You don't have to be an adult to be one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. When the “Young Avengers” began their careers in their self-titled 2005 ongoing series by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, they had to fight to prove their worth to their older counterparts. Over the course of 12 issue and a one-shot special, the “Young Avengers” showed that they were just as courageous, dedicated and capable as heroes twice their age. Since then, they're proved themselves further by surviving many of the Marvel Universe's biggest events like “Civil War,” “Secret Invasion,” and “Dark Reign.” In “Siege” #3, in stores now, they joined their fellow heroes on the frontlines to help repel Norman Osborn's Siege of Asgard, but are they ready for the horrors and the challenges that await them there? Writer Sean McKeever (“Nomad: Girl Without a World”) and artist Mahmud Asrar (“Nova”) answer this question and more in “Siege: Young Avengers”, a one-shot that hits stores April 14. CBR News spoke with McKeever about the project.
CBR News: Sean, from your large body of work it's clear that you have a knack and an affinity for writing teen and younger heroes. What makes the Young Avengers compelling characters to you? What makes them stand out from the other young heroes that you've written?
Sean McKeever: When I got the call from editor Bill Rosemann about writing this comic, I was instantly geeked. I really enjoyed the Heinberg and Cheung run; it was inventive and fresh and exciting and character-driven. What really makes them stand apart from other teams is the nature of their relationships, and that's due to that initial batch of Young Avengers stories. I'm glad to have had this chance to add to that foundation.
What can you tell us about the Young Avengers' mindset going into this story? They have taken part in some of the epic events in Marvel history. So are the events of "Siege" just another mission for them? Or are they a little unnerved by going to the war in Asgard against Norman Osborn and his forces?
Oh, sure, this is definitely a bigger deal than the “Civil War” and the “Secret Invasion” and all that. And you'll see from the very first page of the story that they're all too aware of this fact.
Specifically, this is a big deal to Wiccan. As you may recall, he started out with the codename Asgardian and he emulated Thor's powers and visuals. There was a reason for that choice, and you'll find out why here.
Speaking of Wiccan, do you focus on certain characters more than others in “Siege: Young Avengers?” Or do Hulkling, Patriot, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Speed, Stature, and Vision get their time in the spotlight as well?
Stature and Vision are off doing “Mighty Avengers” things, so Mahmud and I are focusing on the other five. I'd say the most panel time is devoted to Wiccan, but everyone gets their moment in the sun, so to speak.
What can you tell us about the plot and themes of “Siege: Young Avengers?” Whose perspective is this story told from?
There's not a lot I can say about the plot without handing out “Siege” spoilers like candy, but the basic idea here is we're taking a look at who each of these young heroes are and how they step up in a major bunch of craziness. We'll be jumping between three different stories of how the team members are coping with the task ahead of them.
What types of obstacles and who are the adversaries that you your cast encounters in this one-shot?
Oh, how about the Wrecking Crew?
What's it like working with Mahmud Asrar on this story? What do you feel he brings to this book an artist?
Wow, what a find he is. I know he's been working for a while on issues of “Nova,” but this has been my first exposure to his work and I am blown away. Really great storytelling ability and a real knack for getting great performances out of the characters.
What is the over all tone of “Siege: Young Avengers?”
It's a little bit bleak. They've got an uphill battle ahead of them, so to speak.
How does it feel to be part of a big Marvel event story like “Siege?"
It's been great. I love getting the opportunity to find a corner of the shared sandbox to play in.
Any final thoughts you would like to share about “Siege: Young Avengers?”
Let's see...I said Wrecking Crew...oh! Did I say "smooch?"