Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Young Avengers Presents #1

By Zak Edwards
February 18, 2008 - 16:42

According to some speculation, the Young Avengers was going to start as a bi-monthly title sometime early this year, yet scheduling issues has delayed this further.  Instead, Marvel has decided to create a series featuring some of the publisher’s well-known talent showcasing stories involving the characters of the Young Avengers.  The focus of the first issue is of the team’s leader, Patriot, who is also the grandson of the original super-soldier, a black man by the name of Isaiah Bradley.  Bringing us this story is the creative team of Eisner award-winning writer Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Uncanny X-Men) and Paco Medina (New Warriors, New X-Men).  This creative team sounds like a perfect match, combining Ed Brubaker’s experience on the headline-making Captain America series with Paco Medina’s familiarity with the teenage super-hero titles, but this first installment severely limits itself in its audience and brings up many political issues of today whilst attempting to glorify the concept of America.

Perhaps it is this fact of the issue’s focus on America as being a very positive force and entity that bothers me to begin with.  The story feels like propaganda and perhaps the fact that I am not an American adds to these feelings.  Apparently Patriot is having some...patriotism issues, he is disgusted by the abuse and wrongdoings of a past America.  These feelings appear to be clouding his vision to what America is, which, according to the Winter Soldier, is not “its politics or problems...America is an idea.”  Perhaps attempting to remove real-life politics from this work would be beneficial, but Brubaker is an accomplished enough writer to know his audience will draw these comparisons.  The single worst part of this issue arises in the Winter Soldier’s big lesson to Patriot about his internal struggle; “It’s not just slavery and what happened to the Indians (I would like to interject here and point out his use of the word ‘Indian.’  Perhaps Native American, Aboriginal, or First Nations might make him appear less ignorant)... it’s also the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement, and democracy.”  Your right, Ed Brubaker, America is not just torturing prisoners in Iraq, it’s not just Guantanamo Bay, it’s not just making your apparently perfect way of working a government become your main export;  it’s also the Patriot Act, Manifest Destiny, and your ethnocentric way of thinking that your country, despite being in the process of economic collapse, is the best place in the world to be.  This comic book limits itself entirely to a single audience in a global market, talking to Americans about their country only in a past tense while attempting to ignore the present.  Unfortunately, attempting to get past the propaganda and limited perspective, this comic book becomes very difficult.  From the standpoint of questioning what this specific issue adds to the Young Avengers characters and series, this issue does very little.  There is some reinforcement of Patriot’s character outside of the mask as a dedicated grandson but that's about it.  The awkward flirtatious exchanges between Patriot and the female Young Avenger Hawkeye go nowhere, but that is an issue probably best left for when then actual title begins again.  The inclusion of Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan, serves little purpose beyond a means to an end, he is used and quickly disposed of.  This, the issue leaves no lasting impression on the team or the title, it appears to be little more than an attempt to remind readers of the existence of the Young Avengers and to make some money off of its former success.  I guess it worked, they got my money.

Paco Medina displayed his ability to pencil a teenage character, making the characters not look like children or adults, but somewhere in between.  His previous experience on both the New Warriors title and the New X-Men title have given him plenty of practice in pencilling these characters looking the age they are.  Also, my biggest problem with Paco Medina’s pencilling was not present.  Generally, Medina has problems considering  an accurate portrayal of the female form, but he is given little opportunity this issue to do so, considering an almost completely male cast.  Medina’s drawings of Kate Bishop were, for the most part, not subject to this usual problem.  Some of the action sequences are awkward and lacking a movement to them causing characters to appear frozen in action rather than fluid, which makes them look like statues.  Medina’s art was fairly well-suited for the title considering the characters involved and his own experience.

2/10    A story that would be better suited in a recruitment drive pamphlet, the artist selection worked well with the characters used.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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