The Young Avengers are slowly assembling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but so far we’ve only seen glimpses at the potential for this supergroup. WandaVision is the closest we’ve come to seeing these characters, but with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Hawkeye reportedly introducing two key members of the team, we could be close to seeing a full-fledged Young Avengers spin-off in the near future.
That’s exciting for several reasons, but the bottom line is they’re a fantastic team filled with great characters, and none of them have really gotten the justice they deserve in live action as of yet.
Here’s everything you should know about the team, and why it’s essential they make their way to the MCU.
Who Are The Young Avengers?
The Young Avengers are a group of wayward teenage superheroes who first came together in the wake of House of M, an event which saw Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) lose her mind and accidentally remove the mutant gene from thousands of super-powered people on Earth.
In the wake of this event, the world needed heroes — and when Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) needed help, a computer algorithm summoned the young teen heroes who would become the Young Avengers to defend him.
The original team consisted of Nathaniel Richards, Eli Bradley (Patriot), Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) and Teddy Altman (Hulkling), although it’s since expanded and changed. The original team was quickly joined by Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Cassie Lang (Stature) — but it’s been through several iterations.
In the Young Avengers travels they’ve helped Wanda regain her memory and powers, discovered their secret origins and defeated a bunch of super-powered villains, all while dealing with typical teen problems like relationship dramas and parental influence.
The second major iteration of the team introduced America Chavez (a reality warper), Kid Loki (a resurrected version of the original Loki) and Noh-Varr, a Kree warrior.
The Young Avengers team features a rotating cast of characters, but these are the most important members, and the ones that feature most frequently:
Kate Bishop (Hawkeye): Kate Bishop inherited the Hawkeye name while the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton, was dead. After standing up to Captain America and making a name for herself, she earned the name and went on to become an integral part of the Young Avengers. Kate Bishop will make her MCU debut in the Hawkeye TV series on Disney+, with Hailee Steinfeld set to play the character.
Billy Kaplan (Wiccan): Billy Kaplan is the magical son of Wanda Maximoff and Vision. The short version of his origin story is this: Wanda willed two sons into existence, then the spell broke and their souls were cast into the universe.
Eventually, these souls were reincarnated as Billy Kaplan and his twin, Tommy Shepherd. Like his mother, Billy has magic-related powers like reality warping and hex-casting. He appeared in WandaVision as a child, but he was erased soon after his birth.
Tommy Shepherd (Speed): Tommy is Billy’s twin, and shares his super-speed powers with his uncle, Quicksilver. Like his uncle, he’s also a bit of a smart arse and loves causing trouble wherever he goes. When the Young Avengers found him, he was a prisoner of the U.S. government due to an incident where he vaporised his school building. Like Billy, he also appeared in WandaVision and was subsequently erased.
America Chavez (Miss America): America Chavez is the newest member of the Young Avengers, but she’s quickly cemented her place as one of the most interesting new Marvel characters. Of all the group, her powers are the most fantastical: she’s able to travel through the Utopian Parallel, an alternate reality dimension that connects to every part of the universe.
She can also fly, has super strength, super speed and a universal precognition. America Chavez is very prone to punching her way out of situations and most of the time, it works.
Teddy Altman (Hulkling): Hulkling is a powerful Kree-Skrull shapeshifter who’s one of the most powerful members of the Young Avengers (second only to America Chavez). He’s currently married to Billy Kaplan, and is one of the most prominent LGBTQIA+ members of the Marvel Comics roster.
Noh-Varr (Marvel Boy): Noh-Varr is a genetically-enhanced Kree soldier who briefly joined the Dark Avengers before turning to the side of good. He shared a short romance with Kate Bishop, and recently joined up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
David Alleyne (Prodigy): Prodigy is a mutant with the ability to absorb knowledge. While he briefly lost his powers during House of M, he regains them by the time he joins the Young Avengers. Currently, he’s in a relationship with Tommy Shepherd.
Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad): The Young Avengers were initially formed to protect Nate Richards from his future self, known to the Avengers as Kang the Conqueror. In this future life Richards is a despotic warlord, but during his time with the Young Avengers he’s a young, frightened boy just trying to live his life. He’s aided by the use of a “Neurokinetic” armour that strongly resembles Iron Man’s suit.
Kid Loki: Kid Loki is a reincarnated version of the original Norse god Loki who wants to leave his dark past behind him and become a better person. While his ultimate fate is extremely tragic, the story of Kid Loki is one worth telling. In his time with the Young Avengers, Kid Loki learns what it means to be a hero and how destiny can be changed for the better.
Elijah Bradley (Patriot): Elijah Bradley is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, more commonly referred to as the Black Captain America. In the comics, Eli had no discernible powers but instead relied on Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH), a highly addictive substance, to give him super strength.
Later, he was given a blood transfusion that gave him natural super strength, but his ordeals led him to leave the Young Avengers. He recently appeared (unnamed) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, played by Elijah Richardson.
Cassie Lang (Stature): Cassie Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang and shares his ability to grow in size. A key difference here is Cassie doesn’t require the use of Pym Particles to grow — she’s able to do this on her own.
Cassie was a founding member of the Young Avengers, but didn’t appear in the team’s newest iteration and has since taken on a new identity as ‘Stinger’. She was last seen in the MCU during Endgame, played by Emma Fuhrmann, but has since been replaced by Kathryn Newton for the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
When will the Young Avengers come to the MCU?
Marvel is already sowing the seeds for the Young Avengers to appear in the modern-day MCU, and you can see the start of this plan in WandaVision.
One of the catalysts for the formation of the team is the reincarnation of Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd, both of whom play a key role in the origin story for the team. As mentioned, they’ve already appeared in WandaVision in kid form, just like the comics. It stands to reason that the next time we see them, they’ll be fully grown young adults reborn from Wanda’s new control of her reality warping powers.
They’ll likely be joined by Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, soon to appear in Hawkeye, as well as America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) who was recently confirmed to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Then we’ve got Cassie Lang, who’ll next appear in Quantumania and Eli Bradley as he appears in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That’s basically a full team already, and the MCU hasn’t even started telling their real story yet.
We don’t know much about the next phase of the MCU, but we do know the world needs more heroes.
The Young Avengers are an important superhero team, and one well worth exploring. Only time will tell what role they have to play in the future of Marvel’s film universe.