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Young Avengers Vol. 1: Sidekicks by Allan…
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Young Avengers Vol. 1: Sidekicks

by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung (Illustrator)

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I finally read what all the hype was about regarding this series, and I was more than impressed. Well written, fantastically drawn, and not at all following the contrite behavior normally associated with some "young" superheroes, I look forward to more regarding the Young Avengers. ( )
  SiempreBailando | Jan 9, 2016 |
I have had some difficulty getting into the new Marvel Now "Young Avengers" series mainly because I just don't care about the characters (aside from Kid Loki), because there is so little character development. Even though I have stuck mostly to reading the Marvel crossover events, I decided to pick up this original YA collection, which debuted after Avengers Disassembled, because three of them appear in both series. I can now see why it is so highly rated and I have a new appreciation for the Marvel Now series.

It's not easy to get readers interested in brand new heroes, especially when they are "modeled" after some iconic ones. But, Heinberg does a brilliant job not only of building a plausible origin story for these young heroes, but one that seamlessly fits into the larger Marvel universe. The story opens with four young heroes fumbling through crime-fighting: Iron Lad, Patriot, Hulkling and Asgardian. Kate Bishop comes onto the scene when she saves Patriot during the team's "rescue" of a wedding party she is in. Cassie Lang finds Kate at the hospital after the event and they decide to join this new team (Speed joins close to the end). The identity of Iron Lad is at the core of the plot for the first half of the book. His team doesn't know who he really is, but when he tells Captain America and Iron Man, the stakes become much higher. The plot of the second half is built around the truth of Hulkling's origin. Both stories have big players involved and give this new team a valid reason to exist.

I was afraid the story would get bogged down in teen angst, but the writer cleverly kept the teens realistic (as superheroes can be) with fears of parental disapproval and bickering among themselves as the main source of tension outside of the action-laden encounters. And the action scenes are truly exciting and well done. Captain America and Iron man are justifiably concerned that these young heroes are a danger to themselves and others, and want to force them to disband. It was downright funny when Cap decides to tell on the kids to their parents! In fact, there is a lot of humor in the story. But what I liked most about the book is that the characters grow and develop throughout. Even the hints at romance among the team members were subtly handled and enjoyable. There are some dark moments as well. Kate Bishop's revelation at the end to Jessica Jones is startling, and makes me appreciate her character even more. And, the team has to deal with serious consequences, like death. I really liked this group, and even the arrogant brat Patriot grew on me by the end when his attitude was given a basis.

The two main plots are fully resolved by the end of the collection, but a few threads are left that lead directly into Avengers: The Children's Crusade wherein Wiccan and Speed's origin will be expanded on. Overall, this was a thrilling, fast-paced, but solidly built series. The new Marvel Now series is not nearly as good, but Heinberg set a high bar. I have hope that the new series eventually fulfills its potential. ( )
  jshillingford | Feb 25, 2014 |
This series promises to be a lot of fun. You don't need to know a lot about the main Marvel canon to understand this one: it's mostly new characters, with some cameos from classics like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers (being very much 'Superhusbands': I mean, really, they swoop in with iron Man holding Steve by the waist, it's practically Superman and Lois Lane). I liked the emotions flying around here: they're teenagers dealing with superpowers, not superheroes who happen to be teenagers. They mess up and fight and they need to get to school in the morning.

I actually forgot about the gay couple in this series, but that's one more reason to love it. You can talk all you like about the Cap/Iron Man subtext, but this is the real thing.

The adult Avengers' roles here make sense, too. I like that they're an obstacle to the Young Avengers that no one could call evil, in addition to the issue of super villains. I think having read some other Marvel comics would help here to understand just why the Avengers are no more, but a general knowledge is enough. ( )
  shanaqui | Aug 25, 2013 |
Loved it. ( )
  Samscar | Jun 5, 2013 |
My previous experience with the Young Avengers was Paul Cornell's Dark Reign tie-in. It was okay. I didn't pick up this volume for any of its intrinsic qualities, however; I picked it up because it includes Jessica Jones.  Now, I imagine she pops up in a lot of Marvel stories nowadays, but she's the viewpoint character for much of the story.  Even better: Michael Gaydos returns to do the art for some of her bits.

It's nice that Jessica Jones finally looks like Jessica Jones again; making the right kind of faces goes a long way to making her dialogue seem right. Allan Heinberg writes a pretty good Jessica Jones on the whole.  She spends more time palling around (and seems a little too familiar with) Captain America and Iron Man for my liking, but within the confines of how Bendis changed the character for The Pulse, it works.  Jim Cheung draws the majority of the book, and his Jessica is a little too smooth-faced and skinny and demure and just overall young-looking. It is neat to see her in her Jewel costume again, though.

As for the non-Jessica Jones components of the book: I was surprised by how much I liked them.  Heinberg and Cheung create an instantly-likeable group of teenage protagonists here, with good backstories and good banter.  The first arc especially kept me completely engrossed, and the story never stops moving. (From a narrative standpoint, anyone. From a physical one, they stand around a whole lot in the middle.) My favorite characters were probably the girls. Hawkeye has all the sass, and Stature has all the insecurity. Oh, and poor Iron Lad!  What a dilemma. But they're all good characters, and I already plan to someday do a readthrough of their adventures now.

Jessica Jones: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | May 31, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Allan Heinbergprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cheung, JimIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0785120181, Paperback)

In the wake of Avengers Disassembled, a mysterious new group of teen super heroes appears. But who are they? Where did they come from? And what right do they have to call themselves the Young Avengers? Young Gun Jim Cheung and TV superstar writer Allan Heinberg (The O.C., Sex and the City, Party of Five) promise to shock and surprise! Collects Young Avengers #1-6.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In the wake of Avengers disassembled, a mysterious, new group of teen super heroes appears with powers and names resembling classic Avengers Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk. But who are they? Where did they come from? And what right do they have to call themselves the Young Avengers? When the Young Avengers' public actions draw the attention of Captain America and Iron Man, the old Avengers set out to learn the truth about their teenaged namesakes. Caught between a maniacal super-villain and their heroic idols, will the Young Avengers' first fight be their last stand?"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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