By Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, & Matthew Wilson.
Of the current arc that Kieron Gillen has given us, this book is definitely the slowest paced issue. This issue focuses mainly on individual characters, with the magnifying lens maintaining a steady gaze on the villain of this arc, Mother. It’s a step away from the team dynamic that Gillen has handled masterfully. This issue seems to have been exposition for what is to come in the next few issues as we near the end of this arc.
While the pace does slow down, the issue doesn’t lag behind with the content and story. We start to see the machinations behind the scenes from both Mother and Loki. Gillen has proven that Loki cannot be trusted, and with this issue we really start to see the extent of deviousness that Loki has had within the Young Avengers team. The enigmatic language during the interaction between Mother and Loki is a perfect storm that fits well into what Gillen is building for the issues to come. We start to get a full picture of Loki’s purposes in creating the team, as well as what it is Mother is really after. Gillen does a good job in crafting these characters’ interactions, and keeps the dialogue moving and engaging.
Gillen also does a good job at testing his characters, namely Teddy in this issue. By putting Teddy in contact with a “support group” that eventually turns out to be a Scott Pilgrim homage (think evil exes), he is put back on track to where he needs to be. Gillen is not afraid to test the characters in this book.
Jamie McKelvie, once again, does a fantastic job with the art in this book. One of the best parts is right at the beginning of this issue when Mother begins interacting with the narrator and eventually starts eating the comic book. I am always a fan of breaking the fourth wall, and the artistic play with the word bubbles and panels that McKelvie gives us is perfect. The colors from Matthew Wilson pop off the page in contrast to the blank white panels that make up Mother’s prison dimension. It’s a great design that really emphasizes the expressions and interactions between the characters.
While this wasn’t the most exciting book of the arc, it still did a good job in giving a behind-the-scenes look at the story. Gillen is gearing up for some exciting things to happen in the next few issues, I can feel it.