Young Avengers #5 – The art of saving the world
(This review contains minor spoilers for the Marvel comic book Young Avengers #5)
If anyone new to comic books asked for a title I would still recommend Young Avengers, even though I didn’t like this month’s issue. Marvel comic books have a history of delivering social commentary on real world events. The Comic book overall set the Young Avengers tumbling down a new path, far from familiar territory, and the comic book still felt close to reality. Parts of the issue are a let down though. Specifically, I did not enjoy reading the take on youth and suicide that appears early on in Young Avengers #5.
Regarding Wiccan, granted, he is at a low point. It’s clear he feels responsible for starting the mess that began in the first issue, and continues, unrelentingly. He’s powerless to do anything about it – the villain of the comic book is relying on overt brute force to stop the teens, and being a mage, brute force is not something he can easily brush-off. Luckily, Miss America, Hulkling, Marvel boy, and Kate Bishop have fought off invasions and crowds of villains. The key problem, however, is despite his friends efforts, he seriously considers suicide as a way out of the problem. Wiccan is impulsive, but this is extreme.
Young Avengers is a bit like an X-men comics: it’s always been a comic book unafraid to handle real world issues – discrimination and addiction for example. But I felt a sense of disquiet after watching Billy take a Kree weapon from Marvel Boy’s ship, and hold it to his chin.
It seemed an unexpectedly dark direction for the comic.
Loki arrives at the precise moment to save Wiccan. Immediately, the comic rushes off to deal with another threat. What Billy almost did remains unresolved. If this is a new direction in the real world issues explored by a Marvel comic book, I think it’s not particularly welcome – the scene seems included only for providing Loki with a shot at being a hero.
In the middle of the comic, Loki casts a magic spell designed to counteract the insidious effects of the “mother” parasite, which can possess an adult, and turn them into a fighting drone. The spell undoes this parasite’s magic. Captured adults are freed. In the centre of the page, Loki’s magic divides up the panels with electric, pale blue lightening. There are five major sets of panels that radiate outwards from the central star. In each segment of the star, a Young Avenger fights off a possessed adult.
What’s amazing about this artwork is that the page captures separate events happening at the same time flawlessly, which can be difficult in comics. Action divided up across several pages would not have the feeling of being simultaneous since the reader’s eye moves over panels, which instills a sense of time moving forward. On the page of this comic book, however, the eye is free to move around and see each Young Avengers actions at the same time. It’s unusual and original visual storytelling.
A bit more on Young Avengers #5
Several pages of the comic are spent on Loki giving exposition. Loki is experiencing something similar to the Superior Spider man comic book. Young Loki acts a guilty conscience for old Loki in the same way that Peter Parker interferes with the ruthless personality of Dr. Octopus. The exposition takes up far too much space, which leaves the ending feeling rushed. The art of Young Avengers #5 is worth seeing, and the comic promises to head in new directions.