“Sidekicks part six”
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Artist: Jim Cheung (p), John Dell, et al (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: After killing Kang (!?), the nascent team must decide whether to be good children and heed Captain America’s advice to disband … or do something way more fun.
Comments: This issue takes Kang, the irritant and goad at the heart of the formation of this team, out of the equation. It substitutes someone much more worthy: the Vision. Still somewhat limited in capacity, this reconstituted Avenger seems likely to play a larger role in Heinberg’s stories. I’m glad somebody still cares about my favorite synthezoid.
I applaud that development, and I certainly don’t mind losing Kang (whether Young or Warlord versions), as he was the one element in this setup of junior doppelgangers that never made sense to me. He was just too mired in the past, too omnipotent yet boring a threat to keep around for long. All the time paradoxes (and they pile up beyond noticing) aren’t worth the trouble of his presence, unless big-scale world-altering stories are planned.
Heinberg is writing small-scale stories here, about children with gifts who’ve lost their heroes and parents, and strive to take their place. The dialogue and human dynamics are important here, and as they step out of the Avengers shadow, we start to see more of who these kids really are. While they capture a dynamic of the original Avengers that New Avengers no longer affords us, they’re also going to get by just fine with Kang involved only in the mumbo-jumbo of their origins, and otherwise not mentioned again.
There’s a vibe here that is part Runaways, part Teen Titans, and that’s enough (with great art and dialogue) to make the book a fun read every month.
Cheung’s figures are sophisticated, his costumes clever and his emotional expression consistently effective. Justin Ponsor’s colors this issue underline the moody location (the graveyard that Avengers Mansion has become). The sequence where the kids walk from Washington Square to their new headquarters, deciding on new names all the way, is what this book is all about. Conveniences like Kate’s dad being loaded and able to fund her team on a whim are all part of the fun.
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