Posted November 25, 2013 by Alvin Minon in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Young Avengers #12

The Young Avengers face with Mother in a final battle in Marvel’s Young Avengers #12. This would be their final battle indeed since news is, Young Avengers would stop after issue fifteen as Kieron Gillen said himself in his Tumblr post.

Despite the sad news, Gillen assures readers that “it’ll be back in an excellent new form at a future point”. Plus, the imminent cessation doesn’t stop Gillen and Jamie McKelvie from making this issue a big one, as this feels like one of those big events we usually see whenever something happens across universes. They’ve brought out the big guns for a final bang as this book pits the Young Avengers against their evil incarnations huddled together by Mother from other dimensions, making the issue somewhat of a crossover that isn’t a crossover.

YA #12’s as fantastic as it was when Gillen and McKelvie first took charge of the title. The playfulness’s here and there as the pages are rich with clever teenage humor, with lines and banters being thrown that could easily bring out some laughs. Case in point: Noh-Varr brooding over his breeding and the sight of brainwashed Captain America looking hilariously dumb. The helplessness of adults may be an over-used device but the exchanges in the opening where Cap’s trying to convince the kids that darkness and despair could be a positive thing, that one’s funny.

It’s not just the laughs that people should keep an eye out for, of course. There’s a lot of “feels” going on. Instead of the usual off-screen bursts, more light’s shed on the dynamics of Noh-Varr and Kate’s relationship, which I wish we could see more in the next few issues. No kissing scene, no cuddling or whatever but it’s just interesting to see their small moment play out and who knows where it could lead after this battle. Oh and there’s Miss America and Loki’s shared secrets about Wiccan. People could easily miss the tears in her eyes that McKelvie had put so subtlely in one panel but that alone says so much about her character and what’s going on beyond Wiccan’s knowledge.

And speaking of Loki, we’ve got his usual lines that could draw out giggles and a Scott Pilgrim reference to boot. The second Thor movie‘s been out just recently and the wave of Loki fangirls isn’t over yet. But in this issue, Gillen reminds people that With or without Tom Hiddleston, Loki is a very likeable character. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hiddleston’s Loki. But this issue just proves that any shade of the trickster could easily touch the audience, even the one that’s vulnerable.

It’s a big issue, really. We’ve got guest stars and lots of characters appearing in this issue, making allowing McKelvie to play around and give us beautiful splash pages. To list it all down, we’ve got the Young Avengers, their evil counterparts from other dimensions, members of the Avengers Academy that Prodigy called for some back-up, a brainwashed Cap and some other adults. Character count reaches at least 60 (yeah I’ve counted), a lot of guys participating in a superpower skirmish. Visually stunning of course, McKelvie made sure that the pages would stand out from the moment the characters pop out of their portals to the instant first blood is drawn.

However, it’s the very same set-up that allowed this issue to suffer. There’s too much ground to cover. While we could enjoy the individual moments with the characters we adore, there’s no room to dig deeper for each and everyone of them. It’s easy to connect with the characters but it stops just right when your engine’s about to start running. It’s this predicament that pulls the issue back a little from being a full-blown storm into the calm before the storm.

Still, this one’s a good read with wonderful pages where panels could be machine gun bullets or the negative space between jagged lightning bolts. The story’s the same awesome young ambiance that talks about the young and tackles the issues of the young. It’s sad that it’ll be ending soon but looking at Young Avengers #12, I’m pretty sure Gillen and McKelvie will be ending it with a bang.

Review Score:


It’ll all be ending soon so for those who haven’t caught up, get your copy of Young Avengers #12 now from 

Alvin Minon