A post from my old Marvel blog in which I shared Jim Valentino’s and Rob Liefeld’s pitch for a series called YOUNG AVENGERS from 1989–a pitch that didn’t happen thanks to the similar NEW WARRIORS already being in production.
Taking a quick break from Reader Questions to share this hopefully-interesting artifact with you.
Back around 2005, we made a bit of a splash with a series titled YOUNG AVENGERS. Before the series launched, fearful fans decried it, expecting it to be terrible. But the proof was in the pudding, and fandom as a whole quickly came around to embracing Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s new young characters.
But this was not the first time that a YOUNG AVENGERS series had been pitched.
Over to the left you’ll find a document that’s been sitting in my files for decades, since the time I first inherited the editorship of NEW WARRIORS back around 1993. It’s a pitch submitted by Jim Valentino and Rob Liefeld for a series to be called YOUNG AVENGERS. At the time this was written in 1989, while both of them had dabbled in doing Marvel work, neither creator had really had a break-out hit. Sharing a studio at the time, they hoped that YOUNG AVENGERS might be it, with Jim writing and Rob illustrating a series they would co-plot.
As it turned out, work was already underway on the book that eventually was entitled NEW WARRIORS, which prevented this incarnation of YOUNG AVENGERS from moving ahead. It’s actually pretty extraordinary to see how close the line-up for what Jim and Rob proposed was to the eventual NEW WARRIORS team. Mark Gruenwald’s internal memo to proposing editor Craig Anderson letting him know about this is also reproduced on the left.
Many of the ideas, characters and concepts that Jim and Rob conceived for this pitch eventually wound up in the assorted projects they later worked on–NEW MUTANTS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, X-FORCE and even a couple of Image titles. So the conceptual work they had done here didn’t exactly go to waste, even if this turned out to be the wrong pitch at the wrong time for reasons unbeknownst to them.
But it does show what a series pitch for a new Marvel title more-or-less looked like at around the time I started.
Special thanks to Rob Liefeld for allowing me to share this document with you.
(I also still have Warren Ellis’s pitch to take over NEW WARRIORS circa 1993–I’ll have to check with him and see if he’;d have any objections to sharing that document with the world as well.)