I wrote this up on my LiveJournal but I realized that I had more to say. I’ll try to be more comprehensive in my Part Two. But for now, please enjoy:
From X-MEN LEGACY # 238
It’s bizarre to think that X-MEN LEGACY is the same sequence of comics that began with Chris Claremont + Jim Lee’s 1991 X-MEN #1 relaunch. Same also, as Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN. This title has been through some changes. Now, with “LEGACY” added to the name, it begins a new era which is actually interesting. This iteration of the title is billed as focusing more on the mutant “students” and less on the superheroics. Although there’s plenty of danger and things exploding and shadowy villains. The concept is closer to that of the old NEW MUTANTS or the OTHER “NEW X-MEN/YOUNG X-MEN” series (yes, it’s confusing, deal with it). All in all, teenage superheroes, I’m in.
Speaking of teenage superheroes:
YOUNG AVENGERS: CHILDREN’S CRUSADE # 1
This is an angsty miniseries about a group of Avengers fans who coincidentally line up, powerwise with the standard Avengers. They’re about to make a name for themselves but it turns out that one of them is too powerful and could basically accidentally kill everybody in the world (or something).
Junior Avengers on the run!
Jim Cheung is brilliant at drawing the adventures of teenage superheroes. I was first introduced to his work in the later days of X-Force (the original X-Force, before Peter Milligan transformed the title into something else). Every page in this comic is gorgeous. The story hasn’t wowed me or anything, but it’s whatever. I’m just here to look at the pretty page and panel designs.
Speaking of “X-Force,”
let me pause for a quick appreciation of Kyle and Yost’s most recent iteration of the title. This one is called “Sex + Violence.”
Teenage superheroes are a fun bunch of ideas. First you have superheroes, for the action junkies and sci-fi nerds. Secondly, you typically have the nerdy fun that goes with the grab-bag of superpowers that is typical of team books. Thirdly, and most importantly, TEEN DRAMA!
It is important that teenage superheroes are not just shorter regular superheroes. It’s important that they are kind of arrogant, kind of stupid, and kind of wrong-headed. They may get into trouble with the best of the pros (your Superman, Batman, Captain America, etc), but they have the added problem of being shortsighted in that way that only teenagers can pull off while still being kind of endearing.
But on the other hand:
I read this Teen Titans comic where the Justice League shows up and tries to basically smack the Titans around and it is horrible and nauseating. The idea was that the Teen Titans would meet on weekends (they have SCHOOL, you know!) and hang out and fight crime. Real wholesome. But the Justice League “hadn’t authorized” one of the Teen Titans, so they showed up at their house to give them a spanking. All I can say is that Wonder Woman is a dick.
Well, no, Nightwing is a dick.
I still have teenage emotions about the hypocrisy of adults.
To close us out,
Here’s an action panel from the ORIGINAL X-Force # 20 from 1993.
All images (C) Marvel Entertainment, (C) DC Entertainment, (C) Matt Fraction+Gabriel Ba, (C) Darryl Ayo and (C) Andria Alefhi.