass guitar until robots come out of your head.

    The Marvel ones are more grounded, admitedly. (JiM 622-645 is probably the closest Western equivalent to FLCL and ALL THE BETTER FOR IT oh wow now I need to write an essay about this)

  22. 22
    kieron Gillen on 17 Jan 2013 #

    In passing, unless unless something happens, Young Avengers has no crossovers planned for my first season run. Except possibly 14-15, but that’s my idea, so not exactly the same thing.

    FLCL is amazing.

  23. 23
    Tom on 17 Jan 2013 #

    I think there are definitely comics which are good and which are about teens! There are also comics which are amazing to read when you are a teen (obviously my window for assessing this is pretty limited tho). I dunno if that’s what I mean by “good teen comic” though (because I don’t know what I mean by it) (I am sort of suspicious of the category ‘teen’, the things pop culture determines are “teen” seemed as oppressive as liberating when I actually was one)

  24. 24
    Andrew Farrell on 17 Jan 2013 #

    #20: Hah, this is only (I hope) because Clint didn’t see them when “that” was a combination of his old clothes and his dead girlfriend’s clothes!

    #22: You stay out of this! Though it’s good to hear that it’s planned in seasons.

  25. 25
    Hazel on 17 Jan 2013 #

    #24 Dead wife! [edit: actually, you’re right, she was his girlfriend again by then, wasn’t she? All Marvel characters should just set their Facebook to ‘it’s complicated’] Although they were his clothes from when he was also dead I guess. But yes, just as well he never saw that…

    #22 That’s terrific news! It feels like there’s a lot to work out in this series and them having space to do it is really important, regardless of how much fun crossovers can be. There’s also something rather slyly satisfying about a series about teenagers (well and teenage-esque beings) being given the terrifying ability to do what it wants. (Also: Crikey! Hello!)

    #23 Yes- my original comment was for cheap laughs, which I must get out of the habit of. Although I think my experience of reading teenage protagonists has changed a lot, reading Young Avengers now (which I’ll just about get the first issue of this run in before I’m officially Not Classed As A Young Person On Any Scale) and reading, say, Cardcaptor Sakura when I was proximate to her age. I guess the things that make something ‘teen’ are some sort of ‘not needing to be held to adult standards,’ the ‘Kid Loki not getting a Camelot reference’ moment (from the perspective of Kid Loki, that is) or some similar distillation. But I definitely agree that there’s a great deal aimed at teenagers that just flat-out annoys them.

    I think my avoidance of Western comics was largely based on the fact they had no teenage protagonists I liked, when I was a teenager (or at least, that I’d found) -I didn’t give a crap about Batman when I could be reading Chobits (whose protagonist is of course a robot who *looks* like a teenager not actually a teenager or, thinking about it, even the protagonist but anyway) but then I now know, through Tumblr, scores of teenage girls losing their shit about the new Iron Man trailer so I guess it’s all about access points. Who knows what broadband would’ve changed.

  26. 26
    Andrew Farrell on 27 Feb 2013 #

    Hmm, my plans for definitely absolutely getting something thrown together at the last minute appear to have hit a snag – as far as I know this is the account that I used to write for FT (er, 7 years ago), but I can’t see any way to actually get any posting now. Er, more, news, soon?

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