“Now, Not Tomorrow”
The Singularity discovers that the Leader’s whelp, the Superior, crafted the Bastards of Evil out of lies and brainwashed kids. Will that knowledge save either he or the Young Allies?
Sean McKeever characterizes the Superior perfectly. He grafts sadism and intelligence onto a petulant child with too much power for his own good. He furthermore gives the little monster a rationale that makes sense and distinguishes him from his hypercephalic parent. I also like that Toro, the Hulkish bull-man, is the one who gives the Superior the most trouble in terms of raw power. Like father, like son.
Nomad also serves as a nettlesome foe. If you were to tell me that I would be cheering for the Liefield Bucky years later, I would have said you were crazy. Nomad is the antithesis of Jason Todd. She has a pleasant personality, an imaginative, practical costume and mastery over effective fighting techniques. Marvel never rammed Nomad down your throat. They didn’t try to make you like her. Furthermore, whereas Jason Todd is a loner, Nomad is one of a duet.
McKeever emphasizes the importance of friendship and teamwork through Nomad and Arana. Running to an injured friend’s side during the heat of battle seems to be a tactical error. However, Arana’s actions and her partnership with Nomad saves both of their lives. As a bonus, she pisses off one of the villains.
Toro saves Gravity from himself and Gravity in turn rescues Firestar from a heroic sacrifice in a scene infused with all the bang-wallop David Baldeon, Bowling and Sotomayor can muster. Truly, Young Allies represents the best of Marvel’s Heroic Age.
Even the epilogue entertains. While the kids clean up and bandage their wounds, the Avengers arrive to lend a hand. In a delightful scene, Arana officially trades her name in for Spider-Girl. McKeever has some fun with the odd addition of the Thing to the Avengers. Luke Cage makes a promise to Firestar. Captain Bucky America offers a suggestion to Nomad and the gang almost get together in a splendid humorous sting.