Who Are The Young Avengers And Where Do They Fit In The MCU?

Who Are The Young Avengers And Where Do They Fit In The MCU?
Image: Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1/Jim Cheung – Marvel Comics
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Over the past year and a half, we’ve had a few new characters introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in WandaVision, Loki and The Falcon and The Winter Solider. Characters who, when apart, may not seem that important, but when put together make up a teenage version of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – the Young Avengers.

Following Endgame, we don’t really know what the Avengers team looks like in the MCU. Is there even a team anymore? While we’ll no doubt see some version of the superhero team, considering some of the characters that have been added to the MCU, it’s not that wild to suggest that this isn’t the only version of the Avengers we’ll be seeing in the future.

So who are the Young Avengers, and how would they fit in the MCU?

Everything you need to know about the Young Avengers

Who are the Young Avengers?

young avengers complete collection cheung
Image: Young Avengers #1/Jim Cheung – Marvel Comics

It probably goes without saying that this is all pure speculation, and is based on what we’ve seen in the MCU so far and a bunch of comics that were published over the past two decades. There are also spoilers ahead for these comics.

Created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, the original Young Avengers series ran for 12 issues back in 2005. The initial Young Avengers team included Wiccan (William Maximoff), Iron Lad (Nathaniel Richards), Patriot (Eli Bradley) and Hulking (Teddy Altman), who were then joined by Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Stature (Cassandra Lang), Speed (Tommy Maximoff) and a version of Vision that is a combination of the android’s programming and Iron Lad’s emotions. If you’ve been paying attention to the MCU, most of those names should sound familiar.

Cassandra is the daughter of Ant-Man Scott Lang and last appeared in Avengers: Endgame, both William and Tommy Maximoff were in WandaVision, we saw Kate Bishop in action during the recent Hawkeye series and Eli Bradley is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, who both appeared in The Falcon and The Winter Solider.

young avengers
Image: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9/Jim Cheung – Marvel Comics

While you might not know Nathaniel Richards by name you’ve seen him before. Or at least, a variant of him – Iron Lad is the teenage version of He Who Remains, aka Kang the Conqueror. Loki has already hinted that we’ll be seeing different variants of Kang in the future and it seems like the MCU is building towards something big with this character, so a heroic version existing somewhere out there in the multiverse makes sense.

The only major character from this lineup that we haven’t seen yet is Hulking. Although consider he’s a Kree-Skrull hybrid, it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to suggest that he might rock up in the upcoming Secret Invasion series or The Marvels.

While she’s never been an official member of this team, we’re also due a Ms. Marvel series on Disney+ in June. I don’t think it’d be that surprising to have the eponymous hero on the Young Avengers team.

How would the Young Avengers fit into the MCU?

Image: Young Avengers #12/Jim Cheung – Marvel Comics

As mentioned before, we don’t really know what’s going on with the Avengers at the moment.

In the original comics, the Young Avengers formed because the Avengers had dissembled. Realising that the world needs an Avengers team, Iron Lad brought together Wiccan (originally named Asgardian), Hulkling and Patriot to fill that void. If there is no active Avengers team in the MCU, the Young Avengers could easily fill that void.

What should you read?

young avengers complete cover gillen
Image: Young Avengers #13/Jamie McKelvie – Marvel Comics

Compared to some other Marvel characters, the Younger Avengers are fairly young, so there aren’t a lot of comics out there. There’s the original series by Heinberg and Cheung, which shows us how the team formed and has them facing off against Kang the Conqueror, who has travelled back in time to make sure his younger counterpart stays on track to become, y’know, a conqueror.

After that, there’s the sequel Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by the same creative team, and then a second Young Avengers series created by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Released in 2013, this second series introduced both Kid Loki to the team. He’s another character who was recently introduced into the MCU during Loki, and we last saw him wandering off into the Void at the end of time. And if there’s one thing Lokis do well, it’s survive.

The Gillen and McKelvie run also added America Chavez to the team, who’ll be making her MCU debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. She plays a pretty major party in that comic run, which also happens to feature its fair share of multiverse hopping as well. All of the pieces are here for the Young Avengers to appear in their own movie or TV series, it’s just a matter of putting them together.

Image: Doctor Strange #384/Kamome Shirahama – Marvel Comics

All of these comics are pretty good to great. In terms of art, these comics are why Cheung is considered one of the best superhero artists of the past few decades. While McKelvie’s art is comparatively more indie in appearance, his take on superhero comics are crackling with vibrancy and includes some great experiments with page layouts.

There’s an unfortunate trend in mainstream superhero comics where teenagers aren’t written to sound like teenagers, and instead, come across as the spandex-clad versions of “How do you do fellow kids.” Thankfully, both Heinberg and Gillen know how to write teenagers that actually sound like teenagers, adolescent awkwardness and angst included.

This isn’t too surprising in Heinberg’s case, as he was the co-executive producer, executive consultant and writer for The OC. This also explains why The OC was the only mid-2000s teen drama to namedrop comics writer Brian Michael Bendis in multiple episodes.

Only time will tell if the Young Avengers will be making the jump from the comic page to an MCU movie or TV series. Considering how chock-full Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently is though, we probably won’t see the teenage superhero team get together until maybe Phase Five.

But if we do get some version of the Young Avengers in the future, I just want to be the first to say, “I told you so.”

Kotaku Australia’s Young Avengers reading list:

*Editor’s note: It looks like the paperback collection of Young Avengers by Heinberg & Cheung is currently out of print, but there’s an omnibus collecting it, Avengers: The Children’s Crusade and a whole stack of other Young Avengers comics due out later this year.


This article has been retimed since its original publication.

Comments

  • I think all of these TV shows tying into the MCU is dumb. Keep the MCU as the MCU, it’s already hard enough trying to keep up with all the movies without needing to sit through several seasons of TV shows too. The TV shows can have a continuity of their own, just don’t tie them into the MCU. I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t understand something in one of the movies because I didn’t watch a specific episode of one of the TV shows.

    • Think of it a different way. The TV shows are just another movie, set up in a way they can be episodic rather than a straight 2 1/2 hours. Their overall length isnt all THAT much longer than something like Endgame, broadly coming in around the 4 1/2 hour mark for each series.

      They’ve really been not much more than miniseries, rather than multi season events like SHIELD. They tried something with that, it didnt work with the MCU so they changed it to non-canon. And learned the lessons. These series arent having cliffhangers that need another season, but mid-credits scenes tieing into movies.

  • I did think like this til I started watching shows like the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. They’ve been really good fun, given me a far greater appreciation for certain characters (I couldn’t stand Loki before Ragnarok and his series solidified that). Where Agents of Shield wasn’t part of the MCU and that’s why I didn’t watch it. Besides what you or I think, good luck stopping Disney if they know it can get more ppl invested and therefore make more money!

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