Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Kieron Gillen and his crew say goodbye after only 15 issues. Another unique Marvel title cancelled. I give my two cents.
Young Avengers #15
Writer: Kieron Gillen
It’s a wonderful closing to the title. The characters find some answers by closing some questions. It’s just like every last issue of a Marvel series: a thank you to the readers and a promise to hopefully return someday, somehow.
Before I start, I want to state in this article I will not be talking about the artwork in this comic. Like what Marvel has done in the past, they took every artist from the run and gave them a few pages to draw. Artists from Becky Cloonan to Jamie McKelvie; all who did a great job and a are incredible artists (now on various other titles). I want to just talk about Kieron Gillen and what this title meant to me. This is Gillen’s best work since Y.A.’s issue one. While fan favorites like Loki and Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) have always stolen the show, character’s like Ms. America and Marvel Boy were just starting to come into their own. It was witty, the direction had lots of heart, and it showed me that while Marvel has plenty of A-listers with various titles (how many Wolverine titles do I need?) these low brow, young, hipster characters had more humanity and personality in them and it’s a shame Marvel wastes them.
I looked forward to this comic every month because it reminded me of a modern 80’s movie (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Goonies, Etc). The book was about finding yourself. Loki found himself wanting to be the good guy while knowing he will never be that guy. Wiccan and Hulkling found themselves scared about their relationship but overcoming their fear for something better (it took 13 issues and could have kept going). Kate and Moh-Varr had something special but just like a great 80’s movie, sometimes having that spark isn’t enough. Gillen made his characters likeable, real, and lacking. I say “lacking” because A. the book is about finding yourself and B. they each had one noticeable imperfection. Prodigy lacked love, Wiccan lacked self confidence (until the end), Hulkling lacked his independence, Loki lacked trust, etc. These imperfections made the book fun. I knew Wolverine wasn’t going to pop up somewhere and magically save the day. I knew it was going to be a fun spin like the movie: The Goonies. The characters were going to get through it, find something, lose something, but through it all come out O.K.
I feel like how Marvel handled this title is how many sports teams handle their coaches. They only get a little time to get to the “big game” before they are fired. Nobody gives these fun unique books time to grow. They get a few months and that’s it. Plus, now that Marvel is going “more” digital, I assume it is cheaper to hire and keep these artists/writers. Most of the money is probably getting wasted in the distribution and printing of these books. Well, why can’t Marvel keep a title going for a few more months but do it like how the MLB does it: by demoting them to the B-League (or starting them there). You say O.K. your sales are down, so we are placing you on our digital label until you either grow or fade away. That gives the writer/artist time to establish and find the books voice. It also establishes trust between the audience and the label. I know I can invest in a comic and not have the fear that this will just end. Why do you think the fans have such trust problems with these labels? How many times did Spider-girl get cancelled/saved? Marvel could have saved some serious money and made a whole lot of us happy by just making the title digital. Asking various writers/artists how they survive in this field and finding out that some don’t while others have to be on various titles just to make some money, I know the big two (marvel/dc) don’t pay a fortune to these makers of the dreams and it’s just chump change for them. If that’s the case then where does the money go? The answer: It’s a business and they have investors. You need to be Wolverine, Spider-Man or it’s just not going to work. Sucks. That’s just my two cents, plus I am upset that this title only lasted a year.
Well I hope you guys pick up the trade: Young Avengers, volume 2. Issues 1-15 when it comes out. It had some heart, had some story problems here and there, but ended on a great note. Kieron Gillen you did great on this title and Journey into Mystery. Thank you for both.
4.0 out of 5.0
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.