It was the immortal Whitney Houston that once sang "I believe that children are our future..." And she was correct. Not just chronologically on the planet, we inhabit but also in superhero comics. Some of the most interesting characters in recent years in Marvel Comics have been, well, children. A lot of superheroes start off as teenagers and kids, however, a lot of the "old guard" have matured and no longer have the youth they once enjoyed. For instance, Peter Parker currently is an adult and runs his own company. He's come a long way from being a child bitten by a spider.

Some of Marvel's best arcs involved younger teams such as Young Avengers or The Runaways.

Moving With The Times

So, new kids pop up as time goes on and they either carve their own path or take up a mantle from a hero that's come before them. Some are even plucked from the time-stream and placed in the current time as their teenage selves. It's important to remember that these characters, the youths, are the most important in the Marvel Universe. Sure Thor is God, Storm is a decisive leader and Luke Cage is a pillar of his community but they were all children once too. Child characters are what pull in life-long fans.

It's unfortunate that there are some gatekeeper fans who get sour when a character is changed or someone they don't like takes up their favorite hero's mantle.

This happens when youngsters take up their predecessor's mantles and it's not only unfair to the character but unfair to the kids who could become fans as a result of the changes. Times change, cultures are mixing together more visibly every day so the heroes on the come-up reflecting this should not be met with disdain.

The success of younger heroes such as Kamala Khan has earned them potential slots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A Matter Of Perspective

For me, it was the X-men affiliated New Mutants who really hooked me when I was younger and although I loved Gambit and Colossus - they weren't characters I connected with fully because I wasn't an adult.

They had responsibilities. They were kissing women while I still thought girls were icky. I'm trying to shoot fire out my face I'm not trying to hold anyone's hand or get a mortgage, come on now.

It's important that a kid can read a comic wherein someone looks like them, has their problems and feels like them. The extraordinary powers and stories also help, but there needs to be a degree of connection to the character. The rotation of new generations in comics is necessary and to meet them with adversity shows a rigidness that really prevents you from enjoying the new stories and possibilities.

The New Mutants are even getting their own film.

So, if you want to read up on these stellar youngsters be sure to check out:

  • Champions
  • Nova
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Spider-Man
  • The Totally Awesome Hulk
  • All-New X-men
  • All-New Wolverine
  • The Runaways
  • Avengers: Children's Crusade