Young Avengers #5 Review

Reviewer : Tim Byrne

Writer (Co-creator) : Allan Heinburg
Penciler (Co-creator) : Jim Cheung
Inker : John Dell
Colors : Justin Ponsor
Letters : Cory Petit (VC)
Editor : Tom Brevoort
Publisher : Marvel Comics

This whole time travel / Kang the Conqueror mess begins to come to a head in a massive melee involving Kang and the whole Young Avengers team.

Actually, the time travel angle is to me the weakest part of this story, and the one requiring the biggest suspension of disbelief. Young Kang has come back in time to take up the mantle of ‘Iron Lad’ and prevent his future self from becoming, y’know, evil and stuff.

Why wouldn’t Iron Lad just make a conscious decision NOT to be ‘evil’? Is there some kind of pivotal event that marks this later change in philosophy? I would have much preferred the idea that Iron Lad represented the person Kang WOULD have become, save for some pivotal event in his past.

I have no idea how these humble ideas of mine could be shoehorned into the story, but the difficulties with this ‘time jump’ certainly weakened my enjoyment of what was otherwise a wonderfully written story.

Actually, I feel that Heinburg channels some of the best aspects of Bendis’ style, while not accumulating many of the faults. The snappy, back-and-forth dialogue is a definite strength and gives a lovely endearing quality to these youthful characters. They are still finding their way, scrapping in the trenches, and its hard not to wish them well. However, this well-crafted dialogue also serves to advance the plot, and Jim Cheung certainly plays his role there, showing fantastic action sequences and high-powered conflicts.

I also loved the impact of the female members of the team, showing their worth and input, and not yet being perceived as ‘token’ members. See in particular Cassie’s great and natural response to being called a ‘child’ by Kang.

As stated before, Jim Cheung leaves everything on the table, especially excelling on a double-page spread near the certre of the book, precisely capturing the spirit of such a confrontation. Justin Ponsor, on colors, maybe needs to trim down slightly on the purple.

Great cliffhanger, and I’m dying (pun intended) to see the conclusion.