Review: Young Avengers — Style > Substance

gillenyoungavengersstyle

Young Avengers: Style > Substance
by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

★★★★½

2013 • 128 pages • Marvel

Through sheer timing and luck, I have, in my comic book collection, Kieron Gillen’s entire run on Journey Into Mystery in single issues. I don’t mention this as a bragging point; its genius is readily available in trader paperback. I mention this because I really loved getting to follow the story of Kid Loki in weekly installments. In the digital age, it’s very easy to binge on something in days or weeks, so I really value being able to take my time with a series. (I’m doing the same thing right now with Sailor Moon. It’s awesome!) Gillen’s self-contained arc—best described as “a comedy in thirty parts and a tragedy in thirty-one”—is fun, heartwarming, thoughtful, meta, and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

And that’s without Gillen working with long-time collaborator Jamie McKelvie. I don’t mean to imply that Gillen’s writing sparkles less without McKelvie or vice versa, but the narrative and the art walk hand in hand when they’re working together. The two began their working relationship in 2003 at PlayStation Magazine UK on Save Point, a comic about gaming. (This is, to quote John Mulaney, a very old-fashioned sentence. I can practically smell my old GamePro magazines reading it.) Since then, they’ve worked together on Phonogram, the upcoming The Wicked + The Divine, and the short-lived but critically acclaimed and GLAAD Award-winning Young Avengers.

Continue reading

Review: X-Men — Season One

hopelessxmenseasonone

X-Men: Season One
by Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie

★★★★½

2012 • 136 pages • Marvel Comics

Why aren’t you listening to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men right now?

I haven’t been this excited for a podcast… well, ever. Being led gently through the saga of the X-Men by a pair of awesome, feminist-minded comic professionals who know their stuff and have great banter is one of the highlights of my week. After those forty-five minutes are up, I’m brimming with recommendations, a greater appreciation for Chris Claremont, and my love for Dazzler.

(Well, my love for Dazzler is eternal, but you get the idea. Lupita Nyong’o for Dazzler 2016!)

Continue reading

The Literary Horizon: Ex Machina — The First Hundred Days, Phonogram — Rue Britannia

While I do love my mainstream superheroes (Steeeeeeeeeeve), I actually jumped into comics feet first in 2009 with The Unwritten and American Vampire, titles put out by Vertigo. So I’m much more used to non-superhero and independent (or semi-independent in Vertigo’s case, as it’s an imprint of DC) comics and the fantastic concepts you can usually find within. Today’s selections involve a superhero turned mayor and a world where music can save your life—or kill you.

Continue reading