OK, so it's clear that we're approaching the denouement. But, before we get there, Gillen has a few treats for us along the way. I thought the transformation of Kid Loki into Teenage Loki was brilliant, something that Gillen has clearly planned from the start. It was getting a little awkward for a group of teenage superheroes to have an eight-year-old with them; just imagine the trouble a teenage Loki could cause. Moreover, Kate's quarter-life crisis was hilarious, a nod to the adults in the room that, despite the reverence this series and the readers clearly hold for these kids, they're still self-indulgent at times in a way that they themselves don't fully grasp. Conversely, Gillen reminds us that it's said adolescent angst that not only brought this team together, but also enables Prodigy to assemble all the Marvel Universe's teen heroes to fight the oncoming horde of alternate versions of the Young Avengers sent to Earth by Mother. They're flipsides of the same coin and it's impressive that Gillen is able to navigate that fine line between self-indulgence and community so deftly. (That said, I'm not entirely sure the import of Noh-Varr shaving his beard. Is it because this Oubliette woman asks him to do so? If so, I hope Kate really stomps her.) But, it's really Billy and Loki's budding rivalry that takes the cake here, with the two of them increasingly uncomfortable with the bond that they have to share to achieve their goals. I don't know how it's all going to end, but I'm sure that it's going to be awesome and troubling all at the same time. Just like adolescence.
*** (three of five stars)