One of my favorite teams will relaunch with a new writer, artist and new members in the Marvel Now. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie assemble some of Marvel’s best teen heroes into a brand new Young Avengers in 2013.
Gillen and McKelvie succeed Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung who guided the teens through two volumes and the Avengers: Children’s Crusade mega series. Gillen reveals how he got the job on Marvel.com.
“[Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel [Alonso] bullied me into it.
I’m not even joking. When it was floated, I wasn’t sure. YOUNG AVENGERS was a book with such a unique and singular vision from [co-creators Allan] Heinberg and [Jim] Cheung, and at least a big part of the vision was simply not what I do. It’s a book which was kind of a love song to Marvel Comics’ continuity, playing games and celebrating equally. I dug the book, but I knew that’s just not what I would do. I would never base a story around that. It’s just not how I think.
Then Axel basically beat my head against the floor a few times and said “Seriously, give it a proper think.”
So I did, and I managed to find a way to make it work for me. It was such a personal book for Heinberg; I realized the heart of it had to be trying to make it just as personal for me. And since we’re different writers, we have to be personal in our own way. I realized a big part of that had to be gathering together the creators I most trusted, and try and build something entirely bespoke. Which lead to Jamie McKelvie and everyone else, and the pop-song-as-super hero-comic you see before you.”
This is Gillen’s third book involving younger heroes: Generation Hope and Journey Into Mystery starring Kid Loki. Gillen was asked about what it takes to be a young hero in the Marvel Now.
”I previously wrote GENERATION HOPE, which was basically me taking a bunch of relatively realistically rendered teenagers and dropping them into a serious, 00’s-style super hero universe. It was about showing how the personality rubbed against the craziness of their lives. With YOUNG AVENGERS, I’m flipping that. In my own style, I’m doing what classic 60’s Marvel did, and using the super hero elements as a device to specifically illustrate the characters’ challenges and thrills. So when we first meet one character who’s much cooler than most of the cast, she’s in Earth-212, which is basically a dimension which is basically an infinite New York. Normal Earth is a bit downmarket for her—which is using the super heroic element to turn her into the equivalent to the person who moves from New York to your small town. They have a glamour you simply don’t. Or, at least, that’s how you feel.
So, to answer your question, teenagers deciding to use their superpowers is really about human beings blossoming and trying to work out how best to behave, trying to see where their talents will work in. Puberty is basically a superpower experience. It changes you totally. What are you going to become? What are you going to do?
Familiar members Kate Bishop aka Lady Hawkeye, Wiccan and Hulkling are joined by Miss America, Loki and Noh-Varr (formerly known as Marvel Boy and Protector.) Loki brings the team together in the upcoming Point One.
Gillen reveals where the teens are when the story begins.
”When we actually join them, they’re not a super-team. They’re not even superheroing. Wiccan is still basically in the emotional place he was where everyone last saw him. He’s completely burnt out on super heroics. He’s worried he’s just going to get more of his friends killed or their lives destroyed. However, unbeknownst to him, his boyfriend Hulkling has started to be a super hero on the down low. Our story basically starts when Wiccan discovers this—which, through our super heroic prism, is basically akin to “you were cheating on me!”
Hulkling says some choice words. Wiccan realises something—and then makes a mistake.
Our status quo quickly follows.
And they’re equally swiftly on their own.”
The big question: where are Patriot and Speed? Perhaps joining Hickman’s Avengers?
For the entire interview here’s the Marvel.com link.