Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Following the dramatic disbanding of the Avengers, four teenage Avengers-inspired superheroes mysteriously appear in New York City. But who are the adolescent do-gooders and just what does their sudden appearance mean for the former members of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
From page one of Young Avengers #1, Allan Heinberg had me totally hooked as a chuckle came out of unsuspecting mouth. It’s logical to begin this story at the Daily Bugle with J. Jonah Jameson jumping on the story before his competitors have a chance. In his office, J.J.J. directs one of his reporters along with the investigation instinct of Jessica Jones. Heinberg chose wisely to place Jessica as a key character in this issue. Not only is she an excellent investigator, Jessica has been a “young” Avenger and awesome superhero. It was brilliant to have Jessica Jones hired by J.J.J. and join forces with one of his investigative reporters, Kat.
Normally, any comic with the infamous J.J.J., there’s cause for laughter and then you just want to punch him in his face. However, it was not him that made me chuckle, as it was Jessica. I just love her down to Earth personality with a dose of sarcasm! You can just tell how much she wanted to slap the hell out of Kat. I was disappointed that ol’ J.J.J. did not quite have his distinct sweet personality as he was waiving his authority. Instead, there was a surprisingly softer side to this loud mouth as he described a time when he wanted to be Bucky back in WWII. We also briefly go down memory lane of Jessica’s past superhero as Jewel. It seems that Kat and Jessica have a new understanding and actually begin to bond.
Then we get a surprise visit by Iron Man and Captain America! Cap means well, but sometimes tragedy and lack of parenting skills could his judgment on teenagers and a common goal. This visit was brief and I am thankful for that. Heinberg portrayed Cap in an old school personality that expects the youth to not question an adult’s “guidance”. Cap may be heading for some challenges ahead as he clearly does not understand that parenting has changed since the 1950s and thus so have the adolescence of today.
Heinberg missed an opportunity here to have the young reader relate their emotions and behavior towards authority along with providing the adult reader some tips when trying to guide a teenager to make good choices. An understanding may have helped this story a little bit more substance.
Teenage rebellion is an act of highest assertion of independence and little adherence to parental advice during the teen years of a child’s life. It is called a “rebellion” because it leads to an intense confrontation between the teen and their parents and surrounding older adults. Teenage rebellion may seem spontaneous and illogical for adults, but there are several underlying reasons behind the behavior. The core or route of the matter is the desire to be independent: Teens are somewhere between being an adult and a kid. The in-between phase causes a surge in motivation to change the status quo. The urge to be independent leads to increased defiance to rules, and not listening to parents and other adults, no matter of the good intention. It takes patience and good parental skills to guide a person during this stage of human development.
That evening, the action begins at a wedding. Just before the groom and bride kiss, gunmen dressed in tuxedos made some hefty demands. Jessica and Kat arrive outside, and moments later the Young Avengers crash through the roof of the Cathedral and disarm the gunmen. However, due to their inexperience and teenage impulsiveness, they inadvertently started a fire in the process. The gunmen attach the Young Avengers as brave, or maybe adrenaline rushed bridesmaid retrieves one of the gunmen’s pistols. There are a lot of mistakes made by these young warriors, but eventually they overpower the gunmen and with a little sexist innuendo between a bridesmaid and Patriot.
Outside, shortly afterwards, journalists report on the “botched…attempted rescue” as the police attempt to detain the Young Avengers, who gives their names to Kat: “Asgardian”, “Hulkling,” “Iron Lad,” and “Patriot.” Jessica gives Hulkling her card, and Asgardian recognizes her as the former costumed superhero known as Jewel.
The Young Avengers flee the scene and land at the former Avengers Mansion where Iron Lad insists that if the team can’t handle five gunmen; they’ll stand no chance of defeating “the real enemy” – Kang the Conqueror – when he “shows up.” While Patriot storms off,Hulkling leaves Jessica’s card with Iron Lad before he and Asgardian leave as well. Iron Lad heads into the destroyed Mansion where he finds Captain America, Iron Man, and Jessica Jones waiting for him. After a heart to heart discussion, thanks to Jessica, Iron Lad opens up about his armor and his identity.
Heinberg provided a strong ground for the Young Avengers with much room to grow. The artwork by Jim Cheung & John Dell are precise with great details form panel to panel on each page, especially during the heist. However, I would have loved it if Cheung & Dell added more detail showing the motion when one of the gunmen punched Asgardian into Hulkling. Also, by adding a close up panel of the gunmen’s facial expression would have been an added bonus! The coloring by Justin Ponsor,…all I can say is “WOW”. Young Avengers #1 was enjoyable with an exciting cliffhanger that makes the reader intrigued to see what’s next for these teenage superheroes in the making.
Perfect? No. Compelling? YES! Young Avengers #1 leaves you wanting for more!
Young Avengers #1 (2005): Sidekicks
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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