Friday, 1 February 2013

Phonogram Avengers

Or how Young Avengers reminds makes me think of Phonogram: The Singles Club

Young Avengers is a comic about a group of young superheroes on the cusp of adulthood. Phonogram: The Singles Club tells a story about music as magic and focuses on a group of young Phonomancers (music-wizards) on the cusp of adulthood. Both comics are written by Kieron Gillen, drawn by Jaimie McKelvie, and coloured by Matt Wilson. They are both pretty great comics.

But I think the similarity between the two runs deeper than a common level of quality and shared creators. There is a thematic link about what it is to be on the cusp of adulthood and a similar sensibility about how to convey these ideas that unites both these titles and which at times borders on the uncanny. Now, clearly there are dramatic differences between the two: one features caped heroes and punching and the other a blizzard of pop music references and dancing but the two clearly share a common thread of DNA. I kind of want to compare it to brocoli and cauliflower, how they share a distinct genetic background, a common ancestor from which both modern vegetables are derived. And I think, if you squint a bit at Young Avengers and The Singles Club, the similarities and the evidence of this common thematic ancestor becomes apparent. Like to the point where certain moments, stripped of their Superheroics or music, are virtually indistinguishable.

To that end, I've put together the following test. I've cropped out panels from Young Avengers #1 and Phonogram: The Singles Club to illustrate the uncanny similarity between the two.

1: If you are unfamiliar and haven't read either book, then I challenge you to guess which title each panel is from.

2: If you have read both books and can tell which book each is from based on remembering the panel or recognizing the characters depicted, then I challenge you to look past that and see if you can see the commonalities, the thematic relationship between the two comics.

(Obviously I chose panels that lacked Superheroics and musical references, because those are dead give aways.)

Uncannily similar right? Or am I crazy?

Anyway, I see the common DNA between the two titles and I LOVE it. Phonogram was a brilliant comic, and a mainstream Superhero comic that looks and feels like it is absolutely something that I want and so, I say to you, that Young Avengers is the next best thing to having new Phonogram and that you should all be reading it.

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