Alternate reality and Alan Davis: two great comics standards that go great together. Nestled between “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade” #4 and #5, this tale jumps to the future and also spans back to the early days of the Young Avengers, adding some character moments to Iron Lad, Patriot, Hulkling, and Wiccan. The premise of the story, from the preview cover here on CBR, seems to offer us a glimpse into the future of this fan-favorite team, but unfortunately it under-delivers quite a bit.
The story opens with Iron Lad finally confronting Kang, in the far-flung future on the planet Moord. Allan Heinberg’s story starts with a great flourish and promise, but quickly turns into a “Young Avengers Secret Origins” navel-gazer. For fifteen pages we see the never-before-seen training and first super-villain encounter of the Young Avengers. That’s too much time retconning or padding the beginnings of the Young Avengers. This team hasn’t been around long enough to go back and pad the origins already, has it?
Through it all, though, Davis’ art is as classic as ever. The training exercise the team takes on is in the form of the Sinister Six. Though it barely lasts four pages, Davis jams it chock full of awesomeness in the form of double-page wide panels depicting the primary tussle between the two teams. With the future Young Avengers, Davis shines through his character designs, which update all of the characters while nicely holding true to their current appearances and honoring the legacies they serve.
With Heinberg’s flair for dialog blooming in all of these characters coupled with Davis’ timeless pencils, this book is a nice detour from the adventure being depicted in “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade,” and I’m certain it will provide some repercussions. For now, however, it comes across as a missed opportunity. I’m walking away from this one feeling a bit let down. These adult Young Avengers are quickly introduced in this issue, but are never given a chance to prove much to us. Maybe we’ll see more of them over in the main story, or maybe this was it. Whichever the case, at least we got some new Alan Davis interior artwork to enjoy.