And so, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers run comes to an end. You all know the problems I have with this series, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, this issue, just like all of the previous 14 (except maybe #6, which was actually quite good) was a huge disappointment to me.
I don’t want to waste any more words about how annoying I find this title’s excessive playing to it’s target audience, and how ridiculous the reveal that nobody on the team except for Kate Bishop is straight was. There’s being diverse, and then there’s just trying too hard. I don’t want to complain about how the Loki character and plotline still makes no sense, so I’ll focus on the positive sides of this issue, which is basically the artwork.
From Jamie McKelvie, Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle and Joe Quinones, this whole issue looks great, these are some of my favourite artists around, and they have kept me reading this series when the story has let me down. The only other thing I liked was the discussion between Prodigy and the ersatz Patriot and how that led to Speed’s return, that was a well-written scene that certainly holds some intrigue for the future, but I doubt we’ll ever actually see Prodigy be forced to transform into Patri-Not.
There is one element here I do want to complain about, and it’s that I don’t feel that this series earned the big 2 issue emotional send-off and I don’t buy that there is any real deep and meaningful connection between any of these characters. When Loki looks at his old selfie and is all wistful… I don’t feel any emotion there. This team was only together for 13 issues and basically, 1 adventure. Not long enough for me as a reader to feel like they were a real team. Yes, a lot of stuff happened off-panel as they travelled the Multiverse, but we never saw that, so it doesn’t matter. It’s not like this is the original 5 X-Men, or hell, even the original Young Avengers. All of this did not feel earned at all. If this run of Young Avengers had gone one for 25+ issues, then maybe I could believe it, but 15? No way josé. I thought the same thing about #16 of Immortal Iron Fist (the end of Brubaker and Fraction’s run), and also about the last issue of the recent Captain Marvel series. You can’t have big celebratory issues when you’ve barely even started. But then I suppose that’s modern comics for you, and really, for better or worse (definitely worse for me), Young Avengers was modern.
This title was 2013 in comics, in style, in fanbase, in so-called social conscience. All I can say is that I hope 2014 is a bit more up my street. I still love Gillen and McKelvie, but this is their one miss for me, their ‘Be Here Now’ to use a Phonogramish reference. Hey, now that YA is over, do we finally get Phonogram 3? Oh boy, I’m excited for that.