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Young Avengers: Youth Movement Pt. 4

Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen explore growing up, fashion and much more!

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Young Avengers #1 preview pencils by Jamie McKelvie

By Carla Hoffman

Today we continue our discussion with artist Jamie McKelvie and writer Kieron Gillen on their new book, YOUNG AVENGERS, and their style and approach to the modern young hero in an ever-changing world.

Join us as we talk about the huge gap between the ages of 16 and 18, the difficulties of constant re-expression, traveling from the mundane to the extraordinary, coffee shop couture and what people keep in their closets while they're out trying to save the world. 

Today: fashion and personal identity.

Marvel.com: What draws me into the new character designs is how much what they’re wearing looks like clothing instead of armor or uniforms. No one's aiming to look iconic like Captain America but, in their way, they come across looking more symbolic through their individuality. 

Jamie McKelvie: Yes, I really believe that the strongest designs and costumes stems from the character's personality and background and all those kind of things and that's why, when I did the Captain Marvel redesign, I looked at her background as a military officer and all that kind of stuff and brought that into the costuming.

Young Avengers #3 cover by Jamie McKelvie

And with these guys, yeah, it's the same kind of thing. You've got Miss America who's very powerful but she's also kind of a street level hero.

Marvel.com: It looks like she put together that costume herself, nobody handed it to her.

Jamie McKelvie: In fact, it's not really one particular costume, she's got a change of clothing and it's going to vary from adventure to adventure. 

Marvel.com: Oh, that's awesome!

Jamie McKelvie: Yeah, it should be pretty fun. I've already seen people cosplaying her, like four or five cosplaying the new costume, so it's gone down pretty well. And then you've got Wiccan and Hulkling. The thing with Hulking is his power is shape-shifting and that's the focus of his visuals and the action, so I wanted to keep his costume quite simple and not too busy because it's all the stuff that's he's doing that's more interesting as a visual.

And Wiccan, we don't see him in the costume; he doesn't put it on in this issue, so he's kind of in his normal clothing. The way I see him is kind of that 18 year old kid that you see working in the coffee shop in New York. Not like totally cool because he's still a bit of a nerd but he's definitely pays a little bit of attention to fashion and stuff. 

Young Avengers #1 cover by Jamie McKelvie

Kieron Gillen: He's worked out how hair gel works.

Jamie McKelvie: [Laughs] Yeah. It's a couple of years on and you think about how you change from when you're 16 to when you're 18 and all the styles you've gone through. I really wanted them to feel like real teenagers so part of it was they're not going to be stuck in the same looks they were when they were 16. 

Kieron Gillen: Even I couldn't do that.

Jamie McKelvie: Yeah, well nobody does. Especially in that jump between 16 and 18, I think that's quite a big jump, how you become aware of yourself and your sense of style and all those kinds of things, so yeah, I did that with him.

Tomorrow, Gillen and McKelvie tackle Loki and what lies ahead for the team!

YOUNG AVENGERS #1 debuts January 23.

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