Author Topic: Wizard's interview to ALLAN HEINGBERG  (Read 3118 times)


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Wizard's interview to ALLAN HEINGBERG
« on: August 01, 2006, 03:13:26 pm »
The 'Young Avengers' writer looks back at the highs and lows of his first volume
By Robert Taylor

Posted July 29, 2006  10:40 AM

Allan Heinberg would love to tell you some fun quirky story he experienced recently, but he can't. He would love to talk about wild party moments of late, but he hasn't had any. He's been chained to his desk for the past few weeks, juggling his workload as a producer for TV's "Grey's Anatomy" and his writing duties on DC's Wonder Woman.

He did, however, pull himself away (even if it did take a hacksaw and a spatula to do it) long enough to reminisce about the first volume of Young Avengers, what went right, what went wrong, and what he would change.

WIZARD: What were you doing right before Marvel approached you to do work for them?

HEINBERG: I was a writer and producer of "The O.C." on Fox.

Tell us about how you got the Young Avengers gig.

HEINBERG: Mike Cotton interviewed me for Wizard Magazine about the show's onscreen comic book obsession, and shortly after the article appeared, Marvel got in touch and asked if I'd ever had any interest in writing a comic book.

How did you go about creating each character, and what gave them a voice?

HEINBERG: I did a lot of Avengers-related research, thought a lot about team dynamics and teen archetypes, and then tried to imagine the kind of team I'd enjoy reading about.

When did Jim Cheung hop onboard?

HEINBERG: Jim Cheung was the first and only name we ever considered even from the earliest pitch stage.

What makes you guys mesh so well?

HEINBERG: For me, it's because not only is Jim brilliant at executing big, widescreen, comic book action scenes, as well as intimate, emotional character scenes, but he can do both at the same time, which is all too rare in comics.
What were you most nervous about before the series premiered?

HEINBERG: Being a novice comic book writer and letting down Marvel and Brian Bendis, and my brilliant artist/co-creator, Jim Cheung.

What was the reaction like to the first issue?

HEINBERG: Shockingly, overwhelmingly supportive. I still can't quite wrap my head around it. I was stunned. And so grateful.

Is there anything you would have done differently in the first arc, or anything that you wish you hadn't done in the first place?

HEINBERG: I wish we'd had a little more time with Iron Lad. And more time to develop his relationship with Cassie. But there's always "Volume Two"...

The relationship between Billy and Teddy became somewhat controversial, with fans booing their relationship before it even happened. Did that make you rethink their relationship?

HEINBERG: We actually had relatively few readers write letters voicing their disapproval. But at no time did we rethink their relationship.

Why choose to make Billy and Teddy gay?

HEINBERG: Because I tend to write from my own experience. And I try to tell stories I'd be interested in reading. So it felt very organic to me to make them a couple.

What has been the most touching fan reaction to the book you have received?

HEINBERG: Our letters column continues to astonish me: readers generously sharing their hearts with us because of their connection to the characters. It's quite humbling.

Another controversial plot development was the fact that Patriot was addicted to steroids. Why choose Patriot and why put that storyline in the book in the first place?

HEINBERG: Honestly, given Isaiah and Josiah X's backstories, it was the only way for us to give Eli powers that didn't feel like a narrative cop-out. Plus, his being honest about it, and so vulnerable while doing so, made him authentically heroic to me.

How'd you get the idea for the book's third arc?

Given Teddy's secret origin, it seemed logical to reveal it in the context of another Kree-Skrull War on Earth.

Talk about the newbies that were introduced there, how you came up with them and why you wanted them in the book.

HEINBERG: It was always our intention to introduce Wiccan's twin at some point, and our Kree-Skrull War gave us the perfect story moment to have Eli and the team seek new recruits. And the team was getting along so well at that point, we thought it would be fun to introduce a character who'd shake things up a bit.
Is there anything in this arc you would change or would just not have done?

HEINBERG: I wish we'd been able to feature the Vision a bit more and extended the Young Avengers/New Avengers team-up beats. But apart from that, I think we told the story we set out to tell.

Why make Kate the new Hawkeye instead of giving her a new superhero name?

HEINBERG: Kate was created to become Hawkeye. When Brian Bendis was writing "Avengers Disassembled," he and Joe Quesada suggested Jim and I create a new Hawkeye. We were resistant at first, knowing how fans would respond to a new Hawkeye, so when we created Kate Bishop, we made her just as resistant as we were to the idea. But in the end, after 13 issues, it felt to us as though she'd earned it. And true to the legacy aspect of the book, as well.

Why decide to 'volumize' the series like Runaways?

HEINBERG: Since my television schedule currently makes it impossible for me to do an ongoing run on a book, breaking the stories into volumes ensures that those stories will be told in full. Plus, that way readers know what they're investing in: a 12-issue "season" that is complete in and of itself.

Looking back at the series, what has been your favorite moment?

HEINBERG: There are far too many to pick just one. The very first scene in Young Avengers #1 with Jessica Jones, Kat and Jonah. The Billy/Teddy "coming out" scene from Young Avengers #7. The Billy/Scarlet Witch scene in the Young Avengers Special. Jim's series of jaw-dropping double-page splashes in Young Avengers #12. The list goes on and on.

Least favorite?

HEINBERG: I'd probably still be writing Teddy's flashback scene from the Young Avengers Special if we hadn't had to publish it at some point.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

HEINBERG: I'm extremely proud to be part of a book whose readers genuinely seem to enjoy it. That's everything to me.

What can we look forward to in volume 2, and when can we expect it?

HEINBERG: We're going to try to get going in early 2007 and deliver more action, more surprises, more romance, more guest stars. And maybe even one or two more Young Avengers. You never know.


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Re: Wizard's interview to ALLAN HEINGBERG
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2006, 03:15:54 pm »
What has been the most touching fan reaction to the book you have received?

HEINBERG: Our letters column continues to astonish me: readers generously sharing their hearts with us because of their connection to the characters. It's quite humbling.

WOW!! i feel touched. i got a letter published in Young Avengers#10.
one of my favorite writers is talking (indirectly) fine about me.