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Young Avengers #9: Review

Aug 2013
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie

Story Name:

The kiss and the make-up

Review & Comments

4 stars

Young Avengers #9 Review by (April 8, 2022)
Mike Norton does both pencil and ink backgrounds for Jamie McKelvie this time.

Last issue I mentioned there were 2 versions of Leah.

The 1st version (in Journey Into Mystery #624-641) was as described here a servant of Hela. She was loaned to Kid Loki (the good version) during Fear Itself to help defeat the Serpent (Odin's older brother Cul) but she stayed with him until she died to restore Hela's hand during the Manchester Gods arc.
During Fear Itself (in JIM#629) Loki created a copy of Leah in the Asgardian past as a child who befriended the young Cul, which memory was instrumental in his later defeat. However Loki then left her as only a sketch of a person, and so she came for revenge in the present (JIM#642). But Loki rewrote history again and gave her a complete life and they became friends. However as good Kid Loki was being taken over by the evil old Loki (Ikol) to become the new ambiguous Kid Loki, the good Loki sent Leah back in time to protect her from evil Loki (JIM#645).
So as the good Loki conscience says in this issue, the new not-so-evil Loki span a lie for the Young Avengers out of elements of the truth.
However Marvel Fandom Wiki will reveal that the therapist Leah at the end of this issue and in subsequent issues is a 3rd version. See #13 for an explanation.

Most of the YA alternates are new to us but we have seen a couple of versions of Noh-Varr before - an eye-patch version from last issue's cover and the giant-head version from inside that issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Young Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Young Avengers are bouncing through realities, courtesy of America Chavez' ability to create portals and Kid Loki's magic tracking skill, chasing a being in the costume of ex-YAer Patriot who somehow spirited Speed away. Last issue he allowed them to catch up with him in the dimension of their foe Mother. They escaped but Hulkling and Prodigy got left behind. On the run from Mother David Alleyne suddenly kissed Teddy Altman.

Now it's time for shock (Hulkling) and embarrassment (Prodigy).

But last issue the world the others escaped to turned out to be inhabited by Leah, who knows Loki.

Now Loki wants to leave immediately but the others want to know who this girl is. Leah of Hel introduces herself as the 1 who Loki abandoned at the dawn of time, and she will have vengeance. They offer to help her get out of here but she says they can't, and suggests they leave. As America prepares to port them out to rescue their compatriots Loki explains that Leah was a handmaiden of Hela, ruler of the Asgardian afterlife. Loki had her sent back here to protect her from himself. And we see the ghostly conscience of the previous good (version of) Kid Loki commenting that the best lie is the truth.

Meanwhile back in Motherland Hulkling and Prodigy are hiding out in the dimension created of white rectangles (which have previously been depicted as basic comic panels). Teddy wants to know why David kissed him. He thought he was straight. Prodigy explains again about the mutation he used to have that enabled him to absorb knowledge and talents from people. How he lost it all when he lost the mutation, but then got all the stuff back. But now he mentions that he also absorbed other stuff like sexual orientation. So now he's at least bisexual. But the life he's led has never had much room for relationships. So just then he didn't want to die without having at least experienced a gay kiss.

David also says he's not trying to split Teddy and Billy Kaplan up. He thinks their relationship is perfect, and he says it's mainly down to Teddy. Teddy then confides his fear (that Loki planted in him #7) that reality warper Billy may have subconsciously *made* him love him. David suggests that if they get out of here Teddy should take some time off from Billy to clear his head.

Returning to the others we find Kid Loki leading them saying he knows the way back to Mother's dimension. America gets suspicious because he's been relying on *her* to port them between dimensions. Loki tries to deflect her by asking out loud why she's so interested in Wiccan. But Billy doesn't rise to the bait because he's much more interested in saving his boyfriend Teddy. Loki says he's had an idea.

Then it's back to the white dimension where Mother has finally cornered the duo. But then the YA come crashing in via an America-portal. They grab the other 2 and keep running. Loki looks back at Mother and says "We brought friends". It's loads of alternate versions of themselves (from alternate timelines like the ones we saw last issue) who are far from friendly. They leave Mother fighting them off and exit via another star-shaped portal ...

... and return to the warehouse on Earth-616 from where they'd started to follow dimension-hopping 'Patriot'. The being in the Patriot suit is there to 'greet' them but then disappears again. America wants to follow him again but David suggests that Patriot was just leading them on a chase. He *could* have led them to places that would have killed them instantly but he didn't. Kate Bishop points out that at least they've learned stuff along the way.

So they go for noodles. They come to the conclusion that Patriot isn't really in league with Mother. Loki doubts that their alternates would be able to kill her. Billy finally demands to know what the Demiurge stuff was about last issue. Loki tells Wiccan he's a multidimensional messiah who's destined to rewrite the rules of magic across all space, time and realities. America still refuses to say why *she* is so interested.

Afterwards Billy and Teddy have a chat. Billy summaries the current plan of Loki training him in magic so he has a chance of beating Mother. And they need a way of finding his 'brother' Tommy that doesn't involve chasing Patriot around. (Patriot made Tommy Shepherd/Speed disappear in #6.) Maybe if they can get Dr Strange away from New York (and Mother's spell which makes all adults there blithely ignore the YA's problems) then he can help. And Prodigy *knows* a lot of magic even if he can't use it himself. Wiccan is feeling optimistic ...

... so Teddy chooses this moment to tell him he's taking some time away. He mentions his fear that Billy is subconsciously manipulating reality to *make* him love him. And Billy admits that he has the same fear.

We end with an epilogue. Teddy mentioned in #7 that he was seeing a therapist about the problem. Now we see 1 of his sessions and we realise that his therapist is Leah, Loki's bitter ex-girlfriend who the others but not Billy met last issue and the beginning of this 1. (The 'Asgardian' speech-lettering should have given us a clue before the big reveal.)

Jamie McKelvie
Jamie McKelvie
Matthew Wilson
Jamie McKelvie (Cover Penciler)
Jamie McKelvie (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Kate Bishop)

(Teddy Altman)

(Loki Laufeyson)
Marvel Boy
Marvel Boy

Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)

(Billy Kaplan)

Plus: Leah of Hel, Prodigy (Richard Gilmore), Young Avengers.

> Young Avengers: Book info and issue index

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