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He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother: Aguirre-Sacasa Talks “Young Avengers Presents”

by  in Comic News Comment
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother: Aguirre-Sacasa Talks “Young Avengers Presents”
Cover for “Young Avengers Presents” #3

Young Avengers Billy Kaplan AKA Wiccan and Tommy Sheppard AKA Speed aren’t sure they like each other. Unfortunately for them it looks like their brothers. Billy and Tommy aren’t biologically related, they’re literally soul brothers. Years ago the Scarlet Witch used her mutant abilities to bring to life two twin boys. Later, the demon lord Mephisto made an attempt to claim the souls of the Witches infant children. Because the Witch’s power had transfigured the boys’ souls, Mephisto was temporarily destroyed when he tried to absorb them. In the resulting chaos, the boys’ souls escaped Mephisto’s realm and entered the bodies of the children who would become Speed and Wiccan

In March’s “Young Avengers Presents” #3 from Marvel Comics, by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Alina Urusov, the brothers might get a chance to learn more about their mother, but only if they can overcome their differences and an old foe from the Avengers past. CBR News spoke with Aguirre-Sacasa about the issue.

Interior art for “Young Avengers Presents” #3

When Marvel editor Tom Brevoort called Aguirre-Sacasa about penning a story featuring Wiccan, it was an offer the writer couldn’t refuse. “I occasionally get these calls from Marvel Editors and I don’t always say yes because either my schedule doesn’t allow for it or it’s a project like this which means coordinating with other writers. But I really wanted to write this character,” Aguirre-Sacasa told CBR News. “I love working with Tom and the other writers involved with the series. Plus it was a chance to write the Young Avengers ,so I had to do it.”

After Aguirre-Sacasa accepted the “Young Avengers Presents” assignment, Brevoort asked if his story could be about both Wiccan and Speed. “I have an older brother, but that was a dynamic I have never written before in any of my comics or plays,” Aguirre-Sacasa stated, “I thought that would be something really interesting to explore.”

Wiccan and Speed may be related, but Aguirre-Sacasa found the bonds of brotherly love between the two to be very tenuous. “They’re complete polar opposites,” he said. “One of the questions I wanted to answer in this issue is, ‘Just because they’re brothers, do they have to like each other?’ The issue actually begins with Wiccan and Hulkling and then Speed arrives. This prompts Hulkling to say to Wiccan, ‘Do I have to like him just because he’s your brother?’ So Speed and Wiccan are definitely not chummy when the issue starts out.

Interior art for “Young Avengers Presents” #3

“For a big chunk of the issue the two main adversaries really are Wiccan and Speed,” Aguirre-Sacasa continued. “We’ll get to see how different their personalities and philosophies are. That’s really what this story is about. Hulkling is a big part of the story as well because of his relationship with Wiccan.”

“Young Avengers Presents” #3 is only a 22-page story and it features two lead characters. So, rather than tackling things like what Wiccan has been doing since “Civil War” or Speed’s legal status following his break out from a juvenile detention facility in “Young Avengers” #10, Aguirre-Sacasa focused his plot on questions more important to the two characters, like their ties to their real mother The Scarlet Witch. “‘Who were my mom and dad and am I going to be like them?’ is really of one of the primal questions facing teenagers,” Aguirre-Sacasa remarked.

Wiccan and Speed’s quest for their mother begins because of a nightmare. “Wiccan has started having these dreams about the Scarlet Witch that are getting more and more violent,” Aguirre-Sacasa explained. “He’s believes she’s alive and trying to communicate with him. He and Speed set off to find her. So they end up retracing a few of her steps and a few of her greatest hits.”

Interior art for “Young Avengers Presents” #3

The brothers’ search takes them from New York to New Jersey and leads to a confrontation with a villain who harbors a grudge against their mother, Master Pandemonium. In the pages of the old “West Coast Avengers” series, Pandemonium attacked the Scarlet Witch because he believed her two infant children were actually fragments of his own soul, which he lost while trying to bargain with Mephisto. Aguirre-Sacasa enjoyed writing Master Pandemonium because while the character’s actions clearly make him a villain his motivation makes him tragic and somewhat sympathetic as well.

After writing books like “4” and “Sensational Spider-Man,” Aguirre-Sacasa found his “Young Avengers Presents” issue to ultimately be a refreshing and fun change of pace. “I haven’t really written a story where the main characters were kids,” he said. “So it was nice to write this story which is almost a teen soap opera meets the Hardy Boys/Tom Sawyer.”

Discuss this story here on CBR’s Marvel Comics forum.
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