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Comics 101, #004: Young Avengers (2013)

Comics 101, #004: Young Avengers (2013)

Comics 101 is an introduction to comics and graphic novels for those who are interested in trying comics, but are unsure of what to try. The Comics 101 series is aimed particularly at female readers who may be interested in trying comics for the first time.

Ah, to be young, in love, and brimming with superhuman abilities.

This month’s featured series, Marvel Now’s reboot of YOUNG AVENGERS, has all these things and more.  From the first pages of the first issue, we see six young adults doing the things young adults do: sleeping together, eating breakfast at night, brawling, falling in love.

That does sound like a somewhat typical superhero-style comic – so let’s introduce it a new way: YOUNG AVENGERS manages to treat all of these things in a neutral and respectful way.

YoungAvengers_1_CoverThough the team isn’t exactly as diverse as it could be, it does manage its own type of diversity with Wiccan and Hulkling, who have the most sensible and healthy romantic relationship I’ve ever seen in a comic series, and with Ms. America, a bilingual English-Spanish speaker with two mothers.

In fact, though Kate Bishop as Hawkeye and Ms. America are the only two women in the six-part team, I find both of them somewhat more interesting than the other characters. Kate is funny and takes everything in stride, though you discover by the fourth page she has no superhuman abilities, while I haven’t seen a woman drawn as realistically as Ms. America since DC Comics ruined Amanda Waller in the New 52 redesign.

Another wonderful thing about the comic is the way Wiccan’s parents are handling his relationship with Hulkling. Not only do his parents accept the fact that he’s gay very easily, but they also allow his boyfriend, Hulkling, to live in their home. Wiccan and Hulkling – also known as Billy and Teddy – have a healthy and supportive relationship, and from page one it’s treated just as any other relationship.

My favorite character, though, is Ms. America, introduced as Miss America Chavez when she corners Kid Loki halfway through the first issue. Muscular, stubborn, and brave, she’s a great example of a superheroine, and I’m looking forward to her development as a character.

With an art style unlike many comics but somewhat to Marvel’s current run of Hawkeye, YOUNG AVENGERS is a great read, and for someone new to the Marvel universe, it’s a good introduction to a new circle of young characters.

TIP SHEET

  • The new Young Avengers series launched in January 2013.
  • The current series features Wiccan, Hulkling, Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), Kid Loki, Marvel Boy, and Ms. America.
  • YOUNG AVENGERS #6 was available beginning June 26.
  • The trade paperback, which collects YOUNG AVENGERS #1-5, will be released in September.

YOU MAY LIKE YOUNG AVENGERS IF:

  • You’re pretty hopped up on that Tumblr shit.
  • You enjoy stories with diverse, youthful casts.
  • You enjoy comics with a departure from the traditional style.
  • You’re not too squeamish.

Feliza Casano is the founder and editor of Girls in Capes and writes for all sections of the magazine. She is a relatively new reader of comics and is more than happy to test drive new series. She originally fell in love with the Teen Titans animated series and wishes the new Young Avengers were on TV, too.

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Feliza Casano
Editor at Girls in Capes
Feliza founded Girls in Capes in 2013. She edits and writes for all sections of the web magazine, specializing in science fiction and manga. She occasionally live-tweets @FelizaCasano and you can find her at the same handle on Instagram posting pictures of paper products.
Feliza Casano
Written by Feliza Casano

Feliza founded Girls in Capes in 2013. She edits and writes for all sections of the web magazine, specializing in science fiction and manga. She occasionally live-tweets @FelizaCasano and you can find her at the same handle on Instagram posting pictures of paper products.