The charm of this young West Coast Avengers team is brought to life wonderfully by Kelly Thompson’s dialogue. While Kate and her bonds with Clint, America, and Johnny form the heart of the team, Gwenpool and Quentin Quire are two wondrous wildcards that Thompson employs in really exciting ways.
Thompson’s take on Kate Bishop has been one of the delights in Marvel’s line for the past few years. Simultaneously overconfident and unsure of herself, Kate’s transition to the role of team leader gives depth to a book that, on the surface, is quite whimsical.
Stefano Caselli’s artwork keeps the book cohesive, even as the foes facing this new team get increasingly ridiculous (the starting point is Land Sharks and it only gets stranger). Caselli makes use of round shapes and lines to create a beautifully expressive book that excels at all times, whether the team is fighting a 100 foot Tigra or collapsed on the floor eating pizza.
Color artist Tríona Farrell employs golds and oranges to really capture that sunsoaked feeling of Southern California. The use of olive colors on the interiors also helps balance out the visual of the team (between Hawkeye (Kate), the Other Hawkeye (Clint), Gwenpool, and Kid Omega, this is maybe the most pink and purple outfitted team ever assembled. I’m here for it.).
The oft-hilarious four-issue debut arc is supplemented by two other issues — The Unbelievable Gwenpool #1 by Christopher Hastings, Gurihiru, Danilo Beyruth and Tamra Bonvillain, and Young Avengers Presents #6 by Matt Fraction, Alan Davis, and Mark Farmer. Frustratingly, the creators on the latter issue are not credited anywhere in the volume, an error that needs to be rectified in future printings.
Is it good?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that Kelly Thompson continues to lead Kate Bishop on a wonderfully human journey, this time with a team at her back. Stefano Caselli and Tríona Farrell create a look for the book that balances youthful drama and comic book absurdity in delightful fashion. More of this, please.