This book deserves an award!
Should have written this ages ago, but hey its difficult putting this into words that anyone can understand its just so very irritating I always want to stop and vomit.
The issue starts with Kate Bishop, the female Hawkeye, awakening on a spaceship after having a one nightstand with Noh-Varr(Marvelboy). And the problems already start since Kate is apparently not only so stupid she only realizes now that she had traveled into outer space, but also only now realizes that the person she slept with is someone who beat the crap out of her twice in the past. An instance that gets referenced like it was no big deal afterwards with her basically laughing about it. This at least makes it clear this is bad writing and not a plot involving Noh-Varr roofie raping Kate.
Since I'm on the topic Kates backstory involves being sexually assaulted, should we really just write scenes like this without addressing that at any point prior.
Back to the story: To make perfectly clear this scene only exists because some tumblr or twitter users shipped these two without any logical reason, Noh-Varr starts dancing in his underwear showing of his stylistically drawn abs. Sadly the art is not good enough to get the shippers wet and subsequently Noh-Varr is nobodies favorite part of this series since he is written without actual personality or traits.
Anyways Skrulls attack the ship all of a sudden and Kate gives us a monologue how she has no powers and not enough training and absolutely everyone should try being a superhero once. This is the first Young Avengers story since the one were Kate quit, because her best friend died on the job, yes being a superhero is all fun and stuff, right?
This is a new series and it shouldn't be forced to comply to the tone of the previous, you say? Debatable... But to cut this short that very death is gonna be a plot point soon.
After the comic is done satisfying that part of the tumblr fanbase by bringing their bad fanfiction to life lets move on to give them the badly written cutesy cute gay and nothing else characters they love so much, because apparently there is some kind of rule that says if minority characters have been written well for so long someone has to screw it up.
We see Hulkling, take down two robbers in the shape of Spider-Man, but without hiding his shapeshifting powers, which makes little sense it only becomes dumber when we see Hulkling has a new costume which obviously serves no purpose since it can't be seen while he is transformed.
He returns home and by that I mean Wiccans home. Every single time it appeared after the original series it was obvious Hulkling was NOT living there, but "hey, they are living in the same house! Squeee!!!", right?
But lets quit stalling with ultimately minor continuity issues and get to the insulting parts.
Wiccan already waits for Hulkling being all depressed and broken up because of Cassies and Visions death, who don't get mentioned by name ever, that he can't be a superhero anymore and apparently demands from Hulkling not to be one anymore either... That sounds like the plot of Childrens Crusade in the last issue, that already got resolved in Childrens Crusade in the same issue...
Wow, this writer doesn't just ignore previous comics he selectively chooses to ignore parts of comics while amping up others, because Wiccan never made anyone else stop being a superhero in that issue and didn't quit because he was oh, so sad about it, but because he considered his selfish actions to be the reason why it happened and himself the villain to blame for it. Also the final lines from Wiccan before this series started were about how he will never give up no matter what hardship he and his team are gonna face.
But it gets better, as in even better than that garbage before, as in it gets worse...
Did I already mention Wiccan was to depressed to do anything but still had time to get a single earring and a new hairstyle, because writer and artist agreed he just didn't look gay enough?
Okay, okay, no stalling. It follows a conversation that is unworthy of any type of relationship and much more that of a beloved couple like this.
Essentially Hulkling starts crying when Wiccan mentions HIS friends, as opposed to their friends, having died. He tells Wiccan how he essentially has no right to be sad about the death of their friends, because he still has parents, not only mentioning Wiccans biological parents wrongly called his adoptive parents, but also Wanda, which is as awesome as being mythical elve child with Galadriel as your mother.
Ugh, lets ignore that Kieron Gillen does not appear to know what kind of story Lord of the Rings is and just did it because he needed a popculture reference absollutely everyone would get or that Hulkling was only a superhero fanboy so far, of real life superheroes, and him making a Lord of the Rings reference in a serious conversation about your relationship is ridiculous, and just ask in what kind of universe being the child of the Scarlet Witch is awesome?
The woman is an ex-trerrorist responsible for the death and pain of multiple of her close friends and essentially wiping out an entire species. And that is not some obscure fact from thirty years ago, its fundamental for the previous Young Avengers story and still very much important in the Uncanny Avengers book that came out around the same time. Still this comic chooses to ignore M-Day, because making the Scarlet Witch a saint makes Wiccan look even more like an ungrateful selfish twat, which is apparently what this book is trying to do.
Hulkling then keeps whining about how he lost the only person ever close to him, his adoptive mother, because apparently other relationships than parents don't count in this book. He then says how Wiccan is the only thing he still has and how he would be anything to make Wiccan like him...
Turning into anything a guy he has a crush on wants him to be so that people like him is literally Hulklings backstory, which happened before his first appearance.
That's like making Doctor Strange back into an arrogant surgeon without any explanation or development leading up to it. Its like having Spider-Man be the kind of guy who lets villains get away for no reason but the fact that stopping them wouldn't help him personally.
Anyways Hulkling than says how having Billy is totally enough but he fell in love with a superhero, a word this books seems to have a completely different definition of than any other as will become clear later in this series.
Billy says that Teddy is right and that he will make up for it and that he will be the best boyfriend in every reality. Strange phrasing for a guy who never was to another reality, wonder if that will be important.
They then kiss and that is really all people care about right? Who gives a damn about realistic relationships, meaningful deep emotion and logic and proper representation, if you can say how this is like the cutest gay kiss ever. It does not even bother anyone that Wiccan leaving after this essentially means the conflict was dodged instead of resolved.
This fight started because Hulkling was out being a superhero which Wiccan had forced him not to be, now the book pretends that they made up, but does not answer the question if Wiccan is fine with Hulkling being superhero now or if he will even join him again. Instead of showing them deal with this an immature and juvenile idea of love is presented as the solution for everything.
For those haven't read Childrens Crusade, Wiccan being depressed Hulkling coming in and helping him overcome it before they kiss is a scene in the last issue of Childrens Crusade.
Except that scene was much better handled, because Wiccan being deeply depressed made sense, because the book showed why and didn't have to retcon something out of existence to explain it. Also Hulkling snaps him out of it by facing the problem instead of cowardly sneaking behind his back and explains to him that the thing they should learn from their young friends dying was that life is to short to waste it especially in their line of work and he doesn't just tell Wiccan to quit whining because he himself has it worse, but does it because having come to the realization that life he had also realized that he wanted to spent the rest of his life together with Wiccan.
But no lets retcon their first onscreen kiss and their engagement out of existence to write the exact same scene again in the first issue afterwards just in worse and making their relationship look like an abusive one between selfish co-dependant jerks.
Enough talk about the disrespect for a better book for now and lets focus on how this book manages to be bad on its own... Oh, wait I need to talk about the disrespect for a better book, because Wiccan decides to use his powers to bring the dead back to life after he specifically told Iron Lad he shouldn't do that in the last book, right after Cassies and Visions death.
But screw that Billy hadn't thought about using his powers to bring his friends back, but now he immediately jumps to bring back Hulklings mother.
And how does he do it? In the most impractical way possible! He doesn't even try to reanimate her or something he just summons a visible manifestation of ever possible universe and starts skimming through them manually... and then the books thinks its clever by having him point out he should have expected infinity to be big.
We cut to a character Kieron Gillen can write, Kid Loki. Or maybe the character just looks better written by comparison because the other characters are all so flat and colorless. Anyways Loki is alarmed to what Wiccan is doing and teleports to the houses roof to do something when Mary Sue America intervenes... Miss America Sue... Chavez... something along those lines. Anyways its a character that to this point in time nobody managed to write in a good way and has essentially gotten worse every time a new writer decided to write her.
To explain these twos out of nowhere appearance serves the Marvel Now Point One Issue #0. It shows a scene were Mary Chavez meets with Kid Loki he tells her he wants to murder Wiccan and she proves she is as inefficient as short-tempered when she blasts him through a wall tells him not to kill the person he announced to kill and then just leaves...
But as the writer has us known on tumblr she doesn't have a temper, because that would be stereotype since she is a latina, he actually basically writes it in a way that makes it clear that is the only reason why she supposedly doesn't have temper.
He then explains how she just considers that kind of direct plan to be the most efficient and says how her announcing that she would pay for the damages proves that she was totally in control.
The super efficient plan she came up with is therefore:
- Announcing to pay for the damages.
- Punching a guy through a wall.
- Telling the guy not to kill anyone.
- Leaving without paying for the damages like she promised.
- Camp on the roof of the targets place till the guy comes to kill him, because obviously he is gonna ignore what she told him.
Batman couldn't have come up with something better.
In the present Billy finds a possible reality to pull Hulklings mother from and ponders whether he should do it while Miss Mary Sue starts attacking Loki on the roof. He finally decides to do it, since he would never find a universe like this again. One wonders why Billy even summoned those universes, if he had not already made up his mind on bringing her back. Or why he doesn't just use his powers to specifically call for a universe with the right conditions.
The moment Billy calls her into his universe Loki uses a spell with an evil smile on his face.
Mh... Loki claiming he wants to kill Billy before the series starts, then getting alarmed to something Wiccan seemingly did on a hunch and smiling evily while manipulating what Wiccan is doing... I would be shocked if it turned out Loki had some nefarious plan and was responsible for everything.
Anyways Hulkling comes to the roof and sees the two author pets fighting then letting them just fly off and getting called down were his mother has returned.
Immediately afterwards he and Wiccan have gone to bed, because thats what you do if your mother comes back from the grave the same night an evil god fights some unknown superhero on your roof.
Anyways Wiccans parents talk to Hulklings mom and she does the most evil thing tumblr fans could imagine! She suggests Billy and Teddy are to young to live together and that they shouldn't be together and a bunch of "I'm not okay with my sons boyfriend"-talk, because hey obviously we wanted to see the people who started out by battling Kang the Conqueror fight angsty teenager problems in a series that claimed to be about them having to grow up.
But don't worry, of course Billys parents immediately jump up to tell her how her its for the best of my son talk means she is a horrible mother doesn't love him. So she slimes them in their faces to reveal she is the villain of the book. The issue ends.
What is the fazit here?
I need to phrase it carefully, because people seem to tell people who criticize it, how they just don't get it because they are to stupid, like reading Kiereon Gillens tumblr page and taking everything in unfiltered required intelligence. Can't really blame them given that the author used to write videogame reviews with lines like: "The game will receive brutally mixed reviews, but thats more a sign of the quality of the reviewer than of the game." Which translates to: "If you don't share my opinion, you are an idiot and to stupid to understand it."
You knew those kids at your school when you were somewhere between twelve and sixteen? Stood together every break at some wall sucking face? Seemed to break up every time their lips parted to get back together next break before anyone even noticed the break-up? Thought they were soooo madly in love? And acted like they were so mature because they kissed with tongue and everyone else was just stupid kids. That's what we're dealing with here.
A juvenile idea of something not that adult to begin with. A relationship is holding hands and kissing and that magically makes all problems disappear. Parents are just evil people trying to harm you when they say its for your best and you just don't understand it because you are a kid, of course possessed by some evil after all they are your parents you love them.
This story about having to grow up is just a childs idea of growing up, how they know all better and everyone that is mean to them is evil and when they are adults they can fly to the moon or whatnot. I'm getting ahead in the story here, I admit.
The relationships and not only the romantical ones are unhealthy and all about not saying anything to upset the other, because maybe he doesn't want to be your friend anymore if you do or you get pushed around by a friend, but its still totally friendship. That is the kind of garbage this story shows. But it just couldn't be any of the regular lame wish fulfillment written by some author who thinks he still totally knows how teens think wrote, could it? They had to pull existing characters in it.
Writing a book about growing up for the Young Avengers was already a mistake at the point where you pretend it was something new. Like the team had only been playing around and now they had to face the "adult" world, because the original Young Avengers was all about growing up and all about the conflict with you elders, with people that are truly well-intentioned and sometimes even right when you think its clear as day they are wrong, not always, sometimes what they do is wrong and what they think is best is not best. Its about making mistakes and how not everything you do is awesome unless there is some evil plan working against you and not only insecure people do mistakes. And you sure as hell didn't need to understand that message or thematic it was ultimately all about to enjoy it. It being deep and it was deeper than this pretentious surface level bull ever was, was not an excuse for a lack of quality.
At the end this book deserves an award for how effortlessly it tears apart characterization and quality of something established. I mean seriously, Wiccan has forgotten everything he's ever learnt and become some whiny bitch, Hulkling regressed to a point before his story even started and Kate regressed to a point before she was even thought up, because there is literally nothing from the original character here.