100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Part VIII

This should’ve happened a bit sooner, but things happened to prevent that. Well, it’s not like I had plans for Valentine’s Day…

Young Avengers: Style > Substance

YASS

You’ll notice there are a few quotes on the cover I just posted, praising Young Avengers v2 for being the best thing since sliced bread. Some of you may be perplexed as to why I’m putting this comic forward as something to be replaced. Indeed, I consider Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie to be some of the best creators in comic books right now.

Here’s the thing: their Young Avengers run was boring.

Note that I said “boring”. Not “bad”, or even “terrible”. Hell, if they’d had the good grace to make it bad then at least I’d have something to get my teeth into… I’m not saying there aren’t glimmers of Gillen’s old charms from stuff like Phonogram and Journey Into Mystery, and McKelvie certainly doesn’t half-arse his art, but I need more than glimmers to consider this comic great.

Style > Substance certainly isn’t a cookie-cutter story, but “new” isn’t a synonym for “good”, and it certainly isn’t a synonym for “great”. Look, you want a great comic book published in this decade about a group with a strong dynamic, love triangles and a loveable green guy, right? Well…

The Replacement… The Muppet Show Comic Book

MuppetOmni

Yes, really.

Look, leaving aside the astronomically improbable chance that you don’t already love The Muppets, Roger Langridge put so much effort and love into every single issue, page and panel of this comic – he’d literally waited years for the opportunity to make comics about the greatest variety show the world has ever known.

I think the main reason I love this comic so much is that it got the tone right; yes, there were weirdos and chickens and heckling… but there were also moments of pathos and the outright, ineffable human qualities that have made The Muppets so beloved.

Writing licensed comics – or indeed, writing for any established character – can be a tightrope walk for even the best writer. However, Roger Langridge managed to get every single nuance down. That he (and fill-in artist Amy Mebberson) managed to also capture the essence of The Muppets artistically is certainly worth mentioning.

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