By Ben Morse
It's been said that in times of war, nobody suffers more than the children, a lesson both the Young Avengers and Runaways have learned the hard way—and will soon experience first hand once more.
Marvel's two top teen teams meet up in the June-launching three-issue SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS limited series by writer Chris Yost—no stranger to young heroes as the co-creator of X-23 and former co-writer of NEW X-MEN—and artist Takeshi Miyazawa. With both groups counting Skrulls among their ranks—Xavin in the Runaways and Hulkling, the Young Avengers' half-Skrull/half-Kree son of Captain Marvel—the alien incursion into Earth hits deeply close to home for all parties.
Interior art by
"The Skrulls are coming for Earth, and both the Runaways and Young Avengers are in New York when the proper invasion begins," says Yost, setting the stage. "It gets ugly fast. It's hugely personal, especially for the Runaways, [who] have trust issues to begin with. The Young Avengers have been down the Skrull road before, but never like this."
The tag line since the first sign of Skrull activity appeared in NEW AVENGERS has been "Who Do Your Trust?" and as Yost notes, few groups in the Marvel Universe have had more issues with trusting one another than the Runaways.
"Their leader was going to sacrifice them all," reminds the writer, referring to the Runaways' original organizer Alex Wilder, who planned to allow the extra-dimensional Gibborim to consume his friends in order to gain power for he and his family. "Victor's future self supposedly killed future Gert. Chase flipped out and made deals with the Gibborim. Nico kissed Chase! And I personally have never trusted Molly. So when the invasion goes down, can they really trust Xavin?"
Meanwhile on the Young Avengers side of the coin, the squad's most epic adventure to date saw them team with their adult counterparts to prevent the Skrulls from reclaiming Hulking to become the ruler of their empire. In retrospect, Yost wonders if that may not have been a lapse in judgment all involved will come to regret:
"An ancient Skrull prophecy indicated that Hulking would unite the Skrull Empire, but [he] wanted no part of that and turned his back on his destiny. Now the question is, was that a calculated move or a big mistake? Because what's about to happen one could say is wholly the result of that decision. This series follows the ramifications that decision holds for both Xavin and Hulkling and the resulting shockwaves for their teammates."
While the Young Avengers and Runaways had a previous encounter during the CIVIL WAR: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS limited series and parted as allies, don't expect the breakneck pace of this new story to allow for much socializing.
"You'll see the Young Avengers in the pages of [the main SECRET INVASION series] and the story explodes directly from there into [this series]," explains Yost. "The entire
event plays fast and [the series] takes place over the course of a few hours at the most. This is jumping down the same foxhole as the bombs start dropping. Not a lot of time for catching up, they're too focused on surviving."
Yost's artistic collaborator brings some experience with the Runaways to the tables, having worked on two short arcs of the RUNAWAYS series with the characters' co-creator Brian K. Vaughan, but the Canadian-born Miyazawa tackles the Young Avengers for the first time in his most high profile assignment to date. Yost already has reason to believe the series will make a star of Miyazawa:
"Simply amazing," marvels the writer of the work he has seen so far. "Pencils for issue one are coming in now and they're gorgeous, he's really capturing the intensity. And even in the middle of a full scale war, Molly's pretty cute."
While he realizes the shoes he's filling have been worn by the likes of Vaughan, Young Avengers co-creator Allan Heinberg and current RUNAWAYS writer Joss Whedon, Yost remains eager to get his feet in there and make a lasting mark of his own.
Cover art by
"I really do love the Marvel kids," says the writer. "To take them and put them in probably one of the most intense and desperate situations of their lives was too great an opportunity to pass up."
Who do you trust? Learn more about Secret Invasion now at Marvel.com/SecretInvasion! Also, read the SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and watch the Secret Invasion animated short!