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Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Written by Arion on Wednesday, April 17 2013 and posted in Reviews

Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie
Loki (in the middle) / Loki al medio

It’s a strange thing the relationship we have with our parents. They want the best for us, but sometimes they lack the necessary objectivity and end up taking the worst possible decisions. For many, their ruined lives are the direct result of something a father or a mother did or didn’t do. This becomes even clearer when we take a look at gay teenagers and the way their parents react.

Certainly, Allan Heinberg surprised us when he described Billy Kaplan’s parents as two open minded adults who were very proud of their gay son. Obviously, that is not the case most of the times. The usual reaction is the one we see in Teddy Altman’s mother: hatred, discrimination and hostility. Granted, she isn’t really Teddy’s mother but rather a version of her from a parallel dimension that has, somehow, invaded our reality. But still, it’s easy to notice that this extra-dimensional homophobic demon shares many traits with intolerant parents all over the world. Surely, Kieron Gillen knows how to combine fantastic elements with realistic observations, and the result is a subtle but engaging allegory about motherhood. 

Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie
Billy Kaplan & Teddy Altman

There is something deliciously twisted in the way this woman brainwashes Billy’s parents in order to ban the ‘inappropriate’ relationship between the two boys. She’s determined to eliminate any possibility of a gay romance between Billy and Teddy, but she underestimates the kids. 

It takes the two teenagers only a couple of minutes to figure out that there is something wrong with this motherly figure. And when Billy tries to cast a spell on her, she counterattacks. Even Teddy’s attempt to neutralize her proves to be futile. After asking the Avengers for help, they discover that this brainwashing scheme is very serious. Unable to resist the combined power of the Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Thor, Havoc, Wolverine and Captain America, the couple is quickly imprisoned –separately– in an extra-dimensional jail.

Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie
Hulkling versus his false mother / Hulkling versus su madre falsa

Jamie McKelvie once again creates page after page of pure beauty. There is something especially enlightening about his clear panels, his precise lines and his determinate brushes. And his sense of design is simply fabulous. One of my favorite moments is the one that takes place when Loki liberates Billy and Teddy from their otherworldly imprisonment. What we see here is a fascinating exploration of the comic as a visual medium instead of the boring and unimaginative drawings that we see in most of the titles out there. Because here, being behind bars is a synonym of being behind the panel, the lines of the page are the contours that restrain the characters movements.  

Jamie also has some wonderful and intimate sequences, like the one in which we see Billy and Teddy holding hands, showing their mutual support and their concern for Teddy’s deranged “mother”. Another great page shows Teddy, as Hulkling, tearing apart the body of the woman, who simply reconstitutes herself. I said it last month but I’ll say it again: this is the best Marvel NOW title and also one of the best comics I’ve read either from DC, Marvel or any other imprint in 2013. I can’t wait for the third issue. 

Did you miss Young Avengers # 1? Click here.

Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie
Wolverine, Captain America, Havoc, Jarvis, Scarlet Witch, Rogue & Thor

La relación que tenemos con nuestros padres es extraña. Ellos quieren lo mejor para nosotros, pero a veces carecen de la objetividad necesaria y terminan tomando las peores decisiones posibles. Para muchos, sus vidas arruinadas son el resultado directo de algo que un padre o una madre hizo o dejó de hacer. Esto se hace más claro cuando vemos al adolescente gay y la manera en que sus padres reaccionan.
Sin duda, Allan Heinberg nos sorprendió cuando describió a los padres de Billy Kaplan como dos adultos de mente abierta que están muy orgullosos de su hijo gay. Obviamente, esto no es lo habitual. La reacción usual es la que vemos en la madre de Teddy: odio, discriminación y hostilidad. Es cierto que ella en realidad no es la madre de Teddy sino una versión paralela de otra dimensión que, de algún modo, ha invadido nuestra realidad. Pero aún así, es fácil notar que este homofóbico demonio extra-dimensional comparte muchos rasgos con padres intolerantes a lo largo del mundo. Ciertamente, Kieron Gillen sabe cómo combinar los elementos fantásticos con las observaciones realísticas, y el resultado es una alegoría sobre la maternidad sutil pero cautivante.
Hay algo deliciosamente retorcido en la manera en la que esta mujer les lava el cerebro a los padres de Billy para prohibir la relación "impropia" entre los dos muchachos. Ella está determinada a eliminar cualquier posibilidad de un romance gay entre Billy y Teddy, pero subestima a los chiquillos.

Young Avengers # 2 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie
amazing page design / asombroso diseño de página

En tan sólo un par de minutos los adolescentes deducen que algo no marcha bien con esta figura materna. Y cuando Billy intenta conjurar un hechizo, ella contraataca. Incluso el intento de Teddy de neutralizarla es fútil. Después de pedirle ayuda a los Avengers, descubren que este plan de lavado cerebral va en serio. Incapaces de resistir al poder combinado de la Bruja Escarlata, Rogue, Thor, Havoc, Wolverine y Captain America, la pareja es rápidamente apresada -por separado- en una cárcel extra-dimensional.
Jamie McKelvie una vez más crea página tras página de belleza pura. Hay algo especialmente iluminador en sus viñetas limpias, sus líneas precisas y sus pinceladas firmes. Y su sentido del diseño es simplemente fabuloso. Uno de mis momentos favoritos ocurre cuando Loki libera a Billy y Teddy de su prisión. Lo que vemos aquí es una fascinante exploración del cómic como medio visual en vez de los dibujos aburridos y poco imaginativos de muchos otros títulos. Porque aquí, estar entre rejas es un sinónimo de estar tras las viñetas, las líneas de la página son los contornos que restringen el movimiento de los personajes.  

Jamie también tiente secuencias íntimas y maravillosas, como aquella en la que vemos a Billy y Teddy agarrándose de la mano, mostrando su apoyo mutuo y su preocupación por la desquiciada "madre" de Teddy. Otra gran página muestra a Teddy, como Hulkling, destrozando el cuerpo de la mujer, quien simplemente se reconstituye. Lo dije el mes pasado y lo diré de nuevo: este es el mejor título de Marvel NOW y también uno de los mejores cómics he que leído el 2013 de DC, Marvel o cualquier otra editorial. Me muero de ganas por leer el tercer número.

¿Se perdieron el primer número de Young Avengers? Hagan click aquí.

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About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


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