Interdimensional parasite Mother, accidentally summoned to Earth by inexperienced/bungling warlock Wiccan, wants to suck up the teenage heroes' souls. This issue she enlists hundreds of New York parents in her campaign.
The kids are fighting back, though. Marvel Boy, who prefers to be called Noh-Varr, and Hawkeye Kate Bishop arrive on Earth after their spacey playdate, and give the besieged Wiccan, Hulkling, Kid Loki and Miss America a hand. Kate grabs a Kree energy bow while Noh-Varr uses the power of Awesome and Seventies Disco.
Loki, bereft of his Norse spells, turns to his other specialist area - manipulation, and sows seeds of doubt in Hulking's mind (click on image to enlarge). And he tries something new - flirting. I can't see Hulking and Wiccan asking him along on one of their dates, though.
And not that a Brit would ever show off, but McKelvie really demonstrates his talent for staging a fight scene as he executes a spread in which Noh-Varr takes out the forces of Mother at Mary Jane Watson's nightclub. It's probably a good thing my scanner can't cope with double-pagers, because work this good is best enjoyed in context - and I want folk to support this series.
Credit where credit's due - background artist Mike Norton most likely should share the plaudits for the double-page delight ... and if he wasn't involved, he still merits loads of love for providing the convincing cityscapes and interiors. Completing the core creatives are colourist Matthew Wilson, who gives the nighttime-set scenes a splendidly moody glow; and letterer Clayton Cowles, whose clean fonts tickle the eye.
Kate gets a new costume, similar to the old one but without the flappy, floaty bits that would seriously impede an archer's ability - goodness, she might as well have wore a peripheral vision-knackering hood ... not that any battling bowman would be quite that dim. Kate also gets a mystery, expressing relief that (a facsimile of) her own mother hasn't been conjured up by the parasite - that, to me, says that if Kate thinks her Mom is dead, she's wrong. Time for a talk with Daddy Derek?
Oh, and there's another standout page but, well, even describing it would spoil the casual amusement it presents. Don't hate me, trust me.
Seriously, if you've not tried this $2.99 series and can spare the cash, buy the back issues or just dive right in; it's so intelligently serialised, with each satisfying chapter topped by a stylish recap page, that there's really no fear of being lost. Otherwise, drop hints that you want the trade collection that comes out in time for your birthday in September. Your birthday's not in September? So fib. It's what Kid Loki would want.