Yancy Street Gang


Yancy Street Gang

The Yancy Street Gang are a fictional street gang occasionally featured in the "Fantastic Four" comic book published by Marvel Comics. The Yancy Street Gang was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in "Fantastic Four" #15 (June, 1963), though mostly off-panel; as in most of their appearances, only their arms are visible as they throw objects at the Thing and yell insults. The gang was first mentioned, although not seen, in "Fantastic Four" #11.

History

The gang is depicted as frequenting downtown Manhattan, and serves as a recurring antagonist of the Thing, tormenting him for typically humorous effect. The gang was originally depicted as composed only of youths, but later depictions have both youth members as well as adult members from an earlier generation, who have passed their grudge against the Thing to the younger members.

The adult members of the Yancy Street Gang, all apparently blue-collar workers who still live in the neighborhood, are usually seen tormenting the Thing in some way, usually by throwing things at him and shouting abuse whenever he entered Yancy Street. They were also thought to send him booby-trapped parcels, although a retcon in "Fantastic Four" vol.3, #61, written by Mark Waid, revealed that these packages were actually sent by the Human Torch. Ben Grimm formerly led the gang, and the others, who have retained their loyalty to it even in adulthood, seemingly resent him for having "sold out" and "abandoned" the neighborhood. However, they are generally portrayed as good-natured at heart, and have occasionally helped the FF if a supervillain threatens the Street itself or if they think a villain is giving the Thing too much trouble ("That's "our" job!"). They sometimes seem to genuinely like the Thing, if only because he makes such an effective and (sometimes) good-humored target for their pranks; they were quite remorseful when he seemingly died in action in "Marvel Two-in-One" #48, only to quickly retract the sentiment when he proved to have survived.

In "The Thing" #6 (2006 series), the Thing's relationship with Yancy Street was finally reconciled, after the millionaire (following events in the on-going "Fantastic Four" comic) Thing donates a state-of-the-art recreational facility to the neighborhood. Initially resentful because they regarded the project as an exercise in ego, they later learned that it was named in honor of the Thing's deceased brother, Daniel Grimm (another Yancy Street Gang alumnus), and they declared the facility to be under their informal protection.

The adult Yancy Street Gang members are traditionally shown in the comics with their faces obscured by the shadows of their hardhats or other headwear. The younger "next generation" Yancy Streeters, however, have been fully seen, including in one story ("Fantastic Four" #361 "Miracle On Yancy Street!" by Paul Ryan & Tom DeFalco) which portrays the Gang with gimmicks and codenames similar to Kirby's DC Comics kid gangs.

Civil War

The gang has become deeply involved in Marvel Comics' Civil War. They are part of a large group of New York citizens protesting the arresting of superheroes who do not wish to register with the United States Government. Ben Grimm becomes involved with the dispute, being asked by police forces to talk with the Gang regulars. Ben meets with Cee, a young man in a leadership position. Both Cee and the police wish for Ben to take a more active role, but he maintains his neutrality. While negotiations are going on, another gang member, Mouse, has become involved with long time FF villains Puppet Master and Mad Thinker. The two men put in motion a plan that brings a superhero prisoner convoy down Yancy Street itself. Though Spider-Man recognizes the potential trouble as the convoy turns in, it is far too late. ["Fantastic Four" 538 and 539]

Military forces and superheros on both sides of the Registration Act, some affected by the villains and some fighting with their own agendas, engage in a property-damaging fight. Mouse, not in control of his own mind, drops a bomb into the middle of the fight. In an effort to save lives, Ben Grimm smashes a large, empty truck onto the bomb. This effort fails, as the explosion kills Cee. Ben, furious, hands Cee's body to other gang members and shames the people involved into quitting the fighting.

Other Media

The Yancy Street Gang appear in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon.

In the unique 1979 Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon "Fred and Barney Meet the Thing", the Yancy Street Gang (here reimagined as a trio of bikers who like to humiliate the Thing with practical jokes), were recurring, if fairly harmless, antagonists.

The Yancy Street Gang did not appear in the 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon itself, but they did appear in the 1996 Incredible Hulk/Fantastic Four crossover episode "Fantastic Fortitude" where they pull a prank on the Thing. After being defeated by the villain Ogress, the Gang, always off camera, distributes leaflets marked "The Thing Beat by a Woman!"

The Yancy Street Gang appear as a common street thug gang in the "Ultimate Spider-Man" video game, where they all get beaten up by Spider-Man. None of the gang's members get actually named, nor is a reference to the Thing made (except when one thug says "It's Robberin' time" a play on the Thing's catchphrase "It's clobberin' time").

The Yancy Street Gang also appear in the "Fantastic Four" video game, based on the movie, in which they are a gang of vicious looking bikers who capture Alicia Masters in a Thing solo segment.

Trivia

*Yancy Street is named in reference to the real Delancey Street, which extends from The Bowery in Manhattan's Lower East Side eastward to the Williamsburg Bridge.cite book | last = Sanderson | first = Peter | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City | publisher = Pocket Books | date = 2007 | location = New York City | pages = 13 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 1-14653-141-6] Yancy Street, however, is seen in "Fantastic Four" #15 (June, 1963) to intersect with 10th Avenue, which is on the west side of Manhattan.
*There is a Yancy Street in the Marvel section of Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando.
*In the alternate future of , Ben Grimm has named his daughter Yancy, possibly in honor of his old gang.

References


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