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Young Avengers #9: Review

Dec 2005
Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung

Story Name:

Family matters - part 1

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Young Avengers #9 Review by (May 22, 2020)
John Dell and Jim Cheung help Dave Meikis with the inking.

This starts the Family Matters arc which will occupy the rest of this series.

The Super-Skrull was artificially given the powers of the Fantastic Four plus hypnosis in FF#18. Initially he needed energy beamed to him to fuel the powers but Marvel Team-Up #62 revealed that he had evolved out of the need for the external power-source.
Over the years he's fallen out of favour with his rulers several times, sometimes because he failed them, sometimes because they feared he was a rival.
In his most recent apps he was on Earth disguised as special effects guru Lon Zelig. In FF(1998)#37 he was being hunted by other Skrulls for disobeying orders. In the FF:Foes mini-series he was trying to get back in contact to see if Skrull politics had changed.
It seems like he's back in their good books now.

The Skrull Empire has been in a bad way since Galactus destroyed their homeworld and rulers in FF#257. Since then they suffered civil war between various would-be emperors, and temporarily lost their shapeshifting ability (FF Annual #19). They had a resurgence when Super-Skrull helped S'Byll become empress, and she restored their shapeshifting (all in the 1987 Silver Surfer series). Later things disintegrated again, but Super-Skrull is trying to restore their former glory.

Mrs Altman is never given a full name, human *or* Skrull.

The claim that Teddy's father died of cancer before Teddy was born will turn out to be true in #11.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Young Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
At the end of #6 Iron Lad went back to the future and Captain America and Iron Man told the Young Avengers to disband. But Kate Bishop set them up with a base and new uniforms and weapons and persuaded them to disobey. They resurfaced in #7 but Patriot quit in #8 after it was revealed that his powers came from the Mutant Growth Hormone drug which he was confiscating off drug dealers. During those issues Cap also told Eli Bradley's family about him being Patriot, and Jessica Jones told Cassie Lang's mother about her being Stature.

Now we see in the news that Cap and IM 'support' the team's decision to disband again. Eli promises grandma Faith Bradley that he'll be working at the reference desk of the New York Public Library after school. Peggy Rae Burdick (remarried) takes daughter Cassie to Stuyvesant High School and says she'll pick her up afterwards. On the way they hear about a man threatening to jump off the Flatiron Building. and mom has to stop Cassie from going to help. Billy Kaplan is cycling on the way to *his* school and diverts to the Flatiron but too late to stop the jumper. He starts chanting a mantra spell "I want to catch him" but Ms Marvel swoops in to save the guy. So Wiccan intones an "I want to get to school on time" spell. And in the Hawthorne Academy a fencing instructor catches Kate Bishop off guard reading about the Young Avengers disbandment but she still manages to disarm him.

Later after school Teddy Altman sees a thief steal a purse and extends an arm to stop him. Then to cover his superpower use he shapeshifts his face to that of Reed Richards. Then he joins 3 YAers on the steps of the Library to wait for Eli, apologising for his gaffe. But Billy and Cassie both admit they tried to save that morning's jumper. Kate says they all can't stop playing heroes. Teddy wonders if they should just 'fess up to their folks, but Cassie knows *that* won't work well.

They've all been trying to contact Eli but he's ignoring them, so now they confront him here as he heads for his afterschool 'job'. Eli says he doesn't deserve to be on the team because he lied about having powers, it was the drug. Kate protests that the drug only made him stronger, *he* was the hero who fought Kang (#4-6) and Mr Hyde (#7-8). And she adds that they want him to lead the team. Eli reminds them again that he doesn't have any powers, but Cassie points out that neither does Kate.

Eli still doesn't want the job. But as he starts to walk away an extremely flexible arm grabs Teddy, who thinks it's Mr Fantastic come to complain about the impersonation. But it's the Super-Skrull who claims to want to take him home to the Skrull Empire. Teddy of course denies being a Skrull as he shifts to his green Hulkling body with added spikes (to break SS's grip) and wings (to escape).

But the Skrull with the powers of the Fantastic Four traps him in a forcefield bubble and fires flames at the other teens. Stature grows giant-size (she was wearing her expandable uniform under her clothes) and grabs him, but he burns her hands even as he lets Hulkling go. Patriot suggests they run away to avoid another flame blast. Kate unwraps her bow and counter-suggests Eli take injured Cassie and target Teddy to safety while she and Asgardian distract the foe.

But then Super-Skrull uses his extra power to hypnotise Billy under his command. Teddy immediately offers to go with the Skrull if he lets his boyfriend go and SS takes him up on it. But then Hulkling forms a Thing-fist to match Super-Skrull's and punches him into the middle of next week (sorry, the next building). As the team flee into the Subway the Skrull contacts his superiors to report that the rumours of the target's super-strength are true, and so may be the rumours of his father's identity. The gang board a train but Eli backs out of the door repeating that he no longer belongs with them. And as he leaves the station the invisible Super-Skrull is watching.

The other 4 go to Billy's home. Teddy wanted to go to *his* place in case Super-Skrull goes there and attacks his mom. The others talked him out of it but now she's not answering her phone. He can't believe that *she* might be a Skrull, and we learn that his dad died of cancer before Teddy was born. Kate opines that they should call the Avengers. Then they enter the Kaplan apartment and find Mrs Altman there and Mrs Kaplan serving tea. Worried Mrs A tells Teddy she has something to tell him ...

... but Super-Skrull smashes through the wall carrying Eli, threatening to kill him unless Hulkling accompanies him to "restore the Skrull Empire to its former glory". Mrs K doesn't understand what's happening, and Billy chooses this moment to tell her he's a superhero. Eli of course tells Teddy not to do it but Teddy equally of course says he will, and means it this time. Mrs A tries to stop him but he says SS will release him when he discovers he's *not* a Skrull. The foe launches a device into the air which he claims will prove his story. A ray bathes Teddy and his mother ... and *she* reverts to a Skrull form.

SS declares that Mrs A isn't his real mother and she's a traitor to the Skrull race. Mrs A responds that the Empress ordered her to protect Billy, and she pulls out an alien gun and shoots the foe. SS replies by incinerating her. Billy mantra-chants "I want her to be okay" but to no avail and she dies. And Super-Skrull leaves with Teddy.

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Jim Cheung
Dave Meikis
Justin Ponsor
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
John Dell (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Teddy Altman)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

Plus: Faith Bradley, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Patriot (Elijah Bradley), Peggy Burdick (Peggy Lang), Rebecca Kaplan, Stature, Super-Skrull, Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), Young Avengers.

> Young Avengers: Book info and issue index

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