The Marvel Audio Producer and co-host of podcast series Marvel’s Pull List shares the comic stories that are pivotal to her fandom.
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This is the issue where we get the sweet interaction between Viv Vision and her chemistry partner, C.K. As the two walk to their next class together, C.K. not only shows sympathy towards Viv but also proves to her that not everyone thinks the same way as his father, saying “People say things, but, like, no one understands things.”
Viv is confidently embracing who she is, not caring about the folks passing her by as she walks her dog, Sparky. She’s even sporting a cute fit designed by the magnificent Luciano Vecchio and written by the amazing Danny Lore.
My parents used to work pretty late, so when I’d get out of middle school, I’d walk to the library and hang out until one of them could pick me up. I found solace in the teen section. It was there that I read “Days of Future Past” for the first time and became a lifelong Kate Pryde fan. Nearly 15 years later, I screamed joyfully while reading the last few pages of this issue. My vocal chords are still recovering.
Young Avengers is my bread and butter. Maybe it’s because it was one of the few ongoing books my library carried at the time, or because I see myself in America Chavez as a queer Latinx woman, OR maybe it’s because I adore America’s relationship with Kate Bishop and the way that found family brings a team of mostly queer heroes together. Regardless, the Young Avengers will always occupy a special place in my heart.
If Young Avengers is my bread and butter, then RUNAWAYS was an exotic delicacy. It’d be years until I could read the complete series from start to finish, but the few morsels I got were enough to hook me. And by the time I caught up, this run by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, and Andres Genolet dropped and finally brought together one of my favorite Marvel couples. Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean 4ever.
While researching [podcast series] The History of Marvel Comics: Black Panther, I learned that Don McGregor wanted to form a romance between Chief Advisor Taku and Venomm. It didn’t quite work out and it was never explicit, but if you go back you can see the breadcrumbs. Plus, the opening is still one of my favorites. [Artist] Billy Graham was an absolute genius.
I remember asking the hosts of Marvel’s Pull List if it had been established that Dr. Charlene McGowan was trans. They said “no,” and when they asked why, I pointed to the coffee mug that she was holding in this issue. It was Cap’s shield, but instead of the red, white and blue, it was pink, white and light blue—the colors of the trans flag. This story is wild and well-crafted thanks to Al Ewing and Crystal Fraiser.
This issue introduced readers to Ultimate Universe’s Jessica Drew. And like the many differences between this universe and Earth-616, she wasn’t just Spider-Woman. She’s a clone of Peter Parker! I obsessed over this for the longest time because she wasn’t just a girl, she was a girl who had the childhood memories of Peter Parker. Looking back it’s no surprise why I identified with this world’s Jessica.
Dakota North is a MODEL and SPY! The world of fashion has always been something that I’ve been drawn to and people often forget how important of a role fashion played in the early days of Marvel. Looking at you, Millie. Further, the complexities that revolved around Dakota’s family, were something that, as a queer child of immigrants, truly resonated with me.
This issue was the one that made me a Loki fan for life. Loki attacking Avengers Mansion full on? Incredible. Loki attacking Avengers Mansion full on while impersonating the Scarlet Witch? Absolutely delicious. The lips don’t lie!
This is where I got the title of my essay from! Kinda. It does originate from this classic Avengers story, but it also inspired Viv Vision’s internal wi-fi password in CHAMPIONS (2016) #2 (which is where the “1” comes from). And just like Vision in AVENGERS #58, Viv earns the admiration of her teammates in that particular issue of CHAMPIONS. Leave it to Mark Waid to create such a beautiful call back.
More Loki shenanigans! However, this issue wrecked me…in a good way though! Al Ewing and Lee Garbett manage to craft a beautiful yet devastating story about denial and rejection by those closest to you—family.
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL is essential reading, but this issue was one where I saw something that I haven’t seen in comics EVER. I don’t want to spoil it, but when I saw this particular piece of clothing on one of our heroes in this issue, my heart swelled with joy. It’s such a subtle yet powerful moment.
I’m a big fan of Jonathan Hickman’s work from his FANTASTIC FOUR run to his Avengers run. However, this is easily my favorite series in his body of work. It’s often overlooked, but if you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for teen heroes and teams.
My library only had this issue and I can’t tell you how many times I was mocked by this cover. I forbade myself from reading it as a teen since it was clearly a “girl book.” Eventually, I built up enough courage to read it and fell in love with Chili. She was queer and petty and wanted to be a Super Hero like her friend Hellcat despite not having any powers!