Teen superteams Avengers Academy and The Runaways face off in March!
It seems like such an obvious fit, we’re surprised it hasn’t happened sooner: will the anti-heroic students of Avengers Academy be welcoming the anti-heroic kids of The Runaways to their ranks? We’ll find out in March of 2012, as writer Christos Gage welcomes the fan-favorites to the halls of AA for a two-part arc that may or may not answer the question we posed in the title. To find out more, we chatted with Gage, so read on! Okay? Okay!
MTV Geek: The Runaways have always been – sometimes literally – underground… How do they end up in a relatively public place like Avengers Academy?
Christos Gage: They actually come knocking. A reader pointed out to us that the Runaways’ Victor Mancha, who was created by Ultron, is – in a weird way – Hank Pym’s grandson (since Hank created Ultron)! So when the Runaways need help with something, Victor decides it’s time he met dear old Granddad. I’m guessing Hank’s reaction will be a bit like I feel when I hear Ozzy Osbourne playing in a supermarket… “I’m old!”
Geek: There’s some pretty close parallels between the two groups – both skirting the lines of villains and heroes… Can you talk about that a bit?
CG: You’re right, and I think that’s a huge reason the characters fit well together. None of them are Bucky or even Johnny Storm, who may have been reckless at times but was still always a hero. These are the weird kids who you could see either ending up in jail or founding Microsoft. They started behind the eight ball and they’re struggling just to stay afloat. And yet they’ve chosen very different paths, one group rejecting the adult world while the other trains to be a part of it. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them think the grass looks greener on the other side.
Geek: There’s also some pretty close parallels in the real world, as both titles sell consistently, are critically acclaimed, and seem to slowly gain more fans as they go on – they’re the slow burns. Did that make the two teams natural fits?
CG: Beats me. I hope so. You look at something like WALKING DEAD, which started out selling just a few thousand copies and now outsells most major titles. That book gained readers by word of mouth, people telling each other how good it was, leading to sales growing steadily over time. As hard as it is in this market, I’d love for AVENGERS ACADEMY to follow that example. I’d also be happy for it to sell at its current level for a hundred more issues. Anything that lets me keep writing the stories!
Writer Gage promises some growth for the characters of The Runaways -- but is "also not going to suddenly make them vampire hunters or whatever"
Geek: Do you have a favorite Runaway to write? You’re not allowed to answer “Molly.”
CG: Old Lace. Wait, isn’t she dead…?
Geek: Is there a pairing of Runaway/Avengers Academy characters you were surprised worked so well together? You’re not allowed to answer, “Molly and everybody,” by the way. (Okay, fine, you are)
CG: I haven’t written the issue yet, but just in planning the cover, I was amazed at the parallels between them. Karolina and Julie Power…Striker and Victor…and Molly and Mettle. We were thrilled to get former RUNAWAYS cover artist David Lafuente to adorn these issues, and his cover for #27 just has me salivating to write the story!
Geek: Relatively speaking, the Runaways have been kept off the board, though they’ve been popping up more and more often… Other than working as an external force, are we going to see some growth for them, too?
CG: Hopefully, but I’m also not going to suddenly make them vampire hunters or whatever. I like the Runaways for the same reason everyone else does, and while I hope their experiences with Avengers Academy will contribute to their growth as characters, I’m not gonna fix what isn’t broken.
Geek: Okay, what about villains? Which side of things should we be looking to, to see who they’ll be facing?
CG: They may find enough opposition in each other. Or maybe something so wild and out of control all of them together still aren’t a match for it!
Geek: Lastly, give your conservative estimate on how definitely this will lead to a new Runaways ongoing series – 100% definitely, or just totally definitely?
CG: Anyone who wants a Runaways ongoing should make sure to buy a thousand copies of these issues. It can’t hurt.
Avengers Academy #27 hits comic book stands in March, 2012!