The Young Avengers made their debut in a 2005 comic of the same name. As a team of teenage versions of the adult Avengers, the Young Avengers are basically Marvel’s equivalent of DC’s Titans. The comic appeals to a younger audience thanks to its relatable characters and its depiction of the struggles of youth.
Before the Young Avengers, Marvel Comics did not have many teen heroes in its library. In fact, only the X-Men comics regularly featured teenage characters. Then the Young Avengers hit the scene and paved the way for later, beloved, teen heroes like Miles Morales and Kamala Kahn.
With the Avengers currently disbanded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it’s the perfect time to introduce the next generation of heroes. Actually, sevreeal of the Young Avengers listed below already made appearances in the MCU in some form. Plus, there is a lot of material in the comics to make each character’s movie version special.
Avengers DisassembledThe Young Avengers came together in the aftermath of the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline.
In this story, Scarlet Witch betrays the Avengers. You see, Scarlet Witch used her magic to give birth to twins. However, she did not create children from thin air but instead from pieces of Mephisto’s soul. The demon reabsorbed her sons, causing Scarlet Witch to forget them.
Years later she began to remember, losing her mind and control of her powers in the process. The Avengers and Doctor Strange teamed up to put a stop to her.
Of course, this plot line mirrors events that recently came to pass in the MCU. In WandaVision, the witch Agatha Harkness traps Scarlet Witch in an alternate reality. There she gives birth to twins Billy and Tommy Maximoff who rapidly age. When she escapes, her children disappear just like in the comics.
Scarlet Witch then appears as an antagonist in Doctor Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness. The loss of her children motivate her to fight Doctor Strange across the multiverse. These events might just be the lead-up for a Young Avengers storyline.
Young Avengers: Billy and Tommy Maximoff / Wiccan and SpeedIn the original comics, Billy and Tommy do not die when absorbed by Mephisto. Their souls escape and they then reincarnate. Although born to separate parents, they are still twins and Scarlet Witch’s children.
Billy and Tommy both look like and inherit Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s powers respectively. They learn about their origin in the Children’s Crusade storyline.
Where they reconnect with their biological uncle and grandfather to search for Scarlet Witch. Billy’s adoptive family is nurturing and caring, but he wants to connect with his birth mother as well. Their complicated family circumstances mirror those of a lot of real-life families. Plus, Billy and Tommy’s stories resemble adopted children in the real world who reconnect with their biological parents later on in life.
In the MCU, Tommy and Billy apparently exist in alternate universes. As shown in MoM, Scarlet Witch attempts to take the place of an alternate universe version of herself to have her twins back. If they exist in other universes then there may be a way to bring them back for a Young Avengers movie.
An adaption of Children’s Crusade could also give Scarlet Witch’s character much-needed redemption after her actions in MOM.
Young Avengers: Cassie Lang / StatureCassie Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang. In the comics, her congenital heart condition leads to him stealing Hank Pym’s Ant-Man suit and becoming the next Ant-Man. Living with her father after her parent’s divorce, Cassie comes to idolize him as a hero.
After Ant-Man dies in the line of duty, Cassie joins the Young Avengers to honor his legacy. Due to stealing Pym particles from his equipment when she was younger, Cassie also develops the ability to grow and shrink.
These powers are a metaphor for Cassie’s shrinking violet tendencies from her difficult home life. Her father’s dead, and she does not get along with her stepfather. A girl struggling with a complicated family situation and grief is relatable for many young readers.
Cassie is already in the MCU, making appearances in all three Ant-Man movie so fars. During the snap, she studied Hank Pym’s research for years to feel closer to her father. By Ant-Man 3 she appears as her Stature alter ego.
Also, Kang the Conqueror made his first appearance in Ant-Man 3. A teenage version of Kang the Conqueror actually unites the first Young Avengers. He travels to the past and assumed the identity of Iron Lad to ask for help fighting his future self only to find the Avengers disbanded.
Iron Lads is also a love interest for Cassie. Perhaps we will see them in a relationship onscreen.
Young Avengers: Eli Bradley / PatriotEli is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley and the victim of government-sponsored human experimentation. In a reference to the real-life Tuskegee Syphilis study, the MCU version of the government experiments on African-American men to replicate the serum used on Steve Rogers.
Eli joined the team claiming he gained his powers from an emergency blood transfusion from his grandfather. However, this proves false. He actually used an illegal street drug to give himself temporary super strength when he fought. Writer Allan Heinberg stated Bradley’s drug usage came from his own past using steroids when writing the character.
Eli becomes the Patriot as a way of shedding light on what happened to his grandfather. The government promised to make his grandfather a hero like Steve Rogers, but only used him and tossed him aside. Eli is honoring his grandfather’s legacy as the true Captain America.
Both Eli and his grandfather appear in The Falcon and Winter Soldier series, which is itself a series that explores similar themes of the country’s complicated history with race. This may be setting up for Eli to come back in the future as a member of the Young Avengers or even in Captain America 4.
Young Avengers: Kate Bishop / HawkeyeKate Bishop is the only member of the original team with no connection to a previous Avenger. She proves herself capable when helping the Young Avengers fight off thieves at her sister’s wedding. By this time, Kate had already undergone enough weapons training to keep up with the team even without powers.
Kate’s hero origin is far from pretty. She is a victim of rape. However, she bounced back by training her body and learning self-defense. Her backstory is similar to that of Jessica Jones, something they actually connect over in her origin comic. She’s one of the better representations of a rape victim finding the strength to recover.
Kate became an important character in the Hawkeye comics after the Young Avengers. The 2021 Hawkeye Disney+ series adapted their partnership as she began training with him in said series. As she’s the successor to his title, the next logical step is for Kate to find her own team.
Young Avengers: America ChavezRaised in an extradimensional utopian society by her two mothers, America Chavez runs away from home to make the multiverse a better place. In the comics, she originally joins the Young Avengers to protect Wiccan.
America made a splash when first introduced for how unique she was. She is many things: openly queer, abrasive, quick to anger but with an equally big heart. Author Joe Casey created her to give the Latinx audience a character they could connect with the same way he connected with characters when he was young. Considering she is one of the most successful newer Marvel characters with her own solo series to her name, he succeeded.
America also appeared as a main character in Doctor Strange 2. Her ability to jump through dimensions introduced the MCU to the multiverse. She shares a similar role in Young Avengers Vol. 2 where she serves as the team’s guide to the multiverse. Her and similar characters like Kid Loki are perfect for the multiverse focus of MCU Phase 4 and onward.
Young Avengers: Kid LokiIn the comics, Loki dies and is reborn as a younger version of himself. Kid Loki is one of the many identities the Prince of Lies assumes. He tries to be his own person, instead of the villain everyone knows him as. Meeting up with the Young Avengers in vol. 2, Kid Loki enters into an uneasy alliance with the team.
Kid Loki is constantly questioning his own identity, like many real life kids his age. Loki is a character in Norse Mythology. What defines Loki? Do the stories people tell define him? Does he define who he is?
In the MCU, Loki is also exploring different versions of himself. For example, the Loki series plays around with the identity of Loki across multiple universes. Kid Loki made an appearance in episode five as another version is from an alternate timeline where he kills Thor. His live-action version resembles the costume he wore in the Young Avengers vol. 2. Since Marvel already introduced us to a kid Loki, this could form a perfect segue into him meeting the rest of the Young Avengers.
Kamala Khan / Ms. MarvelIn the comics, Kamala Khan is a member of the Champions, a team that consists of her, Miles Morales, Nova, New Hulk, and Viv Vision. However, the MCU often makes changes when adapting the comics.
They already changed Kamala’s origin by making her a mutant rather than an Inhuman. Kamala’s powers do not define her though; rather, she’s defined by her love of heroes and desire to help people. She’s a normal teenager who just wants to help which makes her a perfect fit for the Young Avengers.
The MCU is already giving Kamala a lot of roles. She received her own series on Disney+ detailing her origin story. Now she is starring in the upcoming The Marvels with Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau. All of this focus on Kamala Kahn could lead to her joining the Young Avengers.
Riri Williams / Iron ManIn the comics, Riri built her own Iron Man suit at the age of fifteen. In fact, she is someone whose intelligence Tony Stark himself acknowledges. After Tony Stark falls into a coma, Riri begins fighting crime as Ironheart.
Her situation in the movies is similar to the ones in the comics. After Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark is dead with no one to carry on his legacy. In the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ruri made her first MCU appearance along with her makeshift Iron Man suit. Afterward, they announced she is starring in her own Disney+ series, Ironheart.
While a member of the Champions in the comics, she is an example of a potential Young Avenger. For instance, her iron suit makes her a potential counterpart to Iron Man on the team. Therefore, we might see her joining the team in a future movie.
Yelena BelovaYelena is the adoptive sister of Natasha Romanoff and another Black Widow. She appears in both the Black Widow movie and three episodes of the Hawkeye Series. In Hawkeye, she confronted both Hawkeye and Kate Bishop in the wake of Natasha’s death.
Yelena makes a good fit for the team despite being older. She is someone with a previous connection to an Avenger, after all. Plus, Kate and Yelena share a dynamic that has the potential to make them a next-generation Hawkeye and Black Widow duo.
As Yelena makes more appearances in future projects, perhaps one of those will be a Young Avengers feature.
Young Avengers AssembleWith the Avengers disbanded, the MCU is going through a period of change. For example, the MCU is introducing many new heroes to replace the ones who have retired or died. A lot of Young Avengers already exist in the MCU in some form. They just need the right circumstances to reunite them.
With this experimental Phase-4 introducing things like the multiverse into the equation and shining the spotlight on lesser-known characters this might be a perfect time for a future Young Avengers project.
There is a lot in these characters that appeal to a younger audience, for example, they are diverse and relatable. There is potential here to introduce the audience to new characters and tell stories for a new generation.