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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2006
The first volume of Allan Heinberg's superb new series Young Avengers was great. This one is much better. Though Iron Man and Captain America tried to break up the Young Avengers, the young group isn't ready to quit just yet. The loss of Iron Lad, their leader and founder, shook the team, but they still feel that there is good to be done and they want to help out.

The Young Avengers are comprised of teenagers who have some sort of connection to members of the premier super-group The Avengers. Patriot/Eli Bradley is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the original Captain America. Bradley was a black man who was used as a test subject during World War II, and his powers have been transferred to Eli. Wiccan/Billy Kaplan (formerly Asgardian) thought he had a connection to Thor, but recent events in the first storyline may show that he can do more than thunder. Hulkling/Teddy Altman may look like the Hulk, but his connection is also a little vague. Stature/Cassie Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. Cassie was able to obtain the chemicals that turned her dad into Ant-Man, and now she has the ability to change size at will. Kate Bishop is the only character on the team without a connection to an Avenger or even superpowers. She forcefully joined the team, and while she may not have powers, she is an expert martial artist and archer. She models herself after Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Finally, there is Vision II, Iron Lad's armor uploaded with the Vision's software. Along with Scott Lang and Hawkeye/Clint Barton, the original Vision was killed during the events of Avengers Disassembled, the event which led to the forming of the Young Avengers. The new Vision has all of the powers of his predecessor, but he doesn't have the experience and his brain patterns are based on Iron Lad's, not Wonder Man's.

This collection contains three stories as opposed to the one arc in the first volume (though the issue count in this hardcover is only greater than the first book by one issue, the Young Avengers Special). Secret Identities serves to reintroduce the team with their new costumes and personas, introduce the various characters' families, and shed some light on a very distressing situation with one of the characters. The story looks into how the secrets we keep can hurt the people we love, even if we keep them in order to protect our loved ones from harm.

In the Special, Kat Ferrel of the Daily Bugle wants to write a story on the Young Avengers, so Jessica Jones speaks to each member and learns their reasons for joining the team. We are given insight into the pasts of the various characters that show how they came to be where they were when they joined the team. Cassie's life after her dad's death nearly drove her to Los Angeles to join the Runaways (another great book!), Billy and Teddy each have some things in their pasts they would like to forget, Kate suffered from something that really drives her today, and Eli... his story is best left to be discovered.

In the final arc, Family Matters, we finally learn who Billy and Teddy are connected to, and another possible Young Avenger shows up. Thomas "Tommy" Sheppard, who looks almost exactly like Billy save for platinum-blond hair, is a kid with the abilities of super-speed and molecular deconstruction (he can blow stuff up). He is forcibly recruited to the Young Avengers after Teddy is kidnapped by two warring alien races, both of whom claim that Teddy is an heir. The story culminates in a huge battle fought alongside the New Avengers.

All of the stories are very well-written, with plenty of humor, drama, and action. The art is top-notch. Jim Cheung, who co-created the series with Heinberg, does the art for Family Matters, and he is one of the best working artists today. Andrea DiVitto, the guest artist for Secret Identities, also does a great job with the characters. As for the special, numerous artists are used, and I am not a fan of most of it. I don't like Michael Gaydos' art, which is used in all of the non-flashback stuff in the issue. While I was ok with the art used for Cassie's and Billy's stories, I hated Kate's art, while I was fairly ambivalent towards the art in Teddy and Eli's stories. The one other critique I have is that the Young Avengers seem to be fighting some pretty A-list villains and surviving. I doubt that such a new team could be able to take on Kang the Conqueror, Mr. Hyde, and the aliens in the end, and live to tell about it. Still, this is a minor thing.

Young Avengers is destined for great things, and this collection only makes the wait until the relaunch even harder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 7, 2007
This volume collects issues #7-#12 and one special issue of Marvel Comics' 2006 Young Avengers series. Allan Heinberg's plot is stronger than in the first six issues and features appearances from most of the current New Avengers and a massive Kree-Skrull battle. He also offers more character development in thes issues, especially in the special where instead of fighting bad guys the members discuss their origins before an interview with J. Jonah Jameson's newspaper.
The artwork for the regular issues is consistently good. However, the artwork for the special issue alternates between six credited teams of artists, creating a muddled whole where a character looks markedly different on consecutive pages. There are also a few too many annoying spelling mistakes like 'mabye' and 'premiere super-team'.
While Marvel has not yet released any issues after #12, I've read that this should be considered a pause and not a cancellation. I'll look for Volume 3 of this series when it becomes available in a few years.
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on January 20, 2008
"Young Avengers" was perhaps the second-best thing to spin out of "Avengers Disassembled" (the best being Ed Brubaker's classic run on "Captain America"), and Heinberg now moves into the second half of his run on the first volume.

On this occasion, there are basically three stories. First, a two-parter (drawn by guest artist Andrea DiVito) that continues the struggle between the Young Avengers and the adult New Avengers over their right to exist, and exposes a shocking secret at the root of one character's powers; the second, a sort of 'secret origins' special detailing the lives of the team before they became superheroes, with several artists; and, finally, a four-part (originally meant to be six) epic involving the Young and New Avengers, the Skrull and Kree Empires, and Hulkling's newly-revealed backstory. I will confess that I find this volume slightly less involving than the previous one; characters that I particularly enjoyed, such as Kate and (especially) Cassie, seem to have less to do this time aroud, in favour of a focus on Teddy, who despite this, still strikes me as the blandest member of the team. However, it is still an excellent piece of work.

Heinberg's writing is brilliant; witty, dramatic, poignant, and insightful; he takes basic character types and brings them to life. He is matched by Jim Cheung on art, whose beautiful work (albeit with a somewhat limited array of facial types) brings the characters and their world to vivid life. The only flaw on the part of each is how slow they are, but that's not a problem in trade (although it will be when you become addicted to the series, as I did, and are then confronted with the paucity of published adventures for this team). Where speed is concerned, guest artist DiVito is also high quality, although it is initially hard to see anyone but Cheung draw the team (and I'm not especially fond of DiVito's female faces, which have a sort of pinched quality).

The only flaw to be found is that, as of now, this is the end of the Young Avengers' adventures, and, if and when they return, it will be to a Marvel Universe that has changed heavily around them, affecting them in the process.

I give this my highest recommendation.
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"Young Avengers" v.2 was a "good read" -- it buzzed by quickly, was consistently entertaining, and fits nicely into the rest of the Marvel continuity. (Particularly cool to see Jessica Jones in center stage (with many of her segments drawn to look like the artwork in her short-lived book, "Alias".) A lot of the teen-team vibe seems familiar ("Power Pack", "Runaways," various X-books...) but that doesn't detract from the overall fun value of this title. Definitely worth checking out. (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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on December 3, 2010
This clearly could have been a great long running series if it would have found its niche. Heinberg & Cheung deliver on so many different levels that its really hard to believe that people didn't buy this when it came out in issues. Here, we get interesting developments with pretty much every character and their family's. There are some great fight scenes but they weren't even necessary as the drama is so good. Heinberg also does conversations really well and others writers should take note. Overall a really good read!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2007
The loss of a member, the addition of another, some dark secrets, and would you do what Captain America told you if you had super powers? Not quite what you expect after the first volume. That is both good and bad. It is bad enough dealing with your boyfriend, or your girlfriend, let alone your parents, when you have not 'come out' in either sense of the word. Then you have the Avengers on your tail! Very complicated.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed these series of trade pb. I wish they'd bring the Young Avengers to monthly printings so I could get a subscription and delivery.

the only thing i didn't like: How a rich, spoiled, No powers girl gets on the team is ridiculous...she's a teen who has studied dance and martial arts and archery- so of course she can hang with kids who can fly, have super strength, aliens, magic...oh well, it's supposed to be fantasy right. another has been sneaking her father's mutagen pills to change her dna to get powers. another takes super hero growth hormone-illegal steroids___so it's a bumpy start- but it works out i suppose---gotta have conflict and messed up people right
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 13, 2007
Volume 1 is better. If you liked that one, it's a good one to try. If you didn't, don't bother with this one at all. It's about how the group got back together, and how Captain America and Iron Man let them roam free again. It does add a somewhat interesting backstory to Hulkling, though. There are several Marvel Premiere hardcovers than this one already out.
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