Gillen & McKelvie Are YOUNG AVENGERS at Marvel NOW!

We knew creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie will team on a title teased with the one-word description "Amateurs," and it was widely assumed that they'd be taking on the Young Avengers concept.

Today we have official confirmation, as Marvel announces via CBR that the pair, and the book, are teaming together in January 2013. Young Avengers was a concept, team, and characters created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, who took familiar concepts and turned them young with characters like Wiccan and Hulkling, a young female Hawkeye, the grandson of the first Captain America, and more.


While they'll be taking on the Young Avengers, there will of course be a new twist to the team that hasn't been seen before. Kid Loki, who Gillen has been writing as the main character of Journey Into Mystery, Miss America Chavez, a young hero who appeared in the 2011 Vengeance mini-series, and Wiccan of the original Young Avengers appeared in the first Marvel NOW! Point One teaser, and in the second, Chavez was punching Loki through a wall. And yes, all three of them will be on Gillen and McKelvie's squad.

Of course, McKelvie hasn't always been a strictly monthly artist, so Gillen chose a second artist known for his awesome young hero action, Mike Norton, to work with him, handling backgrounds, making this a true "team" known for their work with teen heroes, working on this team of teen heroes. Gillen said he's writing this very differently from his other Marvel work, too.

"I haven't written a Marvel book in the way I would write "Phonogram." I reference "Phonogram" because obviously it's a similar team, but there are some aesthetic similarities as well," Gillen told CBR. "It's a lot like "Phonogram" if we had likable characters and plots. So it's not really much like "Phonogram" at all if you think about it."


McKelvie echoed the similarity, saying, "I guess it is the closest thing we've done to "Phonogram" in the Marvel Universe. It's very important that they are teenage super heroes. We wanted to give them a distinctive separation from the older heroes. Costume design has really been important so far. That bled into how I actually approached the story telling and the panels."

They'll be playing with layouts, citing a "double-page spread of 25 or so panels," with Gillen writing distinctly for McKelvie's artstyle.

"I'm kind of looking at it as fight scenes as music videos. Each individual fight scene or action sequence is based around an individual hook. We present them in a certain way and it's very stylistic, but it's for the higher purpose of trying to convey how fantastical the scene is. We're trying to give a sense that this is all part of life, but some bits are heightened."

The cast is changing significantly, as expected, with Gillen giving respect to the originals, saying, "I couldn't write that book. I couldn't base a story around a tiny bit of continuity from 30 years ago. I completely respect people that can do that and I love those stories, but that doesn't mean I can. 

So I took a different approach. In this world the Avengers are almost civil servants or firemen or police. They work for the government and they're this enormous organization. But at the core? The real core of the Avengers? It's saving the world, because someone has got to, and that's what "Young Avengers" is about. They're called "Young Avengers" even though they're not Avengers. This is fundamentally about the ideal. It's about being a super hero. It's about saving the world because somebody has got to do it."


Loki will put this team together, a fun callback to him inadvertently putting together the original Avengers. But it's not like he'll just be going to Wiccan, Miss America Chavez and others and saying "Hey, let's be a team!" 

"The readers know that Loki is bringing the group together," Gillen said. "The characters don't. There's a sense that Loki is clearly the manipulator here." His team will be more far-ranging than just the original members, though.

 "So what I want to do in "Young Avengers" is build a kind of larger metastructure that you can use to explore any part of the teen leaning Marvel Universe outside the traditional doctrines of the larger government side heroes. I have a real strong vision for 12 issues.

"After that "Young Avengers" will be set up as a device where you can go to any of the Marvel Universe locales where teen heroes live and work like the West Coast with the Runaways or the Jean Grey School."

The core team will start with Wiccan, Hulkling, Kid Loki, Chavez, Hawkeye (Kate, of course), and Noh-Varr, Marvel Boy. Hulkling, Marvel Boy, and Miss America have redesigns courtesy of McKelvie.

No specific villains were mentioned, though Gillen promises mostly new ones, with unique takes on classic Avengers stories and archetypes.

More on Young Avengers coming soon from New York Comic Con.

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