April 18, 2010

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Young Avengers Volume 1

Written by Alan Heinberg
Illustrated by Jim Cheung
Marvel

Following the events of Avengers Disassembled and working within the loose bounds of the Pulse and New Avengers, Heinberg creates a grouping of youths with very familiar powers who are out to pick up the mantle laid down by their elders after the deaths of so many of their comrades. Mimicking the powers of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk, they set out to right the wrongs of the world.

They try--and fail--to live up the abilities of their idols, and even the addition of some other young guns doesn't help much. As the old Avengers try to stop them, we learn that Iron Lad has a deadly secret that could undo all of reality. And when you're talking early Avengers, time travel, and reality--who else but Kang is ready to make matters worse? As the world comes apart, sacrifices must be made--the very same ones that the older heroes are trying to avoid.

This is a well-done story that takes the shadows of the old and tries to build something new out of it, without doing anything to harm older continuity. These kids are typical Marvel heroes--they're imperfect, hold secrets, and are quite capable of failing. In short, if you're looking for an old-school Teen Titans vibe, you'll need to look elsewhere. I understand that Heinberg has suffered health issues and won't be writing comics anytime soon. That's a shame, because this is very good. I look forward to reading the rest of this short-lived series that died so that big crossovers may live. You should check it out, too.