The Young Protectors © Alex Woolfson

Protecting the Heart

Happy Wednesday! Today, let’s look at a romantic superhero webcomic.

This is not quite what I’d expected to post and probably isn’t what you expected, either. It just feels more relevant this week than what I’d planned. On Twitter, the current theme for the online event #WIPjoy is Relationship Week, and that’s got me thinking about broken hearts and interpersonal conflicts.

This post also serves as a warning about what to expect from me and my work. If you have a problem with homoerotic references, then you’ll want to be careful where you click on this site in about six months. Until then…

The Young Protectors © Alex Woolfson
Kyle’s flying high in his first meeting with The Annihilator. Image © Alex Woolfson.

The Young Protectors is a superhero comic reminiscent of Marvel Comics. (Think of The Avengers.) What sets it apart from what’s generally sold in comic shops:

  1. Romantic relationships develop between men (not monsters and men).
  2. Characters’ coming out is a big part of multiple storylines.

Like in any great fantasy, the mix of fantastical and realistic elements makes these stories heart-wrenching.

I just wasn’t really expecting it to be great. The conflict was interesting enough to keep reading, but unprepared, I ended up standing around at home staring hopelessly at nothing, wondering how a glossy-looking superhero comic had managed to stomp on my heart. It worried my husband. He helped me grieve for a few minutes. Later, he shared in little celebrations of conversations that needed to happen in the comic for the world to contain hope again.

So, there you go: Two warnings. There’s this comic that can ruin you for a day. And I will try to do the same with my fiction later.

Happy reading.


I love visual stories. Comic are great for nights when I’m too tired to write and too angsty to sleep without nightmares. They don’t require headphones or as much bandwidth as videos. The site io9 lists more mainstream but still enticing completed webcomics that I’m going to try out. You might like them, too.

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