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Heroic Age

Meet the Young Allies: Nomad

The girl from another world takes the lead in the new YOUNG ALLIES series by writer Sean McKeever and artist David Baldeon

By Kevin Mahadeo

On June 9, the next generation of Marvel champions comes together to commemorate the Heroic Age in YOUNG ALLIES #1 by Sean McKeever and David Baldeon! Over the next four weeks, Marvel.com will spotlight a quartet of characters who will in part comprise the Allies, with commentary from McKeever as well as key reading on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. So sit back, read up and join the Young Allies!


Sometimes, teenagers get together to go to the movies or grab a bite to eat. Other teens prefer to battle evil and fight crime as the newest group of Marvel heroes in YOUNG ALLIES, a new ongoing series by writer Sean McKeever and artist David Baldeon.

Beginning June 9 as part of the Heroic Age, YOUNG ALLIES follows the adventures of adolescent heroes Nomad, Arana, Firestar, Gravity and

Toro, who band together as a not-quite-typical super squad. The new title picks up on a number of threads laid down in McKeever's NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD limited series and FIRESTAR one-shot; however, it also stands as its own independent ongoing.

"It's not a typical team book, so [Nomad] is not what you would call a typical leader," says McKeever. "I think that it's just an extension of her sense of social duty that she wants to bring more like-minded individuals together. So, it's more that state of mind and less of plotting out missions and things of that nature. Of course, as the series goes on and we get into some of Rikki Barnes' bugaboos, like the Secret Empire, she'll definitely be the point person on that."

Rikki Barnes originally hailed from the Heroes Reborn Universe, where she served as sidekick to that reality's Captain America going by the name Bucky. She crossed over to the regular Marvel Universe during the ONSLAUGHT REBORN series and most recently took over the Nomad identity at the behest of The Black Widow. McKeever says that the character's adjustment to a new life in a new world provides a perfectly relatable perspective for readers.

"The thing I like writing about Rikki so much is that she really gets to magnify one of the things that we all deal with during our teen years and maybe in our 20's and beyond," he explains. "That is that sense of detachment and disenfranchisement and disillusionment that we all get to in our rebellious stage or as we develop into adults. So, her not being

from this world and everything being familiar and yet not, that's a really great way to tap into that point of view."

Although the differences between Nomad's parallel realities play a relatively small part in the series overall, McKeever admits it does serve as a major element in bringing the new team together.

"Right off the bat, going forward, the biggest way that we'll be dealing with that issue is the fact that in her world, she knew a guy named Benito Serrano, who had an alter-ego named Toro," he shares. "So, there's a Benito Serrano in this universe who is Toro, but they are pretty different people on some levels. So, she's going to have to adjust to the fact that she knows this guy but she doesn't really know this version of him. And he doesn't know her at all, so it's really kind of freaky to him."

Of course, not everyone immediately concedes to Rikki's leadership status. McKeever hints that the character experiences a few rocky roads ahead and teases that readers should expect a unique experience from this unique set of heroes.

NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD collected edition
"We can't forget that we also have two other former team leaders on this non-team," reminds the writer. "There's definitely going to be a very different dynamic from what you would expect from other team books."


CAPTAIN AMERICA (1996) #1: The first appearance of Rikki Barnes

EXILES #81: Bucky's original Young Allies team with the Exiles against the dimension-hopping Proteus

ONSLAUGHT REBORN #5: Rikki Barnes makes the ultimate sacrifice for her universe


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