MULTIPLE REVIEW: Two GLBT Graphic Novels

Young Avengers, Vol.1: Sidekicks

Allan Heinberg
Marvel Comics, 2006

CHALLENGE(S): GLBT Challenge (mini)

Finished 7 Mar 2010

As I said previously, I’m glad this month’s mini-challenge involved graphic novels, as I’ve recently come to really appreciate the genre and it gave me an excuse to indulge in some further reading. For a long time I despised mainstream graphic novels (I read Tintin and Asterix as a kid, but they don’t count) because for some reason the art made me a bit queasy and I could never quite follow what was going on. It seemed to me like a very inexpert means of telling a story.

After I read Watchmen last year, though, I changed my mind. It was absolutely awesome, and the movie was almost as good, so I approached Young Avengers with great enthusiasm, and I’m happy to say it didn’t let me down. The Young Avengers universe seems to carry on from that of the adult Avengers, about whom I know very little, so I did feel at a bit of a disadvantage; there were heroes and villains involved in the storyline that should have been familiar but weren’t, so I’m sure I missed a few things because of it. Other than that, though, the novel was great fun. The art is striking, and I enjoyed the complexity of the storyline, although I did think it was wrapped up a little too quickly and easily for my liking. The characters were surprisingly well-defined for this medium, and once I finished the first volume I found myself moving eagerly onto the second.

RATING:


Young Avengers, Vol. 2: Family Matters

Allan Heinberg
Marvel Comics, 2006

CHALLENGE(S): GLBT Challenge (mini)

Finished 7 Mar 2010

While I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first, I did find it entertaining.  The art continued to be of the same vibrant quality and the story – when I could understand it – was interesting. I did find that there were some issues for me keeping up with what was going on; as another reviewer put it, it felt a little full, and it was hard to keep track of who was related to whom (particularly when, like me, you know nothing about the Avengers universe) and what they were doing and when. The flashbacks were kind of clumsy and had no lead in so I found myself floundering a few times before I realized what was going on.

As far as GLBT content is concerned, in the first it was negligible, which I actually appreciated; two of the Avengers are gay and in a relationship but this is treated as an incidental, normal part of life rather than an “oh look how PC I am I made some superheroes gay!” way. The second volume is more direct about it, and has a touching coming-out scene as well, which manages to be both heart-warming and hilarious.

I have to say, I really enjoyed these and want to read more, which is definitely a good sign. I think I’ll have to go back to the Avenger series to learn more about the universe before I proceed, though. In the meantime, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For is on hold for me at the library, so I should have a review for that in a few days, and I’m also contemplating reading Stuck Yellow Baby, because it has been recommended to me as a landmark novel and one of the must-reads of the genre. Assuming I can find a copy!

RATING:

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  1. April 1st, 2010

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