Webcomic Wednesdays: The Young Protectors

In a world where superhero is a viable career choice, there’s plenty of pressure to keep up the good-guy image.  When Kyle, aka Red Hot, decides to explore his sexuality, the consequences are high… unless the Annihilator, supervillain extraordinaire, agrees to keep his secret.  And when the Annihilator, or rather Duncan, begins pursuing a relationship, Kyle starts to let go of his pent-up feelings.  But what the young superhero doesn’t realize is there is an old saying, “All’s fair in love and war.”  And the war between good and evil is only just beginning, with the fate of the Earth in the balance.

Kyle's first kiss
Kyle’s first kiss

Alex Woolfson is the creator of Yaoi 911, a collective site for his yaoi comics.  His latest creation, The Young Protectors:  Engaging the Enemy, is a multi-chapter ongoing webcomic about a young man trying to balance teenager woes with superhero responsibilities.  Woolfson’s plot is well-formed, keeping the usual superhero tropes to a minimum, focusing instead on Kyle’s life and relationships, instead of pushing unnecessary action sequences into the storyline, although there is plenty of action as it is.   Woolfson is the writer and art director, with Adam DeKraker on linework and Veronica Gandini as colorist.  DeKraker has worked on many DC Comics, and the art reflects it, with detailed backgrounds and subtle features enhancing the realistic visuals.  Gandini, conversely, has worked for Marvel, but her coloring goes well with DeKraker’s work, bringing slightly more hues to the usually dark DC.  In the Young Protectors universe, their work creates a complimentary blend of both Marvel and DC, giving Woolfson’s characters a fresh stage to show off their powers.

The team at work
The team at work

Woolfson has stated his intention to create “thought-provoking action-adventure” stories “with romance between guys” for male and female readers.  His action sequences are well-paced and quite intense at times, but he allows for quiet dialogue between characters too.  The romantic scenes are unconventional as well.  Rejecting the usual romantic tropes, as well as gay stereotypes, Woolfson’s  creations have normal, human dispositions, or in this case, confused and hesitant, but defiant spirits.  The cast of young adult superheroes are willing to take on responsibility, but deal with the pressure in different ways, sometimes leading to the inevitable clash with peers.  The two main adults are supervillains, but while they are evil, there is more to their goals than simply “I want a billion dollars!” schemes, including the summoning of an all-powerful demon, which appears to have a strange connection to Kyle.

While not overly explicit, the comic is best labeled NSFW, due to sex scenes and partial nudity.  You can read it at Yaoi911.com.

SJ Pendergraft

SJ Pendergraft is a writer who enjoys webcomics, so she decided to combine the two and became a webcomic reviewer.

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