For the last few weeks, Kieron Gillen has been writing about the cast of his new comic with Jamie McKelvie and friends, Young Avengers, commentary and soundtracks. It comes out tomorrow. So here are a few snippets from each with links to the main events.
Noh-Varr has two saving graces. Firstly, he hasn't collapsed completely. He's instinctively a hero – his hedonism is almost impossible to separate from a hero. Superheroism as Point-Break Surfer-Zen, world disasters as a wave to be ridden and mastered. Everything has been taken from him, and he acts like a hero anyway, because being a hero is the only thing that has ever meant anything to him.
(Random aside: Noh-Varr was totally the Wesley Crusher of his Kree ship.)
His second saving grace?
He loves Earth. He loves it in a way which us Earth dwellers may find a little embarrassing. And we find it embarrassing just because he's seeing it with fresh eyes and we're covered by the tar the 21st century tries to funnel into our lungs.
Kate hasn't superpowers.
The concept of superheroes without superpowers is something that I think about a bit too much. A trope of the genre is how the unpowered human can stand against the power of these walking gods. It's the Batman Always Wins line – that by force of will and preparation, you can trump anything.
Looked with cold eyes, it's utter nonsense. You can't trick an A-bomb by hiding in the shadows. You need to turn anyone with powers into an idiot to pull it off. And that's putting aside the fact that all the "normal" human heroes are performing stunts that are simply beyond anything any actual member of our species can do. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever when looked at in a literal fashion.
Which makes it lucky that it's not a particularly literal genre. It doesn't matter if it's realistic or factual. It only matters if it's true. It's a metaphor. It's all metaphors.
What Miss America allows is showing someone who is as much a hero as anyone the cast has ever met, but is only a little older. And if she's doing this, by herself, and has been for years… why not you? She's the cool new friend who's just more worldly than you are, and by knowing them, you get your own expectations scrambled.
In most fiction, you'd probably make her from one of the world's major cities and move her to the suburbs. In superhero fiction, we dramatise it through the metaphor, and make her have spent a lot of her time in other dimensions. She's been to places you haven't. She's not just living in New York when we first meet her in the .1 story – she's meeting in a platonic perfect ideal of New York, where the metropolis has swept the entire globe and there's mountains made of statues of liberty. She's seen things that Billy and Teddy haven't even dreamt of. Generally speaking, she's pretty cool. Which is tricky to write without being try-too-hard.
His "parentage" is tricky. Frankly, I have little interest in explicitly delving into the depths of continuity. It's not really my style. My style is a nod to show people who know it all know that I'm not ignoring it, and then treat it in the cleanest and most accessible way I'm able. It's what I did with the even-more-complicated Magik over in the Uncanny X-men X-men, and it's what I'm doing here. As far as the readers need be concerned for our story, the Scarlet Witch is his other mom.
He's as much of a powerhouse as Wanda too. Maybe moreso. He's a powerhouse a little afraid of his own talents and potential.
I can understand that.
A new reader will see Loki and see someone who looks a lot like the villain in the third-biggest movie of all time and is famed for manipulating, lying and generally being a charming shit. They will be suspicious about his motivations, and understand why the cast are suspicious.
A reader of Journey Into Mystery will know the truth. They will be suspicious about his motivations, and understand why the cast are suspicious. But even more so. Possibly to screaming THERE IS A SERIAL KILLER IN YOUR HOUSE at the book, or the local equivalent.
Both should be wondering what the hell Loki is really up to, which is exactly how I want it.
Teddy is Billy's boyfriend.
Obviously, vice versa is true as well. Teddy is Billy's boyfriend. They're going out. That's how it works.
But narratively speaking, Teddy is Billy's boyfriend.
It's the flip of what I was talking in Billy's essay. As he increasingly became the lead, that means Teddy's his romantic interest. Narratively speaking, he increasingly existed to support Billy's arc.
In other words, if Billy's Frodo, that means Teddy is Sam.
I fucking love Sam.
More , always more, here, and tomorrow Kieron's notes on issue one…