Kieron Gillen continues to impress with his openness about the creative process (If you don’t listen to his irregular Decompressed podcast, you’re missing out), and his notes on Young Avengers #1 demonstrate why:
We return to my kill your darlings stuff: I lose the first five pages, what would I gain here? A couple of pages in here which would extend the argument, and perhaps an opening scene with Hawkeye, Wiccan and Hulkling in a coffee-bar (to set up some of the “we agreed not to do this” as well as a shared glance between Hakweye and Hulkling to imply they aren’t telling Wiccan something) before we have the superheroing scene with Hulkling and then onto Wiccan finding out.
(A couple of pages could have done it, even – 2 pages for coffeehouse scene before the Spider-man stuff, and the confrontation playing out in the same space. If it was a couple of years ago when comics were 22 pages, that’s probably what I’d have done. That said, if I was being honest, I’d just as likely have splurged it on extending an action sequence. Easy to spend pages when you don’t have them.)
Of course, you also have to think what you’d have lost. I think we may have reduced the vehemence of some of some of the negative opinions, but we’d also have lost all those 10/10 reviews. It would have been a much more evidently mainstream superhero comic. It’d also be even more Wiccan/Hulkling centric than now, is a problem anyway.
I think I made the right choice. This was the sequence most people seem to stumble over for what I consider “reasonable” reasons (i.e. about the book’s failings) But that other people totally bought into it and got properly emotional makes me feel better. It didn’t break the book for a whole bunch of people.