Young Avengers #3 (2005)
Young Avengers #3 is a power pack of character development. Allan Heinberg continues to show off his storytelling skills as he concentrates on the background of the members of this teenage super-group. Note, I stated group and not a team; well they’re not there quite yet. Let’s hope that this group of Young Avengers can learn a few things first. One powerful lesson came from Iron Man, aka Tony Stark; “We were so busy taking care of the world, we forgot to take care of each other”. Before these super-teens can take care of each other in battle, they may need to prioritize focus and learn more about each other personally. Heinberg, outstandingly, provides enough background to each character, while building suspense to intrigue the imagination.
Nathaniel Richards, aka Iron Lad, is the person responsible for seeking and forming this group. We have learned quite a few details about this Young Avenger in these past three issues. Richards was born in the 30th century where the world seems perfect, however, it’s not entirely true. One day when he was being bullied, his older-self, who is referred to as “Kang the Conqueror. This was an important moment in time as the bully was about to injure young Richard’s throat to the brink of death. Kang stopped that from happening and continued to provide his younger self a taste of the future by providing him with a Neuro-Kenetic armor. Kang hoped that his past self would take the mantel sooner, rather than later. Kang’s ultimate plan may have had a chance if he chose to come back to the past right after young Richards recovered from his injury. This is a small miscalculation that caused this chain reaction. Young Richards did not experience the trauma and develop the feelings of rage, resent, and hate, which is why he decided to renounce his destiny and traveled back further in time to seek the assistance of the Avengers; Kang’s enemy’s.
Once Richard’s arrived to the present Earth-616 timeline, the Avengers were disbanded and created another obstacle to overcome. After striking out on tracking down members of the Avengers, Richards chose to “borrow” the remains of Vision and downloaded the memories into his suit. There is a “fail-safe” program that was built to find the next generation of Avengers in case the original were no longer active. It seems that Richards has the similar powers available to Kang the Conqueror of Earth-6311 and those of Iron Man. Now, by taking the name as Iron Lad, he used this program and found his recruits and finding himself telling his story to some important people.
Have you noticed that Asgardian and Hulkling are always together? Things to make you go hmmm! Heinberg is taking his time with these two and I greatly appreciate his thought process. Shit, it leaves the reader intrigued and wanting for more. Currently, even they don’t know or understand their powers or background. We can honestly compare Asgardian to Thor and Hulkling, well… kind of like our not-so jolly green gamma infused giant. They are both eager to be heroes and fight for good and all that, but they are a little naive. In Young Avengers #3, we learn that Asgardian’s real name is Billy Kaplan and Hulkling’s real name is Teddy Altman.
In spite of not easily to divulge his identity, we have a better understanding and background of the group’s leader in training, Patriot. Up to this point, all we knew about this character is that he has a huge chip on his shoulders. That’s about it; well, until Young Avengers #3. Why does Patriot wear an uniform similar to Captain America’s once upon a time sidekick, Bucky?
As Eli Bradley proudly explains the connection to a family legacy of heroes, he continues deeply on how, he, himself, was exposed to the super soldier serum. Personally, I think that Eli is the icing on the cake. This character tackles multiple topics relating to today’s world and it explains his attitude with a dash of resentment. By the end of this Young Avengers #3, I believe there is a mutual understanding and respect between Captain America and Patriot. However, I think that Kate is absolutely 100% correct when she stated, “Why can’t you be more like him?”
Thinking of Kate Bishop; we know that she was born with a silver spoon, but with a caring heart. She has awesome fighting skills, which we saw in the first issue as she saved the Young Avengers. Patriot seems to be jealous or maybe his pride was hurt that a girl without powers defeated some bad guys where he found difficulty to accomplish. In the aftermath of that event, Kate befriended Cassie Lang. Yes, the daughter of Ant-Man. Born without powers, Cassie, just wanted to gather her recently deceased father’s suit and become a Young Avenger. But, wait! Apparently, Cassie does have superpowers!
Heinberg provided a heartfelt story between Cassie and Iron Man in Young Avengers #3. The reader is very easily touched by Tony Stark’s confession about Cassie’s father’s murder and expression of concern with her becoming a superhero. There are consequences to our actions!
Action, yes, Young Avengers #3 has just enough to balance out with the character building. Jim Cheung & John Dell artwork, along with colors by Justin Ponsor are sharply detailed with fitting warm purples, soft blues, grays and a touch of greens that makes each panel pop. This team outstandingly enhances Heinberg’s storytelling between the action, character building and the dose of humor.
Best quote in Young Avengers #3; “We’re fanboys, aren’t we? So, we collect them all.” – Hulkling
Young Avengers are quite an eclectic mix of people and it somehow works.
Young Avengers #3 (2005): Side Kicks (Part 3 of 6)
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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