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Young Avengers: Vol. 1


Kieron Gillen (Author), Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator), Marvel Comics (Publisher)

> Review by Carolyn Marcile

Young Avengers is a book that would have made me a better person if it had existed when I was fifteen years old. At thirty-two years old I still benefitted greatly from the experience, but mostly because Young Avengers is that rare teen empowerment story that appeals to young and old alike. Those who have worried about representation in comics will be ecstatic with the text; it’s awesome to be able to say that basically everyone is queer, and that not everyone is white. Young Avengers runs on a pop culture engine, and is by turns equally honest, heartbreaking and gleeful. The colors are wonderfully exuberant, and the often downright hilarious dialogue crackles along without a misstep. Characters have layers cognizant of the rich history of Marvel characters, but also possess realistic identities that are distinctly separate from those who have come before, allowing each member to be recognizable yet believable in their own right. In a comic that is so concerned with young adults, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that parental roles are very much the focus; in a plot so heavy-handed that it is weirdly rendered clever, the Young Avengers are up against a foe that literally can’t be seen by adults. Readers of any age will love seeing the children of the Marvel pantheon breaking away from more recognizable authority figures (like Thor and Captain America) and saving the day in their own fashion. Young Avengers is eminently necessary, wonderfully current, and best of all, exciting.

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