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SYFY WIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe

Who Are the MCU's (potential) Young Avengers?

Let's take a closer look at the next generation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

By Matthew Jackson
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a very interesting place right now as it shifts focus in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. It's a time in which pre-existing heroes are certainly continuing their adventures, but it's also a time in which more and more new characters are stepping forward in upcoming projects, while existing supporting character step up into the spotlight. There are a lot of directions the biggest moving pieces of the MCU could go at this point, but one in particular seems to be on the minds of a lot of fans: The formation of the Young Avengers.

Formed in 2005 in the pages of Marvel Comics, the Young Avengers are exactly what they sound like: A group of largely teenaged superheroes who were either the children of Avengers, or legacy characters who carried on the power sets and superhero names of Avengers. They've since had plenty of adventures in comic book form, and thanks to their influence over the past 15 years, plenty of the characters have already popped up in the MCU in supporting and cameo roles.

Now, with the rise of Kate Bishop in Disney+'s Hawkeye, they seem primed to do a little more than that. So, whether the Young Avengers are right around the corner or not, let's take a look at all the pieces already in play, just in case Marvel's wants to assemble these legacy heroes soon. 

Note: While there are other young superheroes emerging in the MCU right now, including members of the comic book team The Champions, we are focusing specifically on MCU characters who have canonically been Young Avengers members in Marvel Comics. 

Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye

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Let's begin with the Young Avenger who seemed most primed for the spotlight, new Hawkeye Kate Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfeld in the MCU).

First introduced in Young Avengers #1 back in 2005, Kate will make her MCU debut this month in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, where she'll join original Hawkeye Clint Barton for an adventure around New York City. In the comics, she's a young woman who was driven to train herself in combat after an attack in the park left her traumatized, and it looks like the MCU will see her processing her own early vigilante urges by becoming a copycat of Barton's vigilante persona, Ronin. We still don't know how her whole live-action story will play out, but Kate has proven to be one of the most enduringly popular, resilient Young Avengers, so expect her to stick around. 

Billy and Tommy Maximoff, aka Wiccan and Speed

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Another key player in the Young Avengers, and one of the most enduring members of the team, is Wiccan, the son of the Scarlet Witch, who in the comics is best known for his romance with fellow Young Avenger Teddy Altman, aka Hulkling. Like his mother, Wiccan has reality altering hex powers, and in the WandaVision series in which he first appears he's also apparently able to hear the thoughts of others and even sense alterations to his mother's hexes. In WandaVision, he's simply born alongside his twin brother Tommy because Wanda wills it so (his comics origin is... slightly more complicated), and grows from infancy to age ten in a matter of hours. Sadly, Wanda's decision to let her new reality disintegrate at the end of that series means that Billy's future is unknown, but we do hear his voice at the very tail end of the show, which suggests a resurrection could be due some day. 

Like his brother Billy, Tommy Maximoff's comic book origins are rather complicated, but in WandaVision he simply emerges as part of his mother's elaborate magical construct to create a life and family for herself modeled after her favorite sitcoms. While Billy has powers modeled on Wanda, Tommy's power set derives from his uncle, the dead former Avenger Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. He's super fast and has incredible reflexes, which he demonstrates during his brief time on WandaVision, hence his comic book nickname, Speed.

Like Billy, Tommy's time in the MCU came to an abrupt pause when he was wiped out of existence by Wanda at the end of the series, but there are other realities out there, and that fact plus his mother's powers mean that Tommy could be back sooner than we think. 

Cassie Lang, aka Stature

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When Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, greets his daughter Cassie in Avengers: Endgame and finds that she has aged five years in his absence, he says "You got big." It was more than just a reference to her teenage existence.

In the comics, Cassie eventually gets a Pym Particle-powered super suit of her own and becomes the Young Avenger known as Stature, so named because of her ability to grow to gigantic size and fight alongside her teammates. So far, we haven't really seen any hints of the young adult version of Cassie taking up her father's superheroic ways in the MCU, but Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania could certainly change that. That film's version of Cassie will be played by Detective Pikachu and Freaky star Kathryn Newton, which suggests Marvel has big (pun intended) plans for her going forward.

Eli Bradley, aka Patriot

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revealed that the MCU's history with the Super Soldier program was much more complicated than even previous Captain America films led us to believe, and it did so by introducing Isaiah Bradley into the live-action canon.

A Korean war veteran who was secretly made a Super Soldier, then jailed and experimented on after an unauthorized rescue mission, Bradley is an old man by the time we meet him, but he's not alone. Living with and caring for his grandfather is Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson), who in Marvel Comics eventually goes on to be the superhero known as Patriot. In his comics form, Eli takes an illegal Mutant Growth Hormone drug that gives him powers even beyond those of a typical Super Soldier, and he eventually goes on to join the Young Avengers. Though the drug abuse angle might not make it to the MCU, we're betting some version of Eli's Patriot persona has a good chance of popping up. 

Kid Loki

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Disney+'s Loki series introduced us to several variants of the God of Mischief, among them a young version of the character played by Jack Veal. Known as Kid Loki, the character recalled a version of Loki that appeared in Marvel Comics a few years earlier as a reincarnation of his adult self.

This young, extra-mischievous version of Loki eventually made his way to the Young Avengers team, where he became an ally despite his antihero tendencies. At the moment, as far as we know, the MCU version of Kid Loki is still hanging out in the Void at the end of time, but that doesn't mean he'll never make his way out into the main MCU reality to join his fellow youthful heroes and antiheroes. 

America Chavez, aka Miss America

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Though she hasn't appeared in the MCU, we already know that Xochitl Gomez will take on the role of America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so we may as well get to know her a little right now.

Raised in a utopian parallel universe, America was inspired to become a hero after witnessing the sacrifices of people close to her and realizing that, because her world was basically perfect, she wouldn't ever be able to fight evil there. So, she used her gift for kicking open doors to other dimensions to eventually make her way into the Marvel 616 Universe, where she later joined the Young Avengers. She's fast, she's strong, she's got that handy dimension-kicking power, and she's one of the most prominent LGBTQ characters in Marvel Comics right now.

Expect her to make a splash when she lands on the big screen.

File These Characters Under "It's Complicated"

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If you really want to get technical about it, two more Young Avengers team members have already appeared in the MCU up to this point...sort of.

In 2005's Young Avengers #1 we met Iron Lad, real name Nathaniel Richards, which in the comics makes him an adolescent version of Kang the Conqueror, who comes to the present of the Marvel Universe and assembles the first Young Avengers team. Since Kang (played by Jonathan Majors) has already appeared in one form in Loki, and will appear again in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, you could say we've already met Iron Lad — just not his adolescent version.

Then there's a version of Vision, aka Jonas, who was part of the Young Avengers team. This Vision is a combination of Iron Lad's armor and Vision's operating system, which takes control of the armor when Iron Lad leaves it and becomes a new Vision unto himself. WandaVision revealed that the Vision's body was still present in some form, while also revealing Wanda's desire to recreate her lost love, so it's possible that the Jonas version could emerge one day. More likely, though, this version of Vision will probably stay in the comics, leaving room for the original MCU character and his potential offspring to make a return.