With the inclusion of Disney+ series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and several new movies on the way, the MCU is steadily introducing new characters to the audience. Many of those characters happen to be ones who are of a new generation compared to the current Avengers. They also have their own comic book origins.
While the teaming up of Helmut Zemo and Bucky Barnes in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier has some fans wondering if a screen adaptation of the comic book Thunderbolts is on the way, others are looking to a different team-up. With so many children and teenagers making appearances in the MCU, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Young Avengers are on the way. Just who are the Young Avengers? Several characters who could be Young Avengers will appear in projects over the next few years, but many are already established in the MCU.
Updated by Amanda Bruce on September 9, 2021: The MCU has been a world for adults who suit up to save the day since Iron Man made his debut. Spider-Man has brought one teen into the Avengers, but shows that spotlighted a younger generation of heroes like Runaways and Cloak & Dagger never seemed to quite fit into the MCU timeline. The MCU Young Avengers may eventually fill the void left by those canceled series as more young heroes join the universe.
11 *Riri Williams (Ironheart)
In Marvel comics, Riri Williams is the heir apparent to Iron Man’s superhero throne. She earned a spot at MIT before she was even a teenager, and in her spare time, she stole parts from the campus labs to repair an outdated model of Iron Man armor. Tony Stark even endorsed her as his successor. She might not get the chance for that endorsement in the MCU, but the character is set to make at least two appearances in the near future of Marvel programming. In addition to getting her own Disney+ series, Ironheart, she’ll also be appearing in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Riri isn’t one of the Young Avengers members in the comics, but she has been on the Champions, another team made up of young heroes. Since the MCU is notorious for not adapting comic book properties exactly (the original Avengers lineup of the page doesn’t make it to the screen, for example), it’s entirely possible Ironheart could make it into the screen version of the Young Avengers instead.
10 *Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)
Ms. Marvel might be one of the most hyped series for Disney+. Originally thought to premiere in 2021, it looks to be heading to the streamer in 2022. That gives Kamala Khan plenty of time to be a fan of the Avengers, as she is in the comics.
In fact, Kamala is such a fan that she writes Avengers fanfiction and models her costume after that of Captain Marvel’s old Ms. Marvel suit. Carol Danvers was never Ms. Marvel in the MCU, but that doesn’t mean Kamala won’t have a similar fondness for superheroes. Like Riri, Kamala isn’t one of the Young Avengers members in the comics. To be fair, the Young Avengers first appeared as a team in 2005, while Riri debuted in 2016, and Kamala in 2013. Both characters could see their journeys lead them to a team-up with some of the heroes on the way.
9 Eli Bradley (Patriot)
Though not named on-screen, the grandson of Isaiah Bradley appears in a few episodes of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier initially refusing to let Sam and Bucky in to see his grandfather. Isaiah, as the man who would be Captain America after Steve Rogers, has a very dark comic book history hinted at in the Disney+ series.
When Eli takes up the mantle Patriot, he does it under the pretense that he inherited super-soldier serum from his grandfather. That’s not entirely true. Instead, he uses Mutant Growth Hormone to give himself temporary super strength and endurance until an actual blood transfusion from his grandfather does the job. His first costume is, interestingly, modeled after the Winter Soldier’s, not Captain America.
8 Cassie Lang (Stature)
Cassie made her first appearance in the MCU in Ant-Man, though her role expanded a bit in Ant-Man and the Wasp. She hasn’t been shy about her desire to become a hero using shrinking and growing technology, just like her father. The character has recently been recast with Kathryn Newton taking over the role, so it’s very likely she’s heading for a more prominent role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Cassie wanting so badly to be a hero is right out of the comic books. She actually runs away from home to do it, intending to join up with the Runaways before she joins forces with the Young Avengers. She’s not a founding member of the team, but she manages to convince them to let her in during only the second issue of their series. Considering she’s one of the few prominent characters with a direct connection to an active Avenger, that might be different for the MCU Young Avengers. She might end up being a founding member instead.
7 Billy Maximoff (Wiccan)
Though “created” by Wanda Maximoff during the events of WandaVision, a hint at the end of the series indicates Billy — or at least a version of him — still exists somewhere in the MCU. During his time in the series, Billy had growing magical abilities just like his mother. He could stop bullets, sense people’s emotions, and even hear thoughts.
His comic book history is a little complicated, but even in the comics, Billy vanished after being born to the Scarlet Witch. He was reincarnated as Billy Kaplan and became a founding member of the Young Avengers. Despite his disappearance, the MCU audience likely hasn’t seen the last of him.
6 Tommy Maximoff (Speed)
Also introduced during the events of WandaVision is Billy’s twin brother Tommy. Unlike Billy, Tommy doesn’t exhibit magical abilities. Instead, he takes after his uncle Pietro, demonstrating super speed. He takes to the power very quickly.
Like Billy, he spends time missing in the comics as a result of the fragments of Mephisto’s soul that created him being returned to Mephisto. Also like his brother, Tommy was reincarnated after the fact, which means there’s still the chance to see him again in the MCU – especially with the multiverse at play.
5 Loki (Kid Loki)
Loki has already been an antagonist for the Avengers as well as an ally for Thor. The trickster god does what he wants, no matter the consequences. With time travel now in play in the MCU, and a teen variant appearing in his Disney+ series, there is the potential to see the Young Avengers Loki on-screen.
In the comics, Loki actually dies and finds his spirit trapped in the body of a teenage boy. He lobbies to join the team, convincing them he wants to help. In reality, he wants Wiccan’s magic for himself, but he does become a valuable ally. The group might never fully trust him, but he comes to truly care for his teammates.
The audience has already seen multiple versions of Vision in the MCU. Just where the new version born in WandaVision will end up is, so far, a mystery. He might not have been a teenager in the comics, but he did have a place on the team.
In fact, it’s programming created for Vision that initially brings the team together. Later, his programming is combined with the emotional knowledge of Nathaniel Richards to create a new version of Vision for the team. Of course, his place with the Avengers in the MCU might prevent this particular teammate, or the MCU could adapt a whole new version of the character.
3 America Chavez (Miss America)
Technically, America Chavez hasn’t appeared on-screen yet. She has, however, been cast. Xochitl Gomez, best known for her role as Dawn in The Baby-Sitters Club is set to bring the character to life in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Miss America joins the team after trips through reality to alternate dimensions, so it makes sense that she’s coming to the MCU as it begins to explore the multiverse. She can literally kick down walls between dimensions, but she can also fly and has super strength, so she’ll be a real powerhouse for the Young Avengers in MCU.
2 Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad)
Nathaniel Richards might not be a name MCU fans recognize just yet. But like America Chavez, he’s already been cast for the MCU. That is to say that one version of the character has. Nathaniel Richards is the real name of the person who becomes the villain Kang the Conqueror. Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors was cast in the role in 2020 and is set to appear in Quantumania, just like Cassie Lang. Loki fans will know him as He Who Remains.
Before he becomes Kang, however, there is a lot of time travel involved in Nathaniel’s comic book story. One version of the character is a young man who seeks to prevent himself from becoming the villain. He’s the one, with the help of Vision’s emergency protocol, who assembles the new team of the Young Avengers, using the name Iron Lad during his time on the team.
1 Kate Bishop (Hawkeye)
Kate Bishop was rumored to appear in the MCU for about a year before Hailee Steinfeld was officially confirmed in the role. She was already filming by that point, so most fans weren’t surprised that Kate would be appearing in the Disney+ Hawkeye series.
Kate is set to be Clint Barton’s protégé in the MCU, and while she does train with him in the comics, the bulk of her comic book story involves her interactions with other teen heroes. She and America Chavez become partners in a lot of missions to save the day and take on a leadership role amongst the younger heroes. Unlike a lot of her teammates (and much like her namesake), Kate doesn’t have superpowers, so she has to make up for it with her knowledge of weapons and hand-to-hand combat. She’ll likely do the same in the MCU.
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