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Teen Titans (New 52) Vs. Young Avengers (Marvel Now)

This post indicates either A) I’m a complete DC fanboy or B) many comic book reviewers are morons. 

The Teen Titans are a group of young superheroes who have come together to protect themselves and other young metahumans from a nefarious (and mysterious) organization. The Young Avengers are a group of (mostly legacy) young superheroes who have reunited to defeat an interdimensional parasite with a mother complex. Both works are the latest iteration of popular franchises. Both works have seen controversy. And both works have (or will) end(ed) recently. I have read both series. I have read all of the Teen Titans available at my local library (Our Right to Fight and The Culling, plus I’ve read Rise of the Ravagers). I have also read the first volume of Young Avengers (Style > Substance). All that considered, I have to say that I actually like Teen Titans more than the Young Avengers.

What?

I will not deny that Scott Lobdell’s writing leaves a lot to be desired. Especially when it comes to Teen Titans. The plotting is haphazard at best and the dialogue is (at times) reminiscent of really bad teen dramas. But the core plot driving the series is a good on. A strong one, actually. In contrast Kieron Gillen’s writing is stronger with more coherence and better dialogue. But the core plot driving the series is, in my opinion, a stupid one. 

I just don’t like it. Seriously does Wiccan making a mistake have to be the cause of every Young Avengers series going forward? Wasn’t that what caused the last series? 

Wiccan is my favorite character from Young Avengers and I hate how he is characterized in the first issue and in subsequent issues. And the more I think about it, the less interested I become in the series as a whole. 

I’m talking about the confrontation between Billy and Teddy after Teddy’s down low superheroics. Teddy’s dialogue makes no sense. And it makes less sense the more times I read it. How does Teddy not having his adoptive mother (while Billy has his foster parents and the Scarlet Witch) excuse his breaking his promise to his boyfriend? It comes off, in text, as nothing more than a deliberate guilt trip. And to serve the plot as a means to get Billy to perform his, increasingly requisite, misuse of his powers to generate the plot. 

Clearly, I loathe this scene and how it initiates the story.

Now before I get accused of giving Teen Titans a pass, I’m not particularly fond of Red Robin’s character in the New 52. He is certainly a downgrade from the Tim Drake pre New 52. And don’t get me started on N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Could there be another nebulously nefarious organization with as convoluted a history? And, to be honest, Harvest should have been more of a salesman. He should have been more of a tempter. 

In the end, though, I find Teen Titans, though not as artistically original, to be the better read. Young Avengers, though artistically original, doesn’t really achieve its promise. I want to read more Teen Titans. I’m not looking forward to Young Avengers.

Young Avengers ended with issue 15 of Gillen’s run. It is a shame that there doesn’t seem to be any moves for a third creative team (so far). 

Joining Young Avengers in cancellation is Teen Titans with next months issue. I wonder what the next Teen Titans series looks like. 

Hopefully it isn’t a rehash of previous runs. Same goes for Young Avengers.

I just hope Bunker and Solstice don’t end up forgotten in limbo. 

 

 

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What More Can Be Said? Young Avengers #1 is. . . Amazing!

Less than a week ago, Young Avengers #1 was released by Marvel as part of Marvel Now!. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton, colorist Matthew Wilson, and letterer Clayton Cowles, this opening issue is simply great. I loved every minute of it. But, what can I say in this review that hasn’t already been said in other reviews? I mean, every review I’ve read have been extremely positive with some very high ratings. 

I really can’t, to be honest. I love the writing. I love the fact that Billy and Teddy are depicted as a sickeningly in love couple (though I do wish we’ll see them get as much action as Kate and Noh-Varr, if not, I may change my tune). I love that opening sequence, hot damn! And Kid Loki is going to be a favorite of mine. He is a trip, no matter what. 

And the art work? Wow. I love it. I especially love the work of Mattew Wison. His colors are just freaking amazing. It is, honestly, a perfect complement to the amazing pencils and inks. Just, wow. What a great art team! 

I can only hope guest artists will be used in a manner similar to what DC is doing with Earth 2 and Batman (letting the art team have “filler” or standalone issues off in between the big arcs). 

So, what can I say about this series? Well, I can interrogate how Gillen answers my concerns about teens with aspirations of becoming superheroes. And I think he does a splendid job.

The kids who make up the team are doing the job because they want to do it. During the fight with the Skrulls, Kate Bishop wonderfully explains why “everyone should try it.” “Being a superhero is amazing,” which indicates the excitement of the lifestyle. There is, perhaps, something addictive to a superheroic lifestyle. 

And maybe, that is a metaphor for certain elements of the teen experience? I don’t remember which review compared Young Avengers to Skins, but I think that is a very excellent comparison. Isn’t the superhero lifestyle not comparable to a heavy party scene? 

In that metaphor, I think I find the answer to my earlier question about teen superheroes. Though, to be honest, I really do prefer them to be more “outlaw” than the groomed “next generation.” Perhaps it is a difference between rebellion and falling in line with one’s parents. 

So, while there is some elements of “cosplay” culture at work here, I don’t think that sense of emulation is all there is to it in this “new” Young Avengers team. Rather, these young heroes are standing on their own, not trying to be their parents or their role models. And that is, I think, a very good thing. 

Now, damn, I have to wait another month to see what happens! I can’t wait to see how the team comes together. For now, I think the team will be pulled together through three different storylines: A: Wiccan and Hulkling’s mistake (yes Wiccan does it, but Hulkling subtly guilt trips him into doing it). B: Loki and America Chavez’s violent game to figure out how to deal with Wiccan. And C: the sexy space adventures of Kate and Marvel Boy (’nuff said). I can see how A and B come together, but C may be a little tricky. Again, I can’t freaking wait. How will they get out of this one?

I want issue 2 now, damn it all!