Did You Read Young Avengers #8, Yet? HURRY UP! [*SPOILERS*]

One of our FAVORITE books to come out of Marvel NOW!, Young Avengers has earned kudos from the comics community for writer Kieron Gillen's bold storytelling, his great way with these fun characters, and his use of humor mixed with darkness. Jamie McKelvie's bright, dynamic artwork balances action and character beautifully, even if we don't love quite ALL of the new costumes. The team boasts two Strong Female Characters in Kate Bishop's fan-favorite Hawkeye and the new runaway star of the book, Miss America Chavez. Perhaps most exciting for us, here, though, is the book's savvy, sensitive handling of the young characters' adult sexuality. Whereas most costumed heroes are Steve Rogers-neuters or Emma Frost-wantons, these kids have realistic, age-appropriate relationships, including Kate and Noh-Varr's flirtation and Wiccan and Hulkling's actual boyfriendness. They finally got to kiss!

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Were you, like me, excited to see David Alleyne's Prodigy join the cast? Seemingly jettisoned from the X-books after being depowered, Prodigy popped up a couple issues back in a parallel storyline that takes an abrupt left right into the Young Avengers with Billy Kaplan's magic twin, Tommy (Speed). Speed vanished seemingly at the hands of a disembodied Patriot costume—leading one to the conclusion that perhaps Loki (the team's behind-the-scenes string-puller) was angling Prodigy to become the new Patriot. Certainly it's a thought, for the same reason that David Alleyne's such an interesting addition to this, or any, team. 

Prodigy's power was to absorb the powers, skills, knowledge, and abilities of those around him—kind of like Hope, but not just for mutant powers. After the Scarlet Witch depowered him, Emma and the Cuckoos unlocked all the absorbed knowledge that Prodigy had subconciously stored, enabling him to access it even without superpowers. This means, among other things, that he's maybe the mutants' most bad-ass ninja behind Wolverine, Psylocke, and Kitty because he was around all of them and absorbed the different martial arts skill sets of each (if not the actual hours spent training). He's all potential.

So, cut to the end of yesterday's issue #8. The team has been barreling through alternate dimensions, chasing the phantom Patriot and trying to rescue Speed, while staying out of reach of "Mother," the terrifying protoplamsic, mind-controlling villain-thing Wiccan summoned trying to resurrect Teddy's dead parents. Mother separates the team, with Miss America leading everyone except Prodigy and Hulkling out of Mother's home-dimension, which they stumbled onto accidentally(?). Running for their lives, without much hope of rescue by their dimensionally-tossed teammates, David and Teddy were facing some pretty big questions:

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 And, then, this happened:


Did you squeal? I squealed.

What does this mean??? David Alleyne had a girlfriend last we saw him kissing anybody, fellow New X-Men Surge (she of the blue hair, super speed, and electric gauntlets).

Could we be witnessing the coming-out of a new gay hero? Will David Alleyne be our first (male) bisexual Young Avenger / New X-Man? Or is this just more mindfuckery courtesy of the anti-smooching God of Mischief? 

And what about Billy? Will this be a potential complication for the Young Avengers' too-perfect couple? Recall that Loki has already planted a seed of doubt in Teddy's mind, causing him to question whether his love for Billy is genuine or the work of Billy's reality-warping powers? 

One of the most exciting possibilities is that it doesn't have to "mean" anything. Again, David Alleyne is a character literally full of potential—knowledge that he didn't necessarily earn, experiences he never actually went through. Is it possible he ...absorbed the impressions of one of the gay characters from Xavier's (he was friends with Anole, recall) and chose to act on the impulse in what might be his—and tall, hunky Teddy's—last moments? 

Perhaps the only thing the cliffhanger clinch does make clear is that Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are full of surprises and seem determined to keep things interesting for their young heroes—and for readers. BRAVO, y'all.

Here's Tumblr's take: