Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 01.23.2013 – Young Avengers #1

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

980
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.3
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.9%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie & Mike Norton
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Cover by Jamie McKelvie, Skottie Young, & Bryan Lee O'Malley

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Well, here we are. After 12 years of writing a Pick of the Week review here at iFanboy.com (just about) every 3rd Wednesday, we’ve come to my last Pick. I’ll do my best to keep it together, promise me you’ll do the same.

As I sat down to review the list of comics shipping this Wednesday, I couldn’t help but to think that it would be great to see some of the familiar names of creators that I’ve been writing and talking about for all these past years. Well, someone in the comics gods sure heard my prayer as I was delighted to some of my all time favorite creators. Works by Darwyn Cooke, Rick Remender, John Cassaday, Mike Norton, Sam Humphries, Ron Garney, John Layman, Rob Guillory, Brian Wood, Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opeña, Geoff Johns, Jason Aaron, Cliff Chiang, Mike Allred and so many other talented names this week really drove home how amazing a time it is in comics right now. But as I whittled my stack down to the book that had me the most excited this week, it seems somewhat fitting that my last Pick of the Week was by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

I will never forget 2006 at the San Diego Comic Con when from across the con floor, I saw that iconic image of the first issue of Phonogram on display at the Image Booth. As a fan of Brit Pop, I immediately recognized the homage to the Elastica record cover. As we walked by, I couldn’t muster the courage to go talk to the 2 lanky fellows sitting behind the table. iFanboy wasn’t nearly as established as it is today and I hadn’t quite figured out the proper way to interact with creators, so looking back on it now, I’m glad I didn’t engage them as I surely would have embarrassed myself in some way (I thought I’d save the embarrassment til later on at future cons).

And now here we are, 7 years later and the team of Gillen and McKelvie are headlining names launching one of the most anticipated books of the year (so far). Now this Pick may come across as a love letter to a creative team that I’ve been a fan of for years, but it’s not. It’s so much more.

With Young Avengers #1, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Jamie McKelvie, I see a promise for the future of comics. I see a group of creators who weren’t around when we started iFanboy. I see a comic book featuring the majority of characters that weren’t around when we started iFanboy, much less when Gillen and McKelvie burst onto the comics scene with Phonogram. With Young Avengers #1, I see a potential for a future within comics where new creative voices can rise up and be noticed while creating new characters and new stories for us to enjoy.

One of the most exciting things to come out of Marvel in the 2000s was the Young Avengers. Here was a team of new characters with the same youthful energy and vigor that made Marvel special in the 1960s. A continuation of the legacy of the Avengers that has been in place for 40 years. The work of Allen Heinberg and Jim Cheung was dynamic and exciting. It was something worth talking about. But then they got put on the shelf. For whatever reason that we won’t get into here, the promise of Young Avengers was stunted. Sure we got bits and tastes of them over the years, but never in a manner that was as compelling and as energetic as when they first arrived. Until Now.

With the launch of Young Avengers #1, I feel that youthful energy and vigor that makes you want to grab your friend and push the comic book in front of them saying, “You’ve got to read this!” and not giving up until they have read it and ultimately see the light and agree with you as to the amazing potential the book holds.

I could get into what actually happens in this issue. Like how they’re taking a little bit of the pre-established Young Avengers and giving us a positive same-sex relationship in a super hero book, or how they’re capitalizing on one of Gillen’s finest moments at Marvel with the inclusion of Kid Loki, but that would take away from the amazement you’ll have when you do read this comic. Trust me when I say that reading Young Avengers #1 is like looking into the future of the Marvel Universe.

It helps that Gillen and McKelvie have a long history of working together. A partnership that shows on every page. It’s no coincidence that their first book was Phonogram, a book about music and magic, because every time they come together the work sings. The panels flow with a rhythm that few creative teams can compare to. It has been amazing to watch as this team has grown with one another, honing their skills and getting a little bit better with each release. You can see the energy on every page, be it from the modern and stylish page layouts, to the snappy dialogue and the nuanced character acting that expresses it, to the weight of moments. It’s almost as if they’ve cracked into some creator magic code that unlocked ridiculous levels of talent to spill across the pages.

I’d be remiss if I heaped ALL the praise on Gillen and McKelvie while they have expanded the band, pulling in a creative team that has brought the final product to even greater heights. The joint art of McKelvie and Mike Norton is a merging of two of my favorite artists who together paint a visual picture that’s one of the most exciting in comics. The colors of Matt Wilson, as we first raved on McKelvie’s creator owned series Suburban Glamour back in the day, give the final art the depth and color in a way that’s so perfect it almost defies description. All in all, I defy you to find a more talented creative team putting out a better product than this. Further, I don’t think any book in the Marvel NOW! relaunch embraces the promise of Marvel NOW! more than this. Young Avengers #1 sets the bar high. Very high.

As I begin my departure from this side of the con floor of the comic book business to the publishing side, I can’t help but look to these Pick of the Week reviews as the thrice weekly moments where I refined my abilities to see what makes a comic book good, not so good, and great. Without this analysis on a regular basis, and the treasured conversations, arguments and celebrations that came from them, I don’t think I’d be in the position I am today and I’m forever grateful for it. The work done by Gillen and McKelvie have been a key aspect of that as they’re creators who I immediately noticed something special from the get-go and I can’t help but have a big dumb grin on my face as I flip through Young Avengers #1 to see how far they’ve come. I may not be reviewing books after this one, but you can bet your ass that I’ll be reading them every week and I fully expect for Gillen, McKelvie, Norton, Wilson, Hollingsworth and a whole parade of other creators who I’ve come to love to keep knocking me off my socks and reminding me why I love comic books.

Thank you Young Avengers #1, I couldn’t have asked for a better send off.

Ron Richards
“How long ’til Wednesday?”
ron@ifanboy.com


 

Comments

  1. Well Ron it’s sad to see you go from iFanboy for bigger things but you sure are leaving us with a hell off a last POTW. I picked up the comic because of how you raved of the Gillan\McKelvie team and you are right, they are AMAZING combined together. So long Ron but I hope you don’t become a stranger to the website and the podcast.

  2. My pick was gambit 8 love that book Ron you like asmus writing you should be reading thid book. great pick great review Ron good luck wish I well on your future

  3. Congrats, Ron! A great pick, and a final pick worthy of your 12 year run. Do have a wonderful time at Image. You deserve it!

  4. Godspeed Ron, all the best in your new venture.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sQPZ9dD9v8

  5. I haven’t read it yet but the talent involved says how awesome this book is. Team Phonogram… Again!

  6. Picked it up because of of how much you raved about Phonogram. Really liked it! Thanks for all the great reviews, suggestions, and fun times.

  7. That Bryan Lee O’Malley cover definately didn’t hurt it’s chances for pick, eh?

  8. Shouldn’t this be an Image book, or have the the paychecks not started coming in yet?

  9. Ron it’s been awesome, iFanboy won’t be the same without you and I’m sure you know that. I truly hope you do great things at your new job and maybe push Kirkman for everyone here at least once.

  10. Awesome pick for your final review, Ron! Thanks for everything! I wish you all the luck in the world!

  11. Usually my POTW is pretty easy, this week? Yikes! This was a great week for comics!

  12. Excellent final review. Thank you Ron.

  13. Should’ve seen this coming. A fitting book for your last POTW. The subject matter, McKelvie’s style, and the fact that it’s a first issue all mirror your youthful enthusiasm in a beautiful way, Ron. We’re all gonna miss you. This is getting harder by the day. I’ll see ya tomorrow night.

  14. That’s it, you’re fired. Just kidding, thanks for all you’ve done to nurture my love of comics. Ron, as a member of the triumvirate of comics awesomeness, you will always be a legend in my mind. I’m going to miss you on the show and on the site. Good luck at Image, I hope life makes you happy, you deserve it.

  15. Fantastic review, Ron. At the risk of sounding like an asshole, out of the big three here at iFanboy, I was never really all that taken with Ron’s writing (of course, he more than made up for that with his enthusiasm throughout the various podcasts and video shows). But this is a really great piece, thoughtful and measured and just the thing to go out on. Your overall optimism for the artform makes me hopeful not just for the future of comics, but for the arts in general.

    I both can and can’t wait until Sunday’s show – sounds like it’ll be a good one!

  16. What a bunch of sappy comments, jeez, someones dog die? Seriously though,good review Ron and fitting for obvious reasons. Good luck at Image. IMAGE!!! That’s awesome!!! Drop by for podcasts, a random article, etc if you can, sure you will and I hope to see you and any of the other ifanboys on a con floor someday soon.

  17. Way to make a grown man cry! Seriously, I’m gonna miss these reviews so much. Might not have agreed with every pick you’ve made Ron but damn it you did a great job convincing me why these titles were always worthy of ‘Pick of the Week’ status. I wanted to get this but for some reason I decided not too. Definitely going to rectify that now with this.

    My pick was Chew #31 if anyone cares.

  18. Goodbye sweet prince, I will take a shot in your honor when I listen to your final POTW podcast

  19. YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!

    I tried to write more but nothing said it quite like the above. Farewell Ron. Don’t be a stranger OK?

  20. Thanks Ron. I teared up halfway through the second paragraph. I’ll come back and finish reading later. Good Luck.

  21. Damnit, I held it together until the “How long ’til Wednesday?”. Wonderful review, wonderful comic. Your words echoed my sentiments to the t. I look forward to hearing you, Josh and Conor discuss this more. I can’t say I’ll hold my composure as long as I did reading this, however. You and your articles will be missed, sir.

  22. Bye Ron. We’ll miss you
    x

  23. Well done brother. Although I don’t know you personally, I know that your incredibly motivated and creative. Now go fuck some shit up.

  24. Great POTW write up. This wasn’t on my pull list but I will make sure to check it out. I’m going to miss your POTWs, mainly because I never knew what you were going to pick. You were the wild card. Hopefully you can start that X-Men Forever Podcast that we’ve been waiting for.

    Good luck Ron and great job!

  25. Nice one Ron, best of luck, don’t be a stranger, thanks for everything.

  26. A fitting end.

    P.S. I still don’t know what the hell Phonogram is.

  27. Good luck, dude!

  28. You will be missed. Please visit when you can with your great laugh.

  29. It’s almost like the industry knew you were leaving the site, and gave you all of the best comics this week. Amazing stuff.

    A fantastic review, worthy of your swansong at iFanboy. Thanks for everything, man, and good luck.

  30. Great pick, great review. Gonna miss having you at Ifanboy bud, best of luck.

  31. fatsoraven (@http://www.twitter.com/veryraresecrete) says:

    Lil’ choked up here!!!

  32. Fine review, Ron, bestimost with the new job.

  33. Great final review and best of luck in the new job! I’ve rarely posted on the site in recent years, but I have to say thank you. Comics in general and your podcast in particular were one of the things that helped me survive law school.

  34. It’ll probably be my pick as well. Just because it seems to fit with this week.

    Good luck Ron

  35. cheers and well done, ron.

  36. Funny I imagined Noh-Varr playing “Be My Baby” and saw from the credits page it was what he was playing. Also, the posters in hir room were a nice touch. Anybody saw the vid of that credits page using Marvel AR? Lol. Lotsa good stuff in here that made me smile.

  37. Am I the only one that thought the cop taking the mugging victim’s statement looked like Ron?

  38. I don’t read Marvel hero books, so this ain’t for me. But good luck in the new job, Ron, will miss your writing and podcasting here.

    Lighten up people – dude’s not dead, he just got a new job!

  39. Good call and great swan song Mr. Richards. I thought this might turn out PotW. With a team like that working on the book. Looking forward to issue 2.

  40. I honored your departure from iFanboy Ron, by picking this book up today on the shelves. Just because you chose it as POTW material! 🙂 Who knows, maybe this’ll go on my permanent pull-list at my LCS! 😉

  41. I bought this issue based on this recommendation. The iFanboy track record is strong, so in the future I will still probably go after many of the team’s recommendations. With that said…

    I didn’t care for it.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the only 2 pages I liked were the 2 that made up the first 2-page spread. Props to McKelvie on that spread, but the rest…eh.

  42. One more time, with feeling…good luck Ron and thanks for the fun times.

    Conor, Josh and Paul…here’s to the future.