Monday, September 23, 2013

Angry Bi Kid Approved Comics: Young Avengers

Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for Young Avengers v2 #s 8 and 9.

You know, I've had a half-written review of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Young Avengers v2 for this blog sitting here for, no kidding, three months now. Or since my last comic book update post happened. But this summer has been completely ridic (not in a good way), so nothing that was meant to get done got done. Anyhow, McKelvie is my favorite artist working right now in comics--I know, I say this like every day, but still--and Gillen, man, even when he gets crap editorially dictated to him, he manages to make the writing shine. These guys. These guys.

So today is Bi Visibility Day + Celebrate Bisexuality Day and I'm an Angry Bi Kid™, as you may have noticed. Possibly. So I'm gonna use this opportunity to talk about one of the coolest recent bisexual happenings in popular fiction and why it was awesome. And it just happens to be from Young Avengers, so I'm just gonna scrap that half-review and focus on this one reason why it is my favorite comic right now. And on its way to the all-time greats list, probably.

Skip this paragraph if you don't care about the background: David Alleyne, aka Prodigy, is a Marvel mutant--X-Men affiliated... on and off--who had the ability to telepathically absorb knowledge, skills, abilities, and (awkwardly enough, sometimes) memories from the people around him. I say this in past-tense because he was depowered on the travesty that was M-Day, but for convoluted reasons he regained the stuff he'd absorbed before then and still has it. He's with the Young Avengers in this arc, trying to rescue a friend.

Some of you may be aware that one of the most talked of couples in the Marvelverse are Billy and Teddy, or Wiccan and Hulking, who are adorably angsty right now.

And in the end of issue #8 David kissed Teddy. Much to Teddy's surprise and David's embarrassment, but you can read to find out all that awesome. My point is that this, from #9, is a great but simply written and drawn explanation/analogy:


No, it's cool, you can click them to make them bigger and read. I'll wait. Because lemme tell you, I am feeling David pretty hard right now. (Also haha "the wiki has since been updated" ♥)

And yeah, I know, I didn't need that last bit in there, but Teddy and Billy's constant Game of Thrones references kill me so. You know. Had to be done.

Now, I've seen people complain that this makes it sound like David's powers "made him gay". I cannot tell you how angry that makes me on multiple levels without sputtering and spewing obscenity that would rival even my most foulmouthed character (looking at you, Malory--another Angry Bi Kid™, wahey, I see a pattern). I will simply--and calmly!!1!11!one!--point out that it is willfully removing the entire context in order to present something very positive--both for the character and for bisexual readers, who do not get enough of this at all ever--as negative for absolutely no good reason. Except to complain about the book.

It also makes me angry for the same reasons of erasure and dismissiveness the concept of 'Gay For You'  in romance often makes me angry, but that's an old rant, I know, I'll stop.

Here are Kieron Gillen's author notes on the issue, containing his thoughts on how and why he went about David putting it precisely like this, which I won't rehash. If you don't wanna read the rest, scroll down to where he starts taking about "Page 5".

So that, basically.

Okay, so all that said, how fucking rad is this? God, I wish so hard that Marvel had been producing things like this when I was a kid, but I can't even be upset because I'm just so glad it exists now. Like emotionally moved to the tearing-up hand-flapping stage that this exists in a popular mainstream comic. I felt much the same way about Julie Power in Avengers Academy (which I talked about here before after it happened because yay bi-girl!), but I'm giving this one its own post because 1. the day and 2. I promised to talk YA ages ago.

Anyhow, Young Avengers #10, which will finish out this super-intense (oh god, my feels) arc, goes on sale in comic shops and the Marvel app this Wednesday the 25th Sept. And the trade of the first arc is already available. Can you jump into it right at #1 of this volume/with that TPB if you haven't read the stuff that happened before? Probably. It'd be better if you started from the beginning, yeah, but I think people with a passing familiarity with the Avengers could figure it out. There's always wikipedia.

Plus, come on. It's so pretty.

And that's all from your friendly neighborhood queer comic pusher on Bi Visibilty Day 2013. Woohoo!

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