Friday, May 6, 2011

Comic Review "Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade (One Shot)"

            I read a short time ago a one shot comic which was not only disappointing, but kind of offended me.  The comic was "Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade (One Shot)".  It was a single issue tie in book to serve as a sort of jumping on point for the Young Avengers series, which is published sporadically regardless of its good sales and critical acclaim, its almost like Marvel doesn't want to run the new IP into the ground for the sake of a few bucks.  But this is Marvel, so that can't be true, so I don't know what is going on with its publishing.
Seriously, why isn't this already a hugely popular cartoon show like its counterpart "Young Justice"?

            All that being said about the series I'll tell you about the characters.  There is Patriot, who is the grandson of the original Captain America, a black guy who was experimented on prior to Steve Rodgers becoming the official Captain America (this is all explained in a mini-series called "Red, White, and Black" which is sort of a big middle finger to racist policies of the 1940's, which probably would have been poignant in the 40's).  There is also Iron Lad, who is dead, but his brainwaves were imprinted on the android Vision, Iron Lad was the teenage version of the time traveling criminal called Kang, who didn't want to grow up to be a bad guy and instead wanted to be a hero.  There is also Hulkling, who is the son of Captain Marvel (an alien cop/spy who died of cancer) and the empress of the alien race Skrulls, so Hulkling has an impossible legacy to live up to on both sides of his family, and he can shapeshift.  There is also Wiccan and Speed, twin brothers who were created by magic by their mom, the Scarlet Witch, Wiccan is a spell caster and Speed has... Super speed, I'm not a big fan of these really minimalist names.  The girls of the team are Hawkeye and Stature, Hawkeye is literally a random teenage girl that helped them save the day so they recruited her, and Stature is the daughter of the now dead Ant-Man, Scott Lang, and just from being around his size changing gear constantly gained the ability to change size at will.
This series does a good job of making you feel like you are watching an adventure, rather than making you feel like you are reading a comic.  I wish it was as good as it was 5 years ago.  Guest stars in this book have had successful character arcs and growth that out paces by miles these criminally underused characters.

            Now why did the "(One Shot)" bother me so much about these characters?  Here is why, it is really homophobic, and it comes off as a writer who couldn't get over the characters.  See, Wiccan and Hulkling are boyfriends, in the original run of the comic the mention of this being the case was so subtle I didn't even realize it had happened, they were going to tell their parents they were teen super heroes but before they could say 'Superhero" the parents interrupted and said that they already knew that Hulkling and Wiccan were gay and that they were accepting it and were proud that the two were willing to share that with them.  I thought that they just decided to use this as a cover, as they didn't bother to tell them the "Young Avengers" part of their lives.  They kept their hero identities secret.  And it's never really brought up again, it is part of who they are, but the comic is about super heroes first, and it went on to be one of the best written comics of 2005-2006.
I seriously did not get, or really care whether or not those two were gay.

            The "(One Shot)", whenever the two of them are in the panel together, makes a crack about them being gay, and it gets a little distracting.  I can understand the occasional joke, I joke when straight friends I know are dating, mostly bagging on one or the other, then the joke ends.  There are like 10 pages all of which have a gay joke on them.  Which is really stupid.  Now that isn't the whole book, there is a cool time travel story that they practically plagiarized from DC comics' teen heroes comic "Teen Titans", so it is interesting, but not original, and seems to have no bearing on the greater "Children's Crusade" ongoing mini-series, so it all amounts to a pile of beans.
This is the comic in question.  Don't buy it.  It is pretty shitty.

            So yeah, I guess if you don't mind the author practically yelling, "They're totally gay.  Totally banging.  They both take it in the ass and mouth!" then feel free to read this pointless comic, otherwise, pass on it.

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