Following the theme of the other “Dark” books, the Young Avengers come face to face with a more sinister group of young teens trying to be superheroes. Our heroes try to take them under their collective wing and test their mettle to see if they really have what it takes to be real superheroes. Their shadow selves are an interesting group whose psychological problems would almost hold an entire monthly book on its own, (like Thunderbolt Youth?) and of course they need to be set straight before the end of the book.
Anyone who hasn’t yet read the first two volumes of YA should take that sneer off their face when they think, “kiddie book”. Heinberg’s first two trades are fantastic books that match the best books in Marvel‘s arsenal in terms of quality and action. If you’re looking for something like Brian K. Vaughn‘s first four or five books of Runaways, try this out.
The book is decent and pretty entertaining to read but it’s starting to fall into current “Runaways” territory where the new adventures are far weaker than the original volumes. This is usually attributed to the writing. Our new writer, Paul Cornell isn’t a slouch, just not quite as stellar as the book used to be. For Young Avengers, Marvel needs to bribe Allan Heinberg to return the book to the fine form he established in the first two collected trades. Until that happens, or someone with as strong a grasp comes on board to steer the title, all of the other volumes are just filler.